Update catch up February 2015

You know the score by now…

A big piece on the Sieghart report the recommendations of which look pretty thin to me.  Not impressed latterly watching how the wifi actions are unfolding with overt commercial advertising presence and a bidding process rather than a universal offer.

The same news section carries details of the disaster at the Library of Birmingham which appears to be being gutted and propped up partially with more advertising cash.

Ask folks about the library and they tell you it is fine – but they don’t know any different. Paraphrasing R David Lankes.

A good bye article from Annie Mauger.  CILIP came on under her leadership though it still seems to be some way off winning back a lot of hearts and minds sadly. I hope she is enjoying her new role.

Phil Bradley tells me I should join Facebook for the good of my professional activity.  This is a tough one as I have steered firmly clear thus far and would prefer to keep it that way.  Not shy of social media but do I want another place?

I was interested to read about the continuing work around the Knowledge and Information Management as a recognised profession across the civil service.  These must be very tough times in those services and seeing a positive approach based around professionalism and skills is heartening.

Not an early Latin printed books expert but enjoyed the article on overcoming challenges around digitisation of these texts.

Ben Showers article linked to his book on Library Analytics and Metrics is very timely as I am now chairing a Knowledge for Healthcare task and finish group on this very topic.  His three areas:

  1. Measure what really matters
  2. Don’t collect it, or measure it, if you’re not going to act on it
  3. Make as much data available as possible

Are bang on really (and chime with other interesting things I have been reading and will blog about later).  I really like the idea that our data should be like dandelions – finding niches where ever they can rather.

Update catchup December 2014 / January 2015

Social media traffic this week from people pondering cancelling their membership of CILIP accompanied by statements that they had just popped another Update unopened on the pile.  I think this series of blog posts has shown that at least for this member there are always things of interest.
Who knows what will be useful in the future?  Not reading something is not going to help that is for sure.  Anyway that said, despite the double issue, this Update is not awash with articles that interested me.
There is a huge amount of news – almost half the issue.
CILIP Electionwatch was launched.  I was pleased to see this attempt to raise the profile of libraries as an issue at the general election.  Sadly the early days of the new government promise to be as destructive to library services as the equivalent period of the previous one. Hopefully the new CEO will bring continued focus on what are existential issues for many services.
The Library A to Z launch is also reported. Having backed this campaign I was disappointed that CILIP did not do so.  There were other organisations involved and I can see no reason why they were not.
There are some nice pictures of the new Uni of Greenwich Stockwell Street Library – since visited and discussed on this blog!
The book review of “The One-Shot Library Instruction Survival Guide” makes this sound an interesting read – one to recommend for the professional collection at work.
Spotted my name in the list of revalidating MCLIPs which was a nice surprise. I am waiting on this years efforts.
I liked the idea of the 23 librarians campaign to raise public awareness of the diversity of roles that librarians carry out (and their skills and impact).
Finally the article on student workers at Teeside Uni library was very relevant to developing areas at work. They used the Peer Assisted Study Sessions model which is doubtless old news to many but not something I recall meeting before.  It is great to see something building on what works.  Having looked at research literature on student roles around academic libraries there is a lot of reinventing and then not evaluating the wheel going on.  The article has what appears sound practical advice. One to share.
PS. Included in the envelope was the CILIP annual report with quote from when I submitted my first revalidation – had forgotten about being asked!


Critical Appraisal – OT paper with interesting features

Monday morning session on critical appraisal for some lovely Occupational Therapists.

We had picked out an RCT to look at together and it turned out to have some bumps.

Clin Rehabil. 2012 Dec;26(12):1096-104. doi: 10.1177/0269215512444631.

A randomized controlled trial of Cognitive Sensory Motor Training Therapy on the recovery of arm function in acute stroke patients.

Chanubol R1, Wongphaet P, Chavanich N, Werner C, Hesse S, Bardeleben A, Merholz J.
Interesting features:
  • A nice explanation of their power calculation
  • A variation in clarity of the protocols for the intervention and comparison
  • Outcome measures that are probably not that helpful (though better ones were hard to come by)
  • An intention to treat analysis that seems to exclude people who withdrew (?!)
  • An overexcited reaction to a subgroup analysis (they enjoyed this explanation of why that might be an issue)
  • Presentation of results with medians and IQR as well as means
A very good paper for discussion with OTs who have an interest in stroke rehabilitation.

Update catch up November 2014

An information management themed issue.

An article from Laura Williams on embedded information professionals is encouraging.  I would have liked to have heard more about what she actually gets up to while embedded.  I have a feel for the kinds of things embedded clinical librarians would do and it would have been good to compare with a media role.

The article on scenario planning was a helpful introduction to this activity.  I tend to spend too little time looking ahead. An approach like this may be useful in plotting potential routes forward for my service.

I enjoyed the paper by academic Prof. Clive Holtham as something to chew on with ideas of what our role should include as professionals in a society increasingly focused on a narrow rational business oriented model.

