All 5 entries tagged Future

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July 30, 2008

Research Libraries UK

Writing about web page http://www.rluk.ac.uk/

Anne Poulson from RLUK (of which Warwick is a member) came to Warwick to present today on the future of RLUK, some of the changes it has undergone (it used to be CURL - Consortium of University Research Libraries), and the future plans for its development.

I was impressed.

Emphasis seemed to be on getting library workers at all levels involved in communications and ideas sharing. There are 6 main themes to the new 3-year RLUK strategy and these are outlined here:

1. Developing the research workforce.

  • Bringing together the blend of traditional library skills with new skills based more in IT
  • Developing a community among RLUK members for information sharing at all levels
  • Research into required skill sets for the profession

2. Research Information Infrastructure

  • Advocacy work for projects (eg. repositories and open access)
  • Data management
  • Raising the profile on libraries in the national research agenda

3. Resources discovery and delivery

  • Discovery to Delivery project
  • Improvement of the Copac service
  • Support of UK Research reserve (UKRR) - retrospective conversion work.

4. Digitisation

  • Identifying and prioritising digitisation of unique or unusual collections
  • Identifying funding for projects
  • Helping members to bid in collaboration with each other

5. Demonstrating value

  • Collate evidence to show the value of research libraries.
  • Case studies of good practice

6. Increasing effectiveness

  • Implement communication strategy
  • Identify champions & experts in various areas across the group and disseminate knowledge
  • Use new online technology to assist
  • Cultivate new strategic partnerships (JISC, BL, etc)


Member involvement seemed very important, which was not something I was ever aware of with CURL. Perhaps this was because I simply did not look into it enough, but it does feel that RLUK is shifting its focus away from top level managers and opening its doors to a wider range of professionals.

The new RLUK website will contain a section for each of its members to showcase their work. I will be interested to see what Warwick puts in its section, and how the decisions will be made as to what Warwick puts in its section. From what level of staffing will the input come?

Involvement will also be encouraged in other ways - by seeking feedback, by running conferences to which 5 members of staff from each institution will be invited (again, I wonder what grades of staff will actually attend and how that decision will be made).

The future of Subject Librarians was a topic for some discussion and RLUK plans to run events to deal with this topic. The first conference, coming up in October (odd choice of month for something aimed largely at Academic Librarians) will have a day largely dedicated to the future of the profession. I would be very interested in attending as this is of course a hot topic for chartership candidates!

The topic of Library schools was raised and the idea that many people perceive the content of the courses to be outdated. RLUK hope to work towards raising awareness with new professionals, providing training and working alongside library schools to look at how courses are developed.

The obvious comparison was drawn (by the audience, not the presenter) between RLUK and CILIP - there are clearly similar themes and concerns for both. It seems that RLUK offer a clearer direction for academic libraries because they are a specialised group. I did ask about what level of influence a body with only 23 members could expect to have, and the idea of being focused in direction and having common goals seems to be where the apparent influence will come from. CILIP of course has to cater for such a wide range of sectors that perhaps some focus is sacrificed.

I do feel that the presentation really underlined for me the possibilities for Academic libraries if only people valued our work. (See strategic point 5, above) and I do feel that other bodies, particularly CILIP should be doing more to raise national (even international) awareness of the profession, and demonstrating how vital high quality library provision is - not just in research - but in every area of life.


October 22, 2007

CILIP members day

Writing about web page http://www.cilip.org.uk/cgi-bin/MsmGo.exe?grab_id=61&page_id=10813440&query=members+day&hiword=MEMBER+MEMBERSHIP+day+members+

I emailed the Lis-Reg list asking if any charterships candidates were attending on Thursday. I had one response. There may have been chartership candidates there who did not reply or who are not on the email list, but I was very surprised at the low turn out of chartering candidates.

Why are Chartership candidates not showing more interest in the future of CILIP?

Most of the attendees were, well, rather mature in years, and it concerns me that younger people, and new professionals are not stepping in to ensure our professional future.

I know there is a lot of disillusionment among younger professionals about how CILIP performs, but from listening to more mature members last Thursday it is clear that there is also concern about the same issues from them. Retired members had a lot to say as well.  It did not stop them from attending, and it certainly did not stop them from expressing their concerns.

How can CILIP be expected to serve its member community if it doesn't know what they want?

I am aware that many members and ex-members of CILIP are unhappy with what CILIP does or does not do for them (myself included). But perhaps we should be working to change things from the inside? Otherwise, with the apparent continual decline in membership and poor financial situation we could end up with no professional body at all.

Is this what we want when we are fighting against deprofessionalisation in all sectors??

There is currently a lot of discussion about the problems with Cilip qualifications (see some examples below) - perhaps the survey sent out recently is one way to start making in-roads and giving Cilip the kind of feedback they so desperatly need. 

DearGreenPlace Library Too


September 20, 2007

Library Legs!

Writing about web page http://www.sconul.ac.uk/publications/newsletter/40/

A few months ago Antony Brewerton put together a set of short articles by new librarians, or those currently working towards chartership, to show what the apparent vision of the future of the profession might be from our point of view. This was published in Sconul Focus and can now be viewed online.

I was one of the people who contributed and sent him a piece about stereotyping, and how really, if we are to survive as a profession, we need to change the perception that seems to be so rife in the public eye, of librarians spending all day stamping books and saying "Sssshhhhhhhhhh!" and wandering about in pearls and twin sets with our grey hair up in very neat buns. I wont go into any further detail about the content as you can read the whole piece for yourself on the Sconul web site, but I am quite chuffed that I have now had something published outside of the relative safety of the Warwick Library internal staff newsletter "Off yer Trolley" (viewable by Warwick Library staff only). 

What made it even better was that the Cilip Gazette picked up on Antony's article too, so the whole thing got published there as well.  And this time they asked for photos of the authors. Well, clearly I couldnt send them a standard head-shot of me looking all Librarian to go with an article on challenging stereotypes, so, this is what they printed, and yes, they are my legs (unfortunately the fishnets dont come out so well here, the pic in the gazette is better quality). 

Library boots

Some of my colleagues (who requested not to be named) also joined me for the photoshoot - I thought it best to give Cilip some choice over what they published as this was no ordinary picture, and the results were as follows (personally I like the one with the stripper shoes standing on the law journals (appologies to our Law Librarian, Helen Riley).

library legs1 library legs 3


September 13, 2007

Web 2.0 meeting

On 12th September Jenny Delasalle presented a range of Web2.0 technologies to the department and encouraged discussion about how they could be used by the Library in a range of ways. This is a quick run down of what she went through. . .

August 02, 2007

Future Libraries Articles

Follow-up to Future libraries meeting from When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!

Following on from May's Future Libraries Meeting I have read 3 articles written 2000/2001 looking at where Information professionals thought we were heading at the turn of the millennium. It's interesting to see that change is so far happening so slowly that the arguements in these papers still sound very current even though they are 5 or 6 years old.

The main points of the articles were as follows:

Pedley, P. The information professional of the 21st century. Managing Information. September 2001 8-9 

Pedley considers that career development in the Information Profession requires:

  • Being open to change
  • Continual commitment to active CPD
  • A range of transferable skills

He also contemplates whether Library Schools may be outdated and discusses the possibility that Library School staff need more recent and relevant work experience, perhaps taking placements on a regular basis.

More to follow when I get time! 


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