Monday, 29 April 2013

Conference Build-up 3

Liz McGettigan - Keynote Speaker
on Thursday 16th May.
CILIP Cymru Wales is delighted to welcome Liz McGettigan as our Conference Keynote Speaker on Thursday 16th May. Liz has titled her presentation "Unafraid of the future".

"Liz will discuss the transformation taking place in the library system, how Edinburgh libraries are embracing new technology and partnerships to deliver  " Digital by Desire " not by default and transform to meet the changing needs of the people."


The way people work, interact, learn, and create information is changing across the world. Nowhere are the challenges of transition more evident that in the public library and information sector. In a world of e-books and the internet, the very purpose and relevance of libraries is under threat. Many, unable to retain customers and survive in the digital age, are closing down.

Facing head-on the ever increasing challenges to improve the quality of services, creativity and innovation are all concepts that Edinburgh City libraries and Information Services (ECLIS) have embraced. ECLIS have been extending service provision for citizens and engaging with the wider community through innovative use of services and apps to deliver a unified and engaging electronic citizen experience. Public libraries in Edinburgh, Scotland, however, are thriving. The library system has seen two new additions to its network of 28 libraries over the last year – a far cry from the tens of closures across the United Kingdom. The Edinburgh library service won the Library of the Year award at The Bookseller Industry Awards in London last year.

Liz will discuss the transformation taking place in the library system, how Edinburgh libraries are embracing new technology and partnerships to deliver  " Digital by Desire " not by default and transform to meet the changing needs of the people. 

About Liz.

Liz is currently Head of Libraries and Information Services with City of Edinburgh Council. Prior to joining Edinburgh in Dec 2008 she was Business Development Manager for TALIS Information Services and before that, Head of Libraries in East Renfrewshire.

Since her appointment in Edinburgh Liz has led a major strategic development and transformation programme. Edinburgh Libraries now reach out to a wider public, increasingly through its digital services and contributes to innovation and creativity in our knowledge society.

An award winning leader in libraries, information, electronic and social media and knowledge management, Liz is known for an innovation and best practice. The service has won several accolades including the Best UK Library Service 2012.

Delivery of the UK’s first and innovative 24/7 Public Library portal, Edinburgh Council’s first-ever social media suite, and Scotland’s first Library App, electronic community information, and self service has transformed the service. Liz has demonstrated an understanding of the drive to support digital by default, new technology, and mobile devices in particular. These initiatives have enabled Edinburgh’s libraries to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Liz has worked on many other key projects including the Scottish Government E-content advisory board and the Scottish Government Interoperability Standards Group. Liz is active in Scotland IS Broadband Policy Group and Advisory Board member of  the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University.
Liz is active in high level international, European and national bodies concerned with libraries and the information society, digital inclusion, and public libraries leadership.
Liz is an expert adviser on future of public libraries, a trustee of the UK Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and a board member of UNESCO City of Literature and the Library and Information Research Group. She also serves on  the Advisory Board of  Edinburgh Napier University Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation

With grateful thanks to Liz for this information. Booking for conference, which will be held in the Cardiff Radisson Blu Hotel on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th May 2013, is still open. Book here.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

CLOUD-ME: part 2

The Cloud - for permanent digital storage?
By Tani12 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ()], via Wikimedia Commons
This blog continues to list the free web resources that Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecroft (University of Sheffield, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)) identified in their recent presentation to Health Libraries Group Wales. The presentation was entitled A free web toolkit for the modern library and identified resources under the acronym CLOUD-ME.

Part 1of this blog covered first two elements of CLOUD-ME -  Curation and Learning.

O is for Organise

  • Mendeley - "Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organise your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research". Also allows you incorporate your own notes with pdf copies of articles and to store these within your repository, which is then accessible from any web-enabled device. ScHARR now use Mendeley as their preferred reference manager, and it was certainly the site I use most from having completed the CPD23 Things programme.
  • ReadCube - a simplified bibliographic reference manager, place to organise your research, create online sticky notes and to annotate articles. An alternative to Mendeley.
  • Slideshare - as mentioned under "L is for Learning"; and mentioned as a curation tool.
  • F1000 Posters - "a unique open access repository for posters and slide presentations across biology and medicine. By keeping the work visible long after a meeting has ended it maximises the return on the time, effort and money invested in creating each presentation. " An example posted from the ScHARR team - Learn something new in 20 minutes presented at LILAC 2012. [Your experience?] - do you use something similar? How do you create your posters?
  • Google Sites - billed as "a free and easy way to create and share web pages". Google account required in order to make your own sites. [Your experience?] . Similarly Google Forms  - part of Google Drive.
  • If this then that -  your action in the cloud using one tool can then trigger reactions in other tools. This is great and overcomes some of the problems of dealing with multiple channels and tools. So for instance, IFTTT automatically posts a new entry to the CILIP Cymru Wales Facebook page and sends a tweet from @CilipinWales when a new blog entry is published. Fantastic! The options seem vast. Well worth a look.
Clearly there are lots of copyright issues with all of these services. There are also some concerns about longevity of service given recent commercial acquisitions (e.g. Mendeley has been acquired by Elsevier recently). Andy suggests that the free citation services can also provide a useful discovery tool for grey literature, as an adjunct to the mainstream abstracting and indexing services. 

U is for YouTube ?!?

OK, I think we'll allow Andy and Claire a little poetic license here. This section is really about video in the Cloud.
  • Screencast-o-matic - Capture your own instructional videos by recording your screen together with an audio commentary. Another personal favourite from the CPD23 Things programme. I've used it and will use it again. The free access allows you to record one video of up to 15 minutes duration. This can then be downloaded and saved to other services (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo etc), freeing you up to make another video in Screencast-o-Matic. The paid for account at $15 p.a. may also be well worth considering. In true Blue Peter style - here's one I created earlier - How to find Welsh Government Publications.
  • Camtasia - provides a similar service. This is a paid for service but the free-trial option will allow you to check it out. [Your experience?] .
  • SocialCam - create a video using your iPhone, iPad or Android device and upload it to the Cloud, with linked-in sharing to Facebook, Twitter etc. Andy and Claire have used this for creating video abstracts ahead of delivering papers at conferences.[Your experience?] .

D is for Docs

  • Google Drive / Google Docs - allows synchronous editing online. Claire and Andy schedule 60 minute online meetings and work collaboratively on writing papers. This "paper slamming" technique takes a little getting used to but can be really effective in the longer term. Google Drive also allow you to synchronise your documents with Cloud storage and then access them from any web enabled tool. Google seems to be cropping up quite a lot so it's probably worth mentioning that the University of Sheffield is a Google University.
  • Google Talk / Google Hangouts - an online videoconferencing platform where up to 15 people can video conference, screen-share, work collaboratively on documents. With 150M users and growing, Google + may also be a great place to easily share documents from Google Drive.[Your experience?]
Andy thought that his behaviour has changed because of the Cloud - he no longer stores quite so much on local storage media, but is increasingly reliant on online curating and search tools such as Mendeley.  Interlinking between services (using IFTTT etc), and ability to work and access information whilst on the move are contributing to this behaviour change. Of course, there are concerns of data security and service longevity, both issues which need to be considered and reviewed regularly.

M is for Mobile

Mobile technologies are becoming the predominant vehicles for engaging with the web and thus also Cloud services. Services such as Google Drive and Dropbox enable you automatically save your documents to the Cloud, and to be able to access them anywhere and from a variety of platforms. In general, these Cloud services synchronise your activity. For instance, start watching a film in the Cloud on your mobile, pause, and resume  watching  from the same point later on a different device.

E is for Embed

Embedding is the rationale behind the Cloud. Creating, accessing and changing your content seamlessly and in Martini  fashion (any time, any place, anywhere);  sharing content with other platforms and other users; collaborative working. Use the technology to best help you in these aims, by using automatic synchronisation and sharing tools. 

But what happens when things go wrong? Always have backup plans in case you can access the Cloud. For instance if using a laptop to provide a presentation and the WiFi network goes down, can you use your mobile phone to set up WiFi hotspot and allow you to continue accessing your Cloud based resources?

Think of others when you share from Cloud resources.. Will all of your users have adequate connectivity to be able to watch a video online? Does content display well on mobile devices? Will security or firewall restrictions prevent some from accessing your shared content? Will users be confident and familiar enough with the technology for this not to be a barrier to their access, learning or enjoyment?

Some final thoughts...

This was a fascinating session and there are some direct actions that I will be following up:

  • setting up connectivity services such as IFTTT
  • checking out what's available through MOOCs 
  • revisiting Netvibes for automated delivery of current awareness services
  • investigating and
Please share [Your experience?].  

  • Which Cloud services you find invaluable?
  • Do you have concerns about using Cloud resources and storage, or are you hampered in using them because of workplace IT security restrictions? 
  • Alternatively, has your organisation fully embraced Cloud storage and working practices?
  • Has this changed the culture of your organisation away from creating and maintaining information silos? Are people more collaborative because of this?

Thanks go to...

With appreciation to Andy and Claire for their excellent session. This was a video-conferenced session so it is further evidence that great learning can be successfully provided at a distance. Thanks also go to the Health Libraries Group Wales for organising such an interesting day, and to the Royal College of Nursing Wales for their hospitality.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

CLOUD-ME part 1

Cloud Computing.
Image (c) Bruce Clay Inc
Copied under CCBY 
Keeping up to date with free web tools can seem like a full time occupation in itself. Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecroft  from the University of Sheffield SCHARR (School of Health and Related Research) provided a fascinating  and fast paced overview of some of the tools they felt deserve further investigation at the Health Libraries Group Wales Study Day earlier this week.Their suggestions deserve wider dissemination.

The Cloud provides a range of free tools and resources which can make your online life easier, provide routes to extend or enhance your service provision, or to reach new audiences. While monetary cost might not be a barrier to utilising these resources, time, personal knowledge, and institutional barriers (IT restrictions, firewalls etc) might be. Andy and Claire smash through some of these barriers in providing these useful suggestions, under the acronym CLOUD-ME (curation, learning, organise, YouTube (video content), documents, mobile and embedded).