An article on the changes to the RCN Library was a welcome update on the progress of their shift in focus.  Audience engagement is being pursued to broaden the range of activity supported by them and open the RCN more to the public.  Moving from defining and targeting an audience through to engagement is something that is highly applicable.  I know I have key audiences already for maximising the reach of my work but new ways to engage them will be of value.

The case studies on makerspaces and so on were a positive quick read.

Matt Holland is a regular author in Update and his latest listicle on working solo worked for me. In a big team I am far from solo but I have to think like a solo in terms of the scope of the people I work with and the difference to the core audience for the service.

This chimed for me:

In the end there are really only two tasks. Responding to your users better and marketing to your users so they come to you in the future. Everything else is just noise.

I also liked the idea of the need for focus – there are endless projects I could be involved in and could initiate but I won’t finish things that way.

The article on peer review in public libraries had me thinking about how to do a light touch version of this and to what extent it might already be happening in academic libraries.  Certainly there is plenty of history of it in the NHS.

Plane takes off

An UHMLG summer trip away – day 1

This was my first attendance at an UHMLG event (the summer residential conference) and it was great to meet new people and catch up with familiar faces.  Sadly we only got as far away as Luton but the hotel was comfortable and you got used to the plane noise.

The theme was “influencing, inspiring, leading: reflections on personal and professional impact”.

We opened with Jane Savidge talking about use of leadership circles.  These are grounded in the Nancy Klein thinking environment from “Time to think”.  I read this a while ago hoping it would help me find ways to lift my thinking beyond immediate pressing issues.  In practice it is very much about listening and good questions.

Leadership circles (8 to 10 people) are aiming to break down silos and the gap between academic culture and professional services. In their aim to encourage deep thinking they do correspond more to what I had hoped for.
It sounds like it has been successful for forming relationships. It has also influenced more widely how meetings are being run throughout the university – you can see the people who are involved. The circles were related back to the 7 Habits idea of circles of influence – these have been expanded.
Anthea Sutton followed with “Librarian as leader: skills, competencies & development opportunities in library and info profession”
This was based on original research for NLH back in 2008 (later published in HILJ) and updated for a talk at the recent EAHIL conference.
Andrea contrasted her own leadership journey where she has risen (in her view accidentally) into a management position over her time at ScHARR. Management not synonymous with leadership but management can go in hand with it.  On the other hand she offered her colleague – Andy Tattersall. Andy is a specialist in electronic networks, communications. Has influence in the organisation and beyond. Very good at monitoring future trends. Leadership through expertise.
Literature says leadership is hard to define. Is one profile appropriate for our profession anyway?  A magic check list is not possible, there is no single profile, leadership courses are not Fairy dust (Greenhalgh).
Current opportunities – formal programmes (CILIP leadership thing). Your institution may be running them. Leadership MOOCs, mentoring / coaching, observation, peer support / networking, reading, writing / publishing.  360 degree feedback highly recommended – something I have always tended to dodge.  We are not good at assessing our own competence. Something to think about as (hopefully) more people engage with the PKSB.
After tea we were treated to a talk by Roisin Gwyer on influencing up.  I took limited notes as I was focussed on listening.  Starting with Yukl influence tactics we had a tour of a range of models and theories but the value for me came from the experience shared. I loved the ideas around being opportunistic – we are going to need to say things twenty times to get ideas accepted.  Having an acceptable compromise position ready in advance is something I need to do more of. Hopefully the slides will go on the UHLMG site.
The last couple of segments were a round table that worked moderately and then an update on Knowledge for Healthcare. Great to see this progressing – and I am now getting more actively involved in the national programme through Chairing a task and finish group on Metrics (get in touch anyone with strong views!).
After the group AGM we were whisked off for a BBQ at the rather lovely Offley Place.

Update catch up October 2014

You know the score – still not really catching up with these.

Useful article by Phil Bradley on net neutrality particularly in the light of recent undermining of this in Europe.

Good to hear from @AgentK23 on her trip to the m-libraries conference in Hong Kong. Discussion of WhatsApp usage reflects my experience that it is increasingly being used for group communication by medics. Another case of being where the users are perhaps?

The discussion of her event amplification through live tweeting is a good reminder to the non tweeps of what people are up to when they are tapping away. You still get some anti tweeting / mobile feeling from time to time at conferences.  Great when this is done well – I was sat near @ilk21 at the recent UHMLG Summer Conference (post to follow) and she is great at adding value to what is being said.

Another article on RDA that I dutifully read but cannot say I understood.

I particularly enjoyed the report by Charles Inskip from Digital Libraries 2014. I do not recall seeing much about this at the time and the article really sets the talks in context. Paper books for long term preservation of records!

With the Radical Librarians having gathered in Huddersfield lately I picked out the report of Dave Greene from EFF talking at IFLA.  I like his idea of libraries providing secure private internet connections as part of a wider role for protecting privacy of access to information.