‘Library staff are the signposts to learning’

So said Principal of City of Glasgow College  Paul Little as he welcomed delegates to his college. The SLIC annual FE Libraries Conference took place there on Thursday 24th November, shortly before the new supercampus building development was announced.

Once again the programme was planned in partnership with Scotland’s Colleges CoP and the JISC RSC Scotland.
‘Learner Landscapes: the future of FE Libraries’ opened with a topical debate around Scottish Government proposals for post 16 education reform which Tom MacMaster summarised neatly for everyone. It was clear from the feedback that the proposals were generating worry among the FE community but nevertheless offered some opportunities for library services too.

Tom MacMaster

Moving on, the annual FE Libraries survey was launched by Director of SLIC, Elaine Fulton, who discussed  findings which revealed increasing use of online resources and technology such as QR codes as well as more Saturday opening in response to learner demands. Everyone received a copy of the survey in Conference pack which is also available to download.
Karen Stevenson, Library Management System Coordinator at Glasgow University, reprised and updated her presentation  given to a CILIPS audience in Glasgow earlier this year and discussed developing a mobile strategy for the library, something which more of our members are starting to think seriously about.
From Boston College we welcomed JISC award winner Daisy Fulton accompanied by Bran Lanbourne who introduced delegates  to their use of QR codes in library induction in a very enjoyable presentation. Our exhibitors, 2CQR, CLA, Demco Gresswell, OCLC and PTFS looked on as Daisy discussed her prize winning project.

Daisy Fulton, Boston College

Following a networking lunch, beautifully catered for by Rhona of the catering company franchised to the college, and a look round the exhibition it was straight into a QR exercise in the College’s Learning Curve, before Mark Clark and Joan Walker of the JISC RSC Scotland took some time out with delegates to discuss recent advances in eBooks technology.
After more refreshments we heard from OCLC on their Webscale discovery project and CLA on the new licensing arrangements planned for the sector. Gordon Hunt, our super able chair for the day had one last duty after that which was to pick our prize draw winners with the assistance of Jill Evans. Congratulations to Stephanie Rae of Jewel and Esk College who won first prize of a Kindle!
Did the delegates enjoy it? Let them speak for themselves:
“Sessions were highly relevant and engaging; active session on QR codes overcame possible post lunch slump; good buzz in the room all day!”
“This was one of the most engaging events I’ve been to, the programme was fantastic, the venue is easy to get to, the food was good, and Gordon Hunt was a great chair”.
“It was an excellent event with a well balanced programme”

Can you Diigo it?

Earlier this year SLIC announced the recipients of our annual Innovation and Development Fund programme.  Among the successful bidders is the Diigo project being managed and delivered by Perth College in partnership with Moray College and Inverness College, all UHI institutions.  The Diigo initiative is all about building a Scottish FE resource knowledge base.  Specifically, the project partners intend to create an online collaborative high quality database of links to resources and make them available to librarians and educators in the Scottish FE sector using the Web 2.0 application Diigo.

The objectives of the project are

To identify types of resource to be recorded;

To identify, link and tag appropriate FE resources and;

To create an indexing system, including information about content, price (if appropriate) and how material can be accessed.

The lead partners at Perth College along with SLIC hope that as many information professionals as possible across Scotland will contribute to this exciting resource sharing initiative.  There are two ways you can get involved:

1.  Sign up for Diigo, and join the SLIC Diigo group.

2.  If you don’t want to join Diigo, you can still browse the library as it builds and make direct suggestions by email.

To help you, Perth College has made available an introductory guide for contributors which you can get hold of  by contacting Donald Maclean, Learning Technologies Manager  at Perth College Donald.MacLean@perth.uhi.ac.uk.  Donald’s also the man to contact with your suggestions and comments on the initiative.