The CILIP Conference takes place in Manchester from 3-4 July. It’s the annual flagship event for CILIP, the library and information association and one of the biggest events in the calendar for UK library and information professionals. The conference brings together delegates from across the sector to meet, learn and share knowledge. It’s a great chance to catch up with colleagues and make new connections. The conference aims to leave you feeling inspired and passionate about the work that we do as professionals.
MmIT are delighted to be able to offer a bursary place. If you haven’t attended the CILIP conference before, this is a great opportunity to listen to the excellent key note speakers and to network. To apply, please email email@example.com by end of day Friday 19th April 2019. Please tell us who you are, where you work/study, and provide us with a draft blog post about your favourite technology (between 400-1,000 words). We will confirm who the bursary will be awarded to by end of day Friday 3rd May 2019, and subsequently publish the winning blog post (we appreciate that the application time is limited so we will give the winner the opportunity to edit the final version of their blog post during the month of May).
Travel expenses are not provided with the bursary place but accommodation is included. This bursary place includes access to both days of the conference, lunch, refreshments and all sessions. We would expect the bursary winner to proactively promote both the conference and MmIT before, during and after the conference using social media.
To keep up to date on conference developments, follow @CILIPConf19 and #CILIPConf19 and visit the website cilipconference.org.uk.
You can also register for the conference. Don’t worry – if you receive a bursary place, CILIP will refund you. You can still book delegate places at the Early Bird discount until 17th May 2019.
We are delighted to introduce another guest post, this time from one of the MmIT committee. Rowan Williamson is Learning Resources Manager at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
I have worked in Art libraries for many years and I always think nothing else our students do will surprise me…and then it does.
That’s what makes it so interesting. ‘Studio’ and workshop activities often creep into the library, and whilst they are often fascinating and are being done hand in hand with more traditional research, they can present a whole range of challenges in terms of health and safety, mess and damage to furniture and environment. Some are a straightforward headache to keep up with the cleaning but it struck me recently that as art librarians we have to be just as creative as our creative students in dealing with the after effects of these activities.
Some Universities are introducing full blown ‘maker spaces’ but that’s not always an option, so if you are stuck with a library moonlighting as an art studio think about the following tips:
Dress makers dolls in the library, bit of stitching and sewing? Unusual but where’s the harm? It’s in the dropped tin of pins that are strewn across half the floor. Top tip for an efficient clear up? Get your magnetic DVD unlockers and wave them over to suck them all up!
Hot glue spilt on your tables? You need an iron. Every library should have one! Just add a tea towel and you have a dried glue removal kit.
Spray booths. Spray painting in the library is not what you want because of the toxicity, and it’s fairly likely the smell will alert staff to what’s going on so you can prevent it. However some sprays are only problematic because of the mess, and you may only find out they are being used when you find spray mount all over your tables (yes, glue again!) So a cheap solution you might want to consider, is buying a spray booth. They don’t take up much space (a table top) and can be placed somewhere visible for monitoring, and they might just discourage those secret sprayers from hiding in the back destroying your carpets!
Light tables – Light boxes and tables are very popular with students. Some use it for drawing and tracing as you would expect but I have seen a whole load of activities on there, building models, stringing beads, painting and even using scalpels. Use acetates and clear plastic coatings to prevent the worst. Failing that, take the bulbs out and ‘issue; them to their library account for accountability! (Note; not always that easy depending on the make, your staff time and expertise!
Flip top tables. A simple, flexible space saving solution you would think. But potentially a major health hazard in an art library where I found our fashion students parading up and down on them doing ‘catwalk’ practice! Avoid trouble, don’t buy them. If you need flexible space go for the study chairs with flip side tables, or keep unattached table tops to lay on the floor for them to spread out work!
Are your massive Art books damaging the photocopiers? Are they suffering broken spines from being crammed down on to the glass multiple times daily? Try investing in a professional book scanner that scans from above. Zetech offer a range. They are not cheap but you might save the difference in binding costs!
It may seem obvious but a really powerful little hand held hoover is a must if you have regular wood shavings on your floor. No wood shavings? Bet you have bits of cut up paper. Look out for powerful suction, wall mounted and rechargeable with different nozzles for those art materials you never even heard of before that are littering your floors and getting inside the printers!
Shelfmark challenges. Got someone good with tech/programming/apps? How about you try an Augmented Reality App to create a virtual map of your library shelf locations. Art students browse, and many struggle with classification systems. Dyslexia rates are higher in art school populations, and many students are visual learners. Ditch the classmarks and create an app that pops up images of the subject areas as you point them at the shelves. For a lower tech solution you can use QR codes.
Buy a good camera and get on Instagram. It’s the perennial problem for librarians, which social media platform are the students on, and will they still be there by the time we catch up? Well maybe will always be behind the curve but we prioritise Instagram and a well-chosen image over the pithy 140 characters!
Have a good supply of noise cancelling headphones. And earplugs! Artists are digital too.
Got any more tips? Share them in the comments below!
Two significant reports on technology trends in higher education have been published recently:
The 2018 NMC Horizon Report has been published by EDUCAUSE. The Report identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology which are likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry. The 2018 expert panel identified six important developments in technology for higher education (and the likely timescales to adoption): analytics technologies; makerspaces; adaptive learning technologies; artificial intelligence; mixed reality and robotics.
