Message from Library Manager
Libraries form an essential part of any learning institution. Students turn to the library to carry forward the learning process started during lecture times. Libraries not only provide the information material that support taught course content but more than that libraries should also provide the information and facilities to explore other subject areas even if of purely personal interest. In learning how to access and evaluate information on their own library users are well on their way to becoming independent life long learners. This is one of the aims for which MCAST was set up. On the other hand, for academic and non academic staff, libraries are the source for continuing professional development particularly in their area of expertise.
MCAST very much believes in the importance of libraries in educational institutions and over the past academic year we have invested heavily in the set up of modern library facilities on all its sites both on the main Campus on Corradino Hill, Paola and at each of our off-site Institutes and Centres. But besides the classical library facilities and services MCAST is looking also at creating Learning Resource Centres as part of its strategy of ensuring that its graduates learn the skill of independent learning. It is these skills that guarantee that MCAST graduates, over the years, can continuously keep up to date with their chosen area of expertise and as necessary branch out into new areas of knowledge for their own and their employers' mutual benefit.
The New Library Building on the Corradino Campus
One of the major capital investment projects on the main Corradino Campus on Paola Hill for the academic year 2003-2004 was the new Library Building. In respect of the library one of the first decisions taken by the Board of Governors and the School Principal was to dedicate a separate building for the Library and to include a Learning Resource Centre in this building. The intention was that the College will emphasize in a clear and visible way the importance it wants to attach to the function that the library will serve. The building earmarked for the new library is at the heart of the MCAST Campus and is surrounded by a pedestrian area adjacent to the Administrative block and Canteen. This new building is a major and costly project for MCAST. The Library and the College hope that through good management and constant use over the years it will have been a worthwhile investment indeed.
Why a Library AND Learning Resource Centre?
The Deed of Foundation and the Statute of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology in describing the purpose of the College states that as a primary aim the College will "provide citizens with the opportunity to qualify in trades, skills, artisan or technical or commercial activities, and in the professions in order to prepare, instruct and instill discipline in those citizens for work in the community". But more than this the Deed of Foundation states further that "The College shall be structured on the concept of life-long learning, and shall also provide teaching and training programs … including by distance learning and other programs which are imparted by any effective means and from any suitable place ..." The role of the Library in supporting the teaching program of different courses in all the Institutes is clear and follows the model that conventional libraries have had in the past. However the emphasis being made on life-long learning and education through any effective means and from any suitable place clearly implies that the conventional class room based teaching is not to be the sole method used by MCAST to reach its aim. The model where somebody who knows everything (the teacher / lecturer / demonstrator) explains and imparts knowledge to somebody else who knows nothing or much less (the apprentice / student) is evolving into one where learners are assuming greater responsibility for their own learning. The library have the role of providing the means where students and staff (these too need to embrace life-long learning) can learn on their own and can be guided on how to master the skills of independent learning. The library as a necessary requirement provides as broad and deep a range of information in all its formats and from all sources as MCAST can afford and secondly make this information readily available. The library also provides information literacy services which could be as simple as clear library signage, a well designed and presented library web-site and on-line catalogue, short library tours to longer courses of instructions on library use. Moreover we provide individual and group assistance, especially through the MCAST Information & Support and Basic Skills Units. This is the main reason why we are calling our library a Library and Learning Resource Centre. We want to emphasize the twin concepts of life-long learning and ownership of the learning process.
Library and Learning Resource Centre Manager
Last Updated: 29/08/2007