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USTLG November Meeting: Supporting Research

Posted by selinalock on 1 December, 2014

On the 26th November 2014 I attended and spoke at the University Science & Technology Librarians (USTLG) winter meeting on supporting research at Aston University. The last time I attended a USTLG meeting was in 2012 when I spoke about our re-structure into a Teaching and Learning team, a Research Support Team and a Special Collections/Digital Humanties team, and I was juts about to start my post as a Research Information Advisor.

This time I updated attendees on what had happened since the restructure and how the Research Services team had developed, and took #OAowl along for company:

#OAowl on the train to Birmingham

#OAowl on the train to Birmingham

The line-up for the day was:
Research Bites – researcher training programme
Georgina Hardy & Clare Langman
Aston University

  • Subject librarians with research support as part of their remit.
  • Research Bites – every lunchtime in July/August, 15-30mins sessions.
  • Record audio & slides to make available.
  • Used EventBrite for bookings & to keep stats on attendance.
  • Advertsie via lots of methods e.g. new bulletin, direct emails, flyers/posters to Depts, posters in library, in email sigs.
  • LibGuides to gather recordings.
  • Options to stay after talk to try  things out hands-on (in the lovely library training room where we had the meeting!)

Raising Your Research Profile – training programme
Linda Norbury & Judith Hegenbarth
University of Birmingham

  • Research support group to oversee research training within the library, run by subject librarians/group.
  • Tried out research support (ideas sessions) on Publication strategies, Open Access, Bibliometrics & Social Media on subject librarians first – helps upskill library staff.
  • Good feedback and led to other sessions/contacts, but need to review and expand in future.
  • Raising your research profile webpages.

Developing a blended learning approach to literature searching support for PhD students
Jenny Coombs & Liz Martin
De Montfort University

  • Compulsory lit searching module for PhD students as part of the Graduate School training programme.
  • Moved to an online approach – students can choose online module + face-to-face sessions or online only (depending on if they can visit campus)
  • Involves all subject librarians in the feedback part of the module – where students fill in a lit searching form to show what they have understood of the module.

Consultancy, bitesize and training – how Northumbria supports researchers
Suzie Kitchin
Northumbria University

  • Provide free advice and help with literature searching for all researchers, but also provide a charged literature searching service for funded projects that wish the library to undertake the literature search for them – charged at research librarian pay rate per hour.
  • research development week – feedback that it’s a good brand that is seen as targeted directly at researchers.
  • Use an online tutorial that is a pre-requisite to face-to-face teaching to ensure everyone is on the same level.
  • Skillsplus – online learning repository – includes all researcher materials – all online tutorials/learning objects are bitesized.

Supporting researchers – then and now
Selina Lock
University of Leicester

JISC Open Access Pathfinder project
Linda Kerr
Heriot-Watt University

  • Research Support Librarian – remit to run repositories and support open access publishing.
  • Offers advice, co-ordination, writes policies, support to staff in schools.
  • OA fund devolved to schools who deal with APCs.

 

Applying systematic review methodology from Health to other Science disciplines
Beth Hall
University of  Bangor

  • Supports systematic reviews in medicine/health care but found a growing demand for using thouse methods in other subjects such as ecology and software engineering.
  • Bangor Evidence Synthesis Hub (BESH) – Application of review methods and processes to different and interdependent contexts such as health, social care, environment, conservation.
  • Issues with applying methods to other areas – no one database to model search on (e.g. Medline in medicine), search functionality lacking in databases, no subject terms, no register of systematic reviews in non-medical areas.
  • Centre for evidence Based Conservation

 

You can access copies of the presentations on the USTLG website.

Tweets from the day: USTLG November 14 Storify (header seems to feature #OAowl)

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Posted in Meetings, Open Access, Research Support, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Training, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

USTLG Spring 2012 Meeting – Being a Science/Engineering Librarian

Posted by selinalock on 4 September, 2012

A very, very late report on the Spring meeting that I attended and spoke at, which was held at the University of Newcastle.

Although the main theme of the event was sharing experiences of being a science and engineering librarian, some other loose themes emerged becoming embedded vs becoming generic, and the way the profession has/is changing.

Being a subject librarian – Changes to the Profession

So, what does it mean to be a subject librarian? Jenny Campbell, Newcastle University

– Recognise how our jobs are changing – teaching, marketing, web guru
– Allowed to develop more things on OA & Endnote.
– Different ways of teaching, larger groups, lectures with drop-ins
– Research support growing – workshops at Faculty level (50-60hrs to PhD students) + need to do more
– Using social media & have some engagement
– Student surveys for refurbishment of library = more study space, quiet areas, more books, power supply at every desk, more IT…

The Environment and Technology librarian: a new professional’s perspective, making the role your own, Emma Illingworth, University of Brighton

– Know my students, researchers, school staff, academics, subjects
– Social networking on the student/staff community networking site
– Twitter for the subjects – but are the students on there? Professionals are on there but students prefer FB. Are there better ways of engaging?
– Little funky business cards to give to staff & students
– Mainly a L&T role & has become embedded in some modules
– Info skills in each year – need a clear path through the modules
– Tried various ways of delivering teaching – for some groups need to change activities to keep attention
– Email before session to online noticeboard to ask what they want out of session – works well for some groups & not others
– Working collaboratively with academics & sharing successes
– Helped with open day & it was pointed out as a unique selling point to students = their own librarian
– Future – wants to be an embedded librarian

From Soviet Studies to Science and Engineering, Jenny Brine, Lancaster University

– 40 years of librarianship, but only science for a few years
– 1st degree in Russian & first post was running library for Russian & East European Studies = Essential to have language skills, hard to find reliable information, embedded/worked closely with research staff, encouraged to do a PhD, specialised, treated as member of research team and found researchers didn’t want to share data until after they were published,
– Moved to Aberdeen & started teaching IL skills (just didn’t realise that they were called IL, but had been compiling bibliographies for years so had the skills required) to a wide range of subjects, encouraged to do a teaching qualification, had to supervise students doing searches in many subjects – learned about how to find out about research/suject vocabularly,
– Lancaster Uni Library – started in ILL which gives you a good picture of research within the Uni plus contact with staff and students, could notice trends and suggest books for purchase.

