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LILAC 2011

Posted by sarahw9 on 5 May, 2011

LILAC logoI was able to get to the third day of LILAC Conference 2011 (Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) this year held in London on the final day at the LSE.  I’ve put down the main points I picked up from some of the sessions I attended.

Does information literacy have a future? Geof Walton & Alison Pope.

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that people are concerned about their future in an economic climate of cuts that this session was so well attended.  Geof Walton modelled a session on enquiry based learning by giving us all a set of questions to discuss in small groups and report back.

It was a discursive session that covered a lot of ground, here is a selection of the type of issues that all the groups came up with:

- How do we manage the expectations and perceptions about the library and information of various groups; from students to academics / researchers to admin staff.
– How to make more connections to get more timely training/ teaching into student’s courses.
– Information Literacy as a birthright, related to literacy in general being able to read. Its not a luxury but a life skill.
– Need to be able to demonstrate the positive outcomes.
– Teach alongside academics so they can contextualise information literacy skills.
 
Geof Walton emphasised the need for research informed teaching, and enquiry based learning. Information literacy is the scaffolding to enquiry and it can blend with technology supported learning.

Information Literacy beyond 2.0. Peter Godwin
Peter Godwin had trouble getting any sound for his video clips, but that didn’t matter as he is direct and entertaining enough without needing to resort to videos.  He favours big global themes and here are a few he mentioned:

- Web 2.0 is old now, but actually no one knew what it was.  Its settled down but not gone away and we are all influenced by it.  Students don’t know what web 2.0 is although they experience and use it themselves all the time.
– We are heading for an increasingly mobile and social world and that won’t change. Our job is to accommodate to that.
– There are early adopters and slow adopters.  People don’t change quickly.  We can watch the early adopters and watch from their mistakes.
– The nerds are a minority.  Most young people use tools but don’t have a techie understanding of them.
– Younger generation are not good at sharing and neither are academics / researchers or librarians.  We need to reallocate the time we have and change the way we behave and work.
– Only when you try to write something for wikipedia do you realise how difficult it is.

He had some engaging thoughts on information literacy, for instance it has been ‘pampered’ by its attachment to academia, he suggested we should be thinking of it in the context of transliteracy.  This made me think that information literacy as we know it is based almost entirely on textual information rather than visual or audio.  We are dealing with increasingly multimedia information for instance from the familiar such as video to emerging technologies for instance Mike Matas; A news generation digital book and augmented reality / virtual reality.  New media is in perpetual development but on a day to day basis our students need help dealing with old media and communication tools.  Perhaps the gap between the two is where we come in at present.

This links in with Jesus Lau’s keynote speech on the UNESCO project to develop international indicators of information literacy. He has been developing this alongside folk from the media world to develop Media Information Literacies.  The focus is on everyday experience for instance access to news media rather than academic information. The competencies are based on how these intertwine

Information Literacy of Health Students: assessment and interventions. Lana V. Ivanitskaya

Led by faculty member who is not a librarian Lana Ivanitskaya is an academic in industrial / work psychology.  She designs tests such as personality tests and has to assess them.

Her first point was that competencies are not just knowledge and skills but also attitudes and beliefs.  If you only focus on the skills you will miss a lot.  Students own knowledge of their skills gaps is a familiar scenario for librarians. First year students think there is nothing you can teach them (often), PhD students seem to have the opposite attitude.  Lana Ivanitskaya described the RRSA (research readiness self-assessment) online survey which includes tasks such as evaluating websites and application of knowledge.   The survey includes ‘soft’ questions which assess the students’ beliefs as well as their results and they have found this is very predictive of their level of attainment.

The RRSA survey also found some interesting differences between students and experts at information skills. They found experts better and that students overestimated their skills.  In fact the experts under estimated their skill the more expert they were. 

Lana stated that students still find how to do research hard and are not taught how to do it.  She compared the number and quality of references cited in student papers between those who had completed the RRSA and those that had gone through library information literacy training.  She found that the impact of library teaching was three times better than the RRSA, but that the students preferred doing the RRSA and were more willing to do it.

So the message? Lana wondered if we should focus more on online training.  Without seeing in detail what either the RRSA consisted of compared to the library training its hard to say of course.  Perhaps its down to the old messages of getting to the students at the right time and place and using the right voice.

