Breaking a leg: Going on stage with the educators

Hegarty, N., Hurley, T. and Lynch, T. (2005) Breaking a leg: Going on stage with the educators. Library Management, 26 (6-7). pp. 361-372. ISSN 01435124 (ISSN)


Purpose - The purpose of the paper is to report on the experience of a library-based Learning Support Unit at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). It examines the background to the educational experience in libraries, major trends and resources in the area of library education, emerging strategies and how they are being translated into practical activities at WIT. Design/methodology/approach - The paper provides an overview of the educational initiatives of libraries in general and of WIT Libraries in particular. It takes a descriptive or instructional how to approach to its topic. Research methods used include a qualitative analysis of contemporary writings on the subject, first hand accounts and evaluations of the experience of library staff at WIT Libraries, and formal and informal student surveys. Findings - The paper underlines the need for the library to be an equal partner in the educational process. The value of the librarian/lecturer partnership to the student experience is recognised. The paper finds that, in WIT';s experience, it has been possible to position the library over a comparatively short timeframe as a major strategic asset for its institution simply by drawing largely on the skills and experiences of existing library staff in partnership with lecturing staff on curriculum-related projects. Originality/value - The paper shows that it is possible for a comparatively small unit to advance library education in its parent organisation in practical, achievable steps. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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