Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Library Camp North East

I have heard a lot about Library Camps in the last year and wondered what they would be like, so I was excited at having one in the local area. I wasn't sure what to expect except for cake - an absolute must at these events. I knew the theory about them - whoever shows up are the right people and what we discuss are the right topics. 

This is actually a very refreshing idea because so many times I can look at conferences or training days and think that it is a narrow scope or predominently (to the point of exclusively) aimed at university libraries and whilst there is crossover in some areas, many current hot topics for universities are not for colleges until much later. Although it is good practice to have a wider knowledge and keep up with these things.

So an unconference, where anything can be discussed, surely would have a broad scope and diverse attendees. And so it proved to be, attendees where from assistant up to senior management level and from many different sectors which was wonderful. I got to meet new people from public and specialist sectors, many who have the same issues as I do in my library. I always find it reassuring that it isn't just me or my sector that has 'x' problem and it is fabulous that I can discuss with colleagues from the wider sector their approaches.

I very much enjoyed the Library Camp and recommend to others to go to one if you have the opportunity. It is a great way to discuss important issues in an informal manner.

Monday, 8 July 2013

ARLG Members Day

This was quite a long time ago now - 15 May at Regent's College which we now have to call Regent's University. I was especially interested in the sessions about partnerships with academics and creating learning hubs. These are both things that get spoken about a lot where I work, sometimes that's a good thing and other times it worries me.

Partnerships with academics

The partnership is similar to our curriculum liaison only dealing with specialist collections. This session discussed the proactive approach at Goldsmiths, University of London to marketing and making the most of their specialist collections by targeting groups and showing them what can be done for them. It raises awareness of the resources, their content and the profile of the department. I think that this is a very important aspect of library work because it demonstrates a high level of professionalism from the library staff and helps consolidates the importance of the library services to their institution. For many years we have tried to forge close links with the curriculum staff at the College and have had varying degrees of success. This year I think we have made a significant breakthrough by attending directorate meetings that give us an overview of the wider department and what their plans are. Now that there is a foothold, we can build on this and maybe this is a way forward. We have a wide range of resources many that are underused, with more awareness and targeted promotion of them they may start to get used more.

Creating learning hubs

This is something that worried me or so I thought. The term learning hub has been used to decentralise the library I work in and that is something I don't want to see happen. It feels like a step backwards because we were orignally on 4 sites and have been brought together onto 1 purpose built site. This session however wasn't actually about this kind of learning hub, it was looking at a new way of delivering information literacy and integrating the library into teaching and learning. This proved a very timely session for me, as my College are currently piloting self supported study which they hope to roll out across the College next academic year. My Senior Librarian and myself realise that this potenially could have a huge impact on our services and are going to review our information literacy provision during the summer to take into account these changes.

Going to the ARLG Members Day was extrememly useful for me, it has given me lots to think about and has provided a starting point from which I can review and build on my library's services.

Making better use of e-resources

At the beginning of the year, or possibly late last year, an e-mail came through from Credo Reference informing me that some e-books had bee...