#MindfulTech19 : start 2019 by resolving to manage technology rather than letting it manage you

The MmIT Committee warmly invite its group members and others working in the library and information community to our meeting of talks, incorporating the MmIT  AGM for 2018, on 9 January 2019.  Hot drinks will be provided and we have four excellent speakers to help us consider the topics of mindful technology and how to beat digital distractions.

The programme:

  • How to feel better without logging off  Dr Sue Thomas (Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University and author of Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age). “Encounters with nature have measurable positive effects – heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, stress melts away and the brain is more able to concentrate. This talk looks at how the same benefits can be gained by accessing nature in VR and online, and explains why we need more nature, not less technology. This is a chance to be mindful of the ways we connect to the natural world both on and offline”.
  • We aren’t addicted to our phones, we are addicted to being social  Dave White (Head of Digital Learning, University of the Arts London).  “Much of being mindful with technology involves us reflecting on our motivations to engage – are we making a positive choice or simply being pushed around by addictive platforms? Are we in control or simply feeding the data machine? A useful way to consider this is through the notion of personal agency. In this talk I will discuss how we can define clear modes of engagement when using digital technology and how we can retain our agency in an environment which has atomised knowledge and communication”.
  •  Mindful Tech: balancing work and life Antony Groves (Learning and Teaching Librarian, University of Sussex). “Last summer I blogged about mindful tech offering digital solutions to our digital problems.  Today I’ll discuss how I seek to bring balance to both personal and professional life through the mindful use of technology”.
  • 20 quick ways to beat digital distraction Andy Tattersall (Information Specialist, University of Sheffield). “Did your New Year Resolutions include making 2019 less digitally overwhelming?  This talk will take you on a whistle stop tour of 20 ideas and technologies to help you beat digital distraction”.

Date: Wednesday 9 January 2019 1-4.30pm

Venue: CILIP, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE

Free to attend; book online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mmit-2018-agm-and-free-talks-on-mindful-technology-and-beating-digital-distractions-tickets-51333887038

MmIT is a Special Interest Group of Cilip, the UK’s library and information association.


Making time for an #HourOfCode

MmIT Committee member Antony Groves writes:

Time is relative; there may be fifty-two weeks in the calendar year but in the Social Media Year there are hundreds of Weeks, each with their own hashtag. In October we saw National Libraries WeekOpen Access WeekNational Work Life WeekDyslexia Awareness Week and International OCD Awareness Week to name a few. The subject of this post will be December’s Computer Science Education Week, specifically the Hour of Code during it.

At the University of Sussex Library, as part of this week, we will be running an Hour of Code event – one of the thousand happening across the UK. The Hour of Code website explains that these events “started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics”. Here you can sign up to host an hour, which we are doing, following in the steps of Imperial College London.

Our Hour of Code event on December 4th is part of a workshop series we are running this term to help students develop their digital skills, aligned to the Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework. The first element of this framework is ‘ICT Proficiency’, described in part as “an understanding of basic concepts in computing, coding, and information processing”. We hope that the Hour of Code event will give participants the opportunity to gain this understanding.

In the same way that participants are not required to have any prior knowledge of coding, neither are those running the workshops. Information is provided on how to teach an hour and lesson plans are available for different levels of student using different types of technology, which you can browse at https://code.org/learn:


If you don’t have the time or resources for a lesson, self-led tutorials are also available, and students can use their own devices. Simply select the appropriate filters on the side of the page:

Over the summer we ran a ‘Library Code Camp’ giving staff the time and space to participate in a self-led online coding course of their choosing. Feedback was extremely positive and this approach could equally work for students. All that would be needed is a room for an hour, with someone to introduce the session and direct participants to the self-led tutorials.


If you can’t fit another hour into the first week of December or don’t feel that there’s enough time to prepare; it is possible to run your Hour of Code event at any point throughout the year with the blessing of the organisers.

Time is, after all, relative.


MmIT Webinar – 12th December 2pm (UK Time) Using video in your library and information service

Video is an extremely useful technology for any library or information service. You can use video to help promote your service and your work, deliver teaching and training and help communicate with wider audiences. There are misconceptions that you need lots of money and time to make effective videos, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whatever sector you work in we are certain that this webinar will show you how you can apply video in your role. Join the Cilip Special Interest Group Multimedia and Information Technology Group (MmiT) for a one hour webinar to explore some useful tools for making videos and animations to help you make effective use of video technology.

Hashtag for the event #MmITvideo @MultiMediaIT

Register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/using-video-in-your-library-and-information-service-tickets-52661074692


We have three expert speakers for the event.

Claire Sewell (University of Cambridge)

Claire is Research Support Skills Coordinator in the Office of Scholarly Communication in Cambridge where she oversees the professional development of library staff in areas such as copyright, Open Access and research data management. Focusing on the rapidly developing area of scholarly communication Claire develops training initiatives in order to ensure that library staff are best placed to support the research community. As part of her role she also manages the Research Support Ambassador Programme which enhances staff training skills so that they can provide frontline support.

