Monthly Archives: August 2015

British Library Open Day for Social Sciences Researchers

Back in February,  I attended the Doctoral Students’ Open Day for Social Sciences at the British Library.  This was a great opportunity to experience the British Library from the point of view of an advanced researcher (as opposed to my previous experience of using it whilst doing my Information Science Masters course). After an introductory talk, which … Continue reading British Library Open Day for Social Sciences Researchers

Open for Business: Visits to City Business Library and the British Library Business & IP Centre

City Business Library visits – 18 June and 14 July 2015 British Library Business & IP Centre visit – 29 July 2015 This summer we, Catie and Hilary, visited two libraries catering to small business owners, researchers and entrepreneurs in London: City Business Library and the British Library Business & IP Centre. As the Information Specialist … Continue reading Open for Business: Visits to City Business Library and the British Library Business & IP Centre

I’ve Had My FIL: #interlend15

As far as propositions go, spending a no expenses spared* night at a plush Manchester hotel with your employer picking up the tab isn’t the worst. But throw in the phrase ‘networking opportunity’ and all of a sudden a shiver runs down my spine, all of my neck muscles tense and I quickly reach for … Continue reading I’ve Had My FIL: #interlend15

It’s Good to Share…

I wasn’t quite sure  what to expect from the  CPD25 seminar : Inclusive Staff Development: sharing knowledge across the library  on  23/06/15,  except that our own Samantha Halford and Derek Mackenzie would be presenting and, well, I do like to share…

A good range of  academic institutions were represented and most of the attendees were responsible for staff training within their library service. It seemed that for many of them “staff training” was synonymous with “staff development”  and was quite a structured programme managed by one person or team; quite different from here at City where we have staff training, and staff development is  much more self-motivated , individualised and ad hoc .
Good things to share #1 CHIPS

The afternoon started with Samantha and Derek‘s Courses and Conferences Sharing Sessions at City University. Their main themes:

  • Sharing knowledge within library teams; models of support & good practice.
  • Culture of contribution. Staff Development Group.
  • Recording training events; technical difficulties sharing feedback. Staff blog!
  • Staff Feedback sessions; promoting a culture of sharing info, and developing  other skills eg presentation.
  • Challenges: timing, attendance, engagement and content. Haphazard nature of reporting back.
Good things to share #2  GOSSIP

Next we had Chiara Barontini and Imogen Rooney with Staff training – the challenges of reaching daytime, evening and weekend staff at Birkbeck College. Obviously Birkbeck largely caters for evening and weekend courses, and their library service reflects this – it is open 24/7 – always with library staff, rather than just security personnel. This was a difficult choice but felt necessary to achieve consistency. Their main points:

  • 1 hour staff training a week vital. Unsociable hours; so turnover quite high. Trying to maintain same level of service at all times; their main challenge.
  • Include “well-being” in staff training sessions. Not just training in work tasks, but broadening outlook too.
  • Evaluating training; feedback forms ( straight after training, and termly). Opportunity for staff to express what they’d like more/less of.
  • Challenges: main one is timing/scheduling.
Good things to share #3  CUDDLES

Our last presentation was  from Kirsty Wallis and Kathryn Brazier: The University of Kent’s LibChats initiative and “innovation through discussion”. I found this particularly interesting as Kirsty and Kathryn were both junior  staff members (like myself) who had been given alot of freedom and a very small budget (for tea & cake!)  to create a way of sharing new ideas with the service, and stimulate discussion.  They  ran with it and came up with Libchats – after hours talks/presentations  from information professionals that staff would find interesting and useful. They have managed to attract  quite a number of speakers on a range of subjects eg Andrew Gray from the  British Antartic  Survey, and have attracted a good attendance from their colleagues. Their main points:

  • Building community across the service including different grades.
  • Reaching out to wider local and academic community and raising the library service’s profile.
  • Investigating how best to record sessions as they have become so popular.
  • Injecting fresh approaches and new ideas into the service.
  • Challenges: maintaining quality of speakers, time, small budget eg travel expenses etc.

As with most workshops/courses,  meeting others with similar but different experiences was  the most rewarding part of the afternoon, and we had an opportunity to quiz the presenters as well as all contribute to the discussion.  I  thoroughly enjoyed it, and I may have learnt a thing or two as well…

Good things to share #4  KNOWLEDGE

Good things to share #4  KNOWLEDGE



BLA Christmas Event – Social Media in Libraries

Last year (ahem – well this is amnesty week!) I attended the BLA Christmas Event – Social Media in Libraries. Held at Regent’s University College, it was nice to see an old colleague and also to meet famous faces from the world of Library Social Media! We were sent some pre-event reading in the form … Continue reading BLA Christmas Event – Social Media in Libraries

Creative Library Teaching Workshop – Leeds Beckett University, May 2015

The title of this workshop really interested me. I have a background in performing arts and have dappled in creative writing (scripts for plays and short films, poetry, outlines for full length novels and/or screenplays) so I was keen to see some new ideas that I could perhaps incorporate into my teaching. We started with … Continue reading Creative Library Teaching Workshop – Leeds Beckett University, May 2015

EIUG (European Innovative User Group) 2015

WARNING: This blog posts contains an unusually high number of acronyms. Read at your own risk. In early July I attended the EIUG conference in Dublin. This year it was held as a joint conference with the IIUG (Irish Innovative User Group) as Innovative have attracted several  new Irish customers recently, including Trinity College Dublin, … Continue reading EIUG (European Innovative User Group) 2015