C is for Curation

What's hot? What's trending? - keeping a record of these. The bad news is that focusing on a single cloud-based curation resource isn't possible, or sensible at present. You may well end up using several services, and in some cases, making multiple posting of the same content.
  • - share interesting websites on up to five topic pages. Follow others' topic pages to gain from their expertise and research. For instance Andy has a topic page for altmetrics which, if you wanted a quick list of useful web articles and resources on, would be a great starting point. [Remember we first encountered altmetrics in this Rebecca Mogg's guest posting about UKSG Conference].   
  • Pinterest - "a tool for collecting and organising the things that you love". If you find Pinterest helpful please tell us how you use it and the advantages that you have realised (Please let us know about any of your favourite resources, but especially those marked [your experience?] in this blog.
  • Netvibes - a great tool for providing a self-updating current awareness service. A "sorcerer's apprentice" of a tool. Provide links to relevant RSS feeds and Netvibes does the ongoing curation work for you.
  • Zite - keeping you up to date with the Zeitgeist and compiling a readable magazine format page containing top stories on your interests. Works well on mobile platforms too. [your experience?] 
  •  Evernote - capture and store anything from the web, and then access your Evernote clippings from any web-enabled device. I loved Evernote when I first encountered it via CPD 23 Things, but must admit to not having used it much since.
  • - sign-up to receive daily emails of the top five stories from your Twitter or Facebook accounts. Andy though that the selection process worked well and found this daily email really helpful in identifying the 5 most noteworthy posts to your Twitter or Facebook timeline.
  • - "the curation platform that enables you to turn Twitter, Facebook & RSS into online papers and treat readers to fresh news, daily". The result is tweeted to your followers. [your experience?] 

L is for Learning

Tools to support your professional learning or to assist in the instruction that you provide.

  • Snapguide - a great way to relay simple instructions (e.g. a recipe, login instructions , or short explanations) in a professional way. Snapguide can incorporate screenshots, images or video.
  • Vimeo - described by Andy as a "classier" alternative to YouTube. Vimeo tends to contain more high quality content than YouTube. However, content with YouTube is probably more reliably found using the predominant web search engines, and if your user base is mainly younger people then YouTube is probably a favoured resource for them. [your experience?] 
  • Slideshare - a resource for sharing slide presentations and other documents. Not only a useful tool for sharing your presentations, but also for searching for relevant presentations for your needs. Currently excludes an ability to share Prezi presentations.
  • Prezi - now reasonably widely used.Felt to be enjoyable to use, with benefits of being able to tweet about Prezi presentations immediately, and to embed them on other sites.
  • - "share what you know". A topic based curation tool. [your experience?] 
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Details of which MOOCs are available, or are being planned, via Coursera, edX or the UK-led Futurelearn service.

More to follow in Part 2!

Andy and Claire contributed their session entitled "A free web toolkit for the modern library" to the Health Libraries Group Wales Study Day earlier this week. I hope to publish a guest posting on this day in a few weeks time. The study day also covered:

  • Foundation stage doctors' experiences of using an e-textbook package on smartphones to support workplace learning.
  • An overview of open access publishing and Cardiff University's work in this area.
  • The operation of a virtual enquiry service for members of the Royal College of Nursing.

Conference build-up 2

Conference Drinks Reception in Cardiff
Central Library - 2012
Conference Dinner !?*! The social animals will flock to this annual celebration of the information community in Wales. Those of us who are not quite so extrovert may fear and dread it. But as a seasoned professional, and someone who most definitely is a "wallflower", let me assure you that your reservations and concerns will soon be quashed and left  at the door. If you have the opportunity to attend, you are most definitely destined for an enjoyable evening!

Conference Dinner and its preceding Drinks Reception mark the end of a hectic day of attending inspiring and informative sessions, meeting new people, and finding out about new suppliers and their products. The networking and professional conversation continues into the evening, aided by the relaxed atmosphere of fine food and drink.

For many delegates the Drinks Reception and Conference Dinner  will be an opportunity to renew old friendships, to take stock of the year that has been and to look forward to things to come. For conference "first timers" the welcome will be equally  friendly. CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference deserves its reputation as "the friendly conference".

Not yet convinced? Perhaps this Q&A may help:

Who is invited? All full conference delegates and trade representatives, plus day delegates who have purchased their additional attendance at the Drinks Reception and Dinner.

Dress code? There is no formal dress code but most people wear "smart formal". Most importantly you should feel comfortable and confident in what you wear.

Where and when? Thursday 16th May at 6.30pm in Cardiff Central Library. This is very close to the Radisson Blu Hotel (the conference venue). If you are really unsure of where to go please ask a Conference Helper or Committee Member. Groups of delegates will  meet in the Hotel Reception and walk over together. The dinner is back in the Radisson Blu Hotel conference suite and starts at 7.30pm.

Anything special I should look out for? Lots!

  • If you haven't seen Cardiff Central Library before then you are in for a treat!
  • Drinks in the Library, with the book shelves as bars (see image above)
  • The Tir na n-Og Award ceremony - this occurs during the Drinks Reception. More information about this here.
  • The inaugural Welsh Librarian of the Year Award - after the conference dinner.

What won't there be? A disco, quiz or other party games. This is just a relaxed, friendly, chatty evening.

Any further tips? 

