Spotlight on.. O’Reilly Safari Learning Platform

by Haydn Clark

The O’Reilly Learning Platform is an online resource that provides you access to a huge amount of resources.  It will give you access to over thirty-five thousand different e-books and over thirty thousand hours of videos that are constantly being updated.

You also get access to Play Lists and Learning Paths that will take you all the way from being beginner in a subject to an expert level.

There is an Answer section, where you can ask questions of O’Reilly’s tech base.

O’Reilly provides resources on a huge range of subjects. While it mainly covers I.T. based subjects including Software Design, Programming Languages, Web Development, Mobile App Development, Software guides, Data Engineering, AI and Security

You can also find e-books on business, fashion design, that will help you to develop your career and get a job, travel guides, personal fitness, cookery books and photography. As well as many more subjects.

To access O’Reilly Learning Platform go to, www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/temporary-access

Choose Not listed Here from the drop-down menu of Institutions.

Now put in your College email

Then select

Shortly after the first time you log in, you will receive an email asking if you want to register and set up an account This will allow O’Reilly to save your progress through it’s Learning Paths and recommend books that you may find useful

A world of possibilities awaits, follow the link to find them.

Introduction to the Online Readers

Throughout the first lockdown I had a number of discussions with Marie, an ESOL tutor, about finding quality online resources for ESOL students. One resource that we both value is our Graded Reader collection, and after contacting a number of publishes I found out about the Online Graded ESOL Readers from the OUP. These are 4 collections of 25 online readers, each collection covering different CEFR levels from A1 through to B1. The access and authentication model was new to us – requiring them to be hosted on Moodle as LTIs, and deciding how many licences to purchase. Myself, Marie, and the Senior Librarian Emma then discussed how we could best promote these to students and ensure the collection was used. One of us came up with the idea of online reading groups, led by a Library Assistant and facilitated online using the Teams share screen option. Asif Parvez, one of our Library Assistants, has written the following account of what happened next…

Lakshmi Banner, ESOL Librarian



Reading Groups take to the Cloud! by Asif Parvez

I have taken on three reading groups at present. The first is Entry Level -3 teenage students from the 16- 18 cohort, and the other two groups are more mature learners and have an even mixture of both males and females and a diverse age group. I am using online books via Moodle which have been uploaded by library services onto the moodle facility of Bradford College. There is an incredible range of books from Entry Level-1 to Entry Level-3 and what I find amazing about these online books are that they are very interactive and easy to navigate. And there is an incredible list of old classical novels and many of these relate to the ESOL learners of my groups in terms of folklore and culture. A good example of this can be that for my younger learner group I am doing a novel Ibn Battuta a famous traveller who travelled the world a few centuries ago and is well known amongst Middle Eastern and North African people, and my students for my younger age group are mostly of Arab and North African descent. It makes it interesting for them and encourages them to confidently read from the pages of the book when designated to read a page by myself. Each student takes turns to read a page. And questions are asked from time to time by students about any new word they may come across and what is its meaning.

The online books have very lovely colourful pictures to add to the imagination of the readers and some amazing exercises like word searches, fill in the blank sentences and match a phrase with the part sentences to complete it. Students are really enjoying reading these novels and in some cases are enjoying to create links with novels where their own culture has historic links with certain novels like for Arabs being Ibn Battuta. There are some really interesting murder mystery novels too, and to date I have read with a mature students group Sherlock Holmes: Norwood Mysteries and this has helped given many students learning English as a second language the opportunity to imagine and picture British traditional society and the Police and also the pattern of life and its hardships in the 19th Century. I am currently also reading with groups The Picture of Dorian Grey again a novel that depicts 19th Century Britain and its traditional British Values and also The Secret Garden showing both traditional values of Britain and also giving a glimpse of British Colonial India. Again, the students enjoy making connections based of being related to certain regions of the world and at the same time learning new words and improving their reading and vocabulary.

I feel very rewarded in being given this opportunity which I have taken up voluntarily to help students improving their English reading skills and making a difference in their lives. I currently have three reading groups and am taking on a fourth group which is testament to my commitment to help students and also enjoying to build a strong bond with students and the library to help further their academic skills moving forward for their studies at Bradford College.

Spotlight on.. Social Work Toolkit

Social Work Toolkit really is a fantastic resource for students on the Social Work and Youth and Community degree programmes.

5 key modules

The Toolkit includes resources specifically for students, coving 5 key modules:

  • Communication Skills;
  • Ethics, Values and Diversity;
  • Professionalism in Practice (supporting you in placement);
  • Assessment and Intervention; and
  • Lifecourse Perspectives.