– Learning about new subjects – informal (family), formal – colleagues, reading, web resources etc
– Read new scientist
– Support from sci & tech lib colleagues e.g. lis-medical, USTLG, courses & conferences
– Read the study skills/research skills books for subjects
– Talk to academics – get invites to meetings or to look around the Depts.

Widening Participation: building on the role of a science librarian, Tony Wilson, University of York

– Helps with Developing Independent Learning Day for schools & colleges network – aimed at 6th formers
– Library challenges = researching & evaluating info (other session on day about academic writing, campus tour & student ambassadors help with day)
– Quzzies about how library works
– Wanted to work closely with other Uni services to make the events more joined up – collaborated more & became the actual widening participation co-ordinator for Uni
– Extended projects may start to be taken into consideration for Uni admissions
– Develpoing a realising opp website at York – freely available resources
– Also work with local primary school projects – they liked the tour of the library! Done some sessions with school librarians and 10yr olds about evaluating websites
– Challenges – Doing on top of normal liaison post, need to be an all rounder, lack of clear leanining objectives from schools, maintaining discipline within classes
– Top tips – use student ambassadors, ensure clear understanding/agreement over what is being covered, keep session interactive, keep groups small
– Now have a relationship management team with WP as an area they deal with, share the workload – in future all liaison librarians will play a role.

All Change! Restructuring Academic Liaison, Selina Lock, University of Leicester

– I talked about our restructure from a team of subject librarians to a team of T&L Librarians (each with a subject remit for UG & PGT students) and a Research Support Team (each with a much wider subject remit for PGR and Researchers).

– I move into my new position supporting STEM researchers in a couple of weeks and I already know I need to learn more about/provide more support on our research archive, OA publishing, REF preparation, copyright, research data management… on top of the experience I already have in teaching literature searching and bibliographic software.

Becoming Embedded (in various ways…)

Embedding information literacy teaching within Engineering, Liz Martin, De Montfort University

– Moved from one induction slot in 2005 to sessions in induction, 1st yr, final yr UG, PG students
– Web-based Induction before students arrive & available all during their first year plus face to face induction within course induction

– 1st yr session = 2hr within design project module (e.g. design a remote controlled gutter cleaner), within report have to show evidence of research & IEEE referencing.

– Final yr UG as part as project briefings, big lecture to everyone as a refresher with the option to sign up for tutorials for more help.
– PG (MSc) – 2hr session
– How from one induction to embedding? Lots of chance opportunities, put together a Bb module for another subject & then showed it to other academics, Technology module leaders liked it, other links were forged through management boards (external examiner feedback), once referencing session in place led to other academics being interested & 1st yr engineering project session came through that, also worked with study support to introduce sessions on report formatting & do team teaching on some sessions.
– Future – a lot of teaching still ad-hoc/short notice, would prefer to be timetabled, see students every year of course, keep plugging for other subjects.

Making yourself indispensible – Science Community Librarianship, Steve Lee, University of Glamorgan

– Science, sport, chiropractice – too many subject to be traditionally embedded!
– Must be valued by our users – how?
– Make our users lives easier – if they value us they will fight to keep us
– Get out of the library – go to where users are
– Visit academic staff in their offices (on their turf) – what are their problems & work out action plan to resolve problems
– What are their problems? = time management, getting research time, dealing with students, accessing journals, searching easier on google, marking, admin takes time, keeping up to date etc
– Library matters not a priority, help solve their problems and their priorities – what makes their life easier?
– Visit your researchers & find out their interests – keep notes
– Plan individual strategies to meet needs – become valued member of support team
– Upskill users – you don’t loose value as they will come back when they need updating
– Takes time to set up e.g. new book lists & Journal ToC, but once up & running they can become automated
– Can then focus on individual problems- take ownership of problems & see it through to resolution instead of passing on to someone else
– Staff & students want fast resolutions to problems – want help now.
– E.g. staff member wanted to be able to borrow moe than 15 books – is it a resonable request? What do other institutions do? Present evidence to colleagues to increase loan limit & take it to senior management – agreed to put it up to 22 for a year – tiny amount took it up but had a few very happy academics.
– Periodically revisit staff to re-evaluate & find out about new needs.
– If you can’t solve the problems then at least they know you tried.
– In response to student need – sits in chiropractic dept at set times to help, as they are in a building away from both libraries – sit in student computer room so became another channel for helping students solve other problems too. Other people wanted same service & now done in other Depts.
– These surgeries allow you to get to know students, staff & researchers, can do work even if people don’t come, on average answer a couple of indepth queries each time, gather evidence for resources needed, only do in term time (exam times usually very quiet).

