Library Futures 1: 16-18 year-olds’ digital and information literacy audit

Library Futures 1: 16-18 year-olds’ digital and information literacy audit

University Libraries make significant investments in introducing new students to their services and in providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to use them effectively. However, many of our clients have told us that this part of their work would be much easier and more effective if they knew more about students’ information literacy and digital lives prior to coming to university. This digital and information literacy study aimed to respond to this challenge, and the public report can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Martin Moyle, Director of Services at UCL Library Services commented: “The way in which students learn is changing as rapidly as online technologies are evolving; they have access to an often overwhelming volume of information across numerous channels, both new and old.

University libraries make significant investment in digital resources and equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to find, evaluate and use information effectively. To continue supporting students in a fast-changing environment requires a deep understanding of the evolving skills, experiences and behaviours of both pre-university and current students.

In early 2017, UCL Library Services joined with 10 other university libraries from across the UK as part of the first ‘Library Futures’ collaboration, in partnership with Alterline. This report summarises the key findings of a research study which looked at the understanding of the key issues pertaining to information and digital literacy, the expectations and the understanding of university and university libraries of over 1,100 young people, aged between 16 and 18, who have applied for, or are considering applying for a place at a university”

digital and information literacy audit collaborators

The findings from the digital and information literacy audit indicate that whilst young people are active users of technology, they are inadequately skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to handling and using information, libraries and library resources. The recommendations arising from this aim to encourage schools, colleges and universities to expand the opportunities young people have for practising and monitoring their progress in the development of their digital and information literacy skills, and to help increase their students’ knowledge and understanding of the many ways in which libraries can assist them in their learning journey, way beyond the traditional role of the reading repository.

Martin added: “At UCL Library Services, we are using the evidence to help plan our digital services of the future. As a group, the collaborators hope that, through sharing the key findings from the project, we can help colleagues across the sector to further improve the impact they have on student experience and success.

We are delighted to have been part of the first Library Futures project and look forward to being part of the Library Futures community as it continues to grow.”

The public report for Library Futures 1: 16-18 year-olds’ digital and information literacy audit, summarises the key findings from across the collaboration.  We hope you find this as insightful, thought-provoking and useful as we have.

If you’d like to discuss this project then please just contact us.