Don’t let the bucolic setting of Glendon’s Leslie Frost Library, nestling against the rose garden, fool you: this is a state-of-the-art facility with all the latest bells and whistles. New this year: e-learning offered by bilingual e-librarian Sarah Coysh, the first York librarian-at-a-distance, who is sharing her time between the Glendon and Keele campuses.
Left: Sarah Coysh
Coysh is not really new to Glendon or York, having previously worked at Frost Library as a part-time reference librarian. She enjoys creating and teaching e-learning projects at both campuses. “It’s great to be at both locations”, says Coysh. “It offers me the chance to meet faculty and students at both. I have the opportunity to represent Glendon at the Keele campus and to bring the latest technologies to Glendon.”
As an e-librarian – that’s “e” for emerging technologies - Coysh’s main mandate is to provide online resources to faculty in order to assist them in their teaching and research. But she is also eager to help students enhance their university experience by teaching them how to find the best information for their projects and perhaps even discover a focused interest in a new topic.
Coysh has teamed up with acting director of Glendon’s Information Technology Services Sabine Lauffer to tailor a series of emerging technology workshops to Glendon’s specific needs and bilingual reality. Based on a survey they launched to assess local needs, the two of them will be offering workshops throughout the year. This spring’s and summer’s topics include learning how to set up a Moodle course website, how to create a RefWorks account and manage citations, as well as learning how to use RSS feeds to assist in research activities. The enthusiastic response confirms the need and interest among faculty members.
“We are ready to cater to needs expressed by the Glendon community”, comments Coysh. Future workshops will focus on additional topics such as learning Google features and new applications, finding and using images from the Internet, e-copyright issues, populating individual faculty websites, and learning about useful templates and technology.
Coysh is well-prepared for her position as e-librarian. She holds a B.A. in French and Music Studies (Queen’s University, 2002), a Master’s of Education from Queen’s University (2005), as well as a Master’s of Information Studies from the University of Toronto (2007).
“My reward is being able to assist the faculty and students in using online resources which enrich their teaching and research”, says Coysh. She is a valuable resource to many campus sectors. She works closely with the Centre for the Support of Teaching (CST) and the Faculty Support Centre (FSC) to provide faculty and students with access to library e-resources. She is also currently working with award-winning Glendon librarian Vivienne Monty on a project called YuLearn, which brings together York University's extensive online resources to support research, writing and critical skills development, with the goal of enhancing York students' educational experiences and preparedness for their future lives, both as citizens and as professionals.
Coysh confirms that online resources also “level the playing field” for students with physical and learning disabilities. They can access and review the information they need repeatedly and from locations that are convenient for them. “When faculty and students have the skills to use the latest technologies, they can spend more time reading and integrating new knowledge, rather than on searching and finding the information.”
An article by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny