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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Round Table on User Education

Annual Report 1994

Martin Kesselman
Reference and Instructional Services
Rutgers University Library of Science and Medicine
POB 1029
New Jersey 08855
Fax: (1-908) 9323208
e-mail: kesselman@zodiac.rutgers.edu
is Chair of the Round Table on User Education.

Oili Kukkonen

Jyväskylä University Library
POB 35
40351 Jyväskylä
Fax: (358-41) 603511
e-mail: okokkone@bibelot.jyu.fi
is Secretary.

The Round Table on User Education, which existed as the Working Group on User Education since the IFLA Conference in 1992 in Delhi, received an official status as an IFLA Round Table at the beginning of 1994. The Working Group had organized successful open sessions at the Conferences in Delhi in 1992 and Barcelona in 1993. The sessions proved that interest in user education was solid and extensi ve enough to give good reasons to establish an official Round Table on Use Education under the Division of Education and Research. The basic membership of the Round Table consisted of the persons who had expressed their interest in the work of a possible Round Table and amounted to 36 members from 16 different countries. After the production of a Newsletter with an invitation to new members and the session held at the IFLA Conference in Havana, the membership of the Round Table at preen consists of 68 persons from 19 countries.

Ian Johnson (UK) and Sinikka Koskiala (Finland) the Chair and Secretary of the Working Group, deserve credit for their work for the WG and especially for establishment of the Round Table. The Chair a nd Secretary were elected in Barcelona in 1993 and a provisional Executive Committee was established at the beginning of 1994. The Committee will operate until the 1995 Conference in Istanbul.



The first issue of a Newsletter was sent to the persons on the original list of members in April 1994. It was also distributed by the BI-L listserv and, mainly due to this, several interested members were recruited. The Newsletter was also distributed via e-mail to those with an e-mail address. The distribution, although effective and inexpensive, proved that some of the e-mails were not receive d, and that in the future confirmation from recipients might be reasonable to request.

Havana Conference

The main theme of the open session was "User Education and Information Skills Development in Public and School Libraries". Four papers were presented and followed by discussion. Originals of two pape rs were in English, two were in Spanish, and all were received in time to be published in the pre-printed booklets. The papers in Spanish were also translated and available in English. The session wa s attended by 81 persons who took part in the discussions.

Special Training for User Education in Public Libraries

Considerations on the requirements of user education in public libraries, including reading promotion are offered. Depending on the services assumed by these institutions, the topology and behavior o f its readers, the possibilities for circulation of books are evaluated. A method to develop user education programmes is proposed, using the background of the Cuban public libraries and experience.

Beyond the Bibliographic Paradigm: User Eduction in the Information Age

This paper presents the case that teacher librarians have many advantages over their library colleagues in the development of user education programmes. It is argued that a piecemeal approach to the education of school library users is bound to be unsuccessful, and that the multilevel approach to the attainment of information literacy among teaching staff and students that has been orchestrated in Australia provides the pathway and incentive for the education of effective information users. Reference is made to developments at the national and state levels including comment upon the emergin g National Curriculum Profiles and Key Competencies which emphasize the process of learning, in particular, information skills as essential outcomes. The recently released Curriculum Corporation docu ment, Learning for the Future which provides guidelines for the development of information services in Australian schools are examined. It is argued that at the school level an emphasis must b e placed on defining information tasks, from both the perspective teacher and student. An attempt to transform students who are inefficient library users will be unproductive unless teachers model th e skills of independent learning.

Surfing to the Global Classroom: An Exploration of Educational Enrichment on the Internet

Global contact on the Internet is an experience that is not only valuable, but crucial to the growing generation. Building contacts with their peers on a personal level in a worldwide arena fosters a relationship of cooperation that will be critical in a world where technological advances will toss this generation into a global community. The scope of this paper is a search of listservs on the I nternet such as KIDSPERE, GLOBAL SCHOOL NET and LM NET to provide a sampling of educational and recreational opportunities to enhance the traditional classroom curriculum. There is a focus on math, s cience, foreign language and culture. The paper provides examples of what is available on the Internet in these areas for school-age children and some comment about the age groups for which they are appropriate. The paper also identifies Internet groups that have a potential to build global camaraderie among students as well as enhance the educational experience.

Programas para la formación de usuarios en las bibliotecas escolares de la educacion general en Cuba