On Valentine’s Day this year staff expressed their love of learning by attending the Library Journal Club, a new monthly group founded by Arts Subject Librarian Alex Asman. The aim of the club is to read and discuss peer reviewed articles from the library and information science field, with a view to introducing new ideas to our existing working practices. This month’s paper, chosen by Louise Doolan, was ‘Generation Z: Educating and engaging the next generation of students’ by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace. Based on their book ‘Generation Z Goes to College,’ the article focuses on the learning needs of young people born after 1995, their experience of education and digital technologies, and offers a number of strategies designed to help educational staff engage with them more effectively.
In what was felt to be a rather optimistically painted picture, Generation Z is described as an increasingly community focused group, that maintains strong affiliations with social justice and change, and whose members prioritise happiness and fulfilment over money and possessions. The group thought that the authors made a number of sweeping generalised assertions about Generation Z, including their technological learning requirements, and provided relatively little data to back up their arguments.
However, the article yielded a number of interesting and valid ideas that could be considered relevant for practices here at City Library, particularly in terms of learning preferences. Learning approaches ascribed to this group tend towards the visual, combined with hands-on experiential practices, and are underpinned by a desire to understand how learning processes can translate to real-life, practical settings. Based on this, the following ideas were generated that the group felt could be relevant to our work in the library:
- An increased use of short information skills videos, the updating of ready existing videos, and the development of short video workshops introducing students to use of databases and packages such as Bloomberg.
- Using examples of Vloggers when attempting to illustrate information/digital literacy skills for younger Undergraduate students.
- The development of workshops centred specifically on evaluating information, particularly in terms of online resources, with the aim of developing students ability to identify the fake from the real.
- Library Loves Ideas: a scheme building upon the ‘Library Loves Feedback’ programme, whereby students are invited to give their responses and potential solutions to a library issue raised in the feedback programme.
If you were unable to attend, but would like to read the article and add your thoughts, you can find the article here: Seemiller, C. & Grace, M. (2017) ‘Generation Z: Educating and engaging the next generation of students’, About Campus, 22 (3), pp 21-26. DOI://10.1002/abc.21293. Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions below.