CoLRiC events

CoLRiC inaugural members’ only free online lunchtime seminar was launched in February on the theme of Digital Accessibility: Removing Barriers to Learning and was presented by Andy Eachus, Executive Committee member and Digital Skills Trainer at the University of Huddersfield and Sam Goldsmith, CoLRiC Chair and Library Manager at The Manchester College. The seminar introduced the challenges faced by students when accessing online learning content, covered best practice for making documents, presentations and PDFs accessible and explored built-in features, online accessibility tools and design decisions that affect accessibility.

The great news is that the seminar was so popular that we hope to announce a repeat shortly. Andy will also present on the topic of ‘Free Assistive Technology for Students’ later in the year.

​​​​​​​In April Mishka Fielding, Library and Study Centre Manager at Loreto Sixth Form College presented on Creating a Departmental Digital Strategy.  Digital provision underpins teaching and learning, resource delivery and discoverability, collection development, management and information literacy. A Loreto SFC departmental review in January 2021 assessed key areas of service delivery including digital resources and library systems, ICT infrastructure and proficiency, information, data and media literacies, digital identity and wellbeing, the student experience of the service and organisational leadership and management.  Mishka, Chair of Jisc’s FE Learning Resources and Library Services Community of Practice, reflected on the Loreto’s journey and provided thought-provoking insight into working with Jisc on an organisational approach to articulating a digital strategy. She discussed the methods and resources she used to create an action plan to meet student need and expectations, including her utilisation of Jisc frameworks, team auditing and sharing best practice with other colleges. She also talked about the benefits the strategy has brought for her team and department.

The Road Ahead: being stronger together

To hell with being humble! We need to turn whispers into roars.

Liz McGettigan, Director of Digital Library and Cultural Experiences, SOLUS UK and keynote speaker at CoLRiC’s 2019 conference issues a rally cry to the library and information profession.

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of the CoLRiC community by bringing people together at our annual conference.

The conference programmes feature case studies and presentations from our members and sponsors with networking and conversation opportunities built into the day. After the event, presentations are shared with members in the form of slide decks and articles in CoLRiC Impact. Members can visit our Document Repository to view recent conference presentations and articles.

“The Road Ahead: being stronger together” was held on Friday 21st June 2019 at University College Birmingham. The event acknowledged and celebrated exemplary practice and innovation across the FE and Sixth Form College sector. Keynote presenter Liz McGettigan examined the challenges, barriers and opportunities that we face in an increasingly digital and uncertain environment. “Libraries and learning resource centres are facing chronic underfunding of resources and staffing. How do we revitalise our libraries to deliver a bold new future – an engaging, exciting and collaborative future? How can we harness effective partnerships and support from the intersection of technology, business and people? How can we get better at building a more collaborative and innovative community?”

CILIP’s CEO Nick Poole opened CoLRiC’s 2018 25th anniversary Conference – “The Road Travelled – surviving and flourishing 25 years on” with an inspiring keynote that addressed the changing face of Further Education and the opportunities for LRC and Libraries. “CILIP has members in more than twenty industry sectors. Very few of these have seen more rapid change than that experienced by the Further Education sector in recent years. This has profound implications for Learning Resource Centres and FE libraries.” Drawing on the 2017 CILIP policy inquiry into Libraries in Further Education and the resulting advocacy framework “FE Librarians deliver successful learning journeys”, Nick explored how we can work together across the sector to ensure that librarians and information professionals are positioned not just to survive this transformation in FE provision, but to help guide it so that it delivers the best outcomes for students.

As we move into a “new normal”, CoLRiC will be exploring ways to host and facilitate online learning events and meetings and to encourage the CoLRiC community to find new accessible ways to learn from, support and teach each other.