presenting workplace literacy to public libraries

On October 1, Mary Jane and I attended the 2017 Nova Scotia Library Association/LBANS conference and gave a presentation entitled, “Libraries and 21st Century Workplace Literacy Skills: A Study of NSCC Library Services”. Our program had the highest attendance of all sessions that weekend and those who attended (mostly public library staff and board members) indicated that the information we shared about NSCC students and their workplace information needs was new to them.

We know that public libraries have a significant role in helping Nova Scotians develop effective workplace literacy skills, and over the course of this year I hope to spend some time finding out about this.

NSLA conference presentation



nsla presentation and lcp next steps

Last week, Mary Jane and I met to discuss our presentation at the Nova Scotia Library Assocation coming up in September, and here is our conference plan:

NSLA planning meeting Aug 2_17

Over the next couple of weeks, we will  pull together the information (most of which we already have) and create the slides.

We also planned some next steps for our LCPs. We are looking to consult with faculty and will plan to do that after September when their workload begins to settle down.

  • Getting into the classroom to develop a “People in Practice” model
  • MJ is looking at setting up drop-in editing sessions and will work with Amanda (based on her Writing Centre work)
  • Interview communications instructors about the struggles students in skilled trades seem to have with communications classes.
  • Interview faculty members in a skilled trade program about the “information literacy” skills needed in their field. (Ask questions about the types of resources used on the job, eg, email, procedures manuals, standards).
  • Find out about being involved in the development of a new information literacy plan for NSCC Library Services.


workplace info lit and nscc library services

On Thursday, June 22, Mary Jane and I gave a brief presentation about workplace information literacy at an all-Library Services staff meeting. We discussed how our training is well suited to helping our students develop 21st century skills and essential workplace skills. Here’s our presentation:

Workplace information literacy

Over the next couple of weeks, we plan to send a survey out to the staff to ask about specific work they are doing to support essential workplace skills.

presenting to peers

On June 2, 2016, Mary Jane and I presented our AACUSS conference paper at our annual NSCC Librarians’ Meeting. This was our first full LCP presentation with our director present and we were a little nervous, but the presentation was well received and our director asked if we would consider giving it to other NSCC groups! Our peers indicated they found it useful to look at our students through a generational lens. They found it interesting to learn that most of our students are generation Z, with Millennials being the second largest cohort, and they appreciated the research we presented which gave insight into the information needs of these two cohorts.

Our next step is to dive deeper into understanding how NSCC supports workplace literacy for these groups so we can align library services.

reaching the summit

Last week, Mary Jane Pittman and I presented our findings on the information seeking behaviours of today’s post-secondary students at the Atlantic Association of College and University Student Services (AACUSS) conference in Fredericton, NB on May 26, 2016 . It was interesting to be presenting to non-library folks, and we received a lot of positive feedback on our work to date. We both also received a nice thank you:

AACUSS presentation thank you

My portions of the presentation included developing an introduction, a section on Millennials as students and some of the tools used by NSCC that meet the information needs of these students. Here is a link to the full conference session:

Supporting the Information Needs of Today’s Students

I have already captured some of my key findings about Gen Zs in a previous post, but my key learning from the conference came about  from presentations about post-secondary attempts to communicate with students, including:

  • using news feeds to send out information to students and parents
  • formatting email as brief newsletters and using images to link (which my research shows is effective with Gen Z)
  • creating a TV-show like set of videos that answers a lot of the questions new students have
  • setting up first year credit courses that help students navigate information.

festival of learning

Yesterday, Mary Jane Parsons, Debbie Kaleva, Charmaine Borden and I presented a session at the Festival of Learning on how to embark on an LCP. I developed and delivered the section on “Tackling the Application”. Here is a letter of thanks from the principal and a link to the full presentation that includes my section on how to complete the form.

Festival of Learning letter of thanks, May 2016

Festival of Learning presentation, May 17, 2016