All 6 entries tagged Cilip

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April 23, 2007

Highlights of the Library and Information Show

Last Wednesday I attended the Library and Information Show at the NEC in Birmingham. It’s a fairly small affair these days, compared to what it used to be.

I visited the stands and attended free seminars. I saw a demonstration of the Nordplan mobile shelving that I believe we are getting in our library as part of the summer re-modelling work. Certainly it is the shelving that we are having installed in our external store.

SirsiDynix showed me their portal and a new search interface that helps users to select more search terms to refine their search. I also saw a similar search term suggestion feature in a product called “AquaBrowser”, so I expect to see similar search building functions on other products very shortly. It’s not really a big development as you could always select a search term from within subject headings in a library catalogue record, and then you could add your keyword to that in the advanced search screen, but it is another way of presenting these kinds of search options to the user that is probably more user friendly.

Two of the free seminars I attended were Sheila Corrall’s presentation on information literacy which gave me much food for thought and Karen Blakeman’s one on Blogs, Wikis and RSS.

Sheila Corrall’s talk was interesting as she’s a good speaker, although she was preaching to the converted really. I listed the kinds of contacts that Sheila said librarians ought to have (in an IL context) and am pleased that I can tick all the boxes: key skills tutors; staff developers; careers advisers; learning technologists; instructional designers; data and infrastructure managers.

Another point was that Information Literacy ought to feature in libraries’ mission statements: can’t say its explicit in Warwick’s mission statement, although you could argue that it is covered. I have linked to the University of Warwick Library’s strategic plan which features the mission statement so you can see for yourselves.

I asked Sheila about her assertion that we should develop online tutorials as I believe that there are already lots of tutorials of varying quality. Is there are role for CILIP in helping us to identify and use what’s already out there, rather than us all re-inventing the wheel rather badly? Sheila’s answer did not suggest anything specific for CILIP, although she agreed that there is a lot of online information literacy material already, and referred me to Alan Brine and Ruth Stubbings’ evaluation of online tutorials that could probably do with some updating.

This is an interesting article, but was published some 4 years ago now. At the time 47 institutions had an electronic information skills tutorial. How many more must have them now? Are the tutorials so tailored to individual institutions that we couldn’t share or would it be a better use of our time, skills and technology if we were to share materials or reference each others rather than creating our own?

A quick look at JORUM identifies a handful of information skills tutorials, so it appears that we aren’t sharing much of what we’ve created… at least not through JORUM.

Karen Blakeman’s talk was also interesting: she presented her “anatomy of a blog” and talked about the limitations of using a wiki. The main feature of interest for me, though, was what she had to say about RSS feeds. I’ve been well aware of these since I worked at LTSN Engineering at Loughborough in 2000 and we set one up there, but could not really see much of a use for them beyond being an interesting & dynamic feature on a website. I still don’t like the idea that in order to subscribe to an RSS feed you need a separate aggregator. If it doesn’t arrive in my inbox then I don’t want to bother with it! But Karen’s presentation convinced me that there are enough people out there who do use RSS readers and are getting value from them, not just being swamped with even more information.

For some time now I have felt that there is probably a need for librarians to identify useful RSS feeds for our academic community, to educate them in how to identify good quality ones and to give them the skills to use RSS feeds and e-mail alert services alike in order to filter information and find material that is useful to them, without being swamped. Time for some more exploration, I think!

December 13, 2005

CILIP Special interest groups: Council results

Follow-up to CILIP Review of Special Interest Groups from Innovating Research!

Well it seems that at last week's CILIP Council meeting the proposal to merger of various groups (including CoFHE, UCR and ELG) into a new entities was rejected for the time being.

What it looks like will have to happen with be that the future of the Special Interest Groups will now be put to the general membership to decide. This will be somewhat interesting considering that only 11% of the membership replied to initial consultation – you've just got to hope that this time more people make their voice heard on this somewhat rather important issue.

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…

November 15, 2005

Libraries and Terrorism

Writing about web page

Or more accurately CILIP's guidance on the recent bills which propose giving police and security services the rights to scrutinise borrowing records or internet sites visited by particular individuals. As featured in last Tuesday's education Guardian this is an area of concern for librarians across the country who might have ethical dilemmas with it.

Thankfully CILIP has obtained legal advice on the issue, reproduced in their press release I've linked to – that's probably well worth a read by all library staff.

UC&RG National Committee meeting

Spent yesterday travelling all the way up to Newcastle for the National UC&RG committee meeting. Rather a long day as travelling up from Loughborough is hardly the most direct of routes. Surprisingly Newcastle was far warmer than Loughborough!

A good (if long – one day we'll have less than a 4+ hour one) meeting for which I mostly able to write up the minutes on the train ride back. One advantage I guess of long journeys. The good news is that the Library Futures event that's being hosted at Aston University in the next few weeks may well be repeated in the new year – such has been the demand to attend. Naturally, this will all depend on the speakers agreeing to take part again (or replacements if they aren't).

There was also a fair amount of discussion on the SIG review, and contrasted with CoFHE I believe the UCR are taking a far more positive approach to the whole exercise and no matter what the outcome really want to do the best for our membership. Also heard an update on the 2006, 7 and 8 conferences which are shaping up nicely – just hope I get the chance to attend, as the UEA hosted on next year looks like being real fun – though not 100% convinced by the chill out zones! Am I attending a conference or a festival?

November 02, 2005


Had a trip down to London yesterday to attend the national CoFHE Committee meeting (as UC&R observer) as usual. I missed the last meeting since it was at Umbrella and I was magnificently triple booked at the time (I did manage to be in two meetings simultaneously at one point – a feet of quantum dynamical wonder if you ask me). The weather was lovely, and the trains run on time – not something I can often say about trips to London!

One of the key topics at the meeting yesterday is CILIP's review of all the special interest groups (SIGs). Momentum on this one has been building up for quite some time, and members have pretty much had their last chance to have their say. It all lies in the purview of the Council and Executive Board now.

CoFHE, like many SIGs, are justifiably afraid that this exercise is going to be one of slash and burn – with many groups smooshed together for financial reasons. They've been making representations to point out their unique status and reasons for a continued discrete existence. It did mean the meeting was rather flat as most things that could be progressed can't really go forward until we all know just what CILIP are going to do vis-a-vie the group's future.

Executive Board apparently meets 8th December to make its decision, with a Council meeting on the 14th where an announcement is expected. How people are going to react is unsure – some (like UC&R) will make the best of it – since we owe our existence to CILIP. Others I fear might try to secede from the Union – just hope we don't end up with any breakaway republics…

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