LIKE event Spring 2018

libraryandlearningresourcesinformationandknowledgeexchangeedited

Back in April we held another of our LIKE events, aimed at library staff who would like to share experiences of events or courses they have attended, or projects they are working on. Staff at all levels are invited, including those who are there just to listen and learn.

Highlights included:

Visits to Coventry and Wolverhampton University Libraries, where a number of staff from the Customer Services team were interested to see similarities and differences in opening hours, roving and use of portable devices, and rotas/staffing. We really enjoyed these visits and are keen to continue exploring other university libraries, not just to see where we think we are doing well, or where we could do better, but also to steal their brilliant ideas learn some new things! Our doors are always open for a reciprocal visit as well, and we’ve even been known to bring out the posh biscuits for the occasion…

A colleague demonstrated a new dashboard that he has been working on which will collect together a number of library metrics that are of interest to staff. This was fascinating stuff and we were all really impressed with how the data is displayed in a way that we can use to improve services (the rumours are true – library nerds like us love spreadsheets, statistics and fancy ways of visualising data). We’re currently undertaking space usage research which will feed into this project as well.

We also had a good discussion about promotion of resources, which is something else many of us are passionate about! We want to make sure that everyone is aware of the huge amount of resources that are available to them via Library & Learning Resources – we say it time and again, but there’s SO MUCH STUFF available, that you maybe didn’t even know you wanted! Did you know that you can view the entire Vogue US archive and check out those 1892 fashions? Watch loads of plays being performed on stage via Drama Online or Digital Theatre Plus? Read popular music journalism since the 60s via Rock’s Back Pages? You can see all of these and more via our A-Z of Resources.

We’ll be organising the next LIKE event shortly.

 

^Laura

LIKE event – 12th December 2017

libraryandlearningresourcesinformationandknowledgeexchangeedited

Today we held our first LIKE event in a long while! These events are really good to bring staff from across Library & Learning Resources together, to informally talk about conferences, courses and visits we’ve been to, or new things we’ve come across.

Despite the snow providing some difficulties for staff getting into work, the promise of Christmas treats lured a few of us in!

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Highlights of experiences shared included:

A visit to Aston University Library which was really interesting to compare how we handle payments, reservations, room bookings, social media and signage. Our staff were particularly impressed by the helpful colour-coded dewey signs and leaflets, and by Cyril the Squirrel, the social media mascot! There’s definitely a lot we learn from taking part in these visits, so a big thank you to the Mercian Collaboration who organise them throughout the Midlands.

Another member of staff visited The Library of Birmingham, in particular to look at the employability and entrepreneurship centre, as well as the black history archives. She was impressed by both places – there are some amazing workshops run each month for budding entrepreneurs, and the archives are an incredibly rich resource that would enhance the research of our Black Studies students.

One of the difficult things when you’re in a fast-paced environment such as an academic library is keeping up with the HE sector itself, and one person in the group recommended the Wonkhe Monday Briefing email as a snapshot of new things happening in the sector. We all agreed that this type of resource is really important for our service development.

Lastly, we talked about using Twitter to our advantage. One of our Collection Management Librarians uses Twitter to see what our academics are reading, which is a brilliant way of finding out what they’d recommend we buy for the library. I use Twitter to follow other librarians from all sectors, and learn a lot from their experiences and ideas. We highly recommend it as an easy form of horizon scanning!

Thank you to L&LR staff for sharing!

^Laura

LIKE event – April 2016

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On Friday 29th April 2016 Library and Learning Resources staff held their second LIKE event at Mary Seacole Library. The purpose of the event is to bring staff together from all areas of the service to report back on conferences and courses, and discuss topics related to the profession as a whole.  The event is very informal and relaxed, with no agenda and plenty of coffee and cakes!

In brief, we talked about the following topics:

  • Ethnography and the world of libraries
  • Spacefinder software and how we can better serve our students
  • An Erasmus trip to University College Ghent
  • The impact of the Teaching Excellence Framework
  • The International Librarians Network
  • Provision of core texts for students

As you can see, we discussed a huge variety of topics! Each of these inspired discussions within the group, and it was great that a number of our new(er) staff participated because it meant they could bring in some outside perspective.