In addition, in June the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee published their biennial review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education:2018 top trends in academic libraries. These are: the publisher and vendor landscape; fake news and information literacy; project management approaches in libraries; textbook affordability and OER; learning analytics, data collection, and ethical concerns; research datasets acquisition, text mining, and data science; collection management; acquisition model developments; open access collection development policies and funding schemes; and legacy print collections.
There is the line that you can never have too much of good thing and these days there are so many good things that librarians and information professionals can employ in their working environment. The great thing is that since we emerged from the world of Web 1.0 to 2.0 that a lot of these newer tools are free and actually quite useful. The flipside is that a lot aren’t that good or just can’t be applied in a library setting, regardless of how hard you try and knock a square peg into a round hole, it won’t go (unless the square peg is smaller of course).
Libraries are no different from any kind of organisation, they have to use formally licensed software for the day to day running of their service. Even though this does not always mean the leanest or most dynamic of packages serving your library, but it does mean you will get a good level of service support and that is essential. The smaller, more niche tools have a part to play in this technology ecosystem – just like the microbes and bugs on Planet Earth – if we remove them the whole system would collapse. The larger technology companies often need the smaller companies to keep the environment from becoming stale and predictable. They also can eat them up from time to time, just like our bugs and other real world creatures. Take for example how – at the time independent company – Mendeley changed reference management dramatically for the better. The smaller technology companies are less likely to get bogged down by bloated platforms run by large companies who focus first on foremost in delivering a stable product for their users. Like I say, the stability of large platforms is essential, the flexibility and dynamic nature of smaller technologies is often where the real action is at.
The last ten years has seen a tremendous growth in new technologies that can be applied in a library setting. The financial cost of these tools, such as Canva, Twitter, Adobe Spark and Eventbrite can be free. Yet with freedom can come a cost as problems can start to float to the surface, although not all of these problems are that worrisome. The old adage ‘If you are not paying for the product – you are the product’ certainly rings true with how some technologies will give you a free ride if you give them your data in return. There are also issues around what do you do when you become hooked into a useful platform, but want more from the premium add ons and the person holding the purse strings says no. How do you know whether the tool you are using will be here tomorrow – remember PageFlakes, Storify, Readability, Google Reader and Silk anyone?
Another question for the typical library or information professional is which tools are best and how can they be applied and which will work on their system – take for example a librarian in an NHS setting. The final and most crucial issue is around the investment of time used to master new tools and that can be problematic depending on the learning curve, but if you know how to use Microsoft Word you’ll probably master most lightweight tools in very little time. The sheer number of tools that can be used in the library sector is overwhelming, regardless of whether you are a public, NHS, business or academic librarian. One tool may solve a host of problems for one librarian but be as useful as a chocolate teapot for another. It is all about application and one of the greatest things to see in technology uptake in the library is how one person can use a tool and then another take that same tool and apply it in a totally unexpected way just as successfully. This is the wonderful thing about these technologies, whether it is Menitmeter for polling, Pocket for curating or Piktochart for posters, you you use it may be totally different from how someone else does.
The British Library is leading a scoping project establishing the demand and possible shape of a single digital presence for UK public libraries. Consultation workshops for the project are taking place in London (2 July) and Bath (10 July) for interested parties.
Do get in touch with the organisers if you and your organisation would like to take part. Responses should be sent to singledigitalpresence @ bl.uk indicating which session you would like to attend.
[Info taken from the CILIP Weekly Email 20 June 2018]
On Monday 19 March MmIT members and friends explored The wisdom of the crowd? Crowdsourcing for information professionals. The afternoon seminar included a case study from the British Library, two ways information professionals can contribute to the accuracy of Wikipedia, and a mini-workshop to identify ways that delegates might utilise crowdsourcing in their own workplace.
Join MmIT for an afternoon seminar on Monday 19 March to explore The wisdom of the crowd? Crowdsourcing for information professionals. Crowdsourcing is the increasingly common practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group to work toward a common goal – this may be solving a problem, creating a resource or artefact, or developing a service. How can library and information professionals utilise this in their professional practice? Our afternoon seminar includes a case study from the British Library, two ways information professionals can contribute to the accuracy of Wikipedia, and a mini-workshop to identify ways that delegates can utilise “the wisdom of the crowd” in their own workplace.
Our hashtag will be #mmitcrowds
Welcome and introduction (Alison McNab, University of Huddersfield) (1pm)
The phenomenon of crowdsourcing (Caroline Pringle, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media, University of Huddersfield)
Crowdsourcing: the British Library experience (Dr Mia Ridge, Digital Curator, Digital Scholarship, The British Library)
Workshop activity: crowdsourcing in your service or workplace (Alison McNab)
Examples of crowdsourcing with Wikipedia:
Wikipedia and open access / open data (Nick Sheppard, Research Data Management Advisor, University of Leeds)
Hosting a Wikipedia Editathon (Laura Woods, Subject Librarian, & Lindsay Ince, Archivist and Records Manager, both at the University of Huddersfield)