Announcing the summer 2023 issue of CoLRiC Impact

Welcome to the summer issue of CoLRiC Impact. While there’s sunshine and the tantalising prospect of temporary respite from the work coalface on a well-deserved holiday, this special issue has been especially commissioned to enthuse you with ideas and inspiration as you begin to contemplate a new academic year and student induction. Time has flown by since we launched our popular free programme of member presentations and Q&A seminars back in February 2023. Your feedback has been enthusiastic and positive, and we look forward to scheduling many more. Meanwhile don’t forget that recordings are available to watch at your leisure on CoLRiC’s unlisted YouTube channel. This issue includes an overview of seminar videos with quick links for your convenience.

It was an honour back in April 2023 to host a seminar with Jisc’s Lis Parcell (Subject specialist – teaching, learning and assessment) where she reflected on three decades of working in further education and libraries. It was an uplifting and inspiring rally cry to the sector, and she has shared her thoughts in more depth in a brilliant contribution to this issue.

We go on to take inspiring to another level with our ‘Spotlight on…’ interview with Liz McGettigan, Senior Consultant, Future Library Strategy, Technology and Design at The Design Concept, and external judge of CoLRiC’s 2023 Jeff Cooper Award. We asked her what she thought makes an inspiring information professional.

One of the videos referenced in this issue is ‘Embedding catch-up provision in teaching and learning’, presented by Mirna Peach, ex-CoLRiC Chair and Head of Library Services at Leyton Sixth Form College. A report of lessons learned from this invaluable student support service is published here. This topic is revisited in our MediaWatch feature that shines a light on a brief selection of thought-provoking, sometimes controversial stories across the education and library sectors. The Covid pandemic has had a persistent and lingering impact on exam stress.

Our overview of news and media also focuses on the opportunities AI presents:

  • a rethink on assessment and the nature of exams
  • an overhaul of digital competencies
  • more personalised learning.

A new AI paradigm of learning skills is emerging that embraces critical thinking, communication skills, adaptability and technical savvy supported by:

  • intelligent tutoring and virtual assistants
  • enhanced assessments and feedback
  • intelligent learning analytics
  • improved use of assistive technology and support for students with disabilities.

Earlier this year Jackie Watkins, Library Manager at Hereford Sixth Form College, asked the CoLRiC forum for their experiences of working with student library volunteers. You responded with examples of job descriptions and information about the types of work the student volunteers have successfully undertaken. In this issue Jackie reflects on her experience of working with a student volunteer and shares lessons learned and plans for working with volunteers in the future.

For those of you contemplating a refresh of your library learning spaces in readiness for the new academic year, we’re delighted to include a feature by Allyson Watt, College Librarian and Paul Ettenfield, Learning Resources Team Leader at Wigan and Leigh College, on their recently completed refurbishment project.

As part of our 30th (pearl!) anniversary celebrations we’d also like to thank our valued sponsors for their support and collaboration. We have contributions from PTFS, SirsiDynix, Browns Books and IS Oxford in this issue.

Enjoy, and please share your thoughts and feedback on the CoLRiC discussion forum. Even better, drop us an email with comments and suggestions for future articles.