Libraries Initiative 2012 - National University of Ireland Maynooth, An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, Local Community Development Programme

 
National University of Ireland Maynooth,
                    An Chomhairle Leabharlanna,
           Local Community Development Programme

               Libraries Initiative 2012

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements

Introduction .....................................................................................
.....................

Background ......................................................................................
.....................

Aims ...............................................................................................
.......................

Goals &
Objectives ........................................................................................
........

Excerpts of Focus Group
Findings ..........................................................................

Recommendations from Agency Focus
Group ........................................................

Conclusions ......................................................................................
.....................

APPENDICIES

Appendix A - Proposal for Libraries Initiative

Appendix B – Responses from Kildare Town Library focus Group

Appendix C – Responses from Coolock Library Focus Group

Appendix D – Agency Focus Group
Acknowledgements

The National University of Ireland Maynooth-Library Council of Ireland-Local Community Development Programme ‘Libraries
Initiative’ owes a debt of gratitude to the following individuals and organisations.

Annette Kelly and Eva McEneaney (Library Council of Ireland), Marian Vickers, (Northside Partnership), Pat
Leogue( County Kildare LEADER Partnership), Brian Carty (ILDN), Clodagh McDonnell and Rita McNulty (Dept.
Environment, Community and Local Government), Aine McDonagh, Fearga Kenny (NUIM course tutors ), Mike Power
(course tutor), Seamas O’Maitiu (course tutor), Michael Kenny, Josephine Finn, Kay Loughlin, Loretta Mulvehill
(NUIM), Brian Kenny, John Burns, Sharon Wallace (Canal Communities Partnership) Margaret Hayes (Dublin City
Librarian) Breda Gleeson (Kildare County Librarian), Eimear McGinn (Kildare County Library). The Department of
History and the Department of Sociology National University of Ireland Maynooth.

The operational group who took the idea and made it a reality in a remarkably short time: Mark Reid (Kildare Library),
Aoife McSwiney (Coolock Library), Anne Daly (County Kildare LEADER Partnership) and Paul Hayes (Northside
Partnership).

Helen Mulhall (CKLP) for co-ordinating the feedback process and also for conducting the Kildare Library and inter-agency
focus groups and supplying the collected data.

Dr. Matthias Borscheid and Paul Hayes (Northside Partnership) for conducting the Coolock Library focus group and
supplying the collected data.

All of the staff of both Kildare and Coolock Libraries who made both the lecturers and participants feel very welcome.

Finally Norma McDermott who had the vision and courage to say ‘Let’s do it’.

                                                                             Dr. Derek Barter

                                        National University of Ireland Maynooth,
An Chomhairle Leabharlanna,

                                         Local Community Development Programme

                                                   Libraries Initiative 2012

INTRODUCTION:
The following evaluation gives a brief overview of the National University of Ireland Maynooth and An Chomhairle
Leabharlanna (Library Council of Ireland) Libraries Initiative pilot phase. The initiative was carried out in partnership with
two library authorities viz Dublin City Council and Kildare County Council. Co-operation in the project was also sought
from two Partnership companies these being Northside Partnership, Coolock, in Dublin and Kildare LEADER Partnership.
Both Partnership Companies were supported in their efforts by the Irish Local Development Network. The Department of
Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) supported the project through the provision co-funding.

BACKGROUND:
The idea for NUIM/ Library Council of Ireland Libraries Initiative (pilot) was a culmination of a number of factors that
drew together diverse and distinct strands of resources human, organisational and physical, in order to allow people in two
locations in Ireland the opportunity to experience third level education in their local community. For the Department of
Adult and Community Education (DACE) the idea was set within the contextual framework of the National Strategy
for Higher Education (2010; pp 76-9) which states: Greater engagement and partnership between higher education
institutions and community and voluntary groups offers significant potential to progress equality and community development
and to further social innovation.

In the autumn of 2011 an attempt was made to deliver an early version of this programme in a community space in
Maynooth but the overheads involved in the hiring of an off campus room made the costs for individuals prohibitive.
Therefore, the delivery of the programme reverted to the Department of Adult and Community Education wing of Education
House as the ‘NUI Maynooth Leisure Courses’.

Research for these leisure courses, had been carried out in a number of local libraries in county Kildare by Fearga Kenny
BSc, PhD, DipStat. The data collected suggested that there was a genuine interest by library users in studying academic
subjects at a level commensurate with first year university programmes. It was at this point that the idea of using the
libraries as spaces to deliver the programme was first mooted and in conversation it was decided to contact the Director of
the Library Council of Ireland Norma MacDermott.

MacDermott saw the merit in such a project immediately and realised that it would fulfil certain policy requirements placed
upon the Library Council contained within the 1998 report Branching Out: a new public library service.
This report determines that the role of the library is to be open to all ‘thus enabling everyone to learn new skills and
make informed choices throughout their lifetime.’ Furthermore it recommends that the service should develop:

Engagement and participation, including developing partnership approaches and
furthering cooperation on educational issues both with the education sector and with
agencies involved in lifelong learning in line with the life cycle approach identified in
Towards 2016.

Staff in DACE were able to align the requirements for University community engagement from the Hunt report and the
Library Council’s Branching Out report for wider participation to the Strategic Goals for social inclusion. These goals are
set down within the Local Community Development Programme which is implemented by Partnership and LEADER companies
throughout the Republic of Ireland on behalf of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. Advice
was sought from sources in the community sector as to how best to move the project forward. It was suggested that
particular significance ought to be given to Goal 2 which aims to ‘Increase access to formal and informal educational,
recreational and cultural activities and resources’. At this point a proposal inclusive of costs1 was drawn up and sent to
the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and the Irish Local Development Network. (See appendix
A). Recommendations were returned by both bodies and negotiations as to the nature and objectives of the initiative
1 The nett cost to run a 20 week course for 25 people was calculated at €7,700 which was then broken down €7.70 per student
per hour.
ensued. The DECLG offered to allocate funding to carry out one pilot project but in discussion between the ILDN, NUI
Maynooth and the Library Council it was proposed that we approach two Partnership companies, one rural and one urban
to seek matching funding in order to run two projects simultaneously. The ILDN undertook this aspect of the project.

