The subject of this get together was ‘How do libraries make you more employable?’ one of the hot button topics face by librarians at the moment.
Among the group were HE, public, FE, and NHS librarians, and we discovered we faced similar challenges in each of our sectors.
The LibTeachMeet was opened by Julie Hart, Aberystwyth University Librarian and Deputy Director of Services, who noted the difference between employment and employability within the context of HE skills.
Our first speaker was yours truly, and I spoke on my experiences both as a recent student, and as a library trainee, and how in both cases the library contributes to employability.
Next up was Anita Saycell, subject librarian, who gave a talk on the resources we have at Aberystwyth to help students keep up to date with industry developments and research companies.
Our third speaker was Síona Murray from Coleg Llandrillo, who gave us an insight into Further Education’s contributions to employability, as well as touching on a range of topics such as Information Literacy, Digital Literacy, and social media skills as employability skills.
Next, Sarah Gwenlan, subject librarian, spoke about Aberystwyth University’s efforts to collaborate Library resources and skills with the Careers Service in our Employabilty group, and developing shared sessions, and discussions were had about the best time in the degree scheme to introduce these lectures to students.
Finally, Joy Cadwallader, subject librarian, gave us a personal case study about how libraries were making people employable back in the 1980s, as libraries have to keep up with new technology, so do our students.
There was plenty of discussion about employability of students but also skills for librarians. Another key point that came up was how to market the library’s involvement and provision of skills, and the issue of ‘presumed knowledge’ with a phrase I particularly enjoyed which is ‘IT confident doesn’t equal IT competent’. We also discussed the importance of collaborating further with careers services to develop joint sessions on skills, and looking for ‘employability champions’ amongst colleagues and academic departments. We also touched on the challenge of finding a good hashtag to promote the value of libraries to employability, which proved to be a difficult one.
I would like to thank everyone who attended and spoke, especially those who took the time to travel to Aber, as well as CILIP for sponsoring this event and helping us provide the lure of lunch and freebies.
All that’s left to say is I’ll be looking forward to Aber LibTeachMeet 2017