Recording of “Mindful Tech: balancing work and life”

MmIT Committee member Antony Groves has kindly recorded his talk on Mindful Tech: balancing work and life (originally given at MmIT’s MindfulTech19 event in January 2019). In an MP4 recording (just under nine minutes long) he shares his own story about why he brought mindfulness practices into his own life and recommends books and tools that have helped support his practice. We share this during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Many public and academic libraries now contain curated collections of self-help books from the Reading Well initiative, which supports individuals to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using helpful reading. In addition, the Mental Health Foundation offers a range of helpful online booklets, including a guide to How to look after your mental health using mindfulness.


Essential tools and technologies for the library and information professional – video and slides for #AskMmIT19

MmIT hosted their annual webinar on what tools and technologies should librarians and information professionals know about in 2019. We smashed all MmIT webinar records with over 230 professionals attending over the course of the 50 minute session.webinar image

The webinar panel was chaired by Andy Tattersall who was joined by three experts to look at tools and technologies new and old as well as answer questions for the event which had the hashtag #AskMmIT19

The Panelists were Christina Harbour – Anglia Ruskin University @tinalpool Claire Beecroft – University Teacher at the University of Sheffield @beakybeecroft Luke Burton – Digital Development Manager at Newcastle City Council @biblioluke and Andy Tattersall – Information Specialist at the University of Sheffield @Andy_Tattersall

MmIT Chair Alison McNab @AlisonMcNab has created a Wakelet of the event which you can view here

Useful links from the workshop

H5P Resources
There’s a page in the documentation for Canvas:
Massachusetts Library created resource guide:
Anglia Ruskin University Library Guide
Adding images to Padlet
MmIT Resources

Essential tools and technologies for the library and information professional Webinar- 12 February 2-3pm

We are proud to announce our latest webinar ‘Essential tools and technologies for the library and information professional’

Register for your free place here:

webinar image

What tools and technologies should you be using as a librarian or information professional in 2019? Join the CILIP special interest group MmIT as we host our popular yearly webinar to discuss and shortlist the most relevant tools you can employ as part of your work right now. Webinar Chair Andy Tattersall is joined by three experts to look at tools and technologies new and old as well as answer any questions you may have.

Join the webinar here:

You can ask questions in advance via the Twitter hashtag #AskMmIT19 – Tweet us directly on @MultiMediaIT


Mike Ewan – Teaching Enhancement Advisor at the University of Hull @mike_ewen

Claire Beecroft – University Teacher at the University of Sheffield @beakybeecroft

Luke Burton – Digital Development Manager at Newcastle City Council @biblioluke

Andy Tattersall – Information Specialist at the University of Sheffield @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


If you have never attended an Adobe Connect session, a quick start guide can be found at:

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:

Recording, slides and tweets from #MmITvideo

MmIT’s webinar on Using video in your library and information service was held on 12 December 2018 and attracted a audience of over 50.  MmIT Chair Andy Tattersall chaired the webinar and we were delighted to have three speakers from a range of professional library sessions who provided practical and inspiring introductions to a range of video-related tools:

  • Kim Donovan from @SPHLibrary introduced the Actionbound  scavenger hunt app, which allows the creator to upload video for information and/or to set tasks which involve students/users uploading their own video.
  • MmIT Committee member Christina Harbour from @AngliaRuskin discussed Powtoon  (which enables even beginners to create engaging, animated videos)  and provided tips and hints on creating video using an iPad.
  • Claire Sewell  from @theUL at Cambridge University provided overviews of Lumen5  (A.I. powered video creation platform that turns blog posts into engaging videos) and Screencastify (a browser extension that can be used as a live demo tool or to record a screen demo).

Via Twitter we had a recommendation from Cate Newell for Biteable, which is similar to Powtoon, for induction videos as it is free and easy to use and upload to YouTube.

Pocket: Read when you have the time, not when you find the content: #CILIPConf18 bursary winner


 MmIT is delighted to announce that the bursary to #CILIPConf18 has been won by Lizzie Sparrow, Leventis Library Manager.  Lizzie provides library and information services to the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and nine internationally-focused nature conservation organisations.

 We asked entrants to draft a blog post about their favourite technology.  Below we publish Lizzie’s blog post on her favourite tech tool is, Pocket.

Pocket: Read when you have the time, not when you find the content

If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me. You enjoy reading blogs to keep up with professional news, trends and ideas. Reading opinion articles and industry news can be a valuable tool in your professional development toolbox. But lots of us find that either it ends up devouring time we want to (or should!) be spending on something else, or we end up with a mountain of links to articles we were going to read but haven’t got to yet.

