Dr Lynsey Blandford is the Learning and Research Librarian for the School of Creative Arts and Industries at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). She has worked in a variety of libraries including at the University for the Creative Arts, Lambeth Palace Library, London School of Economics and the University of Kent before joining CCCU. She completed her MA in Information and Library Management at Northumbria University and is currently undertaking the Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). She is also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
On Tuesday 16th July 2019, we held a free Library TeachMeet with the theme of Employability and information and digital literacies. In my role, I have a specialist lead of employability which I explore in the context of our team’s work, developing students’ information and digital literacies. Something that is less explicit in our role is how we enhance student employability. Developing graduate attributes or professional skills are inescapable priorities within higher education and this led to my idea of organising a TeachMeet with the theme of employability. As a librarian, I felt that I needed to understand our role in the context of employability across the HE sector. What could be better than meeting librarians and learning developers who either currently embed employability within their teaching or have ideas about how this can be achieved?
The purpose of the day was firstly, to share ideas and examples of our teaching practice and secondly, to inspire each of us to take away a concept and apply it to our own workplace. We were fortunate to have colleagues attend from a range of universities, each with different identities, cohorts and subject portfolios. Our keynote speaker David White, Head of Digital Learning, University for the Arts London, spoke about their framework of Digital Creative Attributes which aids learning and teaching design. Topics and activities presented by eight other speakers included mapping digital and information literacy to employability frameworks, tools to support employability, digital monsters, enhancing employability through peer-assisted learning, raising awareness of professional resources for assignments, partnership working to enhance employability, and information and digital literacy as employability skills. All of the presentations with summaries are available on our blog post: https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/library/library-teachmeet-employability-and-information-and-digital-literacies/
The day was a great showcase of the current work in the sector and provided space for us to reflect on our own practice and think of aspects that we would like to develop further. Our version of a World Café tackled the following questions, which related to the themes of the day:
- What have you learnt today that you can use in your work?
- How could you collaborate with other teams or departments?
- How can we work with students to develop their digital capabilities?
- How can we develop research students’ employability?
Do you have an answer to these questions or examples of work that you have undertaken or are planning to begin? If so, please add comments below.