Knotworking as a means to strengthen information skills of research groups.  Elija Nevalainen & Kati Suvalahit.

Finding new ways to connect with colleagues across campus that work isn’t always easy.  At the University of Helsinki they had success using ‘Knotworking’ a way of working developed by one of their academics, Professor Yrjö Engeström.  The process brings together different groups from across the organisation to work more quickly and less hierarchically than team structures.  ‘Knots’ are formed to find solutions to specific problems, and the problem they wanted to address was how to re engage with researchers. 

Here is my summary of what they found:

- Research groups think information literacy is for the good but they have no time to do it, its best aimed at Masters students.
– Information skills still important to research groups are; bibliographic tools, searching databases, current awareness, obtaining material you can’t get locally, establishing networks of contacts, organising references, consulting library staff. 

Interestingly the librarians learnt that their changing role put them in the same boat as the researchers, and they learnt a lot about the researchers from this project. The project also had the unexpected effect of gelling together the researchers as a group.  The project reinforced the value of personal networks and working with user groups. Working with researchers as equals also had a beneficial effect on the library staff who developed greater confidence in working in emerging subjects and services they don’t yet have expertise in.  These themes are not new of course, but success in developing a change in culture is something often dreamed of but not realised.

Posted in CILIP, Digital Strategy & Website, Service Delivery, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Health Libraries Group Conference 2010

Posted by sarahw9 on 21 July, 2010

The Lowry, Salford QuaysI’ve just returned from my first ever Health Libraries Group conference in Manchester, well, Manchester was in the conference title, although we were told in no uncertain terms from a local that the conference location The Lowry is in fact in the city of Salford.

 I admit at first I was a bit concerned this was going to be too NHS-y for my job, but there was more than enough that was relevant to academic libraries, although I didn’t meet many folk who weren’t employed by the NHS.

 I doubt anyone wants to read a summary of all of the sessions I attended especially when you will soon be able to download the presentation yourself from  the conference website, so I’ve made a summary of points that caught my eye.  You can also read the tweets from the HLG conference searching under #hlg2010. 

Elearning vs Face to face training

Two very different messages came from  two presentations on teaching information literacy to nursing students and practicing nurses.  Mark Raynor & Alison Brettle from the University of Salford showed us the results of their study comparing the effectiveness of face to face training sessions with training that was entirely online.  They found no difference in the results or skills retention of both groups, although a vocal minority just did not like the elearning approach.  I admit in general I would rather learn something from a person telling me than from online instruction, and I’m convinced I remember more.  Whether that’s just a personal preference or an illusion that I remember more is another matter of course.  That could just be me slipping into pre web 2 mode.  If online learning is well designed and it’s a process you follow through rather than just a list of instructions then perhaps its just as good.

Tatjana Petrinic from the University of Oxford spoke about how the popularity of their generic training for nurses (in practice not students) had fallen off, but that 1 to 1 training was very popular – to the point that they no longer have to advertise it, nurses contact them for training.  This has developed into supporting nurses to publishing. They cover literature searching, referencing, complying with the journal style.  Nurses don’t get this kind of advice elsewhere and Tatjana said as a group nurses are very supportive of each other in the process (compared to other professions which will remain nameless).

I think where done well, face to face training can offer more support for people who are unconfident and who prefer a more human approach.  In reality where there are large numbers of students involved well designed elearning can do the job very well, but I can’t help thinking it always helps if you have a friendly face you can ask. 

What are librarians good for?

Two thought provoking presentations by Lyn Robinson and Andrew Booth , whilst very different, came to the similar conclusion that its not so much ‘technical’ skills such as information retrieval that librarians can offer which is unique, as an approach to seeing the bigger picture to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge either across organisations or from creator to user.  Andrew Booth started with the memorable finding made by Paul Glasziou that the longer doctors practised the less effective they were (they don’t keep up to date?), and had wondered whether this could also apply to librarians.  Are the experienced over confident and novices under confident about what they can do? Another perhaps less surprising observation Andrew found in the literature was  a study that concluded that more experienced staff (not necessarily librarians or doctors) tend to have a more ‘passive implementation of the curriculum’ than novices, in other words they are less inclined to innovate (I presume that’s what is meant).  I’m not sure a total novice is always keen to innovate, unless they are completely foolhardy, but perhaps there is somewhere in between.

