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Journal ArticleDOI

Academic Libraries and the Student Journey

11 Jul 2013-New Review of Academic Librarianship (Taylor & Francis Group)-Vol. 19, Iss: 2, pp 99-100

AbstractThis special issue of the New Review of Academic Librarianship documents the extended role of academic libraries (and their staff) in developing and supporting students across the entire student lifecycle—from pre-entry to post qualification. The resulting innovative approaches mean working with a much wider range of stakeholders than previously, internally and externally, and involving students more pro-actively. While the predominant focus of the articles is undergraduate study, the approach of this themed issue—the student journey—can be applied to all kinds of learners including researchers. The backdrop for the articles in this issue is the changing current higher education climate and new fees regime introduced in the UK which has just been evaluated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.1 The financial reforms introduced by the UK government are wide-reaching, demanding a whole institutional response to develop services that recruit, retain, and progress students, from first contact to finding a job or career, or further study or research. The higher education market has become more competitive than ever as student number controls are adjusting the student profile and there are fewer students in the system overall. For some, choosing higher education as a next step is a much bigger decision financially than previously, despite the availability of government funded student loans with no “up-front” payment required. As demonstrated by the articles, the developing context of a value-added student offer is not just a UK phenomenon. Academic libraries globally are responding robustly and strategically to the challenges that are often created by government policies, financial constraints, changes to quality systems, combined with the availability of ubiquitous and mobile technology. The changes are in fact seen as opportunities to position academic libraries as major forces in the contemporary model of higher education. We can be certain

Summary (1 min read)

Key words Academic Libraries Student Journey Student transition Student engagement Student expectations

  • Editorial -Margaret Weaver, Head of Library and Student Services, University of Cumbria UK.
  • This themed issue of the New Review of Academic Librarianship is documenting the extended role of academic libraries (and their staff) in developing and supporting students across the entire student lifecycle -from pre-entry, to post qualification.
  • The resulting innovative approaches mean working with a much wider range of stakeholders than previously, internally and externally and involving students more pro-actively.
  • Whilst the predominant focus of the articles is undergraduate study, the approach of this themed issue -the student journey -can be applied to all kinds of learners and researchers.
  • The backdrop for the articles in this issue is the changing current higher education climate and new fees regime introduced in the UK which has just been evaluated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England 1 .

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Weaver, Margaret (2013) Academic libraries and the student journey: guest
editorial. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 19 (2). pp. 99-100.
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Academic Libraries and the Student Journey
Key words
Academic Libraries
Student Journey
Student transition
Student engagement
Student expectations
Editorial Margaret Weaver, Head of Library and Student Services, University of Cumbria UK
This themed issue of the New Review of Academic Librarianship is documenting the
extended role of academic libraries (and their staff) in developing and supporting students
across the entire student lifecycle from pre-entry, to post qualification. The resulting
innovative approaches mean working with a much wider range of stakeholders than
previously, internally and externally and involving students more pro-actively. Whilst the
predominant focus of the articles is undergraduate study, the approach of this themed issue
the student journey - can be applied to all kinds of learners and researchers.
The backdrop for the articles in this issue is the changing current higher education climate
and new fees regime introduced in the UK which has just been evaluated by the Higher
Education Funding Council for England
1
. The financial reforms introduced by the UK
government are wide reaching, demanding a whole institutional response to develop
services that recruit, retain, and progress students, from first contact to finding a job or
career, or further study or research. The higher education market has become more
competitive than ever as student number controls are adjusting the student profile and
there are fewer students in the system overall. For some, choosing higher education as a
next step is a much bigger decision financially than previously, despite the availability of
government funded student loans with no “up-front” payment required. As demonstrated
by the articles, the developing context of value-added is not just a UK phenomenon.
Academic libraries globally are responding robustly and strategically to the challenges, that
are often created by government policies combined with the availability of ubiquitous and
mobile technology. The changes are in fact seen as opportunities to position academic
libraries as major forces in the contemporary model of higher education. We can be certain
that student support and retention activity, often taking place in academic libraries, is a
strategic matter to successful higher education institutions.
To capture the projects, services and approaches that are being taken to ensure student
success across all the stages (or transitions) that students experience, a group of university
libraries in the north west of England, North West Academic Libraries, (NoWAL) ran a
conference on the student journey. Twenty-seven institutions attended at the University of
Cumbria in September 2012, and the papers chosen for this issue were first presented at the
conference called Student Transition and Success.
Seeing the articles through the lens of the “student journey(a term that has captured the
imagination to describe the stages of higher education from a student perspective), enables
practitioners to present and evaluate their work as contributory to a stage in the lives of
students. The benefit of the approach acknowledges that higher education learning is
complex, that libraries have a key role to play and that this has to be a holistic approach
1
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Higher Education in England: impact of
the 2012 Reforms. (2013): March. www.hefce.ac.uk

