Library and Learning Services

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This collection contains items ranging from early 1990s work to the present day.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 44
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    Decolonising DMU: Reflections on Changes, Challenges and Impact with an Eye toward the Future
    (Taylor and Francis, 2023-11-28) Towlson, Kaye
    Based at De Montfort University, Decolonising DMU is a strategic initiative working to create an anti-racist institution where all can achieve. Growing from DMU’s Freedom to Achieve project Decolonising DMU extends anti-racist work across the structure and composition of the institution, moving away from a sole focus on the curriculum. The Library has played a core role within both of these projects working with staff and students to gain better representation in library collections, facilitating library work experience to enhance staff and professional diversity, working with academics to decolonise reading lists, enabling changes in pedagogical practice and to raise awareness of issues and the lived experience of people of colour. This ultimately leads to changes in practice to enable a better sense of belonging and visibility for students of colour which in turn leads to more successful engagement and student retention. The article provides examples of actions, challenges and ways forward, with specific reference to Library and Learning Services. Reflections on the complex and evolving nature of this work are made alongside the implications for the student and staff experience plus service and collection development. This work reinforces the critical importance and impact of the decolonising H E movement on academic libraries and student success.o abstract provided
  • ItemOpen Access
    Improving Communication Between Postgraduate Researchers and the University Library: A Case Study at De Montfort University Library and Learning Services
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016-03-17) Petch, Melanie Jayne; Fraser, Katie; Rush, Nathan; Cope, Alan; Lowe, Julie
    A well-established postgraduate researcher development program has existed at De Montfort University for many years. Library and Learning Services include modules on literature searching skills and critical appraisal. However, we recognized that researchers seemed to be disengaged with the services on offer. This concern informed a research project that considered the ways we could communicate better with researchers based on their needs. This paper explores the essential components of successful communication, such as context, timeliness and communication channels. An action-research approach was taken including focus groups and online surveys. The outcomes highlighted three significant crisis points, emphasizing the key times when researchers might need some intervention. The findings of this research identified the distinct needs of Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) and how relevant and timely communication from the library can meet these needs. It also considers the impact of how communication has improved with researchers as a result of some of our interventions.
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    Library Services as Partner: Bringing Students and the Public Together to Deliver Impact
    (Purdue University, 2022-02-11) Brine, Alan; Wheelband, Elizabeth
    This paper discusses the creation of a permanent, centre for research and education in a UK university, open to the public and delivered in collaboration with its students and the public. Library Senior Leadership Team presented a business case to develop a new centre at De Montfort University an underutilised area on campus. This area contains parts of a fourteenth century collegiate church, once at the heart of medieval Leicester and was part of the earliest of the predecessor institutions of the University. Grounded in De Montfort University’s central objectives of serving the community and the public good, the proposals were developed by a range of participants to bring the present University’s 150 year history to a wider audience and to present the history of this important part of the city of Leicester to the public. A central tenant of the enterprise was that content should be generated by DMU students and public partnerships. De Montfort students worked with the library to develop designs for the centre as part of their studies. After its creation the centre has undertaken student collaborations that include additions to the space, such as ceramics. Collaborations have been undertaken with the local community including exhibitions with the health authorities, the police and the local football club (Leicester City). We work closely with the local council on joint public exhibitions and collaborative projects, one example of which is “Heritage Sundays” where we open together and deliver informative sessions for the public. This has seen a continual rise in our visitor numbers and a welcome for thousands of new visitors since first opening the doors. The centre has become a valuable asset for the institution on a number of levels and has been used as a test bed for developing and evaluating innovative interpretation techniques and methodologies, especially during covid, by various groups within the university enabling De Montfort to use its heritage to research into design development.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Acquisitions and the accelerated shift to digital in academic libraries in the UK: reflecting on the Covid experience at De Montfort University and Imperial College London