Reinforcing the original point about the use of librarians was Emily Hopkin’s presentation on how she set up a library service (or rather an information service) with no physical library or stock at NHS North West.  She went about all the informal ways of gathering information about the organisation going to meetings, talking to people in corridors, finding out what was going on.  She discovered all sorts of places where people had information needs she could help with.  Unsurprisingly she found people had little understanding of what a library service is beyond books in a room and that asking people what they wanted was not the most fruitful approach.  To show what she could do she sent them information she knew they needed based on her ‘spying’, and before long they were sending her requests for more work. She found the thing people most wanted was for her to do internet research where they simply don’t have the time or they want a more comprehensive search.  This sounds like great practice; going to grass roots to find out what people are actually doing , and providing a valuable service they never knew they could have.  Its just as relevant to academics libraries as anywhere else.  I think us subject librarians could learn a lot here, in particular with supporting research or even supporting not only the academics but all sorts of administrative staff.  Of course we have known all this for years, but implementing it seems to be another matter.  I had a similar job for PricewaterhouseCoopers (doing internet research / enquires for their staff and writing summaries, briefings and current awareness bulletins), and that was over 10 years ago.

 Other highlights:

Critical Appriasal teaching: Michelle Madden showed  us her excellent wiki for supporting librarians teaching critical appraisal.  She had surveyed attitudes to teaching CA and found three quarters of librarians think they should teach it, but despite the majority having had training that only one third actually do train others.  There were some organisations barriers to this, but often it was down to lack of confidence in knowledge of statistics and medicine.  She has set up a support wiki CATNiP – Critical Appraisal Tookit Navigating into Practice which includes lots of support material include preappraised articles.  I’ve requested access to this site, which I hope I get as it all looks very useful. 

LibraryThing – to update core collections: Helene Gorring and Helen Buckley Woods are using LibraryThing to update the core collections of books for medical libraries, the mental health version is the first they have tackled.  It’s a great idea to do this collaboratively and get direct input from everyone, so get inputting and rating here:  http://www.librarything.com/catalog/corecollection

The Health Informaticist  and collaborative blogging: Alan Fricker and Hanna Lewin talked about their experience of producing their collaborative blog The Health Informaticist.  Unlike our very own collaborative blog, the four writers come from different settings within health information  (a charity, hospital library, governmental body and a private company).  Perhaps we could claim though to have very different specialisms even if we all work for the same organisation.  It was interesting to see another very different collaborative blog in a related field of interest.  On a purely trivial note I did think to myself its time we improved the look of our blog – unless the strictly functional style is what we prefer.

And finally… 

Thanks HLG  I enjoyed this event.  There were lots of useful practical things I could take away, and that’s not just the free pens and post-it notes.

Posted in CILIP, Collection management, Research Support, Service Delivery, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Ejournal investment and academic productivity

Posted by gazjjohnson on 21 July, 2009

There’s an intriguing article in the July issue of CILIP update (Does e-journal investment lead to greater academic productivity by Rowlands, Nicholas and Jubb, CILIP Update, July p45-47).  This comes at exactly the time that we, and many other universities, are looking closely at the journals we subscribe to.  Here we are very lucky as we’re in the privileged position of keeping our subscriptions, and just adjusting the titles according to academic demand.  But I know many colleagues elsewhere are not so fortunate.

So I was quite interested to see what conclusions the three authors reached.  Interesting facts I spotted in their study include:

  • In 06/7 on average each registered HE library user downloaded 47 full text articles
  • 3/4 of journal access is 9-5, though Saturday/Sunday are also almost as active in terms of access
  • Oct-Nov is the busiest season for downloads (a suprise) with September the quietest (pre-term start not the best time for research)
  • Access in increasingly via third parties (e.g. Google Scholar) rather than via institutional ejournal access pages (e.g. like Leicester E-link)
  • Average age of articles accessed varies between disciplines (3-4 years old for bioscience, typically 8 years for History)
  • Life Scientists are biggest user of ejournals over all, Economists work more on Weekends than others and Historians are the biggest users of Google as access route (?!)
  • Average download cost (calculated from total cost of 06/07 subscriptions) was 80p

In the end the study concludes that yes, ejournals do represent good value for money, and that “per capita expenditure and uses of e-journals strongly correlated with numbers of papers published, of PhD awards, and of research grants and contracts income.”  Interestingly though they end with a question: does good ejournal provision enable an effective research environment, or does a strong research environment create the need for good library services?