Lost track of time again? Image attribute: Designed by Freepik

We all know the scenario: you open a webpage looking for information and notice a link to an interesting article. You follow the link and start reading the article, which links to two more articles that grab you. Suddenly, you realise half an hour has slipped by. It’s not that reading those articles was pointless, but maybe it wasn’t the best use of that particular half hour. So maybe next time you come across this situation you discipline yourself, refusing to let your attention be diverted from the task in hand. Instead, you bookmark the articles or email them to yourself. Do you ever get around to reading them? Probably not.

If this sounds familiar what you need is Pocket. One click and the article is sat in your phone or tablet ready for the next time you find yourself with a spare few minutes. Arrive early to a meeting? Get your phone out and start reading. Miss the bus and have to wait 10 minutes for the next one? No problem, that’s two blog posts read. As of March 2018, the Android and iOS Pocket apps even give you an estimated reading time for each article to help you decide which of your ‘pocketed’ articles best fits the time you have available. And you’re not limited to text. Pocket can handle images and video too.

“Pocket fits into those little gaps in your day.” (no attribution required)

With Pocket, like many other forms of tech, it’s not the tech itself that’s so special – Pocket is a pretty simple tool. What’s special is how it can easily fit into your life to provide a solution to a problem. The one click entry makes adding content quick and easy when you need to avoid being distracted, and the access via an app makes your content available wherever you happen to be when you have the time to read it.

Pocket works on multiple operating systems and browsers, and automatically syncs. So, once you’ve set it up it doesn’t matter which of your devices you have with you. Once synced, your content is available offline, so you don’t have to worry about mobile data blackspots. That’s why Pocket is one of my favourite tech tools. I used to spend my commute aimlessly browsing social media feeling unproductive, then get to work and find trying to keep up with professional reading distracting me from more important priorities. I’ve been using Pocket for a couple of years now and feel more productive both on my commute and at the office.

With my information literacy training hat on, Pocket is also one of the tools I regularly recommend to my library users. I run a workplace library and many of my colleagues tell me they just don’t have time to keep up with news in their field of expertise because they’re too busy running projects and managing their teams. If, when I dig deeper, it’s finding time to read that’s the problem, Pocket and a smartphone is often the solution.


Report, Slides and Tweets from ‘Affordable Futures’ event

There’s a strain of contemporary culture which views digital innovation as the tool of corporate evil – suggestive of a dystopian future where Jeff Bezos deploys drones to replace you on the enquiry desk.  But at the CILIP MmIT event ‘Affordable Futures: High-tech, low-cost Library innovations’, there was a spirit of human warmth.

Partly, this was because the air-conditioning had broken in the upstairs room at the University of Sussex.  But it was also notable that the speakers – all of whom have a great deal of digital experience and expertise – spoke clearly, inclusively, and without jargon.  There was a real sense, in fact, that anyone can be a digital innovator.  All you need is an idea, or a problem.  Most library staff have plenty of both.

By the time he’d finished, Antony Groves – Learning and Teaching Librarian at the University of Sussex – had the delegates making 360 degree photographs on their phones.  Using the Google Cardboard app and a cheap Cardboard Viewer (£15, and similar in appearance to the old red ‘View-Masters’ of the 1980s), we were able to knock up a rudimentary virtual reality experience within a few minutes.  Sussex uses enhanced versions of this technology to take students and staff into the ‘hidden spaces’ on campus, such as high-security labs.

Dr Jon Knight, from Loughborough University, described how his IT team created versatile digital signage for their library using old display monitors and ‘Raspberry Pi’s’.  A Raspberry Pi is a tiny, cheap computer that you can programme.  It looks like a circuit board, and you can connect it to other hardware via USB ports.  Instead of spending half of the budget on fancy new plasmas, Jon and his team dug out decommissioned computer monitors, whacked Raspberry Pi’s on them, and created displays which gave students real-time information about group-room bookings and study spaces.

There is something quietly defiant about this approach.  If you can make something yourself by recycling old equipment, then you become independent.  Your library budget stretches further, and you are no longer in thrall to a blue-chip company that decides on a whim to make your systems obsolete.

That was very much the vibe of the final presentation, given by Carlos Izsak, a pioneer of the maker movement.  Carlos is an Education and Community Development Specialist, and founder of The Makercart.  The Makercart is a fully portable pop-up makerspace from which Carlos runs workshops and activities.  These makerspaces are places to share experience, ideas, knowledge, and equipment: sounds like a library, right?  At the event, Carlos got us to make LED Christmas cards.  Digital making, even on a modest scale, is a soothing and satisfying way to learn.

All of the speakers were looking for ways to put digital innovation into the hands of people who work in libraries.  Even as someone who writes with a fountain pen, and occasionally slips his sim back into the Nokia, I found the dissident spirit both inspiring and welcoming.  And I left the room buzzing with ideas.

By Ed Hogan.


View presentations:

Antony Groves – Creating low-cost VR for your Library

Dr Jon Knight – Using Raspberry Pi’s to drive Digital Signage in Libraries and beyond

Carlos Izsak – Making Library Makers: 3 years in the making…


View Storify here.