Crossing a bridge: The challenges of developing and delivering a pilot information literacy course for international students

Tina Hurley, Nora Hegarty, Jennifer Bolger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - To describe the challenges involved in developing and delivering a pilot library skills course to a group of international bridging studies students from China and Pakistan. To provide guidelines for other libraries who may be faced with similar challenges. Design/methodology/approach - The paper documents the development and delivery of a pilot course for international students. The course described formed part of an accredited Critical Thinking & Research Skills module. The challenges of the project are described and a number of recommendations for its future development are outlined. Findings - The project underlined the challenges involved in teaching library skills to international students. The main barrier that emerged throughout the course related to communication difficulties. Language levels amongst the group were poorer than anticipated. The group did display excellent IT skills, however, and enjoyed class work that actively engaged them in the learning process. Research limitations/implications - The project is still at a pilot stage of development. The paper provides a short-term view of one small academic library's experience of working with international students. No full-scale student survey has been conducted to date. Practical implications - This account of WIT Libraries experience of developing and delivering an accredited information skills course for the bridging studies group is likely to be a useful source of practical information for libraries in similar positions, of similar scale, faced with similar challenges. Originality/value - Offers practical solutions for libraries in similar positions. The successful diversification of the traditional library role is likely to be of interest to all members of the library profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-320
Number of pages19
JournalNew Library World
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Academic libraries
  • Information literacy
  • Learning
  • Students


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