An interesting question that this paper from Oppenheim and Stuart (Is there a correlation between investment in an academic library and a higher education institution’s ratings in the Research Assessment Exercise? Aslib Proceedings 2004 56(3), 156-165) has already considered.  Their findings (in brief) seemed to indicate that there is a correlation between spending more money on access to research publications and better research assessment outcomes.  Does that mean better research?  Well, I’m not one to judge.  But a question we shall doubtless come to again as the REF 2013 comes slowly into view.

Either or both of these areticles are worth a read if you get the chance.

Posted in CILIP, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

CILIP Umbrella 2009 (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 17 July, 2009

After a good breakfast the final day of the conference began with more breakout sessions.

Maltesers mean answers: a sweeter service for students based on user feedback: Angela Horrocks & Davina Omar, Kingston University.
Kingston University talked about their annual survey run every March for many years by the library with a chance to win Wii or Ipod, but maltesers for everyone. The incentive was small but drew in a good number of students. This survey is in addition to national student survey, but helps gets them in the answering frame of mind to complete the major one. The library survey fills a very important need that the NSS doesn’t cover, for both students and library services. Having a clear purpose for the survey is very important, as otherwise the risk of the students getting survey fatigue could be high. Kingston focus on how students learn and this is the U.S.P. of the survey. Knowing the paths students use to access (e.g. mboile/vle etc) is very important in shaping how and what they teach to students, something I thought was especially interesting.

In terms of resources Kingston use software bought in from Priority Research, allowing their customisation, to handle the survey online along with the analysis. There are some issues

  1. The silent majority (10% return on population) and so worries over accurate representation.
  2. Contacting non-users → how to approach them
  3. Setting the questions → to be open and not drive students down a particular route.

In terms of staffing, need to give the staff the time and the top down support to do the user survey. Have to be prepared to trust the outcome – if students make a demand clear, need to respond appropriately. Kingston suggested you might need to think about quotas – departments, levels, ages or other demographic factors that you want to achieve in returns for appropriate representation. Thinking about how/why you might want to include as many of these as you can. Early surveys (1993) very much targeted at specific user groups, thought to be especially disadvantaged or in need. Yearly surveys since early 90s allow trends and rising (and reducing) priorities for student bodies to be clearly demonstrated.

In 2008 reintroduced 1-2-1 interviews on top of focus groups and surveys. A dozen done to test the waters, as an approach to non-users. Also now do additional focus groups at start of academic year to test early responses to changes put in place. Worry survey is contributing to sample already engaging users rather than non-users. 100 1-2-1s done in 2009 – gave a good snap shot of individual user experiences, rather than anonymised, average student point of vein. Survey moved to online this last year (partly environmental) but also reinvent survey (at least look and feel) – still offer maltesers to those that come to bank of computers. Comments and response from previous year’s survey included in next year’s, so the students can see how library has reacted. Drawbacks include lack of benchmarking with external entities, survey fatigue

The changing landscape of libraries: Tim Leach, BDP
This session was about buildings and architectural considerations. Tim said that library user needs strictly speaking haven’t changed in centuries, light and study space for example, just the ways in which we use technologies and building designs to accommodate them. As technology allows users to work in other places than our library spaces, we have to ensure that our spaces continue to meet their needs and make a welcoming environment they want to visit. The UCL masterplan takes the inherent problems with their historic building and tries to provide as many solutions within a limited rebuild. The key issue was space – due to earlier renovations over the years the original building space is not what it was. There is a need for positive first impression from the first moment walking through door. The building must be legible and accessible, the use signage as a sign of failure (not a point I agree with 100%).