On 13 January 2012 a meeting of all the interested parties was held in the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN)
offices. This became a de facto steering committee. In attendance were representatives of NUI Maynooth, the Library
Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council Public Libraries Service, Kildare County Council, Northside Partnership and Kildare
Partnership and the director of the ILDN. At that meeting it was agreed that the pilot phase should begin in mid-February
and would run for 20 weeks. It was also agreed that each of the partners would undertake specific tasks compatible with
their own area of expertise.

Aims:
Each stakeholder had different aims but all shared the same objective.
      • For the Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE) National University of Ireland Maynooth the aim
            was that the project would deliver affordable off-campus or community education.
      • The Library Council of Ireland sought to develop the library as a focal point.
      • The Partnerships wished to achieve social inclusion.
As the project evolved, the shared vision was to have a programme of education which was based on voluntary
participation rather than activation.

Goals & Objectives
The objectives were:
    • To deliver a 20 week learning programme in two local libraries – one in an urban area and one in a rural area
          for up to 50 people.
    • To provide a programme that opened 3rd level education to the community that was accessible both in terms of
          transport issues and cost.
    • To recruit participants who were from hard to reach groups but that classes would form a non-homogenous
          group.

An operational group made up of staff from both Partnership companies, Kildare Library and Coolock Library was appointed,
communication with NUI Maynooth was conducted via e-mail and telephone. This group began a very intensive advertising
and recruitment campaign. Access was open to all but the Partnerships had the remit to target individuals who fall into
the categories for social inclusion programmes. These include unemployed, single parents, new communities, people in
recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, people from the travelling community etc. This also met the objective to widen
participation on behalf of the Library Council of Ireland and coincided with the attempt by NUI Maynooth to reach people
who might be furthest from accessing third level education.

Interest was such that even with so short a lead in time the project in Coolock Library was oversubscribed and the very
difficult decision had to be taken by Northside Partnership staff as to who might benefit most participation in the pilot.
Those who did not gain access to this phase were placed on a waiting list and told they would be approached if a
participant dropped out or that they would be given preference in the event that the programme will run again.

The first taster sessions took place in Kildare on 15 and Coolock on 16 February. These sessions outlined the academic
content of the four five week modules for the programme which were: Local History, Community Development, Reading
Enrichment and finally Sociology. The following week the programme proper began with five weeks of Local History. The
course ran every Wednesday morning in Kildare Town Library and every Thursday morning in Coolock Library. There were
50 places made available and 49 people enrolled.

The programme ran for 20 weeks finishing in early July. Week 20 was designated for focus groups from which the
following data for the purposes of evaluation were collected. The next section presents a sample of the comments returned
by the participants the full text of the questionnaires and responses each are contained in Appendices B & C.
EXCERPTS of FOCUS GROUP FINDINGS:

                         Lifelong Learning Library Initiative
             Participant Feedback Kildare 4 July, Coolock 5 July 2012
 Facilitators: Helen Mulhall (CKLP), Dr. Matthias Borscheid and Paul Hayes(NSP)

Comments on Course Delivery Kildare:

    1.     The delivery of each module was different each time as each lecturer was individual. All delivered with passion
         for their subject I believe. Very engaging.

    2. Lecturers were very well prepared, well presented and interesting, Thought provoking.

    3. The course overall was fantastic. I learned a lot. Enjoyed getting out of the house. Would love more outreach
       courses.

    4. The only improvement I suggest would be to make the course longer. It was delivered well and each of the
       lecturers had their own style and I enjoyed all of them.

    5. Excellent delivery by lecturers who encouraged all to join in.

    6. Presentation of the course was satisfactory but I presume because of the time frame it was like a rush.

    7. Excellent

    8. Couldn’t fault any of the four courses. They made it interesting and felt they loved what they do.

    9. Really enjoyed the interaction and the encouragement to participate. Also made me think that 3rd level education
       may not be as daunting as I thought. Really loved the whole experience and mixing with the people I met.

Comments on Course Delivery Coolock:

    1    All tutors were easy to listen to, encouraged interaction, listened and took on board our opinions, enabled us to
         learn from each other
    2      The course delivery was very good and very inspiring. The room could have been a bit bigger. The were a
         few holdups with technology taking time to set up.
    3      Course was delivered in an engaging, positive and encouraging way in that I found that I actually wanted to
         know more and learn more.
4. Particularly the 1st and 4th modules I found to be most in line with how the course had been advertised /
        described. Aine in particular was extremely efficient and lucid in passing on concise, well ordered information in
        a short time
     5. I found that all lecturers were very encouraging and supportive. The modules we covered had a common link as
        to make us think about ourselves and society and where we fit in.
     6. Interesting but sometimes boring (Reading Enrichment)
     7. The course was very good. I didn't enjoy the module Community Studies which surprised me.
     8. Found it very interesting, left me wanting to learn more
     9.   I enjoyed every aspect of the course it actually went too quickly. I would love to be able to do another
        course like it.

5.        Overall Experience Comments Kildare:

     1.   I thought the course was really good. It was interesting to find out about different stuff in each of the topics we
          do. I really enjoyed the course ‘cause it was a way of meeting new people and discovered different topics to be
          interested in...

     2. I found the course very informative and quite pleasurable experience. The only fault I would have is that we
        have come to a very abrupt end. As I can only speak for myself it would be great if a follow on course was
        available. Overall very well constructed and in my opinion would benefit people all over the provinces.

