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Celebrating the value and impact of libraries and learning resource centres in FE and Sixth Form Colleges: CoLRiC’s 25th Anniversary Awards

Mirna Peach and Corinne Walker, the Co-Chairs of CoLRiC – the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges – have celebrated the organisation’s 25th anniversary by acknowledging and rewarding best practice in the Further Education and College sector with the presentation of three prestigious library and learning resource centre awards.

The Library at Northampton College has been awarded the CoLRiC 2018 Best Practice Award for demonstrating excellent practice in engaging students in numeracy skills.

‘Maths Magician’ is an original and innovative 20-week numeracy scheme developed by library assistants at the College in support of the Government’s agenda to improve literacy and numeracy in the UK.

The aim of the scheme is to embed numeracy skills by inviting students to continually practise their maths skills through completing a weekly maths puzzle.

Northampton College’s Librarian Amy Harnaman says:

‘Maths Magician has raised awareness of the role of the Library as an indispensable service in the promotion of learning. Above all it breaks down the barrier of the general fear of maths in society and makes maths magical, not menacing.’

The Learning Resource Centres, part of Information and Learning Services at Exeter College, have been awarded the CoLRiC 2018 Best Practice Award for demonstrating excellent practice in digital implementation & innovation.

They responded to the increasing importance of student digital literacy skills and their parity with traditional information literacy skills by evolving the traditional subject librarian role into a new Information and Digital Practitioner role.

The IDPs have designed and delivered new courses on topics including fake news, the opportunities and pitfalls of social media and professional online identity.

Tammy East, LRC Customer Experience Manager says:

‘Winning the Best Practice Award in Digital Implementation and Innovation is a wonderful recognition of more than a year’s hard work developing a contemporary digital literacy provision and reaching more students than we ever thought possible.’

The learning resources service ‘For Your information’ (FYi), part of the Learning Resource Centre at Blackpool Sixth Form College, has been awarded CoLRiC’s Jeff Cooper Quality Assurance Award 2018 for demonstrating excellent practice.

Jeff Cooper founded CoLRiC in 1993 with several colleagues from throughout the UK who were all committed to improving the quality of library and learning resources services within the FE and sixth form college sector. FYi is fully integrated into strategic planning and the operational process of the College with the full support of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Service is seen as integral in meeting the academic, vocational and employment needs of the students. The FYi is at the heart of the College’s steer to support independent learners and the development of independent learning. Staff engage with, and cultivate, productive collaborative partnerships with curriculum and student services managers.

Helen Crowther, Library Manager at Blackpool SFC says:

‘FYi demonstrates a clear desire to change the lives of students through raising the awareness of information and empowerment through gaining knowledge.’

Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP, the library and information association, and keynote speaker at CoLRiC’s recent 25th anniversary conference writes:

’25 years is a huge achievement. I want to send congratulations to CoLRiC on behalf of the whole team at CILIP. Best wishes for the next 25 years.’

CoLRiC Co-Chairs Mirna Peach and Corinne Walker conclude:

‘These awards celebrate the very best practice taking place in FE and sixth form college learning resources services. Libraries play a critical role in supporting organisational goals and strategies. Our resources and services have demonstrable value and impact helping create and sustain an institution-wide lifelong learning environment.’

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