The structured Information and Study Skills programme offered by Northampton College Library has rapidly progressed since its pilot in 2007, resulting in the recent success for the college in obtaining Beacon status.
The Principal and College Librarian attended an award ceremony in Westminster in February where they were presented with the prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for Effective Integration of Libraries/Learning Resource Centres in Curriculum Delivery.
Over 4,000 students attended sessions in the academic year 2010-2011, which are offered by the Library staff to increase information literacy and develop independent study skills.
The success of the sessions is evident from the excellent feedback obtained from students, with 97% claiming that the new knowledge has helped them with their studies.
One student commented: “Thoroughly relevant. Has helped me immensely after 27 years avoiding education. Thank you.”
In addition, some students’ grades were seen to rise byas much as 10%. There is also strong evidence of impact on retention, especially on HND and Access courses.
The success of the programme has been a testament to the excellent collaboration between library and curriculum staff across the college, which ensures the sessions are relevant to the students’ subject area, level and current assignments.
A complete rebuild of the college, the first phase of which was completed in April 2011, has put the Library at the heart of the college and provides students with impressive IT facilities, excellent resources and versatile study spaces to support all learning styles.
The RSC Learning Resources forum met last Autumn at Northampton to have a look at the new set-up.
The demand for the Information and Study Skills programme has also led to a staff restructure, in which 3 new ‘Learning Assistant’ posts were created to support an extensive User Education Programme supporting the learning and teaching process.
The Library is now looking to refine its services to maximise the impact of the fantastic new library on the learning experience and future success of its students.
RSC East Midlands first covered the work being undertaken as an Excellence Gateway case study in early 2009. We congratulate all those involved in this achievement.