     3. Enjoyed it. Learned a good deal. Would like to take some subjects further.

     4. I had a wonderful experience with the lecturers and other that attended. A lot was learned from both sides and
        the pressure free environment enhanced this.

     5. Found it very interesting and I am feeling more confident about doing a follow on course.

     6. Good foundation and encouragement to follow up with further studies.

     7. I loved the course. It covered areas I already have a great interest in especially sociology and I have to take
        the next step and study this at 3rd level.

     8. I really enjoyed the course, the mixture of people young and old & varied backgrounds. Please more!

     9. Overall I found it ok. However, sometimes I felt that there was[not] enough time to discuss. I felt some days
        we had to cram too much information.

     10. Good variety of subjects and experiences and comments of students most interesting – good variety of peoples.

     11. Really enjoyed it and felt I learnt something. Delighted it was something I wanted to see through to the end.

     12. Enjoyed each module. Sorry it is over.

Overall experience Comments Coolock:

     1    Enjoyed the sessions - class gelled very well. Showed me how I could look at things in a different way or
          from another point of view
     2      Course was interesting in part, mainly genealogy and sociology. The other modules were not really of interest
          to me
3  I'm grateful to have had the chance to take part. I would have liked work to do at home and have had more
      than one class a week. Overall my experience was very enjoyable. Thank you.
   4 My overall experience was very positive and gained a good insight into how I needed to progress and how to go
      about gaining more knowledge.
   5 Really great course, very positive, educational and social experience. Tutors and participants were very nice and
      very willing to share experiences and knowledge. Overall course was very good and have no negative thoughts.
      if the course could be improved - some light course work maybe even some accreditation be awarded.
   6 The group bonded well and this was very important and was greatly helped by having a trip into town in the
      fourth week. The second and third modules were not to my liking and this was both due to subject and
      method of delivery. I found the 3rd module strange as it did not seem to be so much about psychology and
      literature. It felt more like a group therapy session. Overall though I enjoyed the whole course.
   7     I really enjoyed the course and as I had some doubt about my age and length of time since being in a
      classroom environment, I found it to be very rewarding and encouraging to go further.
   8 I found the course very interesting but it could have more content i.e. project studies
   9 I thought the overall course was brilliant. It opened my mind to new things and reminded me how important it
      is to keep the brain active.
   10 Enjoyed meeting new people some of the people in the group are so interesting and clued in. I personally
      would not be a great speaker but I listened to all that was being said. All the tutors were very interesting
      people. Brilliant course!

What did you like most about the course?

   Kildare:
   • Interaction with the group

   •   Learning with the group

   •   Being able to give your opinions and ideas

   •   Being encouraged to give opinions and being listened to

   •   The variety of people in the group and their diverse opinions

   •   No exams or pressure leading to competition within the group

   •   Being introduced to sociology and getting a taster for different knowledge

   •

    Coolock:
   • People listened to our views; we were not lectured to – it was like a social debate with friends
   • Everybody’s view was included and we still got through the module
   • Very well laid out and not heavy either. You could follow it easily
   • The modules were interlinked, starting with locality/local history, so we started thinking about ourselves and
      previous generations here and what part they had in society and then we went on to community development and
      we thought about the role we play and can play in the community. And we learnt about our own reactions to
      things happening like positive or negative thoughts.
   • Lecturers were responsive to our interest
   • Local tour in town good for bonding

What change would they recommend for future courses?
•    Longer! 2 hours are too short. It was not enough time as there was a week between the sessions. Why not
         twice weekly? If you’re not working you have the time.
    •    Yes, we were looking forward Thursday and were left a week waiting.
    •    Depends if everybody would be available to invest more time. Maybe instead a longer course would be suitable
         for all?
    •    A bit more time before the start of the course would have been good to prepare for it and get more information
         about the course.
    •    I rang my library and they did not know about the course. Maybe all libraries in the [Partnership] area should
         have been informed about the course. The person in the social welfare office was the only person who knew
         about it.

These extracts taken from the focus groups in both locations give some idea of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from
participants on the programme. A focus group of all of the partner organisations to review the programme and the
participant feedback was held on 9 August 2012 (Appendix D). The following recommendations for future programmes
emanate from this meeting and the participant feedback.

RECOMMENDATIONS of AGENCY FOCUS GROUP:

    •    The operational group should meet early in the process and should include a representative from NUI Maynooth.

    •    Those implementing the project should be part of the steering committee, and the systems should be clearer and
         more structured.

    •    A longer lead in time would sort out practical supports, clarify parameters and allow more time for advertising and
         recruitment.

    •    Recruitment policy needs to be more transparent

    •    A phasing-out and follow-on plan for participants should be developed. It was noted that the costs associated
         with progression to accredited third level courses is an obstacle, and there is a policy deficit at national level
         regarding the cost of part-time education in particular.

    •      It was suggested that there could be a mentoring session for each participant, and that participant’s contact
         information would be captured to allow for follow up.

    •    It was recommended that the offer of career guidance counselling would be made available

    •    It was recommended that participants would be offered links to and information on literacy services and additional
         library services such as on-line courses during the programme.

    •    An assessment of needs of each participant at the outset, e.g hearing difficulties although expensive, would be
         of benefit to the individual.

    •    Develop a course title.

    •    Consideration be given to the modules in respect of the feedback from participants this should help with retention
         rates.

    •    The facilities needed to run the programmes in libraries should include wifi, a breakout room for up to 25
         people.
•    The addition of an environmental module using the Library Council’s ENFO service.

CONCLUSION:
In overall terms the pilot of the NUI Maynooth – Library Council of Ireland Libraries Initiative has been successful. The
experiences of the participants were overwhelmingly positive and major criticisms were that the programme was too short
and lacked progression onto a follow up course. The enthusiasm shown by each of the lecturers for their subject was
transferred to the participants and if not all of the modules were regarded with equal delight the fact is that the majority of
people (30 completed out of 49 enrolled) attended every week and were eager in the end to want to go further.

