Tag Archives: ResearchGate

A ResearchGate Discussion on user Education

On 7th June last year, a Zimbabwean researcher asked the following question:-

How effective is user education provided to students at academic libraries?

There is a problem that most academic library users after introduced to the library and educated about the library use and services the library offers among other things, but still they find it difficult to use the library. What really might be the cause?

I immediately jumped in.  The conversation still continues, fitfully.  (I can copy my response here, but unless I have permission from everyone in the discussion, I can’t ethically share the whole conversation.  It wasn’t until this evening that  I realised that maybe I could ask everyone if they would object to the conversation being copied into Storify, so it would be openly available and not within the ResearchGate walls.)

Anyway, I’ll share my response of 13th June, and then I’ll wait to see what the others say.  If necessary, I suppose I could ask individuals for their permission to quote them.

Can I (modestly) reference a paper I wrote last year?  Library Review
Vol.64, Iss.1/2, (2015), 154-161, ‘Sexy Bibliography (and Revealing Paratext)’
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/LR-09-2014-0104

I have also blogged about library user education as part of my studies for a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning in higher education https://karenmcaulay.wordpress.com/e-portfolio/ and I am continuing this study in a project for submission next year.

Can I briefly make a few points here?

  • Firstly, we’re not teaching new undergraduates “library science”. They just want to know where to get started in the library.  Don’t start by trying to turn them into mini-librarians!
  • Secondly, students learn best at the time of need.  So we provide regular training working in collaboration with teaching staff, and with one eye on the teaching and submission schedules.  If students have their first essay coming up, they will be more motivated to listen and learn from us!
  • Thirdly, make the teaching relevant.  They are going to write about Prokofiev? Find examples of electronic resources that you have ensured WILL FIND appropriate information on Prokofiev!
  • Lastly, flip the classroom.  Embrace good pedagogical practice and involve the students rather than lecturing them. Ask what they think/recommend.  Build on what they know (This is called a “constructivist approach”)  Use multimedia to engage.  I could go on, but maybe I’d better stop for now!
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How effective is user education provided to students at academic libraries? – ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/post/How_effective_is_user_education_provided_to_students_at_academic_libraries#58715ff45b49529a6b48ff14 [accessed Jan 7, 2017].

Interestingly, the last lines- the citation – were added automatically by ResearchGate when I copied the text. Maybe they’ve taken care of it that way!  I still worry that ResearchGate participants might be the only ones able to open the link.  Could someone check the link for me, please?

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An Evening of Quiet Reflection and Consolidation

Bass Culture at Musica ScoticaQueen's College Camb

After a hectic few weeks, I need to update my CV with recent papers and presentations.   I maintain an Academia.edu presence; and since Research Gate is a good discussion forum, I upload what I can there, too.  I want my research profile to be as good as it can be.  I work full-time; while the boys were small, I didn’t do much scholarly writing or presenting.  Since doing the PhD part-time in my spare time, I’m making up for lost time.  None of this is directly related to my studies for the Teaching Artist course, but it is all part of the package that is me, so I wanted somehow to weave it into this e-portfolio.  For that reason, I’ve given my CV its own page on this blog.

  • March 2014. ‘Scottish, Scotch and Caledonian: the many shades of Scottish Music’ – RMA Scottish Chapter, Colloquium, Glasgow.
  • April 2014. ‘Learning to Teach, and Teaching to Learn: is there a Place for Pedagogical Theory in Teaching Bibliographic and Research Skills?’ – IAML(UK & Irl)* Annual Study Weekend, Cambridge.
  • April 2014. Quick-Fire Session: ‘Effective Use of Social Media’ (ibid)
  • April 2014. ‘Scottish Airs in London Dress’ – Musica Scotica, Aberdeen.
  • And in July I’m giving a paper at the ‘big’ international IAML Conference in Antwerp – not my first paper at an international conference, but Antwerp feels more ‘abroad’ than Dublin, so it’ll be exciting all the same:  ‘From Historical Collections to Metadata: a Case-Study in Scottish Musical Inheritance’

What else will I add to the CV?  I’ve been given one of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland places to attend the 13th ELIA Biennial Conference (entitled, ‘Location Aesthetics’) from 13-15 November this year – an event which I’m eagerly anticipating, because I’ve thought quite a lot about Scottishness, Scottish places and origins and culture, in connection with my own research.

There are various other opportunities I’ve come across which would be useful in a research or a self-development context, and I recently submitted an abstract for another conference – about Scottishness in music – but I wouldn’t share these until, or unless, there’s a chance that they might actually happen.

I’ve published nothing yet this year.  I have two encyclopedia articles pending publication, and I’ve submitted a substantial paper to a professional journal, but it really is time I started writing something else.   I haven’t made things easy for myself by trying to be as professionally active a musicologist and librarian, as if I were two people doing these activities full-time!