EBSLG Conference

I was fortunate enough to attend the European Business School Librarians’ (EBSLG) conference in at St. Gallen University earlier this month. I delivered a paper on Creating an impact with library promotions in which I shared some of the great work of our Library Marketing Group.  Here is a summary of highlights from the conference. If you would like any further information on any of the items, please let me know.

One of the earliest sessions was  “Humanities’ Business” – a research project on the integration of the humanities in management education. This was a presentation on how humanities and social sciences have been integrated into management education curricula in some US and European business schools. This is done at St. Gallen where 8000 students have to do a ‘contextual studies’ programme. The model for this was the 2011 Carnegie report Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education.

Another interesting session covered the Internet of Things (IOT) which gave an overview of recent real world IOT-applications including a film which gives an overview of IOT.

We had a presentation on how RFID technology was being used in one Swiss art library where an RFID reading device scans the shelves every evening  and checks if there are any empty spaces.  The RFID catalogue provides users with a real time image of the shelf to show where the book is located. They have also created a smart table which will capture a record of whatever books users have on the table and puts them on a PC screen. Students can then save the profile of the books being used.  Students can also write notes from items and drag and drop them into a pdf.

From the presentation A pedagogical perspective on MOOCs: What are the implications for learning and teaching in Higher Education? I learnt that there are such things as xMOOCs and cMOOCs. An xMOOC is the more basic version where students are fed information by an expert with very little discussion. A cMOOC is more participative and collaborative, using social media, analysis and evaluation. The possible functions of Library Services in relation to MOOCs were identified by the speaker as;  i) providing instruction in information literacy ii) providing Mini-MOOCs (scalable support, xMOOC approach) iii) developing information research assignments.

Some  members shared their experiences of supporting MOOCs in their own institutions. This is currently at quite a basic level, including things like e-book access and the promotion of OA material.

Blended Interaction

A presentation on blended learning by the University of Konstanz was very inspiring. The presentation looked at a recent project at the University which investigated how the physical library might be blended with the virtual library. Central to this was the development of a  prototype touch sensitive table to create an integrated workplace. Students can interact with the table in different ways, including using a stylus pen to highlight and drag content from a physical book onto the table screen. The table can pick up a bibliographic reference from a book and students can also search for words in a physical book which is placed on the table.

A hybrid bookshelf was demonstrated which will be available in September 2015. This is a touch screen shelf available via OPACs which enables students to filter searches and organise results. QR codes attached to each title give a map of where the book is located.

Members sharing sessions

There were a number of interesting members sharing sessions. Key ones of interest included the work being done at Manchester University to engage academic staff using Linkedin, Oxford’s use of comic strips to engage MBAs during induction and the Seatfinder initiative at St. Gallen. IE Library in Madrid are running  a number of innovative projects including using special blackboards to share messages, gesture recognition (Leap Motion); a roll up Library Assistant (I anticipate some questions on this one); Myo Thalmic armband; Cicret bracelet and Google goggles.

And you’re ever wondering what to do with all those withdrawn journal back issues, here’s one idea from St. Gallen.


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