As for the stakeholders although the aims were not specified at the initial stages of the project the level of understanding
in attempting to deliver on explicit policy demands peculiar to the mission of each body was such that the objective was
shared by all. The working relationship between stakeholders can best be summed up as one of cordial respect and co-
operation. As each stakeholder became involved, deference to their area of expertise was shown and no one body sought
to wield authority or demand ownership of the project. In that sense the programme was delivered in the true spirit of
partnership. For each the benefit is obvious. From the point of view of the university community engagement and re-
engagement of people distant from education were successfully achieved. The actual programme itself developed initially to
allow adults who might never have had access to nor even consider third level education as a possibility to experience
learning from university lecturers in the security of a local setting. This goal was met. The Library Council of Ireland
sought to widen participation and increase the use of a wonderful but under-utilised cultural and educational resource i.e.
the public libraries. This goal was met. For the Partnership Companies the onus contained in Goal 2 is to ‘Increase
access to formal and informal educational, recreational and cultural activities and resources’. This goal was met.

This educational initiative has value which exceeds that of mere financial return. The total budget for the project was
€15,000. The Department of Community Environment and Local Government provided 50% of the overall funding and this
was matched by Northside Partnership and County Kildare LEADER Partnership in shares of 25% each. The project was
delivered within budget and the total cost per participant was €7.70 per hour. Although this is extremely important in
today’s economic climate and was well met the dividend in terms of health, wellbeing and social outcomes for each
participant may be less tangible but cannot be taken for granted.

The structure of the programme with Local History as the first module or hub out of which all other modules can radiate
allows for a degree of flexibility as this was intended. The model is easily replicated and adaptable enough to suit local
needs. Interest in running the programme in other locations has been shown by County librarians from Wicklow, Carlow,
Wexford, Meath, Louth. This project was an exercise in joining the dots to come up with a bigger picture. As one staff
member in Coolock library said while the taster session began and the numbers of participants was increasing to the point
where the foyer had to be given over to accommodate them, ‘this is such a simple idea, why has it never happened
before?’
Appendix A

                                    National University of Ireland Maynooth,

                                          An Chomhairle Leabharlanna,

                                    Local Community Development Programme.

                          Programme of Activities Goal 2: Life Long Learning initiative.

Aims:
The following proposal initiated by the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM) and An Chomhairle
Leabharlanna, in partnership with 2 library authorities and 2 Partnership companies i.e. Dublin City Council and
Kildare County Council together with Northside Partnership, Coolock, Dublin and Kildare LEADER Partnership
respectively is designed to address the recommendation from the government policy National Strategy for
Higher Education (Hunt Report, 2010) which states:

Greater engagement and partnership between higher education institutions and
community and voluntary groups offers significant potential to progress equality
and community development and to further social innovation.

NUIM aligns this requirement to that of the Local Community Development Programme Goal 2 which aims to:

Increase access to formal and informal educational, recreational and cultural
activities and resources.

This proposed initiative aims to build on the linkages that the Department of Adult and Community Education
(DACE) National University of Ireland Maynooth has established with the statutory, voluntary and community
sector. In this instance NUIM seeks to work in partnership with the Local Partnership/Leader Companies and
specifically co-ordinators involved in Adult Education services.

Objective:
In essence the proposed programme is designed to address the need for social inclusion directed at the LCDP’s
target groups by providing a high level of community education support and active citizenship courses outside of
traditional educational settings thereby fulfilling a number of policy demands. These are set out by the
Department of Education and Skills in the Hunt Report and others and by the Department of Environment,
Community and Local Government in Branching Out: Future Directions, which states that the public
library service ‘is a magnificent resource for the promotion of community development, for social integration
and,increasingly, a focal point for people of all ethnic backgrounds...’ Their role is ‘to be open to all thus
enabling everyone to learn new skills and make informed choices throughout their lifetime.’

Furthermore the service should develop:

Engagement and participation, including developing partnership approaches and
furthering cooperation on educational issues both with the education sector and with
agencies involved in
lifelong learning in line with the life cycle approach identified in Towards 2016.

Rationale:
In the year 2000 the government white paper on adult education ‘Learning for Life’ determined that in
order to fulfil its commitment to Lifelong Learning that:

A systematic approach requiring that ‘…educational policies must be designed to
embrace the lifecycle, reflect the multiplicity of sites, both formal and informal,
in which learning can take place…’ (p13)

This proposal adheres to the above principle while at the same time recognising that the current crisis places an
urgent demand on institutions of higher education and cultural bodies to intervene in some way to provide
services outside of the traditional confines of the university. Due to the difficult economic environment, the
courses on offer and the coherent utilisation of educational and community resources both through service
provision and the use of the libraries as centres for independent study and social interaction, we anticipate a
high rate of return and value for money. In a time of competing demands on the public purse, the shared
service model offers a better return than the focus which the participants could provide in the absence of the
seven partners listed above.

The University:
The Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE) NUI Maynooth proposes to deliver a series of
short non-accredited courses to adults (over 18) in two library venues including the LDCP target group i.e.

 ‘marginalised people and groups within the most disadvantaged communities,
which means that it targets those furthest from access to education, training and
employment, and those at highest risk of social exclusion.’

