Connectivity and the 21st century

Our newest committee member, Robert Cunningham, has written a concise and informative report on Nick Woolley’s fascinating talk at the MmIT AGM event at CILIP in London on 17th December. Thank you to Nick for his lecture, and thank you to Robert for this report. Read Catherine Dhanjal’s report about Andy Tattersall’s talk here.


“Connectivity and the 21st century: the power of digital technology to connect knowledge and communities”

by Robert Cunningham

Nick Woolley, Head of Academic Library Services at Northumbria University, was the second of our guest speakers at the 2013 AGM.

The theme for Nick’s presentation was the importance of linking the physical library and its resources with digital technology.  Nick began his presentation by giving an overview of the use of technology at Northumbria University, including their new “Digital First Strategy”.  Although Nick is a strong proponent of digital technologies, he reminded delegates that physical library resources are resurgent: although e-readers have been on the market for half a decade already, they are yet to defeat print books in many people’s choice of reading material.

However, Nick argued that a library’s physical resources are not limited to traditional print books and journals. Instead, it is important to remember that the physical spaces in the library building are still in high demand as students increasingly want to collaborate with each other using mobile technologies.  As a consequence, Nick underlined the importance of connecting the physical and digital libraries by wowing delegates with real-life examples.  The AGM was especially impressed by Nick’s demonstration of NFC (Near Field Communication for those who aren’t sure) in which he tapped his smartphone against a university library book fitted with an RFID tag. To exclamations in the room, the book and smartphone communicated with each other in a conversation that could revolutionise library transactions.

Even more futuristic than NFC, Nick also discussed the possibilities provided by wearable technology (e.g. clothing and jewellery) as well as augmented reality.  He prophesied that the latter in particular is exciting for libraries as it could allow directional information to be overlaid into your field of vision when strolling around the library shelves.

Like the other guest speakers at December’s AGM, Nick’s underlying theme was – quite coincidentally – that technology should be used not for the sake of it, but instead to underpin and enhance sound pedagogy.  He said that the “digital divide” between physical and electronic information is becoming less apparent because the library is already digital and that technology should be used to connect the two.  By doing this, technology can become an enabler; giving new possibilities for the data libraries collect in demonstrating value and informing student progression and retention. However, technology should be servant not master: the important thing is to choose suitable technologies and exploit them to their fullest potential.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the MmIT Group, visit:

Last chance for free tickets to our AGM

Please join us for our AGM at CILIP HQ in London on Tuesday, 17 December.

After a free buffet lunch, we will hear from a number of speakers on the topic of “The Changing Landscape of Library Technologies: Implications for the Library”.

12.30 p.m. – 1.30 p.m. Registration and lunch
1.30 – Andy Tattersall, Information Specialist, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield.
2.10 – Nick Woolley, Head of Academic Library Services, Northumbria University
2.50 – MmIT AGM
3.15 – Refreshments
3.30 – Barbara Band, Head of Library & Resources, The Emmbrook School and CILIP Vice President
4.10 – Q&A
4.30 – Close

For more information and to book your place, please visit our EventBrite page.

We look forward to seeing you there to share some festive cheer!

November issue of MmIT journal now available


Cover image © Ruslana Stovner | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Our November issue has a special focus on eBooks and journals.

Contents include:

  • Book reviews: The Information Behavior of a New Generation
  • Product review: Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-14
  • Special focus: eBooks & journals:
    • International publishing, viewpoint from Sweden
    • Innovative French library for the print impaired
    • UK public libraries and e-lending
    • Distance learning with the University of Derby
  • Features:
    • Textal: new text analysis app for digital humanities
    • Awards for innovation in IT and intelligent systems
    • Preview of Bett 2014: London’s learning technology show
    • New Management Information System for schools
    • Reflecting on Internet Librarian International’s October conference
    • Jodi Awards: encouraging good practice in digital media for disabled people
  • TechRoundUp: Trends for 2014
    • Wearable computing
    • Ultra HD 4K televisions
    • Growth of online video ‘how to’ sites
    • Tablets & convertible laptops
    • White space – will this mean more wireless access?
    • Solar chargers for your gadgets
  • MMIT Group AGM & free half day seminar: 17 December 2013

Coming up in 2014

February:            Focus on sight and sound

MmIT Journal

MmIT Journal

Check out our May 2013 issue, available to members now. Visit our website, choose “Journal current issue” from the left-hand menu, then log in with your user name/password. Features include:

  • Book review: Open Access
  • Product reviews: Etymotic noise isolating headset; Pong mobile phone case
  • Special focus: eJournals and eBooks – features from the UK, India, US; public libraries and higher education
  • Features: massive online open courses (MOOCs); IT at Titanic Belfast visitor attraction; the V&A Museum moves into digital publishing; dynamic data and data aggregation
  • TechRoundUp: discover Google Glass; augmented reality with Ingress; the new e-paper smartphone

Coming up later in 2013

 August:           Focus on data security, data management, SaaS

November:          Focus on elearning

A sunny day in Sheffield

This is just a quick post to thank everyone who participated in and contributed to MmIT2013: we managed to bust through the clouds and keep the rain at bay all day while we learned about searching, collaborating, virtual enquiry services, and sharing everything cloud. More detailed conference reviews will follow, but for now, catch up on the day’s events through pictures and tweets.

Prizes to be awarded at “Cloudbusting — Demystifying the Cloud”

We’re delighted to announce that Facet Publishing is providing three prizes for delegates at the MmIT 2013 national conference.

The prizes include Cloud Computing for Libraries by Marshall Breeding (one of our keynote speakers from MmIT 2012)

Cloud Computing for Libraries

The No-nonsense Guide to Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing by Charles Oppenheim

The No-nonsense Guide to Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing

and Getting Started with Cloud Computing, edited by Heather Lea Moulaison and Edward Corrado

Getting Started with Cloud Computing

Book your place now through our online form:

The full conference programme is available on our Events page: