Megascones in Musselburgh with the JISC

The Web 2.0 Forum run by JISC is always good value for ideas and  initiatives.  Last week’s event wasno different. Hosted by the Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh it had been reschedule from late last year when the snowy weather and inclement conditions postponed it.

Fortified by a cup of coffee and a QMU megascone the well attended event heard first  from Simon Marsden, Director of Management Information Services at  Edinburgh University who discussed their recent student mobile survey aimed at capturing the requirements for a mobile campus. i was pleased to note that students would like to view their library records on mobiles but there were some other fascinating results in the survey too.

The Regional Support Centre’s e-learning advisor for access and inclusion discussed a new eduapp aimed at making information more accessible.  ‘Create and Convert’. This had so many practical applications as a tool to support users in complying with the single equalities legislation that CILIPS has invited Craig to discuss the app at our Conference in Glasgow on 7th June and introduce our audience to ‘Heather’ and ‘TOBI’..  Some of his presentation had a resonance with a SLIC funded project carried out by Cumbernauld College some years ago (SLICPOD)

Next we learned about another app from Emma Faragher of the National Library of Scotland. This time it was the John Murray archive – an app which can be downloaded free by anyone whether attending the exhibition or just curious to learn more.

Our own SLIC IDF fund is currently supporting Napier University to deliver a project looking at mobile technology in education.  Led by Laurence Patterson that project is due to report in November.

After a marvellous lunch and a general discussion it was time to move on to learn more about Creative Vado, a low cost low tech solution to making your own videos, from Carol Walker of the JISC.

During the end of the day discussion we also learned that EDINA has recently issued  some social media guidelines which complement the earlier publication released by SLIC/CILIPS on using Web 2 in libraries.

The RSC team are to be congratulated on organising another extremely practical and worthwhile  event – well done Sara B et al!


Digital Futures: adapting to new e-environments conference

On Thursday 22nd October the 9th Annual E-Books Conference was held at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. This event felt timely due to the recent increase in dedicated mass-market e-book readers available on the market and the proliferation of large screen smart ‘phones, such as the iphone.

The first presentation, for which Colin Galloway kindly stepped in to present as Linda Bennett was unfortunately unavailable due to illness, gave an overview of the changes that the book market is currently undergoing.

Liam Earney, of JISC, presented on the JISC national e-books observatory project which aims to explore the way that e-books are used and the impacts that they have. The study was carried as the demand amongst academic librarians for unlimited concurrent and perpetual access to e-texts for their students creates concern amongst publishers that their future revenues will be destroyed as students purchase fewer of the “core” textbooks.

David Pattern of Huddersfield University Library rounded things off before lunch with a lively presentation on OPAC 2 and beyond which looked at how library professionals can seek to make their online catalogues more in tune with their users experience of the web by simplfying the front end and adding more web 2.0 type tools to enhance their experience and increase the access to the data held by libraries. This has to be a priority if e-books are to constitute a higher proportion of a libraries stock in the future as, without the physical prescence, if they are not easily available to students, they are effectively invisible.

After lunch, representatives of suppliers (Springer, Dawson and OCLC) discussed what they are doing to make e-books more available to users and some interesting experiments with different payment models which could, hopefully, increase access to information for users.

To round the afternoon off, Dan Franklin, Digital Editor of Canongate gave a thought-provoking presentation on the future of e-publishing, with specific reference to the ability of digital devices to provide a multi-media experience, which is undoubtedly more exciting than simply replicating the printed word on an electronic screen. This was highlighted with the demonstration of writer and musician Nick Cave’s new novel, which is available in print, electronically and as an iphone app.

Update: Slideshows from this event are now available in the scottishlibraries slideshare account.

What are you doing (in September)?

CILIPS, as an early adopter of microblogging, developed a Twitter presence as part of our research into how Web 2.0 tools might support member engagement and also be incorporated into workflows – activity which in turn is supporting our efforts to lead discussion on the usefulness to our membership of emergent technologies. What we want to encourage is use of Twitter as a professional and service development tool.

With more than 1.78 million people signed up for use, Twitter has become one of the most popular sites on the Internet. In recognition of its role as a communication force, CILIP in Scotland is offering a special half day course in Glasgow this September to help library professionals get up and running with this technology. See our events calendar  for more information and to book.

Web 2.0 Tools

At the end of November John and I attended the SLIC FE Conference ( see John’s post) and one of the speakers was Phil Bradley described in the programme as the “Well known Internet consultant, librarian and popular CILIP ‘Update’ columnist”.

During his presentation he talked about practical uses for Web 2.0 which he described as a load of stuff, state of mind, which requires us to think differently now and in the future and that websites were traditional, non interactive, dull and boring and that Web 2.0 allowed us to take back control.

Questions that we need to ask include: What do you want to do? What can you do better? What would you like to do?