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-09-07) Brine, Alan; Knight, Andrew
    Summer 2020 witnessed a large-scale temporary release of content from the publishing community to support UK universities as they moved to online-only delivery, followed by a scramble by those institutions to maintain access to resources. This paper reflects on the experiences of De Montfort University and Imperial College libraries during this period as they supported the move to remote teaching. It focuses on the complexities experienced during this transitional period, and considers how the speed of these changes increased staff workloads, stretched budgets, and compelled acquisitions teams to act without always fully gathering evidence or strategically planning how new practices might work in the longer term. The authors, who sit on various national contract management and acquisitions strategy groups, examine the repercussions of navigating from an unplanned, accelerated digital shift to a more managed, sustainable paradigm, and contemplate how the advent of multimode teaching may impact on the way libraries are resourced.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Engaging students online: an analysis of students’ motivations for seeking individual learning development support
    (Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE), 2022-01) Cirstea, Arina
    In the context of increased concerns with student engagement across the Higher Education sector, which have intensified subsequent to the rapid transition to online delivery in March 2020, this small-scale research project aimed to explore the motivations for student engagement in self-selecting learning development (LD) online tutorials. The study used a mixed methods approach, including an online survey (No.=43) and online interview (No.=5). The sample comprised of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate volunteers recruited from a pool of LD tutorial users (No.=390) within the project timeframe (October 2020-April 2021). The generalisability of findings is limited by the low response rate as well as age bias. The main driver for engagement reported was participants’ limited confidence in their own academic writing abilities, which was consistently linked to attainment. Engagement was further motivated through a range of perceived impacts, including improved confidence, awareness of academic conventions and higher grades. In this context, the main challenge was limited availability of support. Participants reported a generally positive attitude towards online delivery. Qualitative data from both survey and interviews were further investigated using a Discourse analysis framework. One key finding was that the path to LD engagement is often mediated by academic authority figures, who may exert a significant impact on learner self-views. Key recommendations for learning developers include maximising the potential of lessons learned from the enforced pivoting to online delivery to underpin the developmental dimensions of LD, with the ultimate goal of promoting learner confidence and growth.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Decolonising the reading list, thoughts and pathways
    (Association of Librarians and information professionals in the social sciences (ALISS), 2021-10-14) Towlson, Kaye
    Details the structure and foundations of the decolonsing the reading list workshop offered across DMU. Highlights co-creative and exploratory tools geared to kickstart discussions around decolonising. Considers impact of colonial legacies on the academic reading list . Offers work flow model of the stages of decolonising the reading list. No abstract in published item
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    Libraries in a Time of Covid
    (De Montfort University Press, 2021-08-17) Brine, Alan
    The impact of Covid on providing access to library resources has raised interesting questions in regard to supporting students at a distance. Aside from enabling access to resources through online channels there is also the need to ensure that support for academic skills is available.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Power and paragraphs: academic writing and emotion
    (2020-12-16) Forster, Emily Charlotte
    Emotions play an important role in academic writing (Cameron, Nairn and Higgins, 2009)and, as learning developers, we often support students with the emotional aspects of their work. The process of writing is strongly linked to identity. Research into academic literacies has highlighted the fact that this often involves complex negotiations, especially for students from widening participation backgrounds (Lea and Street, 1998). Students’ past experiences of learning strongly shape their identity as learners. For example, the early challenges with literacy faced by people with dyslexia often continue to affect their emotions in adulthood (Pollak, 2005; Alexander-Passe,2015). The concept of learning identities (Bloomer and Hodkinson, 2000; Christie et al.,2007) helps us to understand students’ emotional responses in the wider context of their lives. This paper uses two case histories of students with dyslexia, who were also the first in their family to go to university, to explore the role of academic writing in shaping a student’s learning identity. It argues that learning developers are in a good position to help students develop a positive sense of themselves as academic writers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Talking to myself: reflections on Reframing A conversation reflecting on my experiences of using creative practice (specifically the Reframing technique) within a STEM context.