– Have to be pro-active so users cannot afford to loose you…

Hiding library training in other classes, Kirsty Thomson, Heriot-Watt University

– Students not keen on library training – think they already know it – even if they turn up they are not there in spirit.
– What do students care about? Getting their degree.
– Intro to Essay writing – biology students in wk 2+3, jointly teaching with effective learning tutor – saw in groups of 60-70 & got them to do group work looking at extracts of texts (e.g. journal, textbook, fiction, newspaper)
– Think about the style of writing, could they use it for essay, where/what did it come from, followed by group discussion on what is/isn’t appropriate for essay writing
– Fake essay extract with no references, talk about importance of referencing & got them to look at the essay to see whether they picked up where it should be referenced
– Class discussion on plagiarism – ‘is this plagiarised or not?’ slides
– 75% of class said info about referencing was useful & relevant
– Liked group work, working with examples
– Followed up by essay feedback class – essays submitted via TurnItIn – which librarian could see & based follow up on the kind of mistakes they’d made e.g. structuring, problems with referecing, using illustrations
– Made you realise what students don’t know! e.g. don’t realise a 70% mark =  a brilliant essay
– Go to meetings, volunteer for anything that is IL related, work with other services e.g. effective learning
– Needs to be relevant to student interest & worries
– Be convinced your teaching is interesting – if you’re not interested then they won’t be!
– Be careful what you call your sessions e.g. Avoiding Plagarism became ‘Copy & Paste: Just Say No!’ (only works if you remember Grange Hill!) – finally became ‘Using evidence in your essays’
– Don’t give up on an idea too quickly, but be ready to change classes if not working.
– Link to an assignment if possible
– Future: put shorter IL content into other lectures – build links to course content.

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Lecture capture

Posted by Andrew Dunn on 24 April, 2012

Tony Churchill gave a presentation at DL Forum on Tuesday 24/4/12 on lecture capture.  He talked about a project funded by Echo 360 – a supplier of lecture capture software.  The project looked at uses of lecture capture software beyond simply recording and posting lectures for students to revisit.

The project looked at taking recorded lectures and cutting them up into 15 minute snapshots which can then be used a subsequent year to support students’ learning.  The snapshots could be posted in VLEs before face-to-face lectures to provide students with background knowledge and free up time in lectures for more interaction and discussion.  Recordings of face-to-face lectures can be used to support DLs.
Short snapshots of lectures can be made publicly available and used as effective recruitment tools.

Denise Sweeny reported on a lecture capture project going on at the University of Leicester at the moment.  Using Adobe Connect and/or open source software OpenEyA (see www.openeya.org for more information) lecturers from Media and Communication and from Chemistry have captured 5 hours of UG lectures and 12 hours of PGT lectures and have posted them in Bb with no guidance or instructions on how students should use them.  This term they will measure use of the captured lectures using Bb Analytics, focus groups, an online questionnaire and extended interviews.  They want to measure how often the lectures are accessed and how students use them.  They will also gather data on student demographics and their preferred modes of study.

If you want help and advise on capturing your own teaching sessions contact Simon Kear spk7@le.ac.uk in BDRA.

Posted in Projects, Research Support, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Technology & Devices, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

ALLICE Meeting & PLC Update – 16 April 2012

Posted by JackieHanes on 17 April, 2012

I attended ALLICE’s (Association of Law Librarians in Central England) quarterly meeting held at Wragge & Co in Birmingham.

Chris Jeffries and James Chuck from PLC (Practical Law for Companies) legal database were invited to update the group on developments to their product and service.  The University of Leicester does not have a subscription to PLC, although it is widely used in corporate and commercial law firms: providing practice notes, forms, precedents, and links to case law, legislation and legal commentary. 

Ask PLC  is an archive of frequently asked questions and answers related to PLC database content.  Ask PLC can be searched or browsed by practice area (subject), and provides alternative access to key resources.

PLC Briefing are current awareness briefings written by PLC for use by law firm providing business development services to their clients.

PLC What’s Market provides a summary and comparison of selected public company deals, mergers and acqusitions, and market news. 

PLC recently redesigned their user-interface: the default Search option is now a cross-database search.  However, the changes were made piecemeal, and without user consulation, and have proven to be very unpopular.  (PLC users are used to accessing information by practice area).  PLC acknowledge mistakes were made with user consultation and testing, and are now seeking partners to work with them into the future.

PLC now links to full-text legislation on Legislation.Gov.UK and Westlaw UK legal databases.  I discovered that PLC were one of the partner organisations working with the National Archives to maintain the Legislation.Gov.UK a free public legislation database.  PLC (along with other partner organisations) fund paralegals to update legislation in target practice areas.  Legislation.Gov.UK has long been criticised for slow updating of amended legislation; however PLC informed us that they are now on track to have fully up-to-date Acts by November 2012 (SIs to follow at a later date).

On a lighter note, Wragge’s in-house catering team were exceptional – with a delicious buffet including olive and tomato bread sandwiches, home-made quiche, chicken and salmon bites, and blueberry eton mess for dessert.

Also, ALLICE have a ‘speed-networking ‘ evening in the week commencing 9 July 2012 – should you want to socialise with an *insert appropriate collective noun* of brummie law librarians.

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DREaMing of a Library and Information Science research network

Posted by katiefraser on 1 November, 2011

Last week I attended the first workshop of the AHRC-funded DREaM project. DREaM stands for ‘Developing Research Excellence and Methods’ and the project aims to create a network of Library and Information Science researchers across the UK. As an academic librarian with a research background I’m very enthusiastic about the potential for research to improve our practice, and I was delighted to be given a new professional’s travel bursary by the DREaM project, and to have my attendance supported by the Library. In return for my support from Leicester, I’ve been asked to think about how the methods discussed in each workshop might contribute to better understanding the community our academic library serves, and improving our services.

The DREaM workshops are being very thoroughly documented by the team running them: both slides and videos of the presentations are available at the Workshop 1 webpage. I’ll link to, rather than replicate, that content, and focus on my personal thoughts about each method from my own practitioner-researcher perspective.

