Celebrating students’ Achievements: through the Library Lens

This post was contributed by Eleni Zazani of Birkbeck Stratford Library

The annual ceremony of celebrating the achievements of the Birkbeck Adult learners is an event that the Library always looks forward to.

Birkbeck Library is committed to providing a strongly customer-focused service to meet the multi-level needs of its students and staff and to supporting the mission and strategic aims of the College, one of which is to enable students to acquire the skills needed to find, evaluate, use, and present information in their studies.

The Stratford Library team has identified the Adult Learners Week ceremony as a major opportunity to recognise students’ efforts towards becoming Information Literate students and citizens! As the information landscape becomes more and more complex, it creates new challenges for the students to cope with finding reliable information across the vast amount of sources on offer and using it in an ethical manner.

The Stratford team acknowledges that Information Literacy is a process of “learning how to learn” and our prize winning students succeed in changing their prior learning habits, and the way they engage with information. They do just that; they re-learn how to learn.

In order for us to enable the acquisition of new learning habits, we offer group sessions, drop-in clinics, and one-to-one support, where the student is always at the centre of the service provision and driver in this learning journey.  The Adult Learners Week Awards Evening is a reason to celebrate the achievements of all Birkbeck staff involved in keeping the students at the centre of everything we do, and the strong collaboration across all the teams emerged as a result of this effort.

Equally, the event is a very resourceful opportunity for reflecting upon our practices and listening to the student voice in order to invent even better ways of enabling learning and see many more students nominated next year!

As part of this reflection, we would like to thank all our students for enriching our practice and professional life in Stratford!

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Mrs Birkbeck’s Album and Reception

This post was contributed by Lynette Spencer, an alumna of Birkbeck’s BA French Studies (2001) and MA Modern French Studies (2003).

It was a memorable evening at the Alumni event ‘Mrs Birkbeck’s Album’ held on 17th May in the beautifully restored Keynes Library at 43, Gordon Square.

The first part of the presentation by Patrizia di Bello consisted of a fascinating insight into the background, culture and history associated with the contents of the album. Inside are manuscripts, poems, songs, pictures and paintings by famous people of the period.  Having such entries was considered prestigious and also formed a part of the social interaction at that time.

The second part by Philip Payne, Director of the Library and Media Services, explained the process of digitization of the album (prior to the restoration) which can now be read on-line, with the facility to turn the pages as if reading a book.

Finally, we were given an in-depth account by Angela Craft (Conservator in Special Collections Team at Senate House) of the restoration of the album, the decisions that needed to be negotiated and made, the materials to be used, all of which involved a delicate balancing act.

One of the highlights of the evening was to personally experience the original album and other items, being able to view and read the contents on display at the event.

The presenters and the Alumni staff organised a most original as well as enlightening event where alumni members were also thanked for contributing towards the restoration through their library membership fees.  I must say, in may ways I prefer this more creative form of ‘blog’ to its present day counterpart!

 

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