All entries for November 2005

November 29, 2005

Hurrah for the network (not)

Well once again today we're having network problems – I've just lost over an hours work which I saved but for some reason the network didn't bother to tell me it wasn't being saved. Ah tell a lie, managed to find a backup of a backup to restore most of what I've done.

All the same though this is the second day is a row when this has been happening – I think I'd be getting more done at home where at least my PC rig runs stably. Jen's PC just sent the hardrive into overload and we had to cut the power at the wall before it exploded. Not good…

November 28, 2005

CILIP Review of Special Interest Groups

Well I have the papers on this for Council in a week or so's time. Interesting reading, even if it's not anything too suprising…

And the results were…

Follow-up to Medical focus from Innovating Research!

Interesting to say the least. The Medical Grid was definitely something the students would appreciate and they had a wealth of suggestions that will help Rachel to shape what she puts in place (though I know time is tight for this project). The two most important things to the students it seemed to me was a provision of duplicate book stock from the current Grid (biomedical stuff) and good long opening hours to cope with their particular needs.

As suspected there was also some related comments on the library and its current resource provisions for medics. Unsurprisingly "more" was the core theme here, and I've passed on the comments to the Science Librarian team so they can hopefully take it forward.

I think the willingness of the medics to engage with the discussions shows a good form that we can hopefully repeat for the library's efforts next terms.

In other news, whilst it might be snowing outside it is a healthy 22.5degsC inside the office today – a great improvement on last week and one that I hope sticks!

Medical focus

I'm off this morning to help facilitate a small focus group with Rachel "Learning Grid" Edwards up at the medical school. They're perhaps not the most systematically formulated population sample (three students and one academic) nor perhaps quite big enough for a really good session, though all the same there will probably be some very interesting insights into the students and their needs as they pertain to the Grid – and to a lesser degree to the Library.

We're hoping to run some groups with the undergrads early next year looking more closely at library perceptions and resourcing needs. The postgrads are going to be a bit trickier to reach as they tend to be off site a lot more – so potentially we'll try and gain some insight using an online questionnaire. But all this is pending discussions (and hopefully warm support) with the Medical School staff.

November 25, 2005

Ice Station Zebra

Well the icy conditions we're all suffering through on the 3rd floor have now merited being reported to estates. Rather fearing they'll briskly stroll across and declare it quite warm enough. It's not though – since I'm sat here in my hoodie with the hood up. Luckily unlike Imperial College we don't have a ruling about them in the workplace…

What is a reading list?

I hope this is something that the reading project will be able to answer, at least in terms of what makes up the average reading list of the Uni, faculties and depts. However, I keep wondering if somewhere there's a useful scholastic description of what a reading list is defined as. I have had a search of the usual information resources with no joy. If anyone has any leads – I'd always welcome being pointed in the right direction…

ASLIB Exploiting blogs event in Birmingham

And I'm back from the ASLIB event in Birmingham. I think presentation went down fairly well (I'll wait until I see the feedback before I make any final decisions). Ended up giving it twice in the end to half the attendees at a time. When I get a moment I'll pop a copy of the presentation onto the RIU web site in case anyone wants to have a gander. It was a very good day and if ASLIB or anyone else runs the course again somewhere it would be well worth attending – even if I'm not speaking at it…

I think I conveyed how well blogs are being used here at Warwick in a more professional sense, though as a lot of the people there were attending from corporate or public library services there was a lot of concern over the need to censor/control what was published. Not so free and easy as we have it here in academia.

I also learned a fair bit from the other speaker on such topics as RSS, blog-directories and will be using the terms cat-blog and boss-blog far more (though I maintain my personal blog elsewhere remains a goose blog!).

Anyway fun aside it's time to turn to some 'proper' work for a while – I've a sickening feeling that means more analysis of reading list data and less thinking about blogs for a bit. At least until Wednesday when I'm on a panel discussion at a conference on Exploiting new social media applications talking about such things again with some fairly heavy weight speakers.

(And for those people who asked yesterday how long these things take – this entry has taken me 8 minutes from start to finish – including the editing, spell checking and the time spent in discussion with my colleagues just how artic our offices have remained all week)

November 23, 2005

On foreign soil

Since the carpet people have arrived to rip and replace around my desk this morning I've decamped to go and work at the Learning Grid. Since the manager Rachel Edwards is often hot-desking in our office I thought I'd return the favour and bug her for a few hours. It is lovely and warm, not to mention surprisingly quiet here right now so I've been able to sign off on the talk I'm doing on exploiting blogs for librarians tomorrow already. Now to finish writing an article for SCONUL Focus and then some more work trying to make sense of the reading list survey.

November 22, 2005

Comes the Carpeting..

If you were thinking of visiting the RIU today – thanks awfully, we always welcome visitors from the staff or student body to talk about our work or professional interests. However, today is not the day to do it as I write this from an island of carpet in a sea of glue.

As part of the third floor recarpeting exercise the chaps are working on the 3rd floor subject team outer area – better known as our office. They've spent the first half of the morning stripping out the carpets and shelves (though not in that order) in preparation for installing the new tiles. They've just reached the stage now where the cleaned floor has been thoroughly coated in glue – I just got back to my desk in time with my coffee to avoid being isolated in the stacks.

I guess it'll be possible to get in/out again in a few hours (by lunch would be nice!) but for the time being the RIU is out of bounds. Unless you fancy leaping over a few desks energetically!

November 21, 2005

A brand new catalogue

Writing about web page

Just returned from an OPAC Development group. Spent a long time looking at the penultimate version of the new OPAC interface. Mr Leng-Ward has done some sterling work and with any luck it will be rolled out to the wider community early next term. Still a few bits that need to be tweaked, but it's a real improvement over the old version.

If anyone in the Library wants a sneaky peak let me know – however, no doubt you'll be hearing more about it all too soon.

We also had a bit of discussion around the issue of the help pages which will need to be redeveloped. One thing that seems to have been causing particular problems is the book status term recently returned. The idea is to add more explanation text, In the vein of the linked page above I suggested the following haiku might make more sense:

Recently returned
A cause for jubilation
Though uncertain locale

November 2005

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