The Course:
  NUIM can call on the expertise of lecturers, occasional staff and doctoral candidates to deliver parallel and
overlapping courses on academic subjects that cover the whole spectrum from Arts and Humanities, Social
Sciences and Science. The courses would last for 20 weeks, one morning per week, 2 hours per session.
The twenty weeks would be divided into 4 modules of 5 weeks duration each. It is envisaged that the core
module would be Local Studies including history and geography. Out of this popular hub of local studies which
would attract a wide cross section of the community, modules as varied as addiction studies, community
development, sociology, politics, psychology, English etc., (the list is indicative rather than exhaustive) could be
woven together to give a high level of content led, discussion driven courses delivered using adult education
methodologies and tailored to suit the demands of each of the individual groups. The approach would be
offered with full flexibility within a coherent framework of university level 7 courses but without the need to
complete an examination.
Libraries:
Spaces for lectures would be offered by the public library authorities. An Chomhairle Leabharlanna supports the
wider usage of libraries. While the public library service aims to provide a space for everyone, the challenge of
extending the service to people in the ‘hard to reach’ categories in the community remains unfulfilled. However,
the libraries provide a valuable resource for independent self directed study. County and City Librarians from
Dublin city and Kildare will provide the appropriate venues. In the case of Dublin city, Coolock Library is the
preferred choice. Kildare Town Library has been chosen by the Kildare county librarian.

Education Co-ordinators POA:
The challenge of recruitment of the ‘hard to reach’ groups will be addressed, it is hoped, in co-operation with
the Local Partnership/Leader Companies through the education co-ordinators (who now are charged with
responsibility for Adult Education services ) and who are in contact with the leaders in the Community
Development Projects and Family Resource Centres. The co-ordinators in the LCDP would be key drivers in the
recruitment and in the implementation of the project which could form part of their Programme of Activities for the
coming year.

Joint Initiatives:
Such convergence and alignment of objectives as outlined in this proposed initiative provides an excellent template
for enhancing both partnership and engagement not only for NUIM but also for the other representative agents in
the statutory, community and voluntary sectors. NUIM is already delivering two very successful NUI ‘Certificate in
Community Development and Leadership’ courses in partnership with the Kildare Leader Partnership. Furthermore,
NUIM delivers a certificate course in Addiction Studies in partnership with the Dublin North East Drugs Task
Force to service providers, Gárdai, HSE staff and people who work in the field of drug addiction. This model
of civic engagement and social regeneration is effective and tested, therefore credible as an approach for the
present model.

Costs per course:
The nett costings are achieved through collective division of the added costs. As stated before, DACE NUI
Maynooth considers this initiative to be part of its remit for engagement, social inclusion and lifelong learning and
therefore the costs of course development, co-ordination and administration have been greatly reduced and in
some cases fully absorbed by NUI Maynooth.

  Similarly the library services together with An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, as managers of the project from the
library perspective would absorb the venue and overhead costs.

Partnership Companies: It is hoped that the LCDP would be in a position under Programme Goal 2 to budget
for the remaining costs for running these courses. The nett cost to run a 20 week course for 25 people stands
at: €7,700 which breaks down at a nominal €7.70 per student per hour. The cost of the project would be
borne by the two partnerships and the Department on an equal basis. There would be no payment by either the
library authorities or the students.

Further information from:

Dr. Derek Barter,
Academic Co-ordinator of Continuing Education and BA Manager,
Department of Adult and Community Education,
National University of Ireland Maynooth,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare,
Tel: (01) 708 3948
e-mail: derek.barter@nuim.ie

Norma McDermott (now retired)
Director,
An Chomhairle Leabharlanna
53-54 Upper Mount St
Dublin, 2.
Appendix B
                                  NUI MAYNOOTH
                        Lifelong Learning Library Initiative
                            Participant Feedback – Kildare 4 July 2012
                                      Facilitator Helen Mulhall (CKLP)

1       Enrolment

    a) Why did you decide to enrol?

        To gain/improve knowledge (4)
        Interest in the subject matter (7)
        To pass the time               (2)
        Because they heard about it (2)

    b) Did you complete a taster programme ?
       Yes      (9)                (c) If so, did it help your decision to enrol?          Yes (9)
       No        (5)
       Blank (1)

2       Transport

    a) Do you have your own transport?          Yes (8)          No (7)
    b) If not, how did you get here?                     Walk (5)       Bus (2)
    c) How far did you travel to the library?   Average 5.8 km
       Those with own transport                 Average 8 km
       Those without own transport              Average 3.5 km

3       Modules

                       Strongly                                                                     Very
Module                 Dissatisfied          Dissatisfied       Neutral             Satisfied       Satisfied
Genealogy & Local
History                                 0                   0                 1                 2                12
Community Studies                       0                   1                 0                 7                 7
Reading Enrichment
through Psychology                      0                   0                 2              2                   10
Sociology                               0                   0                 0              3                   12
Totals                                  0                   1                 3             14                  41
4         Delivery

                                                  Strongl   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongl
                                                  y                                      y Agree
                                                  disagre
                                                  e
The course was appropriate to my learning needs                        3         5       7
Mode of delivery was useful and engaging                               0         1       14
Information was well organised and sequenced                           1         4       10
Group work and presentations were useful                               0         7       7
Course duration was sufficient                              2          4         5       3
The library was a suitable learning environment             0          0         3       11
I would recommend this course to a friend                   0          0         0       15

  Comments on Course Delivery

       1.   “Was extraordinary, great full to me and getting on the lather to find my way. All
            subjects where interested matter. Therefore I found it outcome to my personalle
            need match my needs.” [sic]

       2. “It was very good & interesting.”

       3. “The delivery of each module was different each time as each lecturer was
          individual. All delivered with passion for their subject I believe. Very engaging.”

       4. “Course delivered effectively in informal manner.”

       5. “Presentation of the course was satisfactory but I presume because of the time
          frame it was like a rush.”

       6. “I would have liked handouts. Sometimes I found the background noise distracting.
          As a group we sometimes ran away with ourselves in discussion. The 5 modules
          were really interesting and I wish it was longer.”

       7. “The course overall was fantastic. I learned a lot. Enjoyed getting out of the
          house. Would love more outreach courses.”

