For the past 2 years I have been managing the Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy project working with a relatively small group of LSE undergraduates to develop their digital literacy, for staff to learn from students about their needs and capabilities and to try to develop a peer support network for students. Last week we published the evaluation and impact study from the project. It is a hugely exciting time as we are now gearing up to open the programme across LSE to all undergraduates however we are still envisioning this as a peer support network so places will be limited to 50 students and we will be working much harder to provide them with the means to support their peers, for example by running digital literacy surgeries. We are also teaming up with a project for LSE Economics students to encourage them to use tablets and mobiles for note taking. Senior Ambassadors from SADL will provide support for this cohort. There is still a lot to do before term starts but I hope to be able to open the applications later today. Publicity will start from the week of the 21st September which is Welcome Week at LSE. We have recruited students to be on the Learning and Development Stand in the library foyer to promote SADL to their peers.
In the meantime I am heading to Vienna for the Austrian library conference (Österreichischer Bibliothekartag 2015). I’ll be speaking about information and digital literacy in the UK and highlighting SADL as a successful student partnership project. I definitely feel we are at the start of what I know is going to be an exciting but challenging year. I have so many questions flying around, such as what if too many students apply? What if none do? Have we over promised? How to cope with students from so many different disciplines? But based on the experiences of the last two years SADL is really making a difference and providing LSE students with digital literacies the feel help them in their studies, their future careers and their personal lives, and these are things they wouldn’t have got from elsewhere. It’s been tremendously powerful for the staff involved in SADL who feel more connected with LSE undergraduates and understand more about their research behaviour and use of social media. So before the horse bolts from the stable, I’m taking a deep breath and off to sample the delights of Vienna.