Katie Taylor and Alice Robinson, distinguished conference presenters

Since January four English students – Jess Baker, Alice Robinson, Katie Taylor and Jessica White – have been working on a Curriculum Enhancement Intern project around Liverpool Libraries with staff support from Val Stevenson and Glenda Norquay. They’ve been investigating student use of our own library, awareness of what the libraries around Liverpool offer, and what might help everyone make the most of the fabulous resources across the city. On 15 June they presented their work – with coolness, confidence and aplomb – at the conference. And afterwards enjoyed a well-earned class of wine…

The Picton Reading Room in Liverpool’s Central Library. Yes, ladies and gentlemen – this is ‘Library Porn’.

Their work on the project has revealed a number of things – not least the demand for more armchairs in our library!   It also showed that the best way of finding out what students think is to get students to ask them: an online survey and a number of lively focus groups across all levels produced some findings of real interest of staff in English and in Library Services. As a result, we will all be reviewing ways in which library induction takes place, how we can create the best places for silent study, group work, and socialising, and how we can let people know what is out there in the city. The interns have produced blogs which will go on our website but also in next year’s student planners.   Their project will feed into any new plans for library spaces. And everyone has learnt something: if you are interested in viewing beautiful library spaces googling ‘library porn’ is not the best way to access them; if you want to find out what students really think get students to ask them; focus groups go better with Haribo; presenting in a large lecture theatre is slightly less scary than it seems; teamwork works; libraries rock.

Look out for the blog posts – and congratulations to Alice Robinson and Katie Taylor for a great presentation.