Each module is then subdivided into key topics – for example, the Ethics, Values and Diversity module divides into 4 topics: Your professional role and values; Ethics and Values; empowerment and partnership; and diversity and equality.

Choose one of these topics to find guides, expert opinions, activities with scenarios, case studies, video and audio.  Listen to interviews with service users, other students, practitioners and academics covering the topics you will be studying on your degree or in practice. Many of these resources are accompanied by questions to check your understanding, or reflective questions to improve your knowledge.

Ethics and Values resources – video, audio, PDF

Law and Policy

Students have reported that the Law and Policy section is very useful. This brings together laws and policies relevant to Social Work practice, organised by key practice placement areas, and overarching legislation that is likely to apply to placement settings. 

Legislation for key practice placement areas

Wide range of resources

The Toolkit also includes links to the Professional Standards for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, plus links to the main Government departments which impact on Social Work.

Finally, there is a library of 90 videos which can be filtered by one of the five modules, and link back to activities and reflective practice. 

The feedback we have had from students has been really positive so we would like all our students on Social Work and Youth and Community Development to take a look at see what you think. As usual, get in touch with [email protected], Library Chat or our feedback form to ask any questions or make suggestions.

Working from Home: a Library Assistant’s Point of View

 By Asif Rashid Library Assistant Bradford College Library , Sept 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most of us are working differently to the way we usually would. At Bradford college Library , both of our library sites (Hockney Library and Trinity Green) have closed since March 2020 and we are providing online library services from home to the students and staff. Working from home is both a challenge and an opportunity.

At first it took us a few days to get comfortable into a new environment as it was a totally different scenario to previously working face to face with people and now working virtually.

Keeping in touch

Our library team has a video call every Wednesday via Microsoft Teams so that we can see each other. The library manager gives general updates from the Library management side and every member of the team shares what they are working on. This is really helpful because it enables us to communicate effectively and work together despite being apart. Working from home can also feel isolating so it’s nice to have this weekly catch up. The most interesting thing was a weekly Quiz mainly presented by David and Ashley. These quizzes were really interesting and increased our general knowledge.

Video conferencing graphic

Learning new techniques

Another good thing was a regular allocation of  work from Librarians to us. We learnt new techniques for researching and finding information by using the online catalogue and different websites such as Coutts Oasis etc. Another good thing I liked was that our Library manager mentioned that she would try to provide everyone in the team to learn and work equally on various online courses such as the Equality and Diversity course. The college training day in July was really useful and helped us in our professional development.

Interesting online courses

College as a whole organisation was really helpful in encouraging and providing of personal and professional development opportunities. Free courses on college skills academy not only provided the training and basic knowledge about personal and professional development but also these courses are beneficial in future while working at college or in daily life. For instance, a course on how to work with difficult people was quite interesting and I would recommend it to everyone in  our team. The main points I learnt when you are a manager or executive  or any member of team dealing with a difficult person you should listen the point of view of other person without bringing your personal ego into the matter. Also among three methods such as assertiveness, passiveness and aggressiveness described in this course, only assertiveness works good in most of the situations.

Staying positive

Encouragement from Christopher Thornton, Lakshmi Banner and Emma Luby was very helpful. They kept our morale high and we survived through this time and at the end I must say we are a good time and everyone in the team is so nice and helpful.

Collaborate to Innovate: library assistants work with librarians to plan for a safer library

During the many months of lockdown, we always kept one eye on our return to work. At each virtual library get-together, we’d swap stories of our experiences in shops and supermarkets, things we’d read about other libraries, how we were supporting students, what we thought about coming back to college, how a covid-safe library service would look.

During these early discussions, a plan began to form. Firstly, how would we capture all the information and ideas that were sharing? We wanted to keep track of the guidance from government and our professional organisations such as CILIP and Libraries Connected. We took part in webinars, discussion lists and training sessions. We talked to lecturers, managers, and other librarians.

And secondly, how would we turn all the knowledge gained while sitting in front of our computers, into practical guidance for our return to work? Our first step was to set up a Padlet that everyone could access, add ideas or links, comment on other posts, link ideas together.

We then asked each of our library assistants, working closely with a ‘project sponsor’ – a member of the Library Management Team – to design and deliver a project focusing on a particular aspect of the return to work. Each library assistant identified an area of interest to them, produced a project initiation document which outlined their aims and what they hoped to deliver. They then researched independently, meeting regularly with their project sponsor to discuss their findings. Projects were: how to ensure staff safety at the information desk, setting up a ‘triage’ service and creating a guide to the ‘reference interview’, handling acquisitions, marketing our new click&collect service, and how to arrange the physical library.