Thinking internationally

Liaison Librarian Carol went on an Erasmus trip organised by the Business School to Ghent in Belgium, where she visited a couple of their libraries.  We were fascinated to hear how the staff there are diversifying the service; 3D printers, green screens, and wood sample collections were just a few of the ways in which their library service has grown and changed with the times! It just goes to show that university libraries extend far beyond the traditional remit of ‘books and journals’.  It certainly got me thinking about how in an age when more and more resources are available electronically, our physical space could (and should) grow and change to incorporate new technology and curation of non-traditional resources.  Carol highly recommended the Erasmus programme and it sounded like a really useful and enlightening experience.

Assistant Liaison Librarian Laura recommended the International Librarians Network as another way of learning about the experiences of others. This is an online peer mentoring scheme which matches participants up with somebody from elsewhere in the world, and invites them to share their experiences on given topics each week.

Engaging with the library

Two different types of engagement were discussed. The first was using ethnographic research methodologies in libraries, as reported by Research Fellow Jo from a session she attended at the UKSG 2016 conference.  This involves observing students in their use of the library, which the group related back to our own experiences of working with students on the iCity redesign and other projects.  The conclusions are seemingly that students have very differing needs from one another, however this helps us understand the wide-ranging scope of service we need to offer.  We talked about the current issues with study space and how some students prefer a traditional quiet space, yet others enjoy social learning.  Encouraging students to explore the library in unfamiliar ways is a technique to help them to learn; we thought the idea of students creating their own A-Z of the library in order to engage with us was a fantastic idea!

The second discussion came from a session that Head of E-Library team Paul had attended at the Talis Insight 2016 conference, regarding the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). By changing the institutional approach from learning to teaching as part of the TEF, academic libraries need to prove their value within the teaching agenda, moving from a service delivery model to one of engaged/independent learning – all this whilst also raising their profile and getting academic staff to buy into libraries further.  Liaison Librarian Janice reported that the Learning and Teaching team are participating in a scheme to engage with local Year 12 pupils to familiarise them with independent learning.  It was mentioned that many university libraries have similar ongoing schemes with local schools for developing links with future learners, and all agreed that this would be a positive move should something be developed in our area.

Watch this space!

We’ve really enjoyed running the LIKE events, and judging by the comments we received after this session the attendees found it worthwhile as well.  BCU Library and Learning Resources staff should keep an eye on What’s Happening for upcoming events, and blog readers should watch this space for reviews and information regarding all events that we participate in!

^Laura

LIKE event – 4th December 2015

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On Friday 4th December Library and Learning Resources held the inaugural LIKE event, a place for staff to share knowledge and discuss events they had been to.

Some of the topics we discussed were as follows:

Events

  • PPRG Marketing excellence awards – particularly notable was the University of Huddersfield’s promotion of their online reading lists.
  • ARLIS RDA implementation workshop – a discussion about the implementation of RDA (Resource Description and Access – cataloguing standard)
  • Northumbria Conference on performance management – consumer behaviour research, the idea of “browser’s neck” (tilting your head to read the spines of books!).
  • UX Lib conference – possible research methods for the user experience i.e. cognitive mapping, user diaries.

Social media

  • Development of the Library and Learning Resources blog
  • BCU cataloguers Twitter @BCU_cataloguers
  • Using Sumall for Twitter analytics i.e. thank you tweets

Updates

  • Clustering editions on the OPAC – trialling in the BCU sandbox
  • BCU Graduate Plus scheme

Misc.

  • Use of Tableu for logging enquiries and getting rich data
  • Screenagers – increasing use of the virtual reference library for the new generation

 

The information shared generated a lot of discussion.  For example, how consumer behaviour research can impact library services, i.e. the layout of items on the shelf, the use of book bags and strategically placed sofas. Looking outside of libraries might lead to some innovative ideas being introduced, and is worth considering for the future.

Overall this was a really useful exercise in sharing knowledge and learning from others’ experiences.  It was interesting to have people in attendance that work in other areas of the library to me – I know nothing about cataloguing, for example, so it was fun to learn about what the cataloguers are up to and the developments in the general field.

Hopefully we will run this again – all Library and Learning Resources staff would be welcome to attend, either to share or just listen!

 

Laura (Assistant Liaison Librarian)