       8. Delivered in a comfortable and sociable environment. Tutors engaged well with
          the participants and attempted to facilitate their varied inputs.
9. “The only improvement I suggest would be to make the course longer. It was
        delivered well and each of the lecturers had their own style and I enjoyed all of
        them.

     10. “Excellent delivery by lecturers who encouraged all to join in.”

     11. “Lecturers were very well prepared, well presented and interesting, Thought
         provoking.”

     12. “It was good.”

     13. “Excellent”

     14. “Couldn’t fault any of the four courses. They made it interesting and felt they
         loved what they do.”

     15. “Really enjoyed the interaction and the encouragement to participate. Also made
         me think that 3rd level education may not be as daunting as I thought. Really loved
         the whole experience and mixing with the people I met.”

5.        Overall Experience

     1.   “In some subject that I have listen to and some left to be fully [illegible] through
          the [illegible] of attendance; but I do really enjoy the most of it at my will.”

     2. “I thought the course was really good. It was interesting to find out about
        different stuff in each of the topics we do. I really enjoyed the course ‘cause it
        was a way of meeting new people and discovered different topics to be interested
        in. I thought the course was very informational with lots of information in it. I
        would love to do a follow on up information course.”

     3. “I found the course very informative and quite pleasurable experience. The only
        fault I would have is that we have come to a very abrupt end. As I can only speak
        for myself it would be great if a follow on course was available. Overall very well
        constructed and in my opinion would benefit people all over the provinces.”

     4. “Enjoyed it. Learned a good deal. Would like to take some subjects further.”

     5. “I had a wonderful experience with the lecturers and other that attended. A lot
        was learned from both sides and the pressure free environment enhanced this.”

     6. “Found it very interesting and I am feeling more confident about doing a follow on
        course.”

     7. “Totally enjoyed the experience. Have a great interest for more outreach.”
8. “Good foundation and encouragement to follow up with further studies.”

     9. “I loved the course. It covered areas I already have a great interest in especially
        sociology and I have to take the next step and study this at 3rd level.”

     10. “I found the course the exact method of learning suitable for me. I love to engage
         and hear other viewpoints. I met a lovely group of people, each unique with a lot
         to offer. A very good and enjoyable learning experience all around.”

     11. “I really enjoyed the course, the mixture of people young and old & varied
         backgrounds. Please more!”

     12. “Overall I found it ok. However, sometimes I felt that there was[not] enough time
         to discuss. I felt some days we had to cram too much information.”

     13. “Good variety of subjects and experiences and comments of students most
         interesting – good variety of peoples.”

     14. “Really enjoyed it and felt I learnt something. Delighted it was something I
         wanted to see through to the end.”

     15. “Enjoyed each module. Sorry it is over.”

What they liked the most:

     •    Interaction with the group

     •    Learning with the group

     •    Being able to give your opinions and ideas

     •    Being encouraged to give opinions and being listened to

     •    The variety of people in the group and their diverse opinions

     •    No exams or pressure leading to competition within the group

     •    Being introduced to sociology and getting a taster for different knowledge

What they disliked the most:

Nothing

What change would they recommend for future courses?

Would have liked a bit more time for sociology because they enjoyed it so much and there was so much that could have
been covered. Some would have happily stayed for more than two hours each day, and would also have liked a way to
recap on what had been learned at the end of each module.
The group also liked the fact that there were hand outs and reading lists but there was a suggestion that they would also
like to have received reading lists from all of the tutors.

Would you have taken part of it was a formal university course?

The location, cost of the course and cost of travel would be the greatest barriers. Exams would not be a deterrent for
some of the participants, and accreditation was seen as being very important.

Has the course made you a more active citizen? In what way?

Participants did not necessarily all agree that they had become more active citizens yet, but remarked that the course made
them more aware of volunteering opportunities and ways in which they could contribute to their own community, and also
through discussions they felt that their existing efforts in community and voluntary work were validated. They also felt that
they had the tools to find out more about the history and genealogy of themselves and others.

What were your own objectives? Were they met?

There was insufficient time to discuss this in detail as there was a lively discussion on the other topics, however the
responses to the survey provide insight into this question.

How did the group dynamic work?

Participants felt more relaxed when the seating was changed from lecture style to a “U” shape. It was said jokingly that
there were “cliques” which were also described as friendships. People felt that while they did not get to know each other
really well, they influenced one another’s opinions and respected each other, and that the group benefited from having
mature members. They enjoyed the mix of cultures in the group and hearing each other’ stories.

Views on suitability of space, location, duration, pace and level of learning:

The library was a very accessible location. The library space and facilities were also satisfactory. However, sometimes there
was a bit of background noise for example when children came in from school. For the majority of participants, this was
not a major concern, but one participant has a hearing impairment and found the background noise to be problematic at
times.

Regarding the modules, participants volunteered their opinions on modules 3 and 4. In relation to module 3, some enjoyed
the interaction and some did not. The group saw it as having helped them to get to know one another better, but others
commented that the course as delivered bore no relationship to the course title or what the tutor spoke about in the taster
programme. Some found this disconcerting whereas others enjoyed the element of surprise and found it interesting. One
person approached me after the group discussion to say that she was uncomfortable with the personal nature of some of
the interactive work particularly as some people were acquainted with one another outside of the course.

Module 4 was very much enjoyed by all. Overall, it seems that there was a lot of group discussion, and the group felt
that sometimes they themselves would get carried away. One person saw this as a negative thing and felt that there
needed to be more group discipline. It seems that the tutor used group discussion to introduce topics and then used slides
to cover material, and they enjoyed this approach because they felt it helped them to focus. It was suggested that in this
module, there was a lot to be covered and they were not able to take notes some of the time, and it was suggested
that fewer points could be covered in order to slow down the pace.

Feedback given previously – were any changes introduced as a result?