Some of the library assistants have kindly offered to write for this blog about these projects and how they were able to plan from a distance. I’m sure many of their ideas will be useful to other library staff in similar situations.

Ensuring Staff Safety – Ashley Choudry

In my Library Project, I set out to find appropriate ways of protection from Covid-19 for the library assistants when working throughout the Library and dealing with students and other staff. To complete my project, I conducted research on the methods of protection used by various libraries in colleges and universities throughout the world, looking at three main methods: perspex screens at the desk; 72-hour book quarantine; and separate collections of equipment for use by each staff member. I looked on their websites specifically for protection methods, whilst also looking at the overall UK protection guidelines that libraries needed to follow to be allowed to open once again.

In my research I found that many libraries had decided to use perspex screens to protect library staff at help desks from students and other staff. The majority had also implemented a 72- hour book quarantine to ensure any traces of the Covid-19 virus would have disappeared from recently returned books before they could be shelved again.However, I could not find much information on the use of equipment throughout other libraries and protection against Covid-19 when using it.

At the conclusion of my research and when presenting my findings to my colleagues, I recommended that we continued with the 72-hour quarantine while marking out a specific area to hold the books (there hadn’t been one before) and making collections of equipment for each individual library assistant with name labels on each piece. The perspex screens had already been added to the help desk, however I did recommend we add a couple more to cover all computer stations. 

I enjoyed doing this project as it gave me not only an insight into how other libraries operate but also a chance to have a vital say in the protection for my colleague’s and my own roles in this uncertain time, overall making me feel more satisfied and safer to be back in work.

#ESOL Stories

#ESOLStories has been one of my favourite collaborations between the library service and the ESOL department.

National Storytelling Week

A lecturer from ESOL, Seima, approached the library with some ideas around National Storytelling Week for the 16-18 students, and I was keen to promote the Graded Readers collection. We pooled all our thoughts together… I’d go to the classes taking a selection of readers to inspire the students by discussing genres, beginnings and endings, characters, book jackets and blurbs. ESOL tutors then asked their classes to create various pieces around storytelling including online storyboards, reviews, stories and poems. Some students had a set of images to play around with and create a plot. We would display the reviews and storyboards in the library, on display stands and noticeboards. Even better, all the stories and poems would be collated into a book which would be ‘published’ by the library and added to the collection for future students to read and be inspired by.

Using LibGuides as online publisher

It all got a bit more interesting when my colleague overheard our discussion.

David’s idea to use LibGuides as an online publisher for all the stories and poems gave them a much wider audience, and enabled us to run a competition for the best story. Voting could take place online, in class or from home using phones or laptops, and students could also showcase their work to friends and family who could also take part in the voting.

We decided not to tell the students about the website until all the work was submitted. Four classes took part in the competition – two from Entry 2, one from Entry 3 and one Level 1 group.

I quietly created a LibGuide site called #ESOLStories where I put up details of the competition and then uploaded each story to the site, converting the word documents to PDF. I also changed the name of each file to the story title. I added a Google Forms ballot which would be easy for students to use, and give me a real time overview of how many votes were coming in.

Student reaction

I was then invited back to the classes. We were looking forward to telling the students about the competition, the prizes, and reveal the website. We knew they would be excited about being published online, but we also needed to get each student’s permission allowing their story to be displayed on the public site. I think I can safely say that they were all pretty happy with the result!

Students were then given about 6 weeks to read the stories, vote, and promote the competition. Seima was interviewed by the college marketing team, while the library promoted the competition via Twitter, Instagram, and our Library Online site. Some of the student comments were really lovely.

It was impressive. A page like that need a lot of time to make and I’m sure she put a lot offer in to it so well done.

It was fantastic and the Bradford college is helped us also published the stories for us. I was very excited to see my story on the website. Bradford College is excellent also the page the made for our stories was amazing.

The page was really nice designed I didn’t expect is from her, I thought is from some guys designers. I read my story and I laughed again.

Student comments May 2020

The results…

The site received nearly 600 votes and well over a thousand hits. We are so pleased with the results, and hope to do something similar next year. Once we received all the votes, I published the winners on the #ESOLStories site.

One unforeseen event was the lockdown following the spread of covid-19. Some of the voting, and the announcement of the results, has had to happen remotely. We are sad not to present the prizes to the students in person, but it is great to know that our students can access their work at any time through this online resource.

