Best wishes for 2023, and the first new year issue of CoLRiC Impact is published

Welcome to 2023. Let’s hope that it’s a peaceful, successful, healthy and less stressful year for us all.

2023 has special relevance to CoLRiC as we initiate celebrations to mark our 30th year representing Further Education and Sixth Form College libraries, librarians and learning resource professionals across the UK. We have twelve months of commemorative features lined up including free online seminars, lively discussions on the forum and thought-provoking articles in our e-newsletter CoLRiC Impact. We have great pleasure in attaching a PDF of our first issue for this special year.

In October 2022, the CoLRiC Executive Committee was delighted to announce two worthy winners and two highly commended submissions for its prestigious 2022 awards. We are proud to share the news in Impact and acknowledge such creative, enthusiastic and engaging contributions to teaching, learning and the student experience. Collaboration and dialogue with teaching and professional services staff are essential to develop and deliver relevant, flexible and dynamic student services, and we encourage you to nominate your teams and work colleagues when the awards invitation is issued later in the year.

With celebratory hats on we shine a ‘Spotlight On…’ Vanessa Munro, Learning Resource Assistant, New City College, and winner of the CoLRiC Jeff Cooper Inspirational Information Professional of the Year Award 2022. She tells us about herself and the work she is doing at New City.

The Learning Resources Service at Bridgwater and Taunton College/University Centre Somerset won the CoLRiC Innovative Practice Award, 2022, for its ‘Embedded Librarian or Taking the Library to the Classroom’ initiative. It effectively utilised digital curriculum platforms to contextualise learning resources within the wider learning environment, embracing everything from print and electronic sources of information, information retrieval and research skills to equality, diversity, health and wellbeing awareness. You can read how they achieved this in this issue.

Itab El-Ghariani and James Golab, Library Learning Facilitators at Bradford College, introduce you to their new TikTok account. ‘Social media has been an excellent tool to reach and engage with people. Our library has been following this trend for several years by being active on many social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and a blog.’ TikTok is relatively new to the social media landscape, but with 1000 million users and its popularity with 16-24-year-olds, getting to grips with it as an informative and entertaining engagement tool is a wise move in the FE sector. Look out for James elsewhere in this issue as he is Highly Commended for the Jeff Cooper Inspirational Information Professional of the Year Award 2022.

Throughout 2022 the UK media speculated on the lingering effects of the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns on students and education. The Guardian newspaper quoted one teacher lamenting that the lack of in-person lessons had led to underperformance. ‘I did my best, but the content I delivered isn’t comparable to what you can do face-to-face.’ A similar theme arose during delegate discussions at a CoLRiC online seminar in May 2022. The outcomes – ‘Reflecting on the legacy of two years of pandemic trauma on students. Implications for library and learning resource services’ – are published in this issue. Do you think that online learning has impacted negatively on the ‘Covid generation?’ Do the problems raised ring true with you, and do you have any suggestions that might mitigate them?

We also have plenty of CoLRiC news and updates, most notably our new unlisted YouTube channel featuring recordings of our online seminars. Access to the recordings, alongside copies of handouts, presentations and supplementary material, is via the members-only Document Repository on the CoLRiC website. Please let us know if you need to set up a password to access this content.

Exciting opportunities have also arisen for you or your colleagues to contribute to the future of CoLRiC as our resource and service portfolio develops to embrace an increasingly diverse and challenging Further Education/ Sixth Form College environment. We are looking for new committee colleagues and volunteers keen to contribute strategically and operationally and to lead or support projects on a task finish basis. Everything you need to know about the benefits of supporting us is included in this issue.

We hope you enjoy this issue, and happy 30th anniversary year 😊