Introduction to ethnography – Dr Paul Lynch
Ethnography is an approach used to understand culture, usually through immersion within that culture. Better understanding the culture of academic library users, students and staff, is clearly key to improving our service. My MA Librarianship dissertation used ethnographic interviews to look at how students viewed and understood library space, and I think there’s a lot more to be done on understanding how students use and want to use libraries.

In the workshop, Paul Lynch discussed the dual role of the ethnographer – as insider (participant in a culture) and outsider (observer of a culture). I suspect my ability to produce an ethnography of library users is limited by my increased distance from both student and academic roles, so this method may be out for me.

Introduction to social network analysis – Dr Louise Cooke
Social network analysis looks at the networks which exist within groups, and patterns in links between individuals, by asking members of a group to report on their own relationships. During the workshop I could immediately see the relevance of this method to my own work: a major part of my role is acting as liaison between the Library and academic departments, and recording the existence and nature of links between librarians and academic staff would be absolutely fascinating.

I could never use this method with my own departmental contacts: asking individuals to report on their relationships with yourself would be ethically unsound (and probably produce inaccurate results!) However, there is clearly potential to apply this technique elsewhere within the university: perhaps looking at networks between librarians, other academic support staff, and lecturer / researchers within one of the Colleges I don’t directly support.

Introduction to discourse analysis – Professor Andy McKinlay
Discourse analysis is a technique for analysing gathered data, rather than a method for gathering data itself. It involves analysis of what people say (or write) through understanding of the context in which it is said: the social norms embedded in that context, and how language is used to construct a way of seeing the world.

There’s clearly expectations, norms and values implicit in how users talk about the Library. One of the most common comments at from students walking into the David Wilson for the first time is ‘Where are all the books?’ I think that one sentence (and all its implicit assumptions about libraries) could keep a discourse analyst going for days! I could see focus groups, or even analysis of how students describe the Library to each other, on- and off-line, as a really useful way to surface these concepts, and work with, or think about changing them.

Unconference and ethics discussion
The workshop also included bonus research-related sections. In the middle of the day, an unconference session encouraged us to discuss what we wished: I outed myself as a methodological pluralist (i.e. one who believes there is no one best method for studying the world, and has dabbled in several!) and learned about the research interests and priorities of others in our emerging network. At the end of the day, Professor Charles Oppenheim led a section in which we debated ethics in a number of research-related scenarios.

Both these additional sessions really got me thinking about my role as a practitioner-researcher. There are a limited number of participants with dual roles in the DREaM network, but plenty of participants who have been on both sides of the divide at different times in their careers. I think there are lots of interesting discussions to be had about how practitioners use and carry out research, and I look forward to these workshops starting a few. Perhaps we can even kick off here: I’d be pleased to get feedback on some of my suggestions so far…

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BLA Conference Sheffield 2011

Posted by Andrew Dunn on 29 July, 2011

A is for Advocacy, B is for Branding and C is for Communicating your worth
Antony Brewerton, University of Warwick

Antony talked about marketing library services. Of special note in this highly entertaining talk was the Ladder of Loyalty: successful marketing creates the Ladder of Loyalty which (from the bottom) goes:

6. Partner (clients with whom you work to develop new services/better meet needs)
5. Champion (users who are aware of the added value you provide will fight your corner)
4. Advocate (users who have been well-served will recommend you to others)
3. Client (frequent user of services – consult, what are their needs?  Meet those needs)
2. Customer (2nd year UGs, 3rd yr UGs – meet them again, encourage them to use resources)
1. Potential customer (new users – induction)

Huddersfield University Library Impact Project
Graham Stone, Huddersfield University

Graham spoke about the findings of the library impact project, the results of which are already widely reported. 
Interesting in this talk were the value-added services Huddersfield’s catalogue (Sirsi Dynix’s Horizon) provides to students:

  • The catalogue has a keyword cloud below its search box.  This shows the most popular keywords used on the catalogue in the last 2 days and students can click on them to search the catalogue.
  • If students log on, the catalogue knows which module they are on and recommends readings
  • The catalogue produces new books lists at module level – it recognises Dewey numbers associated with each module.
  • The catalogue has a ‘students who borrowed X also borrowed Y’ service.
  • It has a ‘did you mean?’ service
  • It has a ‘students who searched with this keyword also searched with this keyword’ service.
  • It has a ‘students who needed this journal also found this one useful’ service.

All these services are possible because of the data storing the library undertook for the impact project.  And, they claim, their value-added services introduce serendipity into online searching.

 Also of note, Huddersfield have introduced Summon recently.  This is how they have set it up on their website: http://www2.hud.ac.uk/cls/library/index.php

Analysing service quality among postgraduate Chinese students
Bradley Barnes, University of Sheffield

Bradley has conducted research in this area as he recognises the importance of Chinese students to university income.  We run the risk of losing these students to HE institutions both in China and other parts of the world. 
He used a SERVQUAL survey to test Chinese students’ satisfaction with their UK university and found satisfaction levels were low.  Amongst Bradley’s recommendations to help make the Chinese student experience a better one, at institutional level, are:

  • Be empathetic to students’ situation – in an alien culture, miles from home
  • Make adjustments for Chinese expectations – the students lack experience of the UK and therefore have higher expectations than home students
  • Give more pastoral care
  • Reduce class sizes
  • Provide staff time to do the above
  • Provide textbooks and, if possible, laptops – an adequate number of books are especially important to Chinese students
  • Provide financial assistance and advice
  • Provide low-price refreshment outlets
  • Provide longer opening hours – do not close everything down at 5pm
  • Provide cultural guidance in China before they come here.

