Andy Tattersall has taken over as the Chair of the Cilip specialist interest Group MmIT. MmIT aims to unite CILIP members engaged in, or interested in, multimedia information and technology developments in library and information science. The group is concerned with the organisation, delivery and exploration of information through modern media including graphic forms, video and web based applications. The Committee’s remit is to support 1500 members in the group by running regular events, a yearly conference and a quarterly journal. Andy has written about taking over as Chair of the committee and what their plans are for 2017 and beyond.
I want to say what an honour it is for me to formally take over as the Chair of the Cilip specialist interest group for Multimedia and Information Technology (MmIT). Not only because of my passion in this area and the work this group does but also to follow in the steps of my esteemed committee colleague and friend Leo Appleton. I cannot stress enough how Leo has been a very important part of MmIT over the past decade and is now starting in an exciting new position as Director of Library Services at Goldsmiths. I want to publicly thank Leo for all of his energy and leadership in steering MmIT through many waters, sometimes choppy ones at that. He was a large reason for me joining the committee over six years ago and I am delighted that he is staying with us and taking on the challenge of taking our long running journal into uncharted open access territory. Leo steps down leaving MmIT entering arguably its most positive and exciting period since I joined the committee.
As I step into the chair’s role from that of secretary, it also means many changes are afoot within our
committee structure. Firstly Catherine Dhanjal has stepped down from the committee as our journal editor. Catherine brought a tremendous amount of skills and contacts to the committee and ensured the very smooth running of the MmIT Journal over many years. She will be sorely missed by all of us who have served on the committee with her and we wish her all the best in her own enterprises as she continues to run her own successful consultancy. With Catherine stepping down it left us with a decision as to the future of the journal. After much discussion we agreed that the journal should go fully open access on a quarterly basis. The content and quality of the journal will remain the same as it focuses on technology and libraries and will be edited by Leo.
I’m pleased to report that John Bottomley, who works for OCLC, will remain as our treasurer for the next year, giving us some degree of consistency on the committee. John has excelled in his honorary position and ensures that MmIT remains in a healthy financial state. Ruth Wilson from Edge Hill University has stepped into my old shoes as secretary, a role that I am certain will aid the smooth running of the committee and all of its ventures. I’m also very pleased that we have Nic Kerr from The University of Liverpool who has been invaluable in the smooth organising of our events, of which we plan many more over the next few years. Dia Mexi-Jones and Lizzie Sparrow continue to help guide and support the marketing and communication activities of the committee.
One of the best gifts Leo could give us before he stepped down as Chair was to be very proactive in recruiting new members to our committee. I am happy to report that we have five new committee members who bring together a superb collection of skills and insights that I am sure will drive MmIT forward. The addition of such experts in our field of work will no doubt make us more valuable to our 1500 members and everyone involved in the library and information sector. I’m pleased to announce the five new appointments.
Luke Burton – Digital Transformation Manager – Newcastle City Council
Antony Groves – Learning and Teaching Librarian – University of Sussex
Alison McNab – Academic Librarian – The University of Huddersfield
Virginia Power – Graduate Tutor – University of West England
Claire Nicholas-Walker – Electronic Resources Librarian – Lewisham Public Libraries
I have been aware of the work of some of the new committee members for some time and am very excited about the prospect of working with them to take MmIT to new audiences and deliver fresh ideas and content. In 2017 we will launch many new initiatives by the group that I am sure will be of interest to MmIT, Cilip members as well as librarians, information and knowledge professionals across the UK. These changes will include the aforementioned new journal model that everyone will be able to access without subscription. We will host our fifth national conference on the 14th September at The University of Sheffield on the topic of ‘Open’. We will be sharing details about conference submissions in the next few weeks on the theme that ranges from open libraries, research, education, spaces, data among other strands. We are also planning the delivery of yearly half day workshop events that we will host around the country, as well as a yearly webinar event. If any of this appeals to you then there are several ways you can keep up to date with MmIT. Firstly by joining the group as a member, either by selecting it as one of your special interest groups if you are a Cilip member. Or you can still join us for a yearly fee of £40 without being a Cilip member. You can follow our blog and Twitter accounts for regular updates.
I remember when I joined the committee in September 2010 and there was much discussion about whether the group should continue. Given it had begun a few decades earlier with an original remit pre-dating the web, the committee questioned their relevance today in a world that no longer worked in microfiche, video, CDs or talked about ‘multimedia’. Back then I wondered why such a question should be asked, as more than ever there was a need to understand the ever changing world of technology and media as a profession. I feel the committee does have a valuable remit, more important than ever given how technologies seep into every part of our personal and professionals lives. There are a growing number of technologies and websites we can leverage for our organisations and our professional development. Our committee’s aim will be to explore as many of these as we can and share what we find with you. We will look to working with external partners, experts, writers and speakers and help support the library and information community as we always have. Hopefully through a new model, new committee members and new opportunities to impart knowledge we will help support our community better than ever before.
You can find out more about the committee by going to the Cilip website