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Special Library Association Arabian Gulf Chapter conference a success for UCL students

31 March 2014


Faculty and students from UCL Qatar’s MA Library and Information Studies programme have attended the Special Library Association Arabian Gulf Chapter conference in Doha, a key regional networking event for library and information professionals.

The conference focused on enhancing the digital knowledge society’s information needs and included many international keynote speakers discussing issues on the impact of digital content on libraries and information professionals.

Students enjoyed attending a variety of presentations and speaking to vendors and publishers. Ms Nicole Johnston, Lecturer in Library and Information Studies at UCL Qatar, was invited to speak on a panel discussing information literacy through the lens of the student experience. Nicole spoke about her PhD research, which is about understanding the information literacy experiences of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students.

The presentation explored how EFL students experience information literacy and how understandings of EFL students’ varying experiences of information and learning can be used to inform the development of information literacy curriculum in classrooms where students speak English as a second language.

Nicole’s research has revealed that EFL students experienced information literacy in four qualitatively different ways: process, quality, language and knowledge and that EFL students faced barriers to accessing information in local contexts and in their own language. EFL students also faced challenges when reading text in English, when translating between two languages and with understanding the meaning and context of information in English. This research also revealed that EFL students applied a variety of techniques when they read, understand, organise and translate information.

The application process for September 2014 entry to the MA Library and Information Studies degree programme is currently open. The application deadline is 1 May 2014.