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Innovative, modern and impactful: The OU Library wins information literacy award

The Open University Library’s Live Engagement Team has won the information literacy award at the LILAC annual conference. The team teaches information literacy (IL) skills through online training sessions, podcasts, Facebook live and other methods. The award recognized their excellence in developing OU students’ skills in an innovative way.

Going above and beyond

The judging panel cited evidence of the excellent team-work behind supporting students and developing study skills. Panel member Dr. Dina Martzoukou explained:

“We were very impressed by the OU team. Their submission was very robust, full of examples of impactful work demonstrating how they go above and beyond to help students develop IL. The sessions are offered in a very modern style and include many innovative characteristics.”

Impact on student learning

The impact on student learning, in helping people develop IL skills, is impressive: those who attend live online training sessions are 10-15% more likely to complete their module of study; and there was a 95% reduction in study skills referrals for one module.

Library award winners

(L-R) Hossam Kassem, Helen Clough and Fiona Durham at the LILAC award ceremony 24 April 2019

Helen Clough (Senior Library Manager and LE group leader) said: “The innovative and forward-thinking work of the Live Engagement team isn’t done in isolation – it is built on the back of all the great work that everyone in the sector does, and it is supported and encouraged by our amazing colleagues in the Open University Library and the wider university.”

The award comes with a cash prize, which the team will be donating to Ability.Net, a national charity headquartered in Milton Keynes which changes the lives of disabled people by helping them access digital technology at work, home or in education.. Ability.Net’s Service Delivery Director Amy Low said, “The donation demonstrates the commitment of the OU to opening Higher Education to a wide range of under-represented groups, including disabled and older students.”

The award was given at LILAC’s annual conference on 24 April. Bringing together practitioners from across the UK and with an international reach, LILAC’s annual conference focusses on best practices in library user education.

About Author

Kath works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is a skilled communicator with more than 15 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has a BA (Hons) English and American Literature from University of Warwick and specialises in stories from the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, BBC programmes, and student stories. In her spare time Kath enjoys touring the country in her hand-painted camper van, Trevor.

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