  • Fearful of your networking skills? You could do far worse that read Jo Alcock's excellent blog "Networking for introverts" and try some of her tips!
  • First-timer? Arrange to meet other first-timers by contacting them on Twitter beforehand (use the hashtag #cilipw13). Alternatively, talk to a conference helper or committee member and ask them to introduce you to a few people. Talk to the speakers, workshop presenters and trade representatives. They will all be delighted to talk to you. Read the delegate list and aim to meet people who work in a similar role to you.
  • Unless you are really brave, arrange to sit next to someone you know at the Conference Dinner. Seating isn't allocated, so you can chose where to sit.
  • Most importantly, relax, be yourself and enjoy the evening.

CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference justly deserves its reputation as "the friendly conference".

Friday, 26 April 2013

Conference build-up begins

With less than three weeks until the CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference we will be posting content here, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, to help you prepare for the Conference.
First off ... the Tir na n-Og Awards.

The Conference Drinks Reception forms a social high point in the proceedings for the conference. It is also the stage for the announcement and presentation of the Tir na n-Og Award for Best English Language Book. For nearly forty years the award, organised by the Welsh Books Council, has celebrated and championed the best books published for children and young people in Wales. CILIP Cymru Wales is delighted to support The Council and Tir na n-Og through a annual funding from the Kathleen Cooks Bequest. 
"The Tir na n-Og Awards were established in 1976 with the intention of raising the standards of children’s and young people’s books in Wales, and to encourage the buying and reading of good books. Three awards are presented annually by the Books Council and are sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Cymru/Wales and Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion".
This year’s shortlisted titles for the Best English-language Book are:
Friends at War  –  Alan Lambert (Pont)
The Gardening Pirates  –  Ruth Morgan and Chris Glynn (Pont)
Tree of Leaf and Flame  –  Daniel Morden with illustrations by Brett Breckon (Pont)
Having just read David Almond's Skellig for the first time recently I'll be trying to get my hands on these titles prior to conference. Might this be an opportunity for you to broaden your professional horizons, or just spend some time re-living childhood?

Further information:

This Year's Tir na n-Og shortlists via the Welsh Books Council New Pages and details of past winners are available here

Monday, 22 April 2013

UK Serials Group Conference

Rebecca Mogg from Cardiff University Libraries attended this year's UK Serials Group (UKSG) Conference in Bournemouth with financial support from the Kathleen Cooks Bequest Fund. With Rebecca's help we can all update our knowledge on open access publishing, supporting researchers, the fascinating realities of the world of the digital student, altmetrics [a new one for this blog] and  developments in library technology.  Rebecca clearly returns to her workplace with a number of innovations to experiment with. Always the sign of an excellent conference!

Bournemouth International Centre - the venue for
UKSG in 2013
Image credit: Lewis Clarke [CC-BY-SA-2.0],
 via Wikimedia Commons
I was fortunate to receive a grant from the CILIP Wales Kathleen Cooks fund to attend this year’s UKSG Conference in Bournemouth from 8-10 April.  This was my first time at UKSG and I was impressed by the size of the conference and the breadth of the representation of delegates from across academic librarianship, publishing and other professional bodies supporting the sector.  Not to mention the conference dinner and funfair which had the real ‘wow factor’!

The programme was tightly packed and I got lots of ideas and good practice to report back to my institution.  There was also plenty of opportunity to chat to suppliers and see product demos, helping to bring me up to speed with recent developments in areas such as eBooks and digital archives.

The key themes of the conference looked at the evolution of open access, research evaluation and researcher identity, digital students – new learning and information habits and really useful library technology. I have provide much more detail about the sessions I attended below together with my reflections.  Videos of the plenary sessions are available on the YouTube UKSG Channel and the full presentations can be viewed on Slideshare.

Evolution of Open Access

The conference opened with presentations from Phil Sykes, Liverpool University and member of the Finch Committee, and Fred Dylla outlining the progress of the open access movements in Britain and America. 
Sykes provided the background to the Finch outcomes and argued that politically we have never been in a better position to move forward with open access as there is full support in both RCUK (Research Councils UK) and in Government.  This may change in the future and so it’s important that we seize the initiative.  He encouraged us not to ignore the defects in the current policy but to take a positive attitude.  We must provide strong support nationally through our professional bodies and skilled advocacy on campus.  It’s important we make the Gold route work properly to avoid double dipping. 

The focus of Dylla’s presentation was on open access to research data.  Progress in the US is not as advanced as the UK. However, a recent initiative from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to increase access to the results of publicly funded research where projects exceed $100m in R&D expenditure, makes important steps to tackle this deficit. There are also a number of partnership projects between publishers and research funders including the FundRef scheme which aims to make it easier to determine which public body has funded research. 

The final presentation on this theme was from Jill Emery of Portland State University who suggested a toolkit for librarians to respond to open access.  Emery argued that responsibility for supporting open access should lie within Library and that we should engage others in OA provision to ensure that the gold route works effectively and libraries are not double charged.  Emery also advocated that libraries should re-structure their budgets to fund open access publication.  I felt that this was currently less applicable to the UK where the majority of funding is currently coming from RCUK.  Also, we are yet to receive any savings in terms of subscriptions to free up funds in the library budget for article processing charge (APC) payments. These talks gave us plenty to chat about over lunch! 