Some of the things he covered included:

  • Wiki’s and their advantages – flexibility, easy and quick to update
  • Bookmarks – share with others, can access wherever we are e.g. delicious
  • Weblogs – quick, easy, non technical, current, interactive, a site in it’s own right
  • RSS – bringing information to you, filtering in different ways
  • Provide data in different ways:

  • Podcasts – for example audio tours of the library
  • YouTube – can be used as a good information tool
  • Flickr
  • Slideshare – useful to find experts, introduction to subject/s. See his presentation from this event on Slideshare Web 2.0 in the library.
  • Communication – we need to go where the conversations are taking place, space is becoming an information resource, don’t just look at email (email is for old people) look at other forms – weblogs, twitter. Social networks – utilise them.

    Expect obstacles that can be put in the way of librarians who want to engage in Web 2.00 tools: it can’t be done, we don’t have the resources, bandwidth problems, security issues, not enough time, not your job. His answer to that was ignore it because Web 2 is changing the way we use information, find information, do our jobs, interact with people, look at everything.

    I found his presentation informative and inspiring, giving me ideas on how to take the National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland) from a large pdf to a tabbed interactive website. I’ve spent some time playing around with creating a website with tabs in Netvibes (one of the a tools suggested by Phil in his presentation) but felt it still didn’t give me the interactivity so have decided to use a weblog. Our project blog has been working well and a blog would give me tabbed pages for the framework, posts for: comments on the framework; relevant exemplars that could be linked to the framework levels; information literacy policies or strategies; any other items of interest or relevance. Will keep you posted on progress.

    His webisite is a mine of information and worth having a look at.

    Teens and social networks

    Check out the dissertation from Danah Boyd at University of California in Berkeley,Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics available at:

    Anyone with an interest in social networks will find this really fascinating stuff, Danah spent 2.5 years studying the use amongst teens in the US.

    SLIC FE Conference

    The third SLIC Further Education (FE) libraries Conference took place on Fri 28 November at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. The event was introduced in 2006 as part of the new SLIC membership package and attendance is free to Scottish FE librarians. We had hoped to deliver a live blog of the event on twitter but were thwarted by connectivity issues at the venue!

    The day started off with Richard Wallis from Talis who used the recent JISC LMS study as a basis for discussing library management systems of the future, outlining the implications of ‘cloud computing’ for both librarians and vendors. The key message from that came across from this was the need for extensible systems that fit in users’ web space rather than stand alone entities.

    Keeping with the theme of user-focused web services, Phil Bradley then presented a practical, yet impassioned, guide to implementing Web2.0 in libraries, highlighting his pick of the numerous Web2.0 services and demonstrating their potential value in the library environment.

    The focus of the programme then switched to digital repositories, with Charles Duncan providing an overview of Intrallect and John Casey of UHI Millennium Institute sharing his experiences of managing intellectual property rights in networked e-learning.

    The final speaker of the day was Dave Pattern from Huddersfield University who outlined his work in incorporating Web2.0 technologies within the library management system. Dave presented a ‘warts and all’ overview of his experience with the LMS, allowing practitioners to benefit from his practical tips and cautionary tales.

    The day ended with a JISC sponsored discussion on Libraries of the future and a drinks and canapé reception afterwards. Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive and all presentations will soon be made available online for those who were unable to attend.

    Information Literacy and Public Libraries

    Last week was a busy week for the project with meetings and or presentations everyday.

    On Monday morning we were in Greenock at Inverclyde Libraries talking with the People’s Network Librarian Sean McNamara about identifying areas for possible IL input into existing courses they offer and new courses for 2009. Courses such as an employability course run through their local community partnership with Fairer Scotland funding and Career Planning in conjunction with the West of Scotland University. Discussed Web 2.0 tools and the possibility of using a blog for learners to give their thoughts and feedback on the course/s. Inverclyde Libraries Manager Sandra MacDougal joined our discussions and we spoke about staff training and IL including: the Information Handling Skills course and qualification as part of the SLIC 2000 Learners Project (used by Midlothian Lothian Public Libraries for staff training) and the POP-i course (developed and used by Bradford Public Libraries for their staff) also the previous NOF courses and the recent CILIPS / SQA ICT qualification for Libraries. Some of their staff are currently undertaking the ICTL qualification.

    We have had similar discussions with the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the Ewart Library in Dumfries. The Ewart Library offer an expanding programme of tutor led computer training courses and workshops in their libraries to assist local communities (in partnership with Adult Literacy and Numeracy Partnership , the local college and other learning providers). Included in the programmes is The British Computer Society eCitizen package which includes information literacy although it does not identify it as such.

    Glasgow REAL Learning Centres which are part of Glasgow Libraries have a new team in place of Learning Support Officers who will look after the learning centres (including learning portfolios, ITC and the employability agenda). Of interest to the project is the partnership between Glasgow Libraries and the Chamber of Commerce and the breakfast sessions held at The Mitchell Library.

    I’m sure we will be hearing and seeing more information literacy work in Public Libraries. If you are interested in this area then the Information Literacy Website has a section on IL and Public Libraries.