For a number of years University College Cork Library has been facilitating Transition Year Students and their schools in their Work Experience programmes.
This has been a really successful outreach initiative for the library and has positively raised the profile of the library in UCC and the Cork region. It has also been a beneficial experience for the TY students and their schools. But, as coordinator for this programme I noticed over the years that there has been a distinct under representation of students from Deis Schools* applying to do their work experience with us.
For the 2018/2019 term UCC Library, in the spirit of inclusivity, decided to tackle this under-representation and to actively encourage Deis Schools students to apply do their work experience with us.
This paper will briefly touch on why UCC Library facilitates TY students and gives them the opportunity to do their work experience with us in UCC Library. It will contend it is important for libraries to do this as part of their outreach programme.
But in the main it will talk about why and how we went about addressing the under representation of TY students from Deis Schools. It will talk about how we liaised with Cork Deis schools and a number of UCC departments to offer TY students the most positive and beneficial first experience of work and college life that we can.
It will report on the experience of the students themselves and what it means to them. It will outline what our programme involves and, finally, it will provide some general take away tips and guidelines I have learned from coordinating the programme.
* Deis schools are schools considered educationally disadvantaged with children often at risk of not completing an education programme due to financial or social hardship.