Researcher Evaluation and Researcher Identity

 Jenny Delaselle from Warwick University outlined a range of publication and citation metrics and encouraged us to make our researchers aware of them.  She also highlighted the current developments in article level metrics (altmetrics) – more on this later.  Laurel Haak from ORCID followed with a talk aimed at raising awareness of the importance and value of encouraging researchers to set themselves up with ORCID IDs.  ORCID is:
 “an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers”.  
This is certainly something I intend to pick up with researchers in my subject area.

On Tuesday a workshop presentation from Mike Talyor, Elsevier Labs and Paul Groth, VU University Amsterdam usefully continued the theme of altmetrics - a topic about which I knew very little.  Taylor provided the definition:
altmetrics are article-level metrics – counting and interpretation of non-formal citation of scholarly documents.  Non-formal citation could be when a work is saved in Mendeley / Zotero / Figshare, bookmarked in Delicious or shared on Twitter or Facebook. 
The two presenters highlighted the benefits of altmetrics to the individual researcher.  They can tell a story to potential funders about the impact of previous research, and do this much faster than citations. Altmetrics services such as ImpactStory or can help a researcher aggregate all the places where their research is being discussed. Both presenters stressed that altmetrics is in the early stages of development and so the figures should not be compared and used for ranking.  There is much more to come in this area, so watch this space.

Similarly, presenters from Proquest and Goldleaf discussed ways of measuring the impact of online humanities information resources.  This is an important topic as in these disciplines usage statistics often do not give the full picture of the value of a product.  They have conducted a large-scale study into researcher’s use of online resources and will be publishing an article about their findings in the next issue of UKSG journal - Insights.  They also intend to put together a toolkit for librarians.  A couple of practical suggestions which I found useful included:

  • setting up quick polls when users access a certain resource to find out their views about it,and 
  • requesting inbound and outbound linking stats from your link resolver and finding out from providers how many users are making use of the personalisation features of the resource.
Joanna Ball at the University of Sussex provided a workshop session on their approach to supporting Research Data Management.  I was particularly impressed by their idea of running one of their regular researcher seminars on the topic of “Why share your research data?”  Rather than the library leading, they invited a representative from the UK Data Archive and a researcher from their own University with expertise in ethics to lead the discussion. 

Digital Students 

Tuesday morning’s plenary sessions focused on  Digital Students: new learning and information habits.  The first presenter, Lynn Silipigni Connaway from OCLC, gave a synopsis of a number of recent studies which have looked into researcher and student behaviour around information resources access and use.  Some of the research studies quoted had been reported on previously but the presenter brought them altogether to draw some useful conclusions, including:
  • the increased need for seamless online discovery to delivery (including mobile). Users expect their online search experience to lead them to the end product. This is generally what is experienced in other aspects of the web!
  •  provide search help at the time of need (chat and instant messaging (IM) - embedded in search interfaces, mobile technology)
  • design all of our systems with users in mind Model our services on popular services.And finally 
  • focus on relationship building instead of service excellence – identify needs and be in a stronger position to make an impact.

The talk which followed from Joshua Harding, a postgraduate medical student at Warwick Medical School, was the highlight of the conference for me.  He offered a glimpse into the world of the student in the not so distance future, and gave a strong message to both librarians and publishers to act.  I recommend watching the full presentation. Joshua outlined how he has taken the step to being a ‘paperless student’, by using his iPad for his entire study needs.  He uses apps to enable him to take handwritten notes, read and annotate key textbooks, carry out patient consultations, look up and revise key facts (e.g. drug information at the point of need and revise anatomy).  Joshua argued that tablets will become the norm for students in the next 18 months and that our services need to be ready.  He called upon publishers to improve e-textbook provision and to provide ‘smart books’ which will act as a personal study buddy through the use of learning analytics which show him, for example, the areas he may need to revise. A number of current barriers to becoming a paperless student were highlighted, including: 
  • lack of connectivity to cloud services such as Dropbox
  • cost – at the moment he pays for all his textbooks - with the advent of fees, students will expect this provision
  • the ePub format which prevents him from being able to copy and annotate sections of text, and 
  • the array of places to look to find relevant books.  
Joshua called for a universal store where they can be located and purchased.

Really useful library technology

Given the current interest in a shared LMS in Wales, I opted to attend a session from Adjoa Boateng and Dave Pattern about Alma and Intota.  Boateng gave a very candid presentation about the implementation of Alma at the University of East London.  As early adopters of this new product, they experienced a number of quite major sounding teething problems, particularly with the reader service, or ‘ fulfillment’ aspect of the product, including issues with self-service, fines, email notifications and reservations.  However, there were a number of aspects which went well including the ExLibris SFX integration, data load and configuration and overall they were pleased with the changes. 

Dave Pattern presented on the progress of their current JISC funded HIKE (Huddersfield, InTota, Knowledge Base+) project which is due to report soon and will include an evaluation of the new InTota LMS.  Both these presentations had a common theme which emphasized the importance of taking the opportunity to re-consider current workflows.  UEL responded to the requirements of the new platform during the implementation whereas Huddersfield’s approach was to map their ideal workflows first.  These workflows can be viewed on the project web site.

The final breakout session of the conference was another highlight for me.  It was presented by Ronán Kennedy and Monica Crump from GUI Galway and was a very candid account of their implementation of Primo and their users’ response.  It highlighted the importance of user-observation studies to truly understand how students and staff make use of our library resources and where they experiencing stumbling blocks.  We are just starting to make use of this methodology here at Cardiff University and I think that one-year-on from our implementation of Primo we should consider running a similar exercise.

Lightening Talks

A new format for UKSG, these sessions each consisted of 3 x 10 minute talks covering new services and innovations.  Of particular interest to me was Caroline Alderson’s presentation on the JISC Open Access fees pilot and Gill and Gravely’s presentation about their work to integrate mobile technologies into library services at Surrey.

Dodgems! (c) Rebecca Mogg, 2013

With quite few bleary eyed delegates in the room following Tuesday night’s funfair, dinner and disco Wednesday  morning kicked off with a brief presentation from Ed Penz at CrossRef who reported on some research UKSG will be undertaking into usage statistics and web analytics for discovery tools.  Liam Earney then talked about JISC’s new service, Knowledge Base+, which is currently available on free trial to the user community.  It aims to create a knowledge base of licence and subscription information which will enable institutions to improve their decision-making and management of resources.  Liam also mentioned a sister project in the US called GoKB which has an international scope and will be made available outside of the US in future.  Finally Simon Inger from Renew Training provided some highlight results from a large-scale study into reader navigation conducted in 2012.  The research compares readers from different sectors and subject areas and looks extremely useful.  Certainly a report to take a closer look at - How Readers Discover Content in ScholarlyJournals! 

Concluding sessions

The very last plenary sessions of the day came from the two Americans with fabulous headgear: Jason Scott from the Archive Team and T Scott Plutchak from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Scott’s entertaining presentation highlighted the transient nature of the web and how we are at the mercy of the whims of the internet’s major players who can suddenly decide to close down a site at short notice.  The closure of the GeoCities site in 2009 with only 30 days notice to users, prompted Scott to set up the Archive Team, who are identifying and downloading material from “at risk” web sites and saving it for posterity.  
Plutchak rounded off the conference with a plea for librarians and publishers to work more closely together and to learn more about the work that we each do.  He encouraged us to move away from stereotypical views of each other and avoid giving each other unhelpful badges.  Essentially we both want the same thing! 

We are very grateful to Rebecca Mogg for this report. If you have attended an event, or have undertaken a project which deserves wider dissemination, please do contact to see if we can publish your report here.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Bags of fun!

We've been very proud of our CILIP Cymru Wales conference bags in the past. They have been robust, fit for purpose, and generally been carried with pride. With a limited budget we've generally fulfilled the brief ... job done. Well, that's what we thought....

More recently we've noticed a strong creative undercurrent with our bags. Some incredibly talented members, in responding to, or perhaps even adding to, the zeitgeist for handicrafts, have been adapting and embellishing their bags.

Not one to miss a trick, we would love to encourage this creativity.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to embellish a CILIP Cymru Wales conference bag. Your embellishment can be in any method that you wish, but should be permanent (i.e. washable). I have a small stock of last year's bags, and so I can send a bag to you if you would like to have a go.

Email a photograph or two of your conference bag creativity project result to by Friday 24th May 2013, and include a paragraph of text about your inspiration and the methods used. Don't forget to include your name, but unlike Blue Peter, we won't need your age, unless you really want to tell us.

We are grateful to Sarah Barker for providing us with the inspiration.  We hope that it fires you up for the challenge too.


"I got the inspiration for the bag after seeing Mandy's button bag at conference last year.  I loved it so much I thought I'd embellish my Conference bag when I got home.  I collect buttons so had a fair few I knew I could use.  I also decided to strengthen the bag by sewing two together, this I did by hand as it gave a nicer, handmade finish. I sewed this together when I'd sewn on all the buttons so it hides all the threads. The design came about by the large green square buttons which looked like plant pots to me, so I decided to have two plants (trees) growing out of the pots up the back.  I deliberately chose predominantly green and red buttons to represent the colours of the Welsh flag.  The green tree has some cream buttons scattered about to represent blossom.  And because they are my favourite, a ladybird sits on the C of the CILIP.  It attracts comments from all who see it, including my Welsh class today."

 There will be a small prize for the winner, as well as the kudos of being included in this blog!! The judge's decision will be final, in fact, by then, it will all be in the bag.

Conference 2013 - Rising to the challenge: developing library and information services through partnership and collaboration. Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff. 16-17th May 2013.

And if thought of creative projects aren't for you then just a reminder that we are now in the final countdown for Conference 2013. If you tweet please checkout #cilipw13 and follow the build-up for the 16 and 17th May. It's not too late to register! Full details including how to book are given here.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

CILIP Mentor Refresher Training - Bristol

Existing CILIP mentors based in South Wales, who wish to update their knowledge on mentoring within CILIP, may be interested in attending an event at UWE in Bristol. Financial support to cover the course fee and travel costs may be available from CILIP Cymru Wales funding or via the Kathleen Cooks Benevolent Fund. Please contact me to discuss your attendance and the way that we can support you.

Mentoring for chartership: everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask

Wednesday 12 June 2013, 10:25 – 15:45 (registration and refreshments from 10:00).

University of the West of England, Bristol.

Are you already a CILIP mentor? Would you like an update on the CILIP framework of qualifications and time to network with other mentors? Are you considering becoming a mentor? This day will provide delegates with the opportunity to:

• gain a better understanding of the CILIP framework • gain clear information on points of contact for support for mentors and mentees • develop a network of CILIP mentors across the sectors • develop a sustainable source of mutual support for CILIP mentors.

Speakers from CILIP and the chartership board will share new developments and updates, and answer questions from delegates. The afternoon will be a mentor exchange of experience session, in which mentors can discuss issues and concerns with other mentors and support officers.

Cost: £35 to include lunch and refreshments.
For more information and to book your place, please visit the course website.  If you have any further queries, please contact 

Mentor training and support in Wales 

Support and update training, in addition to training of new mentors, has been identified as an area of need within Wales. CILIP Cymru Wales will therefore be pleased to support your attendance. We are also running, in conjunction with PTEG, a mentor training and refresher event in NE Wales in Flint on 29 May 2013. Further details are available of this event are available here. Places are still available.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nominees announced

CILIP Cymru Wales is delighted to announce the long-list of 12 nominees for this, the inaugural Welsh Librarian of the Year Award. 

The judging panel are diligently working on selecting a shortlist of nominees, and also the overall winner, who will be announced at the CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference Dinner, in Cardiff on 16th May.  Sirsi-Dynix, the library technology specialists, are kindly sponsoring the Award, enabling a prize of £500 to be awarded to the winner.

The following library and information professionals, who live and /or work in Wales have been nominated by their colleagues:

Public Sector category (local authority, government and health);
  • Geraint Bowen                   Cardiff Libraries
  • Elizabeth Evans                  Swansea Libraries
  • Gwilym Games                   Swansea Libraries
  • Bethan M Hughes                Denbighshire Library Services
  • Rebecca Jones                   Welsh Government Library & Archive Services
  • Carole Morgans                   Cardiff Libraries
  • Preeti Pathak                     Cardiff Libraries
  • Cassie Tozer                      Cardiff Libraries

Academic & Research category (H&FE, Research, National Library);
  • Lori Havard                       Swansea University, ISS
  • Marie Lancaster                 Cardiff Metropolitan University Library
  • Rebecca Mogg                   Cardiff University Libraries
  • Helen Staffer                    Cardiff University Libraries

Nominees, we celebrate you!

These nominations highlight the achievements, impacts or innovation of our nominees and mark the significant contributions that library and information professionals make to their patrons, communities, organisations and society as a whole.
“The librarian plays a key role in the function of libraries in our communities, a fact that can often be overlooked in discussions and debates around buildings and cultural resources.  It is the librarian who shapes the character of a library, and who drives for its success. SirsiDynix is delighted to sponsor the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award in its first year, recognising the important contribution of an individual and as an advocate for the profession.”
Barbara Pacut, SirsiDynix EMEA Sales Director
The judging panel includes distinguished representatives from the library and information community in Wales and from CILIP within the UK.

In addition to saluting the nominees we also wish to mark our appreciation and gratitude to our members who embraced the Award with such enthusiasm and who went that extra mile in submitting nominations for their colleagues. Your time and effort is very much appreciated!

Further information:
Welsh Librarian of the Year - CILIP Cymru Wales web pages
Press release - Sirsi Dynix
Follow the discussion on Twitter #WLYA13

Monday, 15 April 2013

Guest posting - Bücherhalle Hamburg

We are thrilled that Paul Jeorrett has kindly agreed to provide a photo blog on a recent visit to the Bücherhalle Hamburg whilst on holiday. It is usually fascinating to visit other library services, never more so than when in another country. Paul's blog demonstrates many contrasts but also much food for thought. Thanks Paul - we look forward to your next posting! Let this serve as a public invitation for any CILIP Cymru Wales member to offer postings for this blog. Please contact the Policy Officer with your suggestions.

Sentinels outside Bücherhalle Hamburg
"Mann und Frau" by Stephen Balkenhol 
When on leave I wouldn’t normally visit too many libraries. In the case of the Bücherhalle Hamburg  earlier this year curiosity got the better of me as it lay on the route from the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) and my hotel! The first thing you notice is the strikingly huge sculpture ‘Mann und Frau’ by Stephen Balkenhol which stands sentinel at the entrance to the library, housed in the old central post office building since 2004.

Once inside you are immediately struck by the largest self return system I have seen on display, with windows all around for customers to see the full works. I was warmly welcomed by Christoph Fathke, one of the Library staff and he explained that the Danish company  Lyngsoe which installed the self return system is responsible for everything on the other side of the glass, including the transport of items between the 32 branches in the city. Bücherhalle staff only take responsibility when the trolleys are removed for re-shelving. For more information about the system see this case study.
The Lyngsoe self return system
Interactive floor plans, via touch screens, help
Bücherhalle users and visitors to find their way.
The central library itself is located on three floors and feels spacious , light and welcoming.  Another interesting innovation is their interactive multilingual electronic guide to the library (supplied by, which is touch screen and offers detailed illustrations of how to access what might otherwise be a large and potentially confusing building.  In addition I am happy to report that there are many strategically located information points throughout the building fully staffed during  library opening hours, with librarians looking after specific areas of stock along the lines of academic subject librarians in UK universities.

 "there are many strategically located information points throughout the building fully staffed during  library opening hours, with librarians looking after specific areas of stock along the lines of academic subject librarians in UK universities"

The cafe area - calm before the doors open.

There is a spacious café area on the ground floor of the library, although this picture looks a little empty as Christoph was kind enough to give me a tour before the library opened for business. When the doors did open the library became a thriving centre of the city community, obviously appreciated and well used by many Hamburgers. Unlike UK libraries everyone pays a small annual subscription to borrow from the library -
the maximum being €45 for adults over 27.

It is encouraging to see a real investment in services to children and young people and their reading. The children’s library called Kibi, short for Kinderbibliothek Hamburg was bright and lively with different areas for children to explore such as the Goldfischbecken (the goldfish bowl) for the under 3s and a flexible storytelling area called the Traumhaus (the Dream House).  Altona Library, in a suburb of Hamburg, the whole branch is themed around reading and activities for teenagers and young adults. 

The IT Suite provides a venue for
information literacy sessions for
school students
Within the Bücherhalle Hamburg, there is a dedicated IT suite and school groups come in to the Library for regular information literacy sessions delivered by the library staff. This is really innovative but one of the differences between Germany and Wales is that we work in partnership across the library sectors in areas such as information literacy and in Germany the different sectors tend to work separately.

The whole atmosphere of the Bücherhalle Hamburg draws you in and makes you want to stay and explore the extensive stock. You can see the level of design and detail on each floor and even Beethoven looks down on the Music Library information desk! The statistics for 2011 speak for themselves with 800,000 visits each year and 3.6 million loans not bad for a city population of 1.8 million!

Exceptional levels of design and detail makes this a space that draws you in,
makes you want to stay and explore further.
If you get the chance do visit the wonderfully vibrant second largest city in Germany, there is a lot to see but do add Bücherhalle Hamburg to your itinerary. For those of you who can’t get there just now you may want to tune in to this episode of  the German Sesame Street (Sesamestrasse) which was filmed in Bucherhalle Hamburg. Now there’s an idea for the marketing strand of Libraries Inspire?

My thanks go to Christoph Fathke and Anna Barckow at Bücherhalle Hamburg who gave me such a warm welcome and provided so much valuable information.

Our thanks go to Paul for this fascinating blog. We will welcome your comments on this photo blog, or indeed suggestions and contributions for further guest postings.

Paul Jeorrett is University Librarian and Head of Student Services at Glyndŵr University. Paul is a WHELF Representative and is the WHELF Observer on the CILIP Cymru Wales Executive Committee.  

All images in this posting are (c) Paul Jeorrett, 2013.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Conference 2013 - "Early Bird" Rates finish soon

Booking is now open for the CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference 2013.  Discounted (early bird) rates apply for both day and full delegate charges until Friday 12th April 2013. Please book NOW to take advantage of these excellent rates.
The not-so-early bird!

Meeting the Challenge: developing library and information services through partnership and collaboration. 16-17 May 2013, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff.
Full details of the Conference are available here or skip straight to the booking form in English or Welsh

The final Conference Programme will be published shortly and involves a fascinating mix of speakers and seminar leaders:
  • Liz McGettigan (Edinburgh Libraries) will be providing our Key Note address. Liz has recently been appointed to The Guardian Public Sector editorial advisory board and is scheduled to speak at IFLA in Singapore over the Summer. For a flavour of recent developments in Edinburgh please see this article.
  • Christina Dyer and Sue Sanderson (Nottingham City Libraries) will speak about their experiences in creating and delivering the award winning Bulwell Riverside Library Partnership. Nottingham City Libraries have also recently been shortlisted for The Bookseller Awards– Library  of the Year Award.
  • Following recent publication of an edited collection of papers by Facet Publishing, Maxine Melling and Margaret Weaver will talk on the theme of collaboration in libraries andlearning environments.
  • We have lots of Welsh themed content too, including sessions on library partnerships, the ITV Digital archive at the National Library of Wales, collaboration through social media, developing a toolkit to enable walk-in access to electronic resources, and the Welsh Youth Libraries Group experiences of participating in the Kate Greenaway prize.

So don’t delay – book today! 

Please do contact if you require any further information. The deadline for applications for supported (free) places, or for financial assistance with travel costs also closes on Friday 12 April. Please see this blog entry for further information

Image Credit: By Steve-h (Flickr: The not-so-early bird!) CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 5 April 2013

Last call - Supported places to attend CILIP Cymru Conference

There is now just one-week left in which to make your application for a supported (free) place to  attend conference this year. We are offering:

·         2 full delegates: including conference attendance on Thursday and Friday, attendance at the Tir na n’Og reception and conference dinner, with overnight accommodation in the Radisson Blu Hotel Cardiff

·         9 day delegate places: to attend on Thursday and/or Friday (09:45 – 16:30)

We are also able to offer some support to assist with transport costs to and from the conference, to a maximum of £50 per application.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 12 April 2013. For further information please see this former blog posting