Research Services at the LSE
Barbara Humphries, London School of Economics

The LSE contacts each new PhD students and asks them to complete a short questionnaire which asks them for their thesis title/research area.  They then send the student a 2-page guide to support their research.  This guide includes information on:

  • Appropriate information resources
  • Keywords to search with
  • Sconul access
  • Inter-library loans

The guide is written from a template and takes about 1 hour to write at first, but with practice this gets shorter.  

Students are invited for a 1:1 consultation with the academic liaison librarian after they have received the guide and are also put in contact with students from other departments who are researching in the same field (there is significant research overlap in management, sociology, economic history, anthropology and social policy).

This personalised service has helped:

  • Increase library awareness of research areas
  • Increase student awareness of library resources
  • Increase the visibility of the library
  • Evaluate library resources and isolate the core resources which need continuing at all costs

SMILE
Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University

GCU has created an information literacy and academic writing skills package called Study Methods and Information Literacy Exemplars from an original package created by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester. 

It sits in the VLE but can also be viewed here: http://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/SMILE/Unit_1_vers3/start.html

It is available for use by other institutions under Creative Commons licence.

Promotional library videos
Stephen Bull, University of Birmingham

Stephen reported that the University of Birmingham Library has made a promotional video.  The video was 4 months in the planning and was filmed by Birmingham’s in-house media centre.  It took 3.5 days to capture the 7 hours of footage that was filmed to make the 4 minute 28 second video.  The video includes testimonials of students of all levels and from all faculties.  Birmingham expect the video to be current for 2 to 3 years.  It can be viewed here: http://www.library.bham.ac.uk/video.shtml

Posted in Wider profession | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

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 »

JISC Information Environment Event April 2011

Posted by gazjjohnson on 8 April, 2011

Aston University Lakeside Conference venueHere are my notes and comments on the event I’m attended at the University of Aston as an invited speaker by the JISC on Thursday 7th April – resources from the event can be found here

Neil Jacobs from the JISC opened the day and gave it some context – taking us from the HE environment of 2009 and the days of the Digital Britain Report to 2011 and the current circumstances.  He detailed the various strands of the programme: Repositories, Preservation, Geospatial Data and infrastructure, Library Management Systems, Activity Data, Developer Community, Infrastructure for Resource Discovery, scholarly Communications, Rapid Innovation and Linked Data.

HE today is beginning to look to bibliometrics for research excellence and impact, which are fairly significant drivers.   Moves towards starting/supporting innovation and entrepreneurship need to be watched closely.  The event as a whole was aimed to share the highlights of learning from the various strands of the programme.

Session 1: Learning from Other Institutions

David Millard (University of Southampton) spoke first focussing on lessons learned from how educational repositories were not working .  They spoke to teachers -real teachers didn’t understand terminology or files from OERs, let alone working with digital resources even themselves.  Research repositories on the other hand give a real service to the researchers that they get (I might question that for some academics!). Looked to sharing sights (YouTube/SlideShare etc) which give teaching resources a home, have community and organisation – but it’s not through altruism for many people.  Developed software called EdShare, a post-learning object repository, that offered various advantages – not trying to force people to model their courses or materials in one particular way.  It also had light, non-restrictive metadata.  Tried to make the educational repository part of the living cycle.  Want BlackBoard to feed EdShare which feeds iTunesU as well.

Kamalsudhan Achuthan was up next (filling in at short notice)  talking about improving research information management, something close to my heart with the current local work towards implementing and integrating a CRIS.  The final report from the project can be found here.

William Nixon gave the next talk talking about embedding repositories into practice.  One of the outcomes of the project has been about  building the relationships between the repository and research office staff.  He noted that the future is embedding the repository within the institutional systems, although interoperability is not automatically easy.  The aim might well be to have an invisible repository moment, when it is seamless integrated into the whole.  The repository was used to gather a lot of the information for the min-REF that Glasgow ran, including impact and other metrics.  Embedding and integrating is about adding value, enabling reuse, reducing duplication and exploiting new opportunities.  Advocacy has evolved (as at Leicester) where it’s about working with the Research Office and other people across the campus; which I would say is a very good thing.  At the same time the project showed that there are different needs for the different disciplines.  He finished by suggesting that the job of a repository manager is moving into new, and exciting, territory.

Damian Steer closed the morning through talking about information architecture.  Interestingly he touched on data sources such as blogs and newspaper reports on the work; which would contribute towards demonstrating an impact for the REF.  Behind the scenes at Bristol they use linked data from the Semantic Web.

After lunch myself, Ben Showers from JISC and Nick Woolley (King’s College) talked about various resource and time saving activities.  I was presenting the highlights from my recent survey (my thanks to all those whom responded) rather than talking from personal experience!  You can access my slides here. Ben’s talk (Why you shouldn’t bother with advanced search) is also online.  While the session (which was repeated) was not exactly well attended, there was a spirited debate following the talks on both occasions.

Finally Margaret Coutts from the JISC Infrastructure and Resources Committee came on to deliver the keynote.  Among the comments she made, were that it is important top remember that research repositories are not solely for archiving for the REF, nor are teaching repositories solely for exploiting the content – they should both work in that area.  There is a need to develop life-cycle  management for the documents within them as well.  Academics are now more ready to come forward and expose all the extra effort they put into preparing journals – unpaid contributions and asking the questions – just what are publishers doing for us?  Will they challenge the publishers?  Uncertain as there is  desire not to damage peer review in the process.

The change in scholarly communications is a long game, and not one that will happen in the next few years, although there will be work in the right direction.  Work on LMS indicate that shared systems may well generate shared efficiencies and reduce costs.