Tweets @ces43

Christina Harbour (Anglia Ruskin University) MmIT Committee member

Christina has worked in libraries since 2003 and received her MA in Information & Library Management from John Moores University in 2007. Christinia’s library experience consists of working in the NHS and academic libraries. From 2006-2012 Christina worked as an Academic Liaison Librarian at Writtle College managing library resources for animal, equine, sport, agriculture and business subjects. This involved collection development, user education and liaising with lecturers.

Christina has since moved over Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford campus to take up the post of Subject Librarian for Business, Health & Education. As we speak I am currently on secondment working as a Project Manager to implement the Reading Lists software from Talis Aspire.

Christina is a member of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals as well as a CILIP mentor. Christina also works on a freelance basis, recently providing content provision to the JISC Intute service.

Tweets @tinalpool

Kim Donovan (University of Brighton)

Kim Donovan is the Information Adviser for St Peter’s House Library, University of Brighton. In this role, she co-ordinates library support for City Campus and the Schools of Art, Humanities and Media. Teaching Information Literacy is a big part of this role, and Kim is interested in experimenting with new technologies with the aim of enhancing student engagement.

Chairing the webinar

Andy Tattersall (University of Sheffield) Chair of MmIT 

Andy Tattersall is an Information Specialist at The School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and writes, teaches and gives talks about digital academia, technology, scholarly communications, open research, web and information science, apps, altmetrics and social media. In particular, their application for research, teaching, learning, knowledge management and collaboration. Andy received a Senate Award from The University of Sheffield’ for his pioneering work on MOOCs in 2013 and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Andy was named in Jisc’s Top 10 Social Media Superstars for 2017. He is also Chair for The Library and Information Association – Multi Media and Information Technology Committee. Andy edited a book on Altmetrics for Facet Publishing which is aimed at researchers and librarians.

Tweets @Andy_Tattersall

Joining Details

Join the live session by clicking the link below:


The session takes place in an Adobe Connect webinar – headphones and a microphone are advisable, but the microphone is not essential. You can also join using a tablet or smartphone with the Adobe Connect mobile app.

We look forward to meeting you online soon! If you have trouble joining and the guidance below doesn’t help contact us at scharr-tel@sheffield.ac.uk


If you have never attended an Adobe Connect session, a quick start guide can be found at: http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/adobeconnect/pdfs/VQS_Guide_for_Participants.pdf

Adobe Connect provides an online connection test for troubleshooting connection problems. This tests the four key components for a successful Adobe Connect experience:

  • Flash Player version
  • Network connectivity to the Adobe Connect Server
  • Available bandwidth
  • Acrobat Connect Meeting Add-in version

You can access this test at the following URL:



What’s next in digital technologies? Horizon scanning reports from @Jisc

On the MmIT Committee we like to watch out for reports on trends in all things digital.  Although the Jisc work on Horizon scanning: what’s next in digital technologies has been developed in the context of support for higher and further education, we feel that it contains useful insights for information professionals in all sectors.

Jisc took an in-depth look at some of the major trends in digital technology, in a project that ended on 31 October 2018.  The horizon scan activity aimed to inform Jisc’s own strategy development, leading to new R&D projects and potential future services and solutions, as well as helping digital leaders in universities and colleges plan and implement their own IT strategies.

The key topic areas are listed below and the Jisc webpage links to a report on each topic:

Further reading:


Tech tools for (academic) writing #AcWriMo

November brings academic writing month #AcWriMo as researchers commit to making time to write regularly.   MmIT members would like to suggest a range of digital tools and social spaces are used to encourage other writers and share good practice.  Many of these have applicability beyond academic writing so we hope that you will find them useful.

  • Pat Thomson (University of Nottingham) has written many thought-provoking posts about academic writing on her blog  and also curates useful resources on her Wakelet account.

Keeping focused on your writing:

  • The Yesterbox technique aims to prevent email getting in the way of writing.
  • The Forest App can help cut down on web distraction.
  • The 30:30 App for managing time and increasing productivity.

Mindmap tools (also known as concept mapping tools) help writers formulate a writing plan and sketch out ideas:

Productivity podcasts

Writing clear, understandable text:

  • plain English text checker to make sure your text is easy to read/understand if you are seeking to write for a wider audience.  It can also be used for leaflets, website text, video scripts etc
  •  Paste your text into the Read-o-Meter and it will estimate how long it will take for someone to read it.  A helpful way to encourage clear, readable writing.


Open Access Week 2018 #OAWeek

Open Access Week is a global event which provides the research community with an opportunity to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation.   The theme of #OAWeek 2018, which runs from October 22-28, is “designing equitable foundations for open knowledge”.

Some useful links:

Is your library or service celebrating #OAWeek 2018?

Open Access logo

Save the date: MmIT’s #MindfulTech19

Is it too early for New Year Resolutions? Worried about technology taking over your life? Then start the year with CILIP MmIT as we consider Mindful Technology for our January 2019 half day of talks incorporating our 2018 AGM. Four speakers will consider how to manage technology rather than let it manage you, including discussion of mindful technology and how to beat digital distractions.

Date: Wednesday 9 January 2019 1-4.30pm

Venue: CILIP, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE

Free to attend; bookings now open https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mmit-2018-agm-and-free-talks-on-mindful-technology-and-beating-digital-distractions-tickets-51333887038