Library Futures 3: A graduate-eye-view of information and digital literacy skills
  • October 3, 2018

Library Futures 3: A graduate-eye-view of information and digital literacy skills

According to the JISC student digital experience survey 2018, only half of all further and higher education students believe that their courses prepare them well for the digital workplace. University libraries make significant investments to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to use their services effectively and succeed on their course. However, less is known about the role that these skills play in the world of employment and yet we know how important employability is to the student experience.

Library Futures 3 will gather fresh evidence about information and digital literacy from the perspective of graduates. This new study will provide an important foundation on which libraries can build their future plans for ensuring that graduates are digitally prepared for employment. The project will combine a quantitative survey of UK graduates with innovative online qualitative research to offer rich insight.

Why join the Library Futures 3 collaboration?

Through our ‘Library Futures’ series, we bring together university libraries to work on common challenges. The model means individual clients have access to tailored strategic research studies, whilst also participating and building communities focused on achieving and sharing best practice. The collaborations offer opportunities for shared learning leading to practical action and exciting innovations.

“Library Futures is taking a really innovative approach to student engagement. The collaborative approach is empowering and exciting. It’s exactly what we need to connect with our communities and offers the time and space to allow strategic questioning and action….”

Margaret Weaver, Brunel University London

What are the benefits of taking part?

Each participating library will receive a research report outlining the findings from the study, which can be used to:

  • Inform the strategy and planning behind library-specific efforts to improve student information and digital literacy
  • Identify opportunities for new programmes or initiatives that could better support undergraduates in acquiring, recognising and translating information and digital literacy skills into graduate employment
  • Provide an evidence-base to secure necessary funding for new initiatives.

You will also have the opportunity to network with colleagues from collaborating institutions by attending two Library Futures workshops, one at the beginning and one at the end of the project, where we will all share ideas and learn from each other.

Summary of the research process and timings

For this collaboration, we will:

  • Start the process with a project initiation workshop with all our partner libraries
  • Conduct a full literature review
  • Produce the survey questionnaire and circulate it for your comment and approval
  • Conduct a national survey of 1,000 students from across the UK
  • Run  anational on-line qualitative community with 40 graduate participants
  • Undertake detailed analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data
  • Run a concluding collaborative workshop to discuss the results and share action plans.

In addition, you will receive:

  1. A full research report to be used by your team that contains the literature review, methodology, findings and our independent recommendations
  2. A PowerPoint summary, to help you distribute the findings across your organisation
  3. A short summary paper to be shared with colleagues across the sector, recognising your involvement as a project partner.

Timing overview


Which Libraries have taken part in collaborations so far?

The following libraries have taken part across our two previous collaborations: University Futures 1 (16 to 18-year old information and digital literacy) and University Futures 2 (Undergraduate information and digital literacy).

University of Sheffield, University of Surrey, University of Leicester, UCL (University College London), University of Glasgow, University of Manchester, University of Bristol, University of Reading, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick, University of West England, Aston University, University of Aberdeen, Brunel University, University of Dundee, University of Huddersfield, University of Liverpool, University of York.

How much does it cost?

The contribution for each participating institution is £6,950 (excl. VAT) towards the project. The collaboration model means individual clients have access to bespoke, strategic research studies, whilst sharing the associated costs.

How do I join or find out more?

To join, or for more information, please contact Paul Williams on 0161 503 5760 or