One of the big growth areas in the coming years was suggested to be teaching and OERs, where platform rather than standard will be more important.  Likely there will be pressure for more sharing of these both within and without institutions, although there will be some items for local access as well as those for fully open access.  Digital Preservation is something that keeps falling off the edge.  We know what digital preservation is, but keeps being postponed because there are other more pressing things -but this is a time bomb.  We need to address this as a community sooner rather than later.

Urgency for solutions is going to increase.  Are there quick wins we can gain from the JISC projects, that can be put out to the sector.

Rachel Bruce then capped the day off by looking at the way ahead for JISC, which even though it has reduced funding is still charged with enabling innovation but at the same time ensuring that lessons learned and applications developed are able to be taken up by the LIS community.

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Professional Development of Library Assistants workshop

Posted by gazjjohnson on 10 December, 2010

A guest post from a member of my team (Izzy Hoskins) on a workshop she and another of my team went on this week.
——
On 7th December I attended the Professional Development of Library Assistants workshop at the University of Leicester organised by Andrew Dunn. This course was aimed at Library assistants looking to develop their careers.

The day began with an interesting talk by Emma Donaldson who had completed the ACLIP accreditation, something that I had not heard of previously. Although I was unsure how far this particular course could take someone professionally it certainly seems a cheaper and more accessible option than others in its field. The portfolio that had to be completed in order to achieve this award was passed around and seemed to demonstrate a very hands on and active approach to learning – something that certainly appeals to me and that I am likely to pursue. I would however have liked to hear more about this qualification and where it leads.

Secondly Abigail Howe presented a talk about her personal path which seemed the most focused of the day. Her background as a library assistant alongside her MSc Library and Information Studies (Distinction) at City University has led her to become the Learning Resource Centre Manager at Huntingdonshire Regional College. Her achievements are down to an active pursuance of a professional career and she gave good examples and suggestions to the audience. Advice given included:

  • Creating experience – in a previous role she herself had drafted in sixth form students to work for free during her lunch hour so that she could experience managing a team.
  • Networking through conferences
  • Involvement with UC&R alongside CILIP
  • Creating contacts using Twitter
  • Listening to others in the field by joining committees
  • Taking time to do some professional reading
  • Dressing, speaking and acting professionally, effectively behaving as if you are already in a professionally qualified role

Although her personal development path seems a little intimidating her general message certainly rings true and I am sure her C.V. will continue to become very impressive.

Chris Brown of Aston University gave the last presentation of the day by library staff. Having worked in various positions she was eventually led to complete the masters course at Loughborough. Interestingly she noted that she was advised not to take library assistant roles after graduating and instead hold out for an opportunity to arise. Although I could appreciate this sentiment I wasn’t sure how achievable this would be in the current jobs market.

Staff development took the second half of the day giving advice about creating C.V’s and performing at interviews. A large part of their discussion was spent on identifying the skills and pressures for staff within your target market although this only seemed to centre on higher education institutions. They focused on marketing yourself, finding your unique selling point (USP!) and quite importantly moulding your application to the market as opposed to trying to fit the jobs market to yourself. A lot of their advice was useful but I did feel that at times it took a while to get to a single point and that this time could have been used in a better way. For example I would have liked the chance to develop my own C.V. or to hear more about the variety of career opportunities within the library profession.

Although the day was very general I thought it was both insightful and useful. The follow up by Andrew Dunn to the feedback given has been excellent and is very much appreciated.

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USTLG Winter Meeting 2

Posted by selinalock on 8 December, 2010

This follow on with my report of the USTLG Winter Meeting.

Finding the known unknowns and the unknown knowns, Yvonne Nobis, University of Cambridge.

  • Talked about their development of the http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/scienceportal/website aimed specifically at researchers (which I know some of our researchers rather like the look of!)
  • Researchers often don’t known what they’re looking for: unknown unknowns, as research skills might need updating, looking for something outside their field or don’t know where to begin.
  • Scientists don’t tend to use the Cambridge libraries (over 100 of them so confusing system) and they want everything electronically so looking for a way to meet their needs.
  • Found most visitors to the science library are those looking for historical (print) information, or students wanting a place to study.
  • ~95% journal are online and ~95% of monographs are still print only.
  • In response to this they will now scan on demand from their own collections for Cambridge researchers (currently a free service as charging would have copyright law implications).
  • As the staff would often need to retrieve these items from storage the scanning has not added too much extra effort.
  • Science librarians at Cambridge do a lot of training of early career researchers.
  • Science@Cambridge contextualises information within a subject area to help researchers start their searching.
  • Includes a federated search option where relevant databases have been chosen (to steer researchers away from just using Google Scholar as they don’t realise what scholar doesn’t index: unknown unknowns).
  • Trying to make resource discovery as easy as possible.
  • Have problems with making eBooks easy to access, especially individual titles on catalogue records.
  • Trialled using chat with subject  librarians but not really worked so looking at centralising enquiries more.
  • Training branded through College or Computing Services gets a better turn out than library branded training.

We use a similar idea to Science@Cambridge in our subject rooms, but could learn more from them when redeveloping our Rooms as part of our digital library overhaul? Hopefully using Summon in future will make resource discovery easier at Leicester

Lunch!

Obviously the most important part of any conference is the lunch provided. This time it was a good spread sponsored by Wiley Publishers, and in a very unexpected place…

USTLG Lunch in a Church!

Lunch in the Divinity School

USTLG Lunch 2

Citations Count! Experience of providing researcher training on bibliometrics, citations and Open Access publishing. Kate Bradbury,  Cardiff University.