Participants felt that they were encouraged from the start to be interactive and to give their opinions. They were pleased
that one tutor had said that as a result of working with this group they were thinking of changing the way they deliver
lectures in college. Participants said that they were asked what they would like to cover and that tutors were willing to
adapt and respond to their requests.
Appendix C
                         Lifelong Learning Library Initiative
                             Participant Feedback Coolock 5 July 2012
                               Dr. Matthias Borscheid and Paul Hayes (Northside Partnership)

1.       Enrolment

Why did you decide to enrol?

     c) Why did you decide to enrol?

         To gain/improve knowledge              (6)
         Interest in the subject matter         (4)
         To pass the time                       (1)
         Taster for Returning to Education      (3)

     d) Did you complete a taster programme ?
        Yes      (9)                (c) If so, did it help your decision to enrol?              Yes (9)
        No        (5)
        Blank (1)
a)

b)       Did you complete a Taster programme?                      Yes      14        No ____

c)       If so, did it help your decision to enrol?                Yes      14        No ____
2.           Transport

              a)           Do you have your own transport?                Yes     9        No 5

              b)           If not, how did you get here?                          Walk, Bus or Lift

              c)           How far did you travel to the library?         8 kms or Less (3.5kms average)

              3.           Modules

              Please tick one box for each module to indicate your overall satisfaction with each of the course modules:

              Module                                       Strongly        Dissatisfie     Neutral        Satisfied        Very
                                                           dissatisfied    d                                               Satisfied
              Genealogy & Local History                                                    1              3                10
              Community Studies                            1               2               3              3                5
              Reading Enrichment (Psychology &             1               1               2              1                9
              Litrature)
              Sociology                                                                                   2                12

              4.           Delivery - Please tick your level of agreement with the following statements
                           Strongly            Disagree               Neutral          Agree                  Strongly Agree
                           disagree
The course was appropriate to my learning needs                                                2              2        9           1   No
                                                                                                                                   comment

Mode of delivery                                                      1                5                      8
was useful and
engaging
Information was                                                                        5                      9
well organised and
sequenced
Group work and presentations were useful                                                       2              3        8           1   No
                                                                                                                                   comment

Course duration                                2                      4                6                      2
was sufficient
The library was a                                                                      8                      6
suitable learning
environment
I would                                                         1         2                 11
recommend this
course to a friend

                       Comments on the course delivery:

                 1 All tutors were easy to listen to, encouraged interaction, listened and talked on
                 board our opinions, enabled us to learn from each other

                 2 Course was well run, plenty of opportunity to engage and question all aspects of
                 each module

                 3 The course delivery was very good and very inspiring. The room could have been a
                 bit bigger. The were a few holdups with technology taking time to set up.

                 4. Course was delivered in an engaging, positive and encouraging way in that I found
                    that I actually wanted to know more and learn more.

                 5. Particularly the 1st and 4th modules I found to be most in line with how the
                    course had been advertised / described. Aine in particular was extremely
                    efficient and lucid in passing on concise, well ordered information in a short time

                 6. I found that all lecturers were very encouraging and supportive. The modules we
                    covered had a common link as to make us think about ourselves and society and
                    where we fit in.

                 7. Interesting but sometimes boring (Reading Enrichment)

                 8. The quality of the lecturers was very different some good and some not so good.

                 9. The course was very good. I didn't enjoy the module Community Studies which
                    surprised me.

                 10. Found it very interesting, left me wanting to learn more

                 11.    I enjoyed every aspect of the course it actually went too quickly. I would love to
                       be able to do another course like it.

                 12. I enjoyed every aspect of the course it actually went too quickly. I would love to
                     be able to do another course like it.

                 13. Everything was sufficient

            5.         Overall Experience

            Please describe your overall experience of the course:
            1          Enjoyed the sessions - class gelled very well. Showed me how I could look at things in a
                       different way or from another point of view
2         Course was interesting in part, mainly genealogy and sociology. The other modules were not
         really of interest to me
3        I'm grateful to have had the chance to take part. I would have liked work to do at home and
         have had more than one class a week. Overall my experience was very enjoyable. Thank
         you.
4        My overall experience was very positive and gained a good insight into how I needed to
         progress and how to go about gaining more knowledge.
5        Really great course, very positive, educational and social experience. Tutors and participants
         were very nice and very willing to share experiences and knowledge. Overall course was
         very good and have no negative thoughts. if the course could be improved - some light
         course work maybe even some accreditation be awarded.
6        The group bonded well and this was very important and was greatly helped by having a trip
         into town in the fourth week. The second and third modules were not to my liking and this
         was both due to subject and method of delivery. I found the 3rd module strange as it did not
         seem to be so much about psychology and literature. It felt more like a group therapy
         session. Overall though I enjoyed the whole course.
7         I really enjoyed the course and as I had some doubt about my age and length of time since
         being in a classroom environment I found it to be very rewarding and encouraging to go
         further
8        Overall interesting
9        I found the course very interesting but it could have more content i.e. project studies
10       I thought the overall course was brilliant. It opened my mind to new things and reminded me
         how important it is to keep the brain active.
11       Found the course was very interesting as the people who attended the course were very
         open minded and we were able to discuss different topics and everyone was able to give their
         point of view.
12       Enjoyed meeting new people some of the people in the group are so interesting and clued in.
         I personally would not be a great speaker but I listened to all that was being said. All the
         tutors were very interesting people, Brilliant course!
13       Enjoyable - made new friends and the teachers were nice and easy to understand. The
         course helped me to move on with my education and the need to learn more
14        I really enjoyed every aspect of the course and wish it was longer in duration.

