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Monday, March 25, 2013

Library and Computer Centre Update

An update on developments in the Library and Student Computer Centre over the past 6 months.

Te Noho Kotahitanga and Matauranga Maori

  • Jade Peterson and Jeanne Reihana from the Library attended the 5am karakia (blessing) for the new Wharekai, Whare Manaaki on 30/11/12 and were kaimahi (workers) for the celebratory breakfast.
  • Waitakere Campus Library hosted Mereana Taungapeau (Alexander Turnbull Library) who explained how to access Maori music material through the Turnbull archives. 
  • Beautiful posters promote awareness of the five TNK principles in all our Libraries.
  • Maori subject headings continue to be added to bibliographic records. 
Te Noho Kotahitanga posters at the Main Library

Innovation in Teaching and Learning

New Information Literacy framework and rubric
Information literacy (knowing how to deal with information in all its forms) is a vital academic literacy, a central part of the Living Curriculum and key to success in the workplace. Our new framework and information literacy rubric enables lecturers to easily map the information skills their students already have and develop a plan with their liaison librarian.

Making spaces for informal learning
We removed the tall tables outside the Student Computer Centre in the hub and created a small "wireless lounge" from "found furniture". This has been well used by students for conversation and informal learning and we hope to create more of these spaces.

Promoting Unitec's research talent
New functionality in Unitec's Research Bank now links the names of research authors and supervisors to their staff profile in the Unitec Staff Directory. From 2011 to 2012 the number of file downloads from Unitec's Research Bank almost doubled and page views have also increased substantially. The most downloaded authors were: Jenny Ritchie (20,691), Sven Damm (8,599) and Ken Blaiklock (7,673). More details.

Unitec Library joined YouTube on 15 July 2009. We have had 15,511 views since inception. In 2012 usage almost doubled with a total of 7,809 views recorded compared to 4,163 views in 2011. We have uploaded 47 videos. Here is an example of  one:
Our top 10 videos for the past year:

We have been converting our Flash based tutorials into YouTube versions so they are more portable and accessible via a larger range of devices. 


Enhancing the student experience

More roving support
In addition to our student rovers at the Main Library we now have a rover at the Northern Campus Library and Learning Commons.

Website improvements
We redesigned our website homepage in response to user surveys and testing. We have also made the site more accessible via mobile devices. 

Quiet study area
In the Library Client Survey and Student Satisfaction Survey students mentioned they could not find a quiet place to study. As a first response to this we have more clearly defined the quiet and silent study areas within the Main Library with bright branded signage. We have also moved some shelves to create more quiet study areas

Supporting student success
(by going outside the Library)
  • As part of the 'first six weeks' project, a team of librarians maintained a presence in the Hub to promote the Library's 'Live help' online chat service, the Facebook page and library services in general. As a result of that our Facebook and Live help are buzzing.
  • We regularly 'take the Library' to Maia and Pacific Centre, and make similar visits to international students and BBUS students. This is all about embedding ourselves into the student journey.
  • Librarians have been collaborating with lecturers to teach students about such things as: creating a search strategy, evaluating what they find on the internet and how to be academically honest.
Students enjoying our 'Facebook friends' promotion in the Hub


Meeting the needs of the community

We presented at the following external events:
  • LIANZA 'Ipukarea' Conference in Palmerston North (25/11/12) - Adrian Jenkins gave a 'lightning session' presentation on his Masters research into the value of verbal praise and recognition.
  • AASWWE 2012 Symposium Celebrating Diversity in Adelaide (27/11/12) - Lydia and Te Pora gave an oral presentation about navigating the challenges to inclusivity.

Improving access to resources

  • We enhanced access to the Pasifika material in the collection by retrospectively adding a local heading, 'Pasifika', to this material. 
  • In the past 6 months another 77  print journal subscriptions were moved from print to online. This continues the move to electronic resources, giving greater access and flexibility for study for students and staff.


Being an excellent business

Records Management
The Library has improved its records management in line with Unitec policy and NZ law. We are now aware of which records we must retain and how to document records disposal. Last year we reduced our top tier of folders on the staff file server (H drive) from 101 to 6. We are happy to share our record management learnings with others.
Defibrillator in Main Library

Health and Safety
Our newest wall ornaments in both the Main Library and B1 Library are heartsaver defibrillators which can 'bring people back to life' in the event of a heart attack. Many staff have attended training. Waitakere Joint Library also has a defibrillator on level 1.

Supporting Environmental Sustainability Teaching
A new Library Guide for Sustainable Technologies was produced in response to a need expressed by faculty who are 'greening' our
curriculum in line with Unitec's Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

Professional Development
We held a 'Summer Festival of Professional Development' in December to stay up-to-date and equip us to better support our  customers. Session topics ranged from 'MS Office' and 'APA Referencing' insights to the 'Creative Commons' and 'Google's filter bubble'.

Communication and knowledge sharing
Library staff presented a number of sessions at Unitec symposiums and kick-offs including: Opening the Door to Open Access, Free your conscience: Finding and using images legally, Meet me in the Cloud (about Google Hangouts & Skype) and Weaving the web and the weft: Starting the research journey (a collaboration with Dr Jo Howse).

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