Bradford College Library: a place of diversity, equality and inclusion

By Asif Rashid, Library Assistant

The role of the academic library is to create a place of study where students and staff can work independently to achieve their academic goals. Bradford College Library is playing an important role to achieve these goals by collaborating with different departments, and supporting the vision and mission of Bradford college towards its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

How we are helping out?

1.Library Induction

Our Library induction programme supports students and staff to build up their confidence, and contributes to retention and achievement, especially for students attending Bradford College for the first time.

2.Inclusive Learning

The Library team is keen to ensure that all students have equal access to Library resources. There are two Library sites; one is situated at 2nd Floor in David Hockney Building which is the main Library, and there is a second library at Trinity Green.

The Library team support students both studying at the college or from home. There is a team of specialist Librarians and dedicated Library assistants to help out with their information needs.

If students don’t visit Library regularly, there are many ways they can access library material and support for their studies online. Students can contact us on askalibrarian@bradfordcollege.ac.uk, through Teams or via our Library Chat service. More information on ways to contact us can be found here  library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/contactus

For up to date information about the Library Service you can visit our Library News page where you can find latest information about our Library.

Bradford College Library seeks to ensure that it complies with the Bradford College Statement on Equality of Opportunity and Diversity in all areas of its operations, through good practice, anticipation and practical adjustments.

3.Library’s displays

The Library supports events promoting equality of opportunity and diversity. Examples include displays on Windrush, Black and Ethnic Minority authors, famous Black people, support for learning difficulties, mental health issues and celebrations of cultural and religious events. There is a dedicated page on our Library Online page which provides links to resources supporting events in the Library, College and the wider environment. You can access this page via the link https://library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/unitedvalues

4.Great selection of Physical and Online Resources

We offer a great and diverse selection of physical and online resources in the form of books, e-books, online journals, and databases. All these are available via our Library Online pages  https://library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/homepage

5. One-to-one Support

Passionate Academic Liaison Librarians are always willing to welcome any student to help and identify relevant resources, offer refresher or advanced sessions on using library catalogue, databases or e-books, help using journals, and help with study skills. You can email them at askalibrarian@bradfordcollege.ac.uk or phone on (01274) 08 8257 to book a one-to-one session or group session for any help.

6.Best selection of Entry Readers

In collaboration with ESOL tutors, the ESOL Librarian has procured a great selection of easy read books for Entry 1 through to Level 2. These are in the form of physical books and also a good selection is available online via Moodle. Dedicated Library Assistants are helping ESOL students in their reading to improve their reading skills through reading groups, either online or in college.

 

At the end, the Head of ALS, SEND and Library Chris Thornton, and Senior Academic Librarian Laksh, our dedicated Academic Liaison Librarians, Senior Library Assistant and Library Assistants are very passionate to increase the literacy rate at Bradford college and are always willing to help student and staff to achieve their teaching and learning goals.

Introduction to the Online Readers

Throughout the first lockdown I had a number of discussions with Marie, an ESOL tutor, about finding quality online resources for ESOL students. One resource that we both value is our Graded Reader collection, and after contacting a number of publishes I found out about the Online Graded ESOL Readers from the OUP. These are 4 collections of 25 online readers, each collection covering different CEFR levels from A1 through to B1. The access and authentication model was new to us – requiring them to be hosted on Moodle as LTIs, and deciding how many licences to purchase. Myself, Marie, and the Senior Librarian Emma then discussed how we could best promote these to students and ensure the collection was used. One of us came up with the idea of online reading groups, led by a Library Assistant and facilitated online using the Teams share screen option. Asif Parvez, one of our Library Assistants, has written the following account of what happened next…

Lakshmi Banner, ESOL Librarian



Reading Groups take to the Cloud! by Asif Parvez

I have taken on three reading groups at present. The first is Entry Level -3 teenage students from the 16- 18 cohort, and the other two groups are more mature learners and have an even mixture of both males and females and a diverse age group. I am using online books via Moodle which have been uploaded by library services onto the moodle facility of Bradford College. There is an incredible range of books from Entry Level-1 to Entry Level-3 and what I find amazing about these online books are that they are very interactive and easy to navigate. And there is an incredible list of old classical novels and many of these relate to the ESOL learners of my groups in terms of folklore and culture. A good example of this can be that for my younger learner group I am doing a novel Ibn Battuta a famous traveller who travelled the world a few centuries ago and is well known amongst Middle Eastern and North African people, and my students for my younger age group are mostly of Arab and North African descent. It makes it interesting for them and encourages them to confidently read from the pages of the book when designated to read a page by myself. Each student takes turns to read a page. And questions are asked from time to time by students about any new word they may come across and what is its meaning.