educating the whole student. Success depends on engaging students from the outset, both
reaching out to students at pre and post entry and drawing students in, including virtually.
The library-student relationship is shifting as the articles depict.
To illustrate the range of activity at each stage of student learning, the articles each cover a
particular stage in the student lifecycle (although inevitably the student journey is not linear
and there is some overlap) and they link theory to practice in varying ways. Their claims to
knowledge are practical, situated, and informed by the literature, with rich descriptions of
case studies and lessons learned, rather than deep methodological accounts. The use of the
conference format as live, action focussed, enhancements of practice is an innovation which
emerges from the papers, in effect using the library community of practice in a live
environment such as a conference to co-create.
It is the hope of the editor that readers of this themed issue will find the lifecycle approach
helpful in determining future strategy; that they are enthused by the positivity and
innovation of fellow academic library staff, and that these “stories from the field” find
credence with a wide group of professional services colleagues outside librarianship. This
will hopefully inform leadership and staff development programmes and initiate
contributions from others to the science of student support.
Here lies our future sustainable practice innovating for students, with students and others
who are passionate about the benefits of higher education.
April 2013
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Definition – the learner journey is here defined as the study, information and research skills that a student brings to university with them and develops throughout the course of their degree programme Scope & methodology – research on academics’ perceptions, expectations and assumptions about the learner journey was conducted via semi-structured interview, in order to underpin a refreshed library teaching ‘menu’ at the University of Worcester Results – consistencies and differences in approaches to levels of study, and a number of common themes, including student independence, transition, and technology were revealed Outcomes – from the evidence base, the project yielded both tangible outputs (the teaching menu, a self-audit tool, a PGCert session) and less quantifiable ones, such as positioning Library Services as pedagogic partners and researchers

3 citations


Cites background from "Academic Libraries and the Student ..."

  • ...Such definitions cover everything from wellbeing to academic success to interaction with learning spaces, enabling librarians and other practitioners to deliver interventions and programs of work aligned to stages in the lives of students (Weaver, 2013a, p. 100)....

    [...]

  • ...For example, an article in a special issue of the New Review of Academic Librarianship documented ‘the extended role of academic libraries (and their staff) in developing and supporting students across the entire student lifecycle—from pre-entry to post qualification’ (Weaver, 2013a, p. 99)....

    [...]

  • ...This is, perhaps, a more traditional approach and Weaver (2013b), for example, argues that the “institutional drivers to attract, retain and progress students across their entire lifecycle” means that a more holistic view is needed (p. 103)....

    [...]


01 Jan 2016
Abstract: Curtin University Library’s program Listening, Learning and Leading: Transforming the Curtin Student Library Experience directly enables Curtin University’s Learning for Tomorrow strategy and aligns with students’ experiences of a transformed learning approach, focusing on expanding support and access for very diverse student groups. Initiated in 2013, the program supports students on their learning journey by increasing physical and virtual access to library services and resources. It provides customised information literacy support at point of need and by developing innovative hands-on learning activities. It uses mobile app technology such as augmented reality in games based learning, to develop a ‘maker community’ and ‘library makerspace’. The paper outlines how Listening, Learning and Leading has contributed to enhancing students’ overall learning experience.

Cites background from "Academic Libraries and the Student ..."

  • ...Inspired by Scott’s 2005 findings that all aspects of university life influence students’ learning journeys (SLJ) (Scott, 2005), and Weaver’s 2013 study, which highlights the importance of the library’s role in the SLJ (Weaver, 2013), the Library aimed for an holistic approach in designing the program....

    [...]

  • ...…by Scott’s 2005 findings that all aspects of university life influence students’ learning journeys (SLJ) (Scott, 2005), and Weaver’s 2013 study, which highlights the importance of the library’s role in the SLJ (Weaver, 2013), the Library aimed for an holistic approach in designing the program....

    [...]