May 2016 Cilip Update (plus September 2015)

Time for a quick read of the latest issue and one from the pile.

May leads on Shakespeare which is understandable given current celebrations (there are just a few days left to see the King’s College London “By Me William Shakespeare” with collaboration by the National Archives and the London Shakespeare Centre.

An exhibition with a few more days to run is “Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee”. It was great to read such a clear explanation of how this had been put together and the pleasures / pains of it all. @girlinthe had already been giving us a good flavour and this is a good example of how social media can get people involved in something well ahead of time.  I need to be sure to go before it closes in July.

The other main articles of note for me were about collaboration in health.  The work of Macmillan with Glasgow Public Libraries demonstrates the importance of specialist information support within a more general service. Meanwhile work in the Wirral links an NHS library with public libraries to support reminiscence therapy provides shows a new service being created with powerful effects.  Both of these illustrate the debate around how NHS LKS should work with patients and the public.  I understand the unwillingness of NHS services to open entirely to the public – the services required are very different and difficult conversations need the right preparation / conditions. I need to make the connections into the relevant services locally to see what we can do.

Nothing massively spoke to me in the September issue – these things happen.  Glad to see the progress of works at the Glasgow School of Art.

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Revalidation – going for the threepeat

Spookily almost a year to the day since I last submitted I have once again completed the documents to revalidate my MCLIP.

I hope the current discussions at CILIP will finally see the launch of the online register of practitioners the long overdue public face of revalidation.

It has been another packed year professionally with a host of new conferences, visits, LibUX, Metrics and more. Plenty to reflect on! If anyone wants to talk revalidation do give me a shout – happy to talk you through it.

This years mandatory revalidation celebratory tune from MJ Hibbett and the Validators is – Things will be different when I’m in charge from the Album “This is not a library”

April 2016 Cilip Update (plus October 2015)

Items of note in the new issue and the back issue…

April starts with the usual news.  A small item in the news section about Sci hub is hopefully a signal for some deeper analysis of this.  Given the universal preference for no logins and simplicity in access this is one of the big stories in scholarly publishing.  The creator of the site has a very different definition of Open Access to the one librarians would recognise but it feels like this could lead to a more rapid transition to a more legally realistic Open model.

The opposite page links nicely with Sandra Ward discussing the need for skills around risk, security and data privacy.  Good luck to the people who have given Sci hub their network logins and think they will only be used to access journal articles.

The article on the value of trained library and information professionals is encouraging. The full report will warrant reading.

I enjoyed reading about work to bring student art into the library space in Wimbledon. Not sure how we could support something of this kind with our students. Adding visual and physical learning aids would be a start.

Now back to October 2015 with a health focus apparent…

News wise this feels like an issue where CILIP HQ is starting to show the response to member pressure for a more actively advocating institute. The initial response to the AGM resolution to oppose amateurisation was underwhelming but it feels like My Library By Right and other work is now moving things in a better direction.

An item on faculty / librarian collaboration looks very relevant to my interests – I had missed this one at the time and it sounds like a potential team journal club conversation starter.

The cover article on Knowledge for Healthcare is a good run through. The one year updates are now circulating and a lot has been achieved. My own involvement in the Metrics work has been stretching both in terms of building knowledge on the topic but also in leading a distributed team. I wish I had pushed for a face to face meeting sooner as this really improved our subsequent work together.

More health with an informative article from RCSEng on their collection review. I am lucky to sit as an external on their joint Museums, Archives, Library and Surgical Information Services committee and this article really filled out the story on work I had heard about there. The close working relationship presented here is a great example of how heritage collections can underpin modern practice. I highly recommend the recently opened temporary display at the Hunterian on vaccination which includes letters from Edward Jenner, film, moulages from the Gordon Museum and historic antivaxxer postcards.

It was useful to think about what happens to our social media accounts on our death. It some ways a companion piece to the talk by Brian Kelly at Internet Librarian 2013 ago on what happens to your digitally speaking when you leave an employer. I definitely have some work to do to be ready for either of these eventualities.

Update March 2016 (and November 2015)

A new issue of Update means a new back issue pulled screaming from the vaults.  First up November 2015…

I like the Karen McFarlane definition of KM as ‘good IM practices alongside knowledge sharing behaviours’. It helps get past the nagging voice of Tom Wilson in my head whenever I see KM.  I am looking forward to seeing what the NHS Knowledge for Health group working in this area comes up with.

A note of a warning from the Local Government Ombudsman that outsourcing does not remove responsibility for quality of service is interesting in context of a recent article on council insourcing as contracted out services prove inflexible and expensive.  The plans for Gym Libraries in Lambeth is a good example of what can come from this.  This looks like a straightforward reduction in service and commercial land grab.

The puff on two library supply companies merging is seriously lacking in any critical examination of whether this is in fact a good thing for libraries.  There is rather a lot of churnalism style content press release cut and paste in this issue.

Great to read David McMenemy as a much needed counter weight to the “news”. It was really helpful to have something place developments in the profession in the context of developments in politics and society.  In a recent consideration of a team goal I drew up a statement that reflected values around empowerment of people to advance the cause of human knowledge.  This was felt to be hard for people to relate to their day to day work but this article reassures me that we should be grounding our practice in the long term and those things that are true.

An article on reinventing public libraries was interesting on two counts.  The “community driven” future vision sounds to me (as a non public librarian) to be what I would have expected to be the model already (I have had some experience of the work of commonfutures that they mention as it happened in my local library).  I was also interested in the 6 future services they identify.  Open content has real potential – moving beyond the current limited access available via Finch.  The role I would envisage would be in supporting research and access. I was also interested in the combination of MOOCs and widening participation.  This struck me as something with real possibility.  Working with students we can see how important the library is a place that is warm, safe comfortable and equipped for study. There must be a place for more collaboration between education and the public library network.  An obvious example is that my local library is no longer open in the evenings when it would be most useful for students from the local college (as well as those who work away in the day time).

I have to declare an interest in the next article on the Quality and Impact work stream of Knowledge for Healthcare. I contributed as Chair of a task and finish group looking at metrics.  We have prepared a report on principles for good metrics which will hopefully surface soon. As part of the research I prepared a poster for the LHL NHS/HE conference in the autