Connected Libraries

Leicester City Council is organising and running an exciting project for secondary school librarians and Learning Resource Centre (LRC) managers, in partnership with De Montfort University’s Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT). The LRC Connect project supports the Leicester Building Schools for the Future Programme ICT priorities Space & Place, CPD & Innovation, Networked Learning & Communities, and Information Management.

The initial event runs on Friday May 4 2012, and secondary schools across the city will be taking part. The event provides a great opportunity for school librarians to meet and network and discuss the latest thinking, research and practice. The hands on workshop brings together leading experts from across the UK to work with school LRC/library staff to focus on a range of issues, including:

• What is the role of the LRC in a digital age?
• What is the latest thinking around LRC design and use of space?
• What kind of digital search, evaluation and study skills do learners need?
• How are school libraries around the country meeting the challenge of ‘Google and Wikipedia by default’?

In addition to providing staff across the city with an opportunity to compare and share practice, the event provides an opportunity to reflect on the relevance and use of technology for learners and the relationship of their role and of the school library to digital environments.

Organisers & Speakers





Josie Fraser
Josie Fraser is a UK-based Social and Educational Technologist, currently working for Leicester City Council as ICT Strategy Lead (Children’s Capital). She leads on ICT for the City’s multi-million pound Building Schools for the Future programme, designed to raise learner engagement, achievement and aspiration, and deliver inspiring and effective community centred learning environments.

This project is one in a range of initiatives designed to make sure schools in Leicester are at the forefront in the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT) for learning.  Leicester aspires to be an online, connected learning city, and the BSF Programme is equipping our schools with world class technologies – and enabling Leicester City Council to support staff in developing the skills and confidence to match. The event is designed to support  staff working in school libraries and learning resource centres, who have a crucial role to play in supporting their communities in continuing to develop the confidence and skills necessary to access, evaluate and apply information.

Josie on Twitter @josiefraser

Rachael Guy

Rachael has worked in School Libraries for 12 years -7 at Merchant Taylors School  and 5 at Berkhamsted School – where she is Head of Learning Resources ( Libraries and Archives).  She has an appetite for new digital technology and social communication media within a learning development framework and pedagogy and my vision is to develop a 21st century dynamic learning environment.

Rachael will be talking about practical approaches and lessons learnt: New technologies and resources to support staff, faculties and learners

The talk will offer an insight into the work – pitfalls, challenges and achievements – Berkhamsted School are experiencing with digital literacy ( from KS3 – Sixth form)  and new technologies. Within the presentation I will focus and share best practice on the KS3 support framework, our future developments for KS4, and the strategy for Sixth Form. Across this framework I will refer to new technologies and resources introduced over the last two years alongside further plans for the future.

Rachel on Twitter – @berkholibrarian

Berkhamsted School Library blog





Richard Hall is the Head of ELT, based in the Directorate of Library Services at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He is also a National Teaching Fellow (2009) and a Reader in Education and Technology (2010). Richard is a Research Associate in the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at DMU. He is responsible for the academic implementation of ELT with the aim of enhancing the student learning experience.

Richard on Twitter @Hallymk1

DMU Learning Exchanges blog





Laura Taylor, BLib, MSc Econ., MCLIP, has worked throughout her 35 year career in children’s, schools and school library services. She has been involved in developing a number of new school libraries including her own in her last post at the City of London Academy, Southwark. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience having visited numerous school libraries across the country and networking with colleagues via the School Librarians’ Network, her role on CILIP’s School Libraries’ Group, and as an SSAT Lead Practitioner and consultant for Academy Libraries. Her particular interests are in developing libraries at the heart of the school and she sees it as essential that school librarians seize the opportunities presented by digital technologies to ensure that their libraries are embedded in the curriculum and equipped to enthuse and engage students in their reading for pleasure and information.  She currently is working freelance as a library advisor/consultant with Taylormade Libraries.

Laura will be talking about Design issues and considerations in Learning Resource Centre/library physical and digital spaces.

Laura will be looking at examples of good and bad design/layout, helping us to consider what makes a good school library/LRC, and raising questions about how we can incorporate new technologies to develop our services and our roles as school librarians.

Taylormade Libraries





David White

David manages the University of Oxford  Technology Assisted Lifelong Learning unit and has worked at the intersection of learning and technology for many years. David researches the approaches students take when engaging with the web for their learning. He is interested in how the availability of content and the opportunity to connect online is repositioning the role of educational institutions.

David will talk about What students know they don’t know online.

Drawing on interviews undertaken with late stage secondary pupils this talk will outline some of the ways in which students are using the web to learn and to complete homework. David will describe what he calls the ‘Learning Black Market’, some of the concerns students have around the validity of information online and the fine line between collaboration and plagiarism when discussing homework in social media.