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019-10-10) Reeve, Julia
    This self-reflective conversation looks back on my experiences as an Art & Design practitioner delivering a workshop at the HEA STEM Conference. The focus is on one technique, Reframing, as part of a wider discussion of the way that creative practice can enhance student engagement. The conversation explores different applications of the Reframing method across disciplinary boundaries, and refers to academics who have inspired my work. I reflect on the way that my experiences at the conference have impacted on my pedagogic practice, philosophy and identity, using a non-traditional and light-hearted format designed to encourage both my own reflective process and reader engagement.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'Not enough music': a critique of music education in schools in England
    (De Montfort University, 2019-11) Dufour, Barry; Griffiths, Austin
    This paper presents a critical overview of music education in schools in England, both generally and historically up to the end of 2019. It was decided early on that justice could not be done to all the nations of the UK - Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales - with their respective rich and important music cultures; neither could there be an international comparative analysis: while these two perspectives are important, it would have required a book rather than a monograph to fully explore these dimensions. This monograph was researched and written by me from late 2016 to late 2019. It started as a short article, maybe 3000 to 5000 words, for a journal, but as I read more, visited places and researched more deeply and widely, I realized that a short journal article would not do justice to the subject. I was also persuaded that the finished work should be written in accessible English and should reach a much wider readership than a narrowly academic journal article would allow. So it is now a research monograph, 29,000 words long and with over 100 references. I consider the current state of teaching and learning in music education by drawing on national and local research projects including online web research, observations, and visits to institutions, as well as on my own insights and experience. The visits included a variety of schools and colleges, interviews, and attendance at key conferences, along with phone conversations and personal discussions with people in music and music education, and extensive reading of major texts and reports. The monograph includes historical perspectives as well as considering the social, political and economic aspects of music education, including issues related to the substantial inequality in access to instrument learning and the variable quality of the reach and provision of music education in schools. It attempts to offer a balanced view, exploring the negative aspects but also featuring positive coverage of the many successful initiatives at local and national level, often promoted by schools, government policy, concert halls, universities and music colleges, music professional bodies, charities and other third sector organizations. It also seeks to explore and celebrate the many important manifestations of music in the public domain in England, as a background to questioning, along with music reports and professional organizations attached to the cultural and creative industries, why music education in schools has increasingly suffered underfunding, decreased provision and lowered status in the school curriculum, when England has such a world-renowned, diverse and rich music culture. Relevant developments and research on music and arts education at De Montfort University are also discussed and Dr Austin Griffiths, my colleague and member of the Education Studies staff, was invited to write a special analysis of elite music education based on his ongoing research.
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    Efficiency vs Enhancement in Assessment and Feedback
    (2015-12) Weale, Robert
    Exploring some of the challenges that reside in the implementation of technology to deliver, support, and enhance assessment and feedback.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sharing Practice via online case studies
    (2013-12) Weale, Robert
    Demonstration of an online resource developed to facilitate the sharing of good practice in the use of technology for teaching and learning by staff at De Montfort University.
