Archives

INFORMATION LITERACY : INCULCATING RESEARCH EXCELLENCE TO IIUM GRADUATES

From year to year, the IIUM Library has achieved more than 95% on customer satisfaction to the information literacy (IL) workshops conducted. Similarly, the same achievement is stated for the fulfillment of the request for IL workshop.

Simply put, Information Literacy is a set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze and use of information. It is true that in this century, just about anybody can find just about anything they need by using the internet or by referring to sets of books. However, researchers without proper knowledge on how to look for information will just go round and round sifting the multitude of information they get. This might in the end cause headache and frustration to the researchers.

Due to the above, IL classes taught by the librarians are necessary to any university students. This strong foundation and skill which they gained and practiced will eventually turn them into independent lifelong learners. As the American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy (January 10, 1989, Washington, D.C.) says “Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.”

In IIUM Library, IL classes began back in the early years of establishment with librarians teaching basic information on using the Library Catalogue/OPAC and other library services and resources.  In 2003, a more formal and structured module was introduced into LE4000 (English for Academic Purposes), a course under CELPAD. This collaborative effort with CELPAD saw the development of the module by taking into account all the comments and suggestions put up by the participants of the class and those teaching the module.

SONY DSCSONY DSC

As it so happens too, LE4000 is taken by students in their third or final year of study. Based on the evaluation which the participants filled in after the class, they suggested that the IL class is introduced in the first year of study. Therefore, beginning 2008, the liaison librarians began approaching the Kulliyyah with proposals to introduce an IL session into the first year classes. The proposal was accepted enthusiastically by all the Kulliyyah. Some Kulliyyah incorporate the module designed into a Research Methodology class and some set up a zero credit hour course for the library’s IL class.

Other than classes for the first year, liaison librarians also work hand in hand with lecturers teaching Research Methodology subjects and other specific subjects, either for the undergraduates or the postgraduates. Some lecturers have placed great value for the IL classes that some request for extension of the module. This means that the module is extended from one session to three or four sessions, complete with quizzes and exercises.

Contents of the IL classes among others include knowledge on searching techniques, understanding of citation, and instruction on how to use the Library Catalogue/OPAC, how to use the online databases to look for articles, cases, law acts, thesis, newspaper articles, treaties, etc. and where to look for authentic internet and open access resources. Other than that, the modules introduce the library’s own resources by understanding the arrangement of resources in the library, the library’s digital services, how to look for books on the shelves and many more.

Reports on IL show that the IL classes conducted by the liaison librarians have positive impact to the knowledge and information retrieval skills of the users. Participants agreed that the classes were beneficial for their study and research needs. As for IIUM Library, particularly the liaison librarians, teaching has been another job which is seriously shouldered in nurturing the intellectual minds of IIUM.

 

By
Yusrina Abu Bakar,
Head of Quality and Coporate Communication Section.

Advertisements

STUDY ZONES : CATERING TO THE DIFFERENT STUDY STYLES

Library customers visit the library for different reasons. Some come to look for books and journals, either to read or to borrow them. Some come to study and do research, either alone or in a group. Others come to have discussions or meetings in the library. People also come to use the free services and facilities offered by the library.

In the past, traditionally, it is expected everyone to be quiet when they enter a library. You will also see librarians or library assistants walking around to ensure that people do not talk loudly in the library. Those who come to the library also expect it to be a quiet place where they can study in peace.

As time goes by, study habits also change. Now people want to discuss in the library. Some even expect that food also allowed to be brought in the library. Others hope the library to open 24 hours a day.

For the IIUM Library, it tries to fulfil all the different study styles of its customers.  The library has created two study zones that are clearly marked with appropriate signs. The Silent Study Zones is an area where silence must be observed so as not to distract or disturb individuals who want to study in silence. For those in a study group mode, the library has set up the Group Study Zone that allows a certain degree of audible group discussion.

DSC_0021

The library has also established an area called Learning Common for students to meet and discuss. The areas selected are equipped with a raised floor and furnished with “Japanese tables” and mounted glass board for scribbling of discussion notes. The area is becoming a hit with the library customers.