Architectural furniture and fixtures define use of areas, and are not flexible but are suitable for certain environments (e.g. where levels of privacy is desirable). However, they can be a block to interaction between different spaces. Natural light and ventilation provide an environment that can be comfortable for most people. Use technology to change way materials stored and accessed, not just treating shelving as the only answer. Even get people on roofs of buildings by building structures into the environment that surrounds them.

The great good place Andrew Cranfield, IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section
Library as the third place (between home and work) was the theme of Andrew’s talk. Library environment and impact of the building resign on staff functions – the two are not independent and need to be considered together. Commented that many libraries today remain too conservative in their redesigns. Monopoly of information provision from libraries is now gone, and must address other approaches to provide services to users. Ambitious libraries (buildings) today seem to reflect new ways of thinking – no longer temple of knowledge to stand for generations but a right here/right now environment with more akin to the retail experience. Non-compartmentalisation of environments – books and café culture should be intertwined (e.g. like the idea stores).

Cerritos Public Library has a books entrance way and 1.2 million visitors/year for tiny local population. Andrew talked of his distaste for elitist colour schemes (black and white starkness) much better to have welcoming colours. Very, very white buildings in 6 months need repainting (e.g. Amsterdam central library). Cultural Black Diamond in Copenhagen – no feeling coming into library, almost too far the other way as a cultural centre, but not a library at all.

Libraries Change Lives Awards
The most interesting part of the awards was that the news of the winners (Leeds Central Libraries) was out on twitter 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony.  Andrew Motion spoke briefly too.

Building a successful library Web 2 service James Smith (Sunderland Libraries) and Nick Stopforth (Newcastle Libraries)

The session was based on things they have done and have learned through trial and error. They shared with us their 7 lessons (well 5 as they over ran and the session ended before they could finish) they have learned through using Web 2 resources such as twitter, wikis, podcasting etc. They did demonstrate a very interesting mashup with Google maps, World War II bombing maps of Sunderland and eye witness accounts of the bombing. The session was mostly full of public librarians, who are it seems less clued up than HE libraries on this sort of technology and how/where it can fit into their working lives (3/4 of the audience had not even heard of twitter for example).

That brought the conference to an end. It had been a packed two days, and I would have loved an extra day either before or after to more fully digest everything that had been discussed. The highs would have to include my session, the networking and the updating of information and skills in general. The lows, well the “gala” conference dinner, lack of hands on sessions and only two days for a very intensive conference. All the same I hope to be back for 2011!

Posted in CILIP, Staff training, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CILIP Umbrella 2009 (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 16 July, 2009

This Tuesday and Wednesday I went down to CILIP Umbrella for the biennial all UK libraries conference. I always enjoy this particular event, as it’s a real chance to meet librarians from across a board spectrum of sectors; not just HE or FE. It’s never heavily populated by HE librarians which I think is an especial shame as I’ve always benefited from the very different insights.   Nearly 700 delegates were registered to attend!

Umbrella has 9 parallel tracks as well as keynote sessions, which means it’s impossible for any one person to attend it all. So what follows is part 1 (or 2) of my notes of the sessions that I was in. I make no claims to completeness (nor lack of bias) but I hope it gives you a flavour of the event, and maybe perhaps guides you towards attending in 2011.

Umbrella delegates gather

Tuesday morning shortly after 10am saw the conference was opened by the CILIP President and Ian Snowly. This was followed by the keynote.

Charles N Brown: Not evolutionary revolutionary (plenary) from Charlotte NC.

Talked about public
Library service and their aspirations, and how they met them in terms of improving library services. Rated 5* and regarded as one of the top in the USA. Saw his role a there to shake things up and people out of their silos. Staff engagement was a detailed part of the efforts to organisational transformation, with about 20% of the whole staff were directly involved. Their buy in was critical for real transformation and their knowledge and experience of what worked and what didn’t was crucial for planning. Also looked to retail sector (e.g. Target) for models that could be used in terms of customer satisfaction, service delivery, marketing and opening new markets. Untapped talent in organisation needed to be tapped, even if the standard requirements for a post are not met (e.g. masters in librarianship) – STAR Behavioural Interviewing. Lots of updates (weekly) to staff on what was going on, brown bag lunches with service director, intranet pages as well as formal meetings as well. Though this still didn’t defeat all of the rumour mill. He ended with a couple of personal favourite quotes “Change should be as common as breakfast cereal” and “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

After the session I attempted to get onto wireless network, but looks like once again the Linux based netbook is excluded by HE wireless networks. Eduroam does seem to have issues with Xandros and wireless access, as this is second location I’ve had issues. Yet at Huddersfield the week before, no problems.