Answers to Questions for Facilitated Session with participants:

1.       What did you like most about the course
     •   People listened to our views; we were not lectured to – it was like a social debate with friends
     •   Everybody’s view was included and we still got through the module
     •   Very well laid out and not heavy either. You could follow it easily
     •   The modules were interlinked, starting with locality/local history, so we started thinking about ourselves and
         previous generations here and what part they had in society and then we went on to community development and
         we thought about the role we play and can play in the community. And we learnt about our own reactions to
         things happening like positive or negative thoughts.
     •   Lecturers were responsive to our interest
     •   Local tour in town good for bonding

2.       What did you dislike most
     •   No course work – it would have engaged us more if we had to do assignments
     •   Disagreement from some. Only on voluntary basis for modules that you are interested in
     •   Optional readings were good so there was no pressure.
•   Having the module in the open library did not work: it works better in a separate room where we would not be
         afraid of speaking up.
     •   The second module was not that good, the lecturer talked too much and did not encourage engagement –
         though the topic community development was good – sometimes we think we leave all of that to the Cllrs and
         we don’t have a role to play.
     •   The third module was like a therapy session and not like what the title promised. Most of us enjoyed it still. We
         felt like he was only short of bringing in the couch.
     •   The first and the last modules were the best. Most would probably like more sociology and local history.

3.       What one change would they recommend for future courses
     •   Longer! 2 hours are too short. It was not enough time as there was a week between the sessions. Why not
         twice weekly? If you’re not working you have the time.
     •   Yes, we were looking forward Thursday and were left a week waiting.
     •   Depends if everybody would be available to invest more time. Maybe instead a longer course would be suitable
         for all?
     •   A bit more time before the start of the course would have been good to prepare for it and get more information
         about the course.
     •   I rang my library and they did not know about the course. Maybe all libraries in the [Partnership] area should
         have been informed about the course. The person in the social welfare office was the only person who knew
         about it.

4.        Would you have taken part if it was a formal university course [expanding on
      it]?
     • Yes. You get more out of it. More satisfaction.
     • If it is an interesting subject. The one on history was great and there was a lot of passion coming across from
          the lecturer. So that got us interested in the subject.

5.       What were your own objectives? Were they met?
     •   I am married with kids and have been working for a long time and I wanted to see what it would be like to be
         back in the classroom. And there were no barriers here. Straight away I connected with the group. That was
         great and made me relaxed. I enjoyed local history but would not do a course on that. I’d rather do something
         that would lead me to a job, something that would get me qualifications such as in areas like business or
         marketing – that kind of stuff. But it was a good sample for me to see what it would be like. And it is very
         good for that.
     •   I just came out of interest and to enrich my life really and to have something to do. Something interesting.
         Something to spark off something. And I did that and I think about doing something else.
     •   I do not want to lose the momentum and wonder if we could go on to do a FETAC level course. It will be
         difficult taking a break now and getting back to do something in 12 months’ time.
     •   What other options do we have to follow up and is there a possibility into a course preparing us for getting to
         do a cert or going to university [PLC]?

6.       Has the course made you a more active citizen? In what way?
     •   Has given me a bit more drive to apply for jobs and I feel that I see more confidence in me to do it.
     •   I share the same sentiment (Others agreed too)
     •   I know how to get information about the area and who I need to contact you know and to do something in the
         community – like planting flowers.
     •   I use the library more. I came here before. Now I started getting books again and hope I continue to do that
         though I am not coming here [to this course] anymore.

7.       How did the group dynamic work?
     •   Excellent. Mixed ages and all in same situation, doing something new was great. Good discussions.
8.       Views on suitability of space and location, length of course, pace, level of
      learning etc.
     • IT problems at times as lecturers struggled getting visuals up and computer running.
     • The room worked well in comparison to open space in the middle of the library.
     • I was invited only a few weeks into the course and missed out on a number of sessions.

9.       Feedback given previously – were any changes introduced as a result?
     •   Going to town was good. This really engaged us and we could see things. It made the subject [history] more
         interesting and we could not wait for the next week.

10 Course Objectives

Having completed this course I …………………………………..(please tick those that you think apply to you)

a)       Have learned new skills                                            9

b)       Feel prepared for further education or training           14

c)       Am a more active citizen                                  7

d)       More likely to use the library                            11

e)       Have mixed with people from other backgrounds 11

                                                   Appendix D

                          Lifelong Learning Library Initiative
                                          Agency Focus Group 9th August 2012

Attended by: Aine McDonagh, Fearga Kenny (NUIM), Mark Reid (Kildare Library), Aoife McSwiney (Coolock Library)
Mike Power (Course tutor), Paul Hayes (Northside Partnership), Eva McEneaney (Library Council), Matthias Borscheid
(Northside Partnership), Derek Barter (NUIM), Anne Daly (County Kildare LEADER Parthership).

Facilitated by: Helen Mulhall (CKLP)

Area for Review                                        Key Questions
Vision & Values                                            -   Are our vision, outcomes, mission and values appropriate?
-    Are our vision, outcomes, mission and values reflected in
                                                               our work ?
Goals & Objectives                                        -    Was the situation analysis which informed the goals and
                                                               objectives correct?

                                                          -    Did our goals and objectives accurately reflect our vision,
                                                               outcomes, mission and value?

                                                          -    To what extent were goals and objectives achieved?

Strategies and Actions                                    -    Did the strategies correspond with the objectives?

                                                          -    What strategies and actions did/did not work well and
                                                               why?

                                                          -    Were targets for actions met?

                                                          -    What barriers arose and how were these addressed?

                                                          -    What opportunities arose and how were these harnessed?
Structures, systems, procedures and policies, roles       -    How effective have these been?
and responsibilities?

                                                          -    What could be improved and how?
Resources                                                 -    What resources were used and were they adequate?

                                                          -    How effectively and efficiently were resources used?

Vision & Values

The vision for the project initially driven by the Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE) National University
of Ireland Maynooth was that the project would deliver affordable off-campus or community education. In order to reduce
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