SONY DSC

It is the responsibility of all library customers to select the study area that best fits their study style so as not to disturb or be disturbed by others. The IIUM Library continues to strive to fulfil the expectations of its customers given the nature of how information and knowledge are now stored, accessed and updated electronically. It also strives to change in line with the rapid change of the learning and study styles of its customers.

By
Yusrina Abu Bakar,
Head of Quality and Coporate Communication Section.

The Use of Social Media in IIUM Library

Years after the millennium see the shift of website displays from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. Web 2.0 refers to the use of technology that goes beyond portraying and viewing of information to a more interactive feedback to the information provided. This is made possible by the provision of networking web sites like Facebook (FB), Twitter, wikis, Youtube, video sharing, web applications, blogs and many more within the organisations’ web pages. These mediums, known as Social Media, act as the instrument of communication between the website providers and their users or viewers; and also communication medium between the users. For the IIUM library, the social media provides more opportunity to reach its customers, promote its services, and give its customers chances to interact with the Library and each other in a more direct and informal manner.

IIUM Library’s rendezvous with social media starts with the use of Facebook in March 2010. To date the FB page which is famously known as “The Official IIUM Library” has attracted more than 9,400 “friends”. The friends comprise of the current IIUM students, staff, lecturers, alumni and also the public who are interested in IIUM Library and the information that are provided within the FB Page. Since its inception, The Official IIUM Library FB has updated its friends with news about the Library and also on any valuable information which are deemed valuable for research.

fb

The Library’s social media is maintained by the Library’s Publication and Promotion Committee. The Committee’s five members take turns on a weekly basis to update and answer any enquiries within the FB Page. In middle of 2013, the IIUM Web Steering Committee requested that all agencies in IIUM, be it Kulliyyah, Divisions, Centres, etc., to come up with at least four social media within their homepages. Due to that, the Publication and Promotion Committee had a long deliberation on which social media to be adopted by the Library. The factors considered are the usability, attractiveness to customers and ease of maintenance. Due to this, the Committee has added three more social media, namely Twitter, Instagram and Blog to the existing Facebook. All of these media can be accessed through the Library Homepage and the Library Research Gateway page.

Twitter is chosen on the basis that not everybody prefers or has an FB account. To customers without FB account, they can interact with the Library using their Twitter account. Similar to FB, the Library’s Twitter which is known as IIUM Library @LibIIUM, provides library customers with updates on the Library services and anything that has to do with research. Since it was set up in middle of July 2013, it has caught the attention of 73 “followers”. The Committee hopes to attract more followers once extensive promotion is done on the existence of the Twitter page.

twt

Instagram is an excellent medium to those who prefer information in a pictorial format. The Library has been using Instagram since end of July 2013 to pose pictures of the library and the services, facilities and collection it has. To date the Library’s Instagram, known as IIUM_Library, has more than 50 “followers”. In the future, the Library will put up pictures on upcoming events, behind the scene photos, library customers, visitors and many more on Instagram.

instag

The IIUM Library Blog is a space where the Library can place more information in an article format for the reading pleasure of its readers. Readers on the other hand can raise questions and comments to the articles to ensure better understanding on the subject matter. The blog also provides links to other research sites that are deemed valuable to be shared to all. The blog was set up in early of October and the Publication and Promotion Committee is still in the learning stage on how to properly handle a blog. It is hope that as time goes by, the blog will capture the attention of the library customers and be highly valued by them.

blog

The use of Social Media by IIUM Library has helped it tremendously in marketing its services, facilities and collections. Other than that, it has helped to overcome problems since library customers are now more direct and sincere in notifying the library of their satisfaction and dissatisfaction on anything related to the library. To the IIUM Library, Social Media has definitely helped it to be more humane in its offer of services and over time it is hope that library and customers will work together in “building” a better library for the benefit of current and future generations of IIUM Library customers.

 

By
Yusrina Abu Bakar,
Head of Quality and Coporate Communication Section.