After tea it was the breakout sessions.

Captive audiences – adding value in FE audiences (out of my silo): Susan Tailby, Eastleigh College
This session focussed on FE audiences (14-19 year olds)– looking to build up students experiences during college time, and what they can to enhance this experience. One example was taking lessons from book shops. Covered graphic novels and film tie ins as an example of engaging readers. Use reading groups or virtual groups to draw customers.

ID target groups as first step. Start as a pilot, easier to start small. Requirements such as wanting users to listen to CDs may well mean new kit is needed; or possibly just more than you’ve had in the past. Also need to think about what do you do once a particular engagement or activity is over – you’ll have to store resources for example. Need to think about space and disruption to other users from activities, though at the same time can draw in passing people who might not otherwise have joined.

For ESOL Reading Groups the key is to build in time for reflection in any engagement activities – which I thought was a good point, too often much of what we teach is in a deliver and move on paradigm. The speaker moved on to talk about the Six book challenge aimed at adult learners. Noted libraries can be scary for those with poor English. Be creative, build relationships, build self-esteem of students and work collaboratively with librarians in other sectors.

Reading takes the biscuit (Kathryn Harrison and Judith Robinson) Kirklees Council, library services
Major USP was adaptability to users → get involved by making sure the sessions were available at times and locations to suit as many people as possible. Summer 2006 was the pilot scheme – welcome new users in informally and getting them to met staff. Ensured that they wanted to come back on their own. The Birkby Fartown group leaders worried about how to engage with the readers. They worried that making them talk from day one could be difficult, so refocussed on hands on activities to start with and let the speaking grow organically from that.

In the first case this was sewing. They needed a lot of support, but thanks to collaborations with the local school this was very successful – and ended up winning an ALW award for the work.

They have also made a key part of their engagement local sponsorship with people including local football and biscuit company. Lack of captive audience means they spend more time trying to get people together. It is time consuming building partnerships and relationships initially; but in the long run this pays back in strong relationships and easier future collaboration. It also helps in terms of proving value of service, due to the wider number of stakeholders able to speak out about the value the library service has added to their activities,

It seemed from this the message I could take back to HE is that if you want to engage with the users you need to go out to them and engage at a time and place that suits them. This doesn’t work easily with current working practices and would require a rethink of how and why we do things.

Conference meal venueAfter more tea I ran my workshop on visual communication. It was a very hands on affair, since as an activist learner I believe others need to get stuck in as well, and went down very well. Certainly for the rest of the conference other delegates kept coming up to me and saying how they’d heard all about my great workshop and wished they’d gone!

The evening meal at the Hendon Airforce Museum was an interesting affair (great surroundings, ok meal, terrible after dinner speaker) but with great company and excellent networking. I’ll draw a veil over the karaoke that followed. Sleep beckoned before the second and final day of the conference…

Twitter feeds from the conference #cilipumbrella #umb #umbrella09 #umb09

Posted in CILIP, Staff training, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Showdown at the KO Corral

Posted by gazjjohnson on 22 April, 2009

It might not have escaped your notice in recent months, but there’s been a Web 2.0 storm brewing twix CILIP and some of the more vocal Web 2.0/social networking proponents in the sector. No, sadly not me – I’m more garrulous than vocal.  It all stems from an original posting by CILIP Chief Exec Bob McKee All of a Twitter, which by now more than eleventy million people have commented on (well, close).    Well known tech evangelist and sci-fi fan Phil Bradley crafted the most marvellous reply which about the same number of people (yours truly among them) commented on.

It has rather illustrated to myself at least, an organisation that is supposed to be leading on information and communication rather getting stuck in the past.  And this at a time when CILIP’s long term future is ever in doubt, given the state of its finances.  I think it would be a real shame if this were to be the lemming onto the bonnet that sent the CILIPmobile hurtling over the cliff.  I’ve got a lot out of my engagement with the membership and the executive team down in London over the years, and it would leave a bit of a void in my professional life.

But not an irreplaceable one.  Given my networks on Facebook, twitter and in real life that I have available there are already many (in some cases more relevant and immediate) ways in which I get my professional support, training, advocacy and development. 

However, to give CILIP its due, they have rallied and invited Phil, along with Brain Kelly, to address their Council and interested parties in open session on the 29th April.  I’d love to be there, but the chances of getting work to stump up hundred plus quid for a two hour afternoon discussion session are somewhere between “none” and “less than zero”.  There isn’t a live Web feed (for shame!) but at least they have announced a hashtag(#CILIP2) for the event; so the twitter enabled will be able to tell us more.  I’ve already marked the date in my diary and will be following the developments withinterest (and probably making the odd comment myself).  As I know one or two CILIP folk who are already tweeting (huzzah) I hope there will be a good steady feed of information for those of us out here in the barren wilderness beyond the M25…

Posted in CILIP, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CILIP Editorial Panel Meeting*

Posted by gazjjohnson on 4 November, 2008

On Friday 31st I went down to London for the second of my trips to CILIPHQ.  This time it was for the first meeting of the new Editorial Panel, which has replaced the old and more formal Editorial Board earlier this year. 

It was an interesting meeting, very much of two halves.  The morning was mostly given over to reports from the Gazetteand Updateeditorial team, with the older hands weighing in from time to time.  As a newbie I kept uncharacteristically quiet, as I was still working out the social dynamics of the 17 other people in the room.  Perhaps a few too many, but the idea is to have representation from all library sectors and apparently the old Board suffered from far too few members.  As it was after lunch we kicked off into a more chatty part of the meeting as the ice had well and truly melted, and naturally I got my oar in at every available moment.

One of the most interesting debates was around the new digital Edition of Update, which looks like it will be having additional content over and above the print addition.  In part this is to drive traffic to the site, but it also is intended as a member benefit; since the issue is only visible to logged in CILIP members.

Part of my role on the panel, as well as using my expert judgement to feedback on each issue, is to seek comments and suggestions from the wider library community. I came away with a series of questions and action points, some of which I pushed out onto Twitter during the meeting.   In case you’re not Twittered up here are the main questions:

  • What are the hot issues that should be tackled?
  • What themes should issues focus on? We’ve had RFID, JISC and Health of late.
  • Who should be writing articles in Update?
  • Did you know who was on the cover of November 2008 without looking inside?
  • Does Update use too much “in-house language” and should more effort be made to demystify acronyms used?

Usefully I’ve come back with a load of extra copies of recentissues, which I’ve left in the staff room to share the CILIP news a bit further.  So in

The meeting ended with a plea for contributions to the Update blog, whichI confess I’d forgotten to look at for a few weeks – stop by if you get the chance – though worth noting that unlike the Communities part of the site the blog is actually open access – something I wholeheartedly support.  So anyone can read it, though you do need to be logged in as a member to actually comment. 

Oh and did you all spot the picture/quote from me in the latest copy of Gazette?  Personally I think I look grumpy…

*You know with a super-exciting post title like that, that this entry is just going to be crammed full of interesting stuff; don’t you?

Posted in CILIP, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Paying for your region

Posted by gazjjohnson on 5 August, 2008

I see CILIP’s asking via its Special Interest Groups and Branches for feedback on their new funding model.  At the mo you get your regional branch bundled in, two free special interest groups and then you pay for any extra groups.  Due to CILIP’s financial situation this can’t stand, and so following the flat-fee this year, they’re now proposing options that mean you get two free groups OR branches.

Funding for SIGs and Branches is going to be based on the level of membership they have, plus a flat fee.

I think this might not be brilliant for regional branches, who don’t have that great a visibility within the sector – certainly not as great as SIGs have.  It’s been said time and again that librarians associate with their SIGs more than their region, which in many respects is a real shame.  Certainly the East-Midlands Branch has been doing some good stuff, certainly over the years I’ve been here – conferences and the like across the sectors.  Sadly I think they’re one of the better ones, and may well get tarred with the same brush as the others.

So if you’re on lis-usr (or one of the other group lists) and want to make your voice heard on this – reply to the Group Chairs with your opinions.

Posted in CILIP | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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