CamGuides UG – interviewing and filming students

The CamGuides UG project is on target to launch in July 2019. The team have been busy recently writing content and in March, several library staff helped to interview students in order to create video content for the resource and provide the important ‘student voice’. Two staff who were involved in the interviews share their experiences and reflect on how IL influences students in their faculty.

Caitlin – English Faculty Library

I originally got involved in the CamGuides interviews because I had expressed an interest in doing more user research and helping with access and engagement. Observing interviews and then getting to lead some of those conversations myself was an ideal way to gain a better understanding of how library services fit into students’ lives. The interviews honed in on the different ways resources can be accessed and navigated, but also how individual working styles and personalities inform that navigation. It was great to hear varied perspectives on managing time and directing individual research and I hope that the videos will encourage students coming up to the university to treat figuring out their working style as an ongoing part of their learning. For me taking this knowledge back to the library, I am excited to think further about how we can support this process of discovering a path through the course and illuminate multiple possible approaches to research.

Sheryl – Classical Faculty Library

As information literacy lead in the Classical Faculty Library, I was keen to get involved with interviewing current students to produce video content for the new CamGuides resource for incoming undergraduates. I observed and conducted interviews across a number of filming sessions, in which first- and second-year students across a range of courses were asked about their studies as well as their wider experiences of adjusting to life in Cambridge. As well as contributing to what will be a valuable resource for incoming students from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of expectations of the university and their studies, this was also a good opportunity to reflect back on our practices at the CFL, and to think about how we can improve our offerings for new undergraduates with regard to the information literacy framework. The interviews offered first-hand insights into how faculty library provision can contribute to the broader student experience, and how students’ early experiences of libraries help them to develop the skills and competencies in information literacy which generate confidence and enjoyment in the undergraduate experience.


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