Creating virtual exhibition space using LibGuides

Libraries as exhibition spaces

Libraries have always created physical displays of their collections, to promote resources and engage users. Bradford College Library uses book displays, noticeboards, signs and posters to encourage library users to pick up a book, flick through a magazine or try a new database.

Since the development of web technologies, we have also created virtual displays -curating galleries of book jackets on the library catalogue, tweeting photos and grouping together online databases to support national and local events and celebrations. More recently, our library has been encouraging users to contribute. Student reviews are displayed along with the books; we tie in our displays to student activities such as the climate change protests; and library users are encouraged to post pictures of themselves with the different collections onto our Instagram pages.

ESOL Students under lockdown

The ESOL classes in Bradford College are creative places. Enter any classroom and students are busy writing poems, creating Animoto videos, discussing current topics, reading stories, acting out plays. They organise talent shows, bake cakes for charities, go on trips, attend concerts. Students are encouraged to use the library – particularly the Graded Readers collection, but also textbooks, workbooks and dictionaries. Students take part in reading campaigns such as the Big Read, write reviews, and book discussions. Under lockdown, teaching staff wanted to maintain this energy while asking students to explore their own experience during this strange time. As Seima, a lecturer in ESOL, explained:

During these difficult times, we as ESOL lecturers realise the importance of continuing with our online teaching and learning, using a variety of remote learning tools. It is vital to engage and challenge our ESOL learners in their work; empower them to become autonomous learners; foster remote learning skills; harness the skills of all learners; and keep them motivated during lockdown“.

Capturing authentic voices

ESOL tutors asked their students to continue writing, reading and using IT. Students contributed to blogs, padlets, prezis. Some students created professional looking recipes using free applications, or wrote their own newsletter – learning skills such as report writing and design. However, the students were also going for walks, cooking, taking photos, drawing, recording videos, and making crafts. We wanted to capture all these activities to gain an authentic picture of how each student was experiencing lockdown. Seima and I discussed how to bring everything together into one place, to showcase not only the different experiences of each student, but also the variety of media that they had chosen to use to tell their stories.

Introducing LibGuides

LibGuides is a content management system designed specifically for libraries to organise and make accessible relevant resources for a subject or course. LibGuides can be easily created and updated, and URLs can be renamed to make them memorable. For example, our ESOL libguide is called library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/esolhelp. Librarians use LibGuides to guide students in using library resources, which can include contact details, images, video, links, search boxes, galleries of book covers with direct links to the catalogue, helpguides and so on. However, we have started to realise the potential of LibGuides to act as a showcase for student work – not only collaborating with teaching staff, but also with students.

Creating a virtual exhibition space

The Inspired By ESOL showcase we have created is as exciting as any exhibition that could have been displayed in the library. LibGuides allows us to create moving galleries of images and recipe cards, embed the blog, Padlet and Prezi into the page, listen to mp4s and read diaries saved as PDFs. Students feel proud to have their work on display publicly – the pages are open to anyone who wants to view them. The page is vibrant, colourful, interesting and interactive. Galleries of images move on a carousel, and you can scroll down through the padlets or flick through the prezis without leaving the page. The project is already catching people’s attention. It’s been reported in the college news , will be shortly mentioned in the NATECLA newsletter, and is soon to be discussed in a JISC podcast.

The ESOL team and the Library have already collaborated on a number of projects . This use of LibGuides opens up a lot more possibilities!

Emerald is changing… and we like what we see!

Emerald is moving to a new interface on the 30th June, which we think will provide an even better experience for our students and staff.

 

New features include:

  • Clean and uncluttered interface, with new fonts and colours that make it easier to use.
  • Persistent search box at the top of the screen (even when you move to different screens).
  • Easy to sort results by relevance, date and title
  • Type of content (article, case study) clearly displayed at the top of each record so you can quickly scan your results to locate the content you need.
  • Filters on the right menu bar to easily sort your results.
  • Less information on the results screen.  We like the summary and detail button which you can click when more info is needed.
  • Your terms highlighted in the results list

 

 

 

From the results screen you can easily find:

  • Bibliographic detail of the journal article, citation and keyword links
  • Useful content map of article to aid scan-reading.  This also helps students understand how a scholarly article is structured.

 

Your Emerald

If you already have set up alerts or other personalised features, don’t worry – these will be migrated over to the new interface.

If you are on campus, you can see the new site here: https://beta.emerald.com/insight

We’d be really interested to know what you think!