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    An investigation into the viability of LibraryThing for promotional and user engagement purposes in libraries
    (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013) Richards, Anna; Sen, Barbara
    Purpose – LibraryThing is a Web 2.0 tool allowing users to catalogue books using data drawn from sources such as Amazon and the Library of Congress and has facilities such as tagging and interest groups. This study seeks to evaluate whether LibraryThing is a valuable tool for libraries to use for promotional and user engagement purposes. Design/methodology/approach – This study used a sequential mixed methods three-phase design: the identification of LibraryThing features for user engagement or promotional purposes, exploratory semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire. Findings – Several uses of LibraryThing for promotional and user engagement purposes were identified. The most popular reason libraries used LibraryThing was to promote the library or library stock, with most respondents using it specifically to highlight collections of books. Monitoring of patron usage was low and many respondents had not received any feedback. LibraryThing was commonly reported as being easy to use, remotely accessible, and having low cost, whilst its main drawbacks were the 200 book limit for free accounts, and it being a third-party site. The majority of respondents felt LibraryThing was a useful tool for libraries. Practical implications – LibraryThing has most value as a promotional tool for libraries. Libraries should actively monitor patron usage of their LibraryThing account or request user feedback to ensure that LibraryThing provides a truly valuable service for their library. Orginality/value – There is little research on the value of LibraryThing for libraries, or librarians' perceptions of LibraryThing as a Web 2.0 tool.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Information skills for nursing students: development of an elearning package
    (LILAC Conference, 2014-04) Dare, Joanna; Laing, Ceri; Tidswell, Jo
    An exploration of the practicalities and pitfalls of designing an information skills e-learning package for new Nursing and Midwifery students
  • ItemOpen Access
    Making library induction valued and valuable
    (ALISS, 2012-01) Martin, Elizabeth
  • ItemOpen Access
    Collaboratively creating a reusable and repurposable online tutorial: The challenge of meeting the disparate needs of Researchers.
    (ALISS, 2012-10) Coombs, Jenny; Bark, Chris; Martin, Elizabeth; Stanton, Wendy; Stubbings, Ruth; Thompson, Judy; Young, Helen
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Community of Practice approach to delivering research support services in a post-92 Higher Education Institution: A reflective case study
    (Taylor and Francis, 2017-05-19) Coombs, Jenny; Thomas, Mandy; Rush, Nathan; Martin, Elizabeth
    The need for research support in UK universities is growing at a fast pace and a number of different professional and academic units within universities are involved in the process. This case study takes place in a post-92 higher education institution and discusses the benefit of utilising a cross-university Community of Practice (CoP) approach to delivering research support services. It takes a qualitative approach, using semi-structured interviews to ascertain the personal experiences of community members. The article’s key findings for successful implementation include a common sense of purpose; a shared concern or passion about the research agenda; a sense of community and belonging; trust; a safe environment; and senior management support. Added benefit is demonstrated by enhanced staff knowledge, increased job satisfaction and profile raising of the Library and Learning Service. The findings can help libraries in similar positions to use collaborative initiatives to develop research support services.
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    Web 2.0 and Libraries: Impacts, Technologies and Trends
    (Chandos, 2010-04-28) Parkes, David; Walton, Geoff
    In a world where computing power, ubiquity and connectivity create powerful new ways to facilitate learning, this book examines how librarians and information professionals can utilize emerging technologies to expand service and resource delivery. With contributions from leading professionals, including lecturers, librarians and e-learning technologists, this bookl explores strategic approaches for effectively implementing, living with, and managing revolutionary technological change in libraries.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Institutional Management of Peer-Led Learning: A Framework for Holistic Integration
    (2015) Eyre, Jason
    If we are to accept that peer-led learning (peer mentoring, peer tutoring and related approaches) are of benefit to students, how are we to approach the implementation of such approaches at the institutional level in a way that is resource efficient and effective? This paper presents the holistic framework for the institution-wide coordination and support of a wide variety of peer-led learning initiatives developed at De Montfort University. The framework presented sidesteps the thorny issues of categorisation that dominate the discourse of peer-led learning by devolving issues of definition to the site of implementation. A simplified typology is presented that characterises an initiative based on its level of formality and its overarching purpose with respect to transformational ‘transition points’ through the student lifecycle. This ‘mixed economy’ approach accommodates highly idiosyncratic and locally-defined approaches to peer-led learning coordinated and supported by the university’s learning development unit (the Centre for Learning and Study Support).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Improving communication between postgraduate researchers and the university library: A case study at De Montfort University Library and Learning Services
    (De Montfort University, 2015-11) Petch, Melanie Jayne; Rush, Nathan; Fraser, Katie; Lowe, Julie; Cope, Alan
    no abstract provided