The online books have very lovely colourful pictures to add to the imagination of the readers and some amazing exercises like word searches, fill in the blank sentences and match a phrase with the part sentences to complete it. Students are really enjoying reading these novels and in some cases are enjoying to create links with novels where their own culture has historic links with certain novels like for Arabs being Ibn Battuta. There are some really interesting murder mystery novels too, and to date I have read with a mature students group Sherlock Holmes: Norwood Mysteries and this has helped given many students learning English as a second language the opportunity to imagine and picture British traditional society and the Police and also the pattern of life and its hardships in the 19th Century. I am currently also reading with groups The Picture of Dorian Grey again a novel that depicts 19th Century Britain and its traditional British Values and also The Secret Garden showing both traditional values of Britain and also giving a glimpse of British Colonial India. Again, the students enjoy making connections based of being related to certain regions of the world and at the same time learning new words and improving their reading and vocabulary.

I feel very rewarded in being given this opportunity which I have taken up voluntarily to help students improving their English reading skills and making a difference in their lives. I currently have three reading groups and am taking on a fourth group which is testament to my commitment to help students and also enjoying to build a strong bond with students and the library to help further their academic skills moving forward for their studies at Bradford College.

#ESOL Stories

#ESOLStories has been one of my favourite collaborations between the library service and the ESOL department.

National Storytelling Week

A lecturer from ESOL, Seima, approached the library with some ideas around National Storytelling Week for the 16-18 students, and I was keen to promote the Graded Readers collection. We pooled all our thoughts together… I’d go to the classes taking a selection of readers to inspire the students by discussing genres, beginnings and endings, characters, book jackets and blurbs. ESOL tutors then asked their classes to create various pieces around storytelling including online storyboards, reviews, stories and poems. Some students had a set of images to play around with and create a plot. We would display the reviews and storyboards in the library, on display stands and noticeboards. Even better, all the stories and poems would be collated into a book which would be ‘published’ by the library and added to the collection for future students to read and be inspired by.

Using LibGuides as online publisher

It all got a bit more interesting when my colleague overheard our discussion.

David’s idea to use LibGuides as an online publisher for all the stories and poems gave them a much wider audience, and enabled us to run a competition for the best story. Voting could take place online, in class or from home using phones or laptops, and students could also showcase their work to friends and family who could also take part in the voting.

We decided not to tell the students about the website until all the work was submitted. Four classes took part in the competition – two from Entry 2, one from Entry 3 and one Level 1 group.

I quietly created a LibGuide site called #ESOLStories where I put up details of the competition and then uploaded each story to the site, converting the word documents to PDF. I also changed the name of each file to the story title. I added a Google Forms ballot which would be easy for students to use, and give me a real time overview of how many votes were coming in.

Student reaction

I was then invited back to the classes. We were looking forward to telling the students about the competition, the prizes, and reveal the website. We knew they would be excited about being published online, but we also needed to get each student’s permission allowing their story to be displayed on the public site. I think I can safely say that they were all pretty happy with the result!

Students were then given about 6 weeks to read the stories, vote, and promote the competition. Seima was interviewed by the college marketing team, while the library promoted the competition via Twitter, Instagram, and our Library Online site. Some of the student comments were really lovely.

It was impressive. A page like that need a lot of time to make and I’m sure she put a lot offer in to it so well done.

It was fantastic and the Bradford college is helped us also published the stories for us. I was very excited to see my story on the website. Bradford College is excellent also the page the made for our stories was amazing.

The page was really nice designed I didn’t expect is from her, I thought is from some guys designers. I read my story and I laughed again.

Student comments May 2020

The results…

The site received nearly 600 votes and well over a thousand hits. We are so pleased with the results, and hope to do something similar next year. Once we received all the votes, I published the winners on the #ESOLStories site.

One unforeseen event was the lockdown following the spread of covid-19. Some of the voting, and the announcement of the results, has had to happen remotely. We are sad not to present the prizes to the students in person, but it is great to know that our students can access their work at any time through this online resource.

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