  • Training in citation data in response to REF raising interest in bibliometrics, funders requesting bibliometric data, help deciding where to publish and to promote work. 
  • Training covers: WoS/Scopus/Google Scholar, looking for data in other sources (e.g. book citations, full text resources which include references), what each database provides e.g. impact factors, increasing citations, using open access publishing and repositories.
  • Format of training: 30 min talk and 1 hr hands-on using workbooks – activities such as finding impact factors, setting up citation alerts, looking at OA resource and using ResearcherID.
  • Also do shorter, tailored talks for Departmental meetings etc.
  • Sessions dones for subject librarians, staff development programme, specific schools/depts (e.g. Comp Sci, Engin, Psychology) and within seminar series.
  • Lessons learnt: avoid too much detail, stay up to date with new database features and REF, emphasis benefits to researchers, takes time to build interest in training, targeted sessions best, be flexible & adapt sessions to suit audience, be prepared for discussions about the validity and use of bibliometrics!
  • Stance taken: explain how to find information but leave it up to the researchers to decide if it is useful to them, including discussion of pros/cons of bibliometrics.
  • Types of questions asked:
  • How to pay for OA publishing?
  • Shouldn’t we just write controversial articles to up our citations?
  • What about highly cited, poor research?
  • My journals not indexed in WoS, how do I get citation info?
  • How to find book citation info?
  • What about self-citations? Will they be excluded from REF?
  • BMJ article said no observable citation advantage from OA publishing…
  • Can I import articles on in WoS into ResearcherID? (can do, but tricky)
  • What is a good H-Index to have?
  • Doesn’t H-Index just reflect length of career?
  • Where’s the best place to put an OA article?
  • I use a subject repository so why also use institutional repository?
  • I don’t want an early version of my work available…
  • What next in terms of training? – Continue with sessions, support subject librarians to run their own sessions, introduce Bristol Online Survey to collect feedback from attendees, respond to individual follow-up questions and do a separate presentation on OA publishing.

USTLG Lunch

Wiley Publishers: WIREs, Alexa Dugan.
Next up was our sponsor for the day Wiley talking about their new product:

  • WIREs = Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews.
  • Reference work meets journal review article –  a new concept in publishing.
  • Have been finding it difficult to find authors/researchers with enough time to devote to writing traditional reference works, especially as those works do not gain professional recognition .i.e. they are not indexed or cited.
  • WIREs is Wiley’s answer to this: invited content with high quality editorship, drawing on their research journal community ties (so like a reference work), but also managed to get them indexed in major databases and WoS so the authors can get recognition.
  • Each Review has a carefully thought out structure, which is kept up to date with a range of article types e.g. focus (news) articles, opinion pieces, basic reviews, advanced reviews etc.
  • Content is added every two months (so serial like a journal) & articles retain their title and DOIs for citation purposes.
  • One of their flagship titles: Climate Change Review has won several awards already.
  • FREE for first two years: wires.wiley.com
  • USTLG Conference

    Getting Interactive

Researcher@Library – becoming part of the research cycle, Katy Sidwell, University of Leeds.

  • Leeds, like many of us, have managed to get a certain amount of library training embedded or offered to PhD students, but what about Academics and other Researchers?
  • Started to think about how to support researchers so thought about the life cycle of a research project:
  • Ides (pre-funding) – Planning (finding application) – Action (research/life of grant) – Dissemination – Application (of research knowledge/transfer) – back to beginning of cycle.
  • They got us to think about how we all support these stages of the cycle & feedback (using post it notes – a good bit of interactivity to wake us all up!).
  • What they (and from the feedback, others might do) are:
  • Ideas = library collections, current awareness & literature search training.
  • Planning =  Identify funding sources ^ support research bids (though in Leeds this only happens in particular areas as it’s labour intensive and unscaleable).
  • Action = PhD workshops, bibliographic management, lit search support, data management advice, user behaviour research, friendly space for researchers.
  • Dissemination = RAE/REF support, etheses online, institutional repository, publications database.
  • Application = intellectual property advice (Business officer), market research for knowledge transfer e.g. patents.
  • Hard for researchers to know about training – where/how to promote?
  • Created a website for researchers to bring together the various things available to them (need user needs analysis to find out what to put there).
  • Researchers wanted a website that was not solely library resources/focused, not tutorial but advice that could be dipped into at appropriate time, simple navigation, no login but not really basic advice – appropriate to their level.
  • library.leeds.ac.uk/researcher
  • Work in progress – need to clarify purpose, look at navigation issues, obtain feedback and roll out across other faculties.
  • Where now? – created Library Researcher Support Group to continue the work and look at how it fits in with the new Vitae researcher development framework.

A good day all round. The presentations from the day can now be viewed at the USTLG site.

Posted in Meetings, Open Access, Research Support, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

USTLG Winter Meeting 1

Posted by selinalock on 30 November, 2010

On 25th November 2010 I attended the University Science & Technology Librarians’ Group Meeting at Keble College, University of Oxford. The theme for the day was “The role of libraries in the research process.” I nearly walked straight past the little wooden entrance to Keble College, but was greeted with a magnificent vista on entering…

Keble College

Keble College

An academic perspective on libraries supporting research. Professor Darton, Dept Engineering, Oxford University.

Professor Darton expressed his love of books, talked about his ancestors being publishers of children’s books and having founded the Darton Juvenile Library. He also talked about how he had fought to keep the Engineering Library at Oxford under the control of the Department as he felt it played an important part in their culture.

He had brought in a couple of classic engineering texts and said it was difficult these days for academics to find time to write “classic” types of textbooks and they were hvaing to find other ways of conveying information to students.

