UoL Library Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘events’

Open access for new academics workshop

Posted by gazjjohnson on 16 September, 2009

I was approached last month by our Staff Development team to consider running a workshop for new academics on all the various aspects of open access.  Obviously I said yes, and followed up with the very helpful Derek Cox and Meera Warrier.  I gave them an overview of the sort of thing that we could include, and they went away to think about it.

Well they’ve come back now to give me the go ahead for December for a three hour workshop.  I’m rather delighted to be given this much time, but now I’m sitting down and thinking “How can I usefully fill this and shape it into a format that is both beneficial but objective at the same time”.  I’m immediately giving some thought to bringing in one of my colleagues as well, so it’s not just me droning on for the whole time (they do get a tea break).

I think I’m going to have to give this some very serious thought.  I’d like to include some hands on elements, but there seems little point in getting academics to search (say) RoMEO when we at the LRA do all the work on copyright for them.  But then exploring things like DOAJ, OpenDOAR, BASE, OAIster etc are likely to be of more direct interest to them.

I’m also going to have to tackle aspects of the REF and Funders requirements too.  I’m lucky in that we have a day event run by our Research Office in late October where a lot of these issues are going to be raised, discussed and presented by external speakers from the various bodies.  I’ll hopefully be able to crib elements from there.

At this stage in my planning I’m open to constructive suggestions though.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access, Research Support, Training | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Learning Future Festival ’09: Hole in Wall Experiments

Posted by selinalock on 13 January, 2009

holeinwall1The conference was opened by the Vice-Chancellor; Professor Burgess and he mentioned the David Wilson Library in his address, including the fact that Librarian’s roles will change as more and more information becomes digital.


Professor Mitra talked about his “hole in the wall” experiments where he put a computer and touch pad into the wall in a slum in India to see what would happen. The initial experiment was done in 1999 and has been repeated many times since. The computer showed the alta vista search engine, and basically within a few hours of the computer being installed, a local lad of about 12 had figured out how to browse despite never having used a computer nor being able to speak/read English.

A later experiment, using the same concept, in a remote village where no-one could speak English, showed that within three months the local children had taught themselves English in order to use the computer. It’s all pretty amazing!


Professor Mitra terms this Self-Organizing Learning and more recent experiments in the UK suggest that children learn better when sharing one computer between 4 of them rather than one computer per child. He hypothesises that this is due to them having to discuss and collaborate when sharing a computer. He thinks this method of learning could be applied to undergraduate studies.


He also mentioned that once you move away from self-organised leaning and into a curriculum then doctrine starts to appear. Made me wonder if we, as librarians, were teaching doctrine – you need to know this because we say so, rather than showing why they might want to know the things we’re teaching. We can never predict what someone will take away from a session!


We did some self-organised learning at our table and found that the bright green liquid in an unlabeled bottle was undiluted lime squash – cue a slight bugging out of the eyes after the first sip and a rush to add water!

Posted in Meetings, Training | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »