CILIPS Autumn Gathering 2012

Carnegie Conference Centre welcomed a record 135 delegates to the #CILIPSAG12 event last week and still we had a waiting list to see and hear a varied programme of speakers!


The ‘literacies’ theme proved to be incredibly popular with our members as did each of the keynote presentations from Hannah Gore, Biddy Fisher and Dughall McCormick.


The parallel sessions were equally popular with Gordon Hunt crying out for more chairs to seat those who had turned up to hear Jennifer Jones discuss social media. The packed session meant that some of us (including me) had to be turned away.


During the course of the day delegates were encouraged to tweet their thoughts, impressions and photos and many did. Richard Hawkins of CILIP kindly created a twitter archive for us which you can view here. (just click ‘archive’ at the bottom to view. Thank you Richard!


Once again, our event was well supported by a range of exhibitors, for which we’re very grateful. There were prizes won too in an afternoon draw including champagne, chocolates and an e-reader.


CILIP CEO Annie Mauger hosted a #shoutabout table over lunch which gave school librarians an opportunity to discuss the sector landscape in Scotland in advance of the lobby taking place at the Scottish Parliament on 27th October.
Feedback is still to be analysed but it looks like most delegates enjoyed a useful and productive day where they were able to encounter and discuss new ideas, engage with suppliers and network with colleagues.

Scottish Libraries Programme of events Autumn/Winter 2012

There is a variety of events being offered in Scotland by CILIPS, CILIP and SLIC over the coming months. The details are here for noting:

Promoting Digital Resources: This practical workshop postponed from last June will run twice to satisfy demand, once on August 22nd and then repeated on September 19th. CILIPS is very pleased to be partnering the JISC RSCScotland on delivery of this course. The event is a sell out but you can drop cilips@slainte.org.uk a line if you’d like your name to go on the reserve list.

Our parent organisation CILIP is bringing the popular LMS Supplier showcase to Scotland for the first time. It’s coming to Edinburgh on September 20th. It’s a free event being held in the King James Hotel and you can get all the information you need here.

Autumn Gathering: Back for its third year, this one day conference organised by CILIPS is again being held in Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline. This year’s theme is ‘literacies’ and speakers will be presenting on cross sectoral issues. You can see the full schedule here and you can book an early bird rate delegate place here  (early bird rates are available until 31st August).


In October and November CILIPS is offering two complementary courses on branding for your service and personal branding.’ Branding libraries: What does your brand say about your service?’ is a one day workshop being offered in partnership with the Open University Business School and is designed as a marketing taster course. It will take place in Glasgow on 18th October and  introduce some of the basic concepts underlying brand theory, explore some examples of good branding in public services and prompt some thinking on how libraries can move forward in their relationships with the communities they serve. Book a place and view the course description here.

In November we follow this up with a workshop on personal branding. CILIPS is delighted to have secured Kathy Ennis of Envision Training to run a one day workshop for us on 7th November in Glasgow. Making the most of what you’ve got: Personal Branding and Marketing for Career Success  is designed for the library and information professional seeking to make an impact in their working environment. Kathy’s workshop is a practical interactive session will show you how you can market yourself and your service effectively using personal branding as a professional development tool. Places are limited for this event and there’s a special early bird rate available until 30th September. For all the details and online booking click here.

Partner organisation SLIC are once again working with SCURL, MMITS, JISC and SALCTG to bring the annual eBooks conference to Scotland. The speaker line up is available to view here  and booking is already open for the event which takes place in Edinburgh on 25th October. Early bird rates are available until mid September and you can find out more and book here


Don’t forget that libraries also  feature heavily in the Festival of Politics during August and you can get details of events and speakers in an earlier posting or by visiting the Festival of Politics website.

Goldentwits at MmITSCotland AGM!

This week I attended a full house event at Glasgow University library. The occasion was the MmITScotland AGM which featured Stewart Bain of Orkney Library as the guest speaker. It was heartening to see so many younger members of the profession turning out to support the CILIP Special Interest Group.

MmITScotland works with SLIC and SCURL to deliver the annual Scottish e-books conference and each year sponsors two delegate places at that event. So it was good to note that newly elected members of the Committee, Leigh Bunton, Louise Morrison, Shayna Conn and Claire Bell are all interested and active participants in digital developments. You can follow the Group on Twitter at @MmITScotland.  They also have a blog .

Stewart Bain is the voice of @OrkneyLibrary, the recipient of two Golden Twit Awards at the recent International Social Media Awards for their work with Twitter. Stewart explained that Orkney library and Archive have been using Twitter since 2009 to engage with and inform the public. @anabelmarsh has produced a storify of Stewart’s presentation. She has also blogged about the event.

The afternoon fairly flew by with lots of questions and discussion generated by Stewart’s talk. It was a real pleasure to meet the voice behind the tweets and to learn more about how the service is making social media work for them. You can join 5000 other followers  on Twitter @OrkneyLibrary.

You belong @ your library

Last February libraries and librarians celebrated the first UK National Libraries Day. Over in the USA all this week (8-14April) is designated National Libraries Week  and it’s an event inaugurated over 50 years ago.
The annual celebration of all things ‘library’ features various themes, events and activities all aimed at encouraging people to show their support for libraries and librarians. That’s why one day this week is also designated National Library Workers Day and celebrates the work of information professionals like ourselves.
Coinciding with National Libraries Week is the publication by the ALA of the annual State of America’s Libraries Report  which researches and documents trends and activities across the sectors. This document records issues not dissimilar to those in the UK:

  • Service cuts across all sectors
  • Rise in demand for e-books
  • Increasing use of social media and web 2.0 to support service delivery

Molly Raphael,  President of the ALA, observes that the economic circumstances forcing service reductions are in turn boosting demand for free services such as internet access on offer in libraries and that ‘every service hour lost…translates into lost opportunities to connect people to distance education, employment opportunities and hands on help.’
A fascinating slideshow  put together byPCMag.com illustrates the myriad ways in which libraries and librarians are a good investment and should be celebrated.

There’s lots of food for thought in the report and events to inform our own planning activities for next year’s National Libraries Day in the UK.

Put the @GWLkettle on – CILIPS is coming for tea!

What is Glasgow Women’s Library? That’s what 20 librarians hoped to find out when CILIPS organised a visit and tour of this resource one evening earlier this week. We met guide and fellow librarian, Wendy Kirk, who introduced us to the collection housed at the Mitchell Library in Charing Cross.

The Glasgow Women’s Library is the only resource of its kind in Scotland and is part of the Women’s Information Network of Europe. Its origins lie in a City of Culture initiative and this year it will celebrate its 20th anniversary having been located in Garnethill and Trongate during its long existence. As well as a lending stock Glasgow Women’s Library also has museum status and is home to a collection of memorabilia and archives celebrating women’s history and lives. Everything contained in the collection has been donated – the Library is independent of the public library network and receives no funding for core costs so has to fundraise to develop. Balance is achieved via a sensible acquisitions and disposal policy.

Yet Glasgow Women’s Library is so much more than a collection of books and journals. Around 80 volunteers assist the permanent team of 13 staff in delivering services  to a diverse group of users drawn from the length and breadth of the country.  Learning is at the heart of what the Library offers.  It runs specialised learning programmes and activities including adult literacy and numeracy, guided heritage walks and even film screenings. The website is where  you can get access to the library catalogue as well as a rich resource of other information about the library, its collection, projects and special events.  The highlight of the visit for me (apart from the tea and chocolate biscuits of course) was the collection of ‘Spare Rib’ journals – an essential read  when I was younger. The topics it addressed transported me to my youth.

We were also shown an incredible archive of old knitting patterns and feminist comics and introduced to the learning space where classes take place. All of us had the opportunity to join the Library and some of us left with books borrowed from the collection, after thanking Wendy for  a really interesting and enjoyable visit.

Passion for the Profession can be expressed in many ways

Our CILIP Chief Executive, Annie Mauger,  invited librarians via Twitter to ponder some controversial views expressed in a blog, ‘Deprofessionalisation and the blogosphere’  The article decried the standard of social media communication being conducted by professional librarians. Its author suggested that ‘the knowledge and skills that make up (professional expertise) should be our primary concern’ and argued that more journal articles and discussion of  content was what was needed. The article set me reflecting on our own situation in Scotland.

I think that while there is a place for considered and well argued journal articles, the social bonds engendered by participation in e.g. Twitter are equally important in encouraging a sense of community and common interest.  This can lead to debate but also activity and learning based around the profession.

One recent example of Twitter enabling this was the ‘tweetmeet’ organised by Anabel Marsh which led on to planning and participation in activities for National Libraries Day.   Activity has since grown into a semi regular event sponsored by CILIPS to encourage librarians from all sectors to meet up and share experiences while learning a little more about each other’s professional practice. (There’s another tweetmeet organised to take place at 6.15pm in the Bon Accord Pub, North Street, Glasgow, on 14th March if you’re interested in coming along).

As for the blogosphere there are some examples of writing  rooted in experience rather than theory and from which we can all learn. Here are a few blogs from Scottish colleagues you might care to sample:

 Nicola Osborne who works for EDINA is expert at liveblogging of events – a real skill – and she always posts something of use for those with an interest in social media and libraries.

Neal Buchanan from the University of West of Scotland posts on educational events and activities in which he’s involved – useful for anyone who isn’t able to attend in person.

Christine Irving blogs at  on the LIS DREAm project as well as what she has been up to professionally.

These are just three examples from Scotland but there are many more. What’s your favourite Scottish library blog?

It’s public knowledge – or is it?

This week SLIC and CILIPS have been engaged in drafting a response to the Scottish Government consultation on proposals for a Freedom of Information (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill. The consultation follows an earlier exercise to determine what should be included in amendment legislation.

In common with the outgoing Scottish Information Commissioner SLIC and CILIPS argued for the inclusion of additional bodies, such as local authority trusts to be designated under FOI(S)A legislation but the latest proposal suggests only two technical amendments and not the hoped for extension of coverage of the Act.

Scotland’s Information Commissioner, Kevin Dunion,  who will demit office later this month, contends that the state of freedom of information in Scotland is still strong but acknowledges there is more to be done. His final report  is well worth a read in the context of the current consultation and what is and is not a ‘designated body’ as that is where our concerns lie.

SLIC and CILIPS will continue to advocate for extending peoples’ information rights. We would like the loop to be closed on anomalies such as that experienced by residents of one local authority who lost the legal right to ask for information about their leisure services in 2009 when leisure services was outsourced to a trust. We remain optimistic that the Scottish Government will extend our ‘right to know’ in a future parliamentary session.