Learning in Libraries
A Case Study of a Learning Groups Journey
From Digital Photography Course to Self Organised Learning – Pershore Library
As a group we first met in January, 2010 when as individuals we attended an initial 'Digital
Photography' for beginners' course.
Although we were all resident in or around the Pershore/Worcester area we were all from
different backgrounds of differing academic ability and of varying experience in the subject
matter of digital photography.
Throughout the course we developed our individual skills while forming common bonds as a
group. This was due in no small part to the leadership of the tutor Tony Robson-Dyer who
was able to draw the best out of the group through his pleasant, informal but instructional and
enthusiastic tutoring style. In addition to the time devoted to the theory of digital photography,
Tony also organised and participated in a number of outside 'on location' photographic
sessions throughout which he was readily available (both on location and whilst at home) for
practical help and advice.
The nucleus of our initial group progressed onto the Digital Photography Improvers Course
that commenced on 10 April 2010. There is no doubt that the new members joining the
course enriched even further the dynamics of the group. In addition to keenly participating in
the theoretical side of the subject, the group, of their own volition, organised a number of
outside photographic sessions. These extra curriculum sessions were technically outside the
time and remit of the course but never the less, we were again always accompanied by Tony
Robson-Dyer who gave up his own time (and no doubt some financial expense) to join the
group and offer help and advice as appropriate.
At the end of the Improvers Course it was the members of the group themselves who
identified a further training need and as a consequence we made an approach for additional
training to be provided specifically to concentrate on the 'digital image enhancement' aspect
of digital photography. We are now approximately half way through this 10-week course.
Outside location photo-shoots have been planned by the group and we have collectively
joined an on-line photo-sharing website where we have registered as a photographic club. A
number of members have successfully entered photographs into local competitions and have
also had their photographs feature in local newspapers.
Finally, it has to be said that the Pershore library have been extremely receptive hosts and
have provided an ideal learning environment for the courses. The Library Manager
particularly has made us very welcome and has facilitated the courses with great
commitment. It is clear that Pershore library personnel demonstrate genuine commitment to
the local community. This is exampled by the fact that there will shortly be an exhibition at the
library of our group's photographs.
A G Stanley