In his time as an engineer he thought that libraries/librarians had moved from being a status symbol (the bigger the library the more knowledge) that was protected and guarded by the librarians for their specific patrons, on to being providers of information which encouraged access for all and finally, these days, being more of an online gateway with librarians as web managers.

He then went on to argue that for science and engineering researchers the library is no longer needed – they rarely use physical texts, there is a huge amount of good quality information accessible via Google (as long as you have the skills to judge quality) and more movement towards open access materials online (e.g. in his are of sustainability). He argued that he would be happy, as a researcher, for there to be a subscription team who oversaw journal subsciptions on behalf of the University, a storage/retrieval service for older print items and for the sciences to stop funding the expensive physical libraries needed by the arts. Or even move to a model where all researchers are given a portion of the library funding to “buy individual article on demand” instead of having a central library service! As you can imagine this was a controversial point of view…

The audience asked if he thought the same applied to undergraduates and he thought up until their 3rd year projects that might have different needs, but by project time they might still need a budget to buy relevant articles.

When asked if he saw any role for librarians he thought there was still an important role in training people to be critical of information, and recommends library training to his students. Also that journal subscriptions would be more cost effective than buying individual articles so perhaps librarians should become/be seen as skilled negotiaters. Librarians need to show how they can help researchers.

Professor Darton was also critical of the current peer-review system, and as an editor of a journal it was becoming very hard to find good reviewers. He suggested that publishing the names of the reviewers might improve the quality of the reviwing. He was also suprised to find younger researchers don’t have a concept of what a journal is as they have never held a print copy in their hands.

USTLG Talk

USTLG Talk

 

Update on REF, Kimberley Hacket (REF Team)

Main points of interest:

  • REF will be a process of critical review and some will include bibliometric information.
  • 3 elements: Outputs (research) ~60%, Impact of research ~ 25% and Environment ~15%.
  • 4 outputs per researcher (less if early career).
  • 36 sub-panels looking at different subject areas.
  • Outputs selected by HEI
  • All types of outputs can be selected as long as they conform to REF definition of an output, including open access outputs.
  • Citation information can be used by a sub-panel if they wish. However, it will be used to inform expert review and not on it’s own.
  • If panels request bibliometric information then it will be supplied by REF (not by institution) and will conform to agree simple metric methods.
  • Panels being selected and will be announced early 2011.
  • Impact is not just economic but also social, quality of life etc.
  • Do not want to discourage curiosity-driven research.
  • Data collection will be built on the RAE system – pilot in late 2012, live in 2013.
  • Assessment in 2014 – results by end of 2014.
  • Any bibliometric data used will come from a single supplier appointed by REF.
  •  

    Old Bodleian Library

    Old Bodleian Library

    Research Metrics, Anne Costigan, University of Bradford.

    Anne talked about looking at metrics with researchers and the issues around metrics:

  • Metrics can be used at author, article, journal or institution level – journal level most known.
  • Citation metrics available from Web of Knowledge, Scopus & Google Scholar.
  • Journal Citation Reports (WoK) – impact factors most famous – attempts to measure importance and quality of journal.
  • Citation Reports usually ignore books, conferences and non-journal research information/citations.
  • Researchers tend to get hung up on journal impact factor – seen as “league table of journals”. However, be wary as different subjects have different amounts of journals listed, impact factor can change over time so look at trend, encourage people to also look at ranking.
  • Often asked “what is a good impact factor?” = how long is a piece of string? Varies tremendously by subject e.g. a specialist area might have many citations missing as journals not indexed, or papers in conferences etc.
  • Self-citation can skew figures.
  • Review journals tend to be very highly cited.
  • Editors have been known to insist that articles always cited articles from within the same journal to inflate impact factor.
  • Controversial papers are usually highly cited and can skew figures (could be a “bad” paper).
  • Other options to look at: Eidenfactor (WoK) – complex algorithm where citations from highly ranked journals hold more weight. H -index e.g. 34 papers which have at least 34 citations = H-index of 34. H-index does favour those with a longer career.
  • Article metrics – times cited (WoK, Scopus, Google Scholar) – different results from each. Scopus & Google Scholar tends to include more non-journal citations.
  • Author metrics – WoK can create citation report & remove self-citations. Problems with identifying papers belonging to certain authors (e.g. similar name to someone else.)
  • Can use ResearcherID (free service via WoK) to register articles under your author name.
  • Scimago – uses Scopus data for free.
  • What about repositories?
  • MESUR – combines citation & usage data.
  • Rise of Web2.0 – vote for your favourite article?
  • Researchers like easy to undertsand metrics e.g. H-index.
  • Uses of metrics – where to publish, what to subscribe to, in recruiting researchers, at Dept or Institutional level for marketing…
  • No measure perfect – always look an a combination of things.
  • Posted in Meetings, Research Support, Service Delivery, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Visit to South Leicestershire College

    Posted by selinalock on 12 November, 2010

    On Wednesday I represented the University Library at the College-University of Leicester Network (CULN) Librarians meeting. This meeting was hosted by Lesley John at South Leicestershire College, and we got a tour of the new College building, as you can see from the photos below.

    South Leicestershire College 5


    The new building brings all their departments together in one place, where they were previoulsy on several campuses. Including those such as construction (below). Each subject has their own teaching area or Pod, which includes an area where the students can drop in to use computers or do group work.

    South Leicestershire College 4



    Lesley told us that the library being integrated into the new building has meant more visits from students and staff, including harder to reach users.

    South Leicestershire College 3



    South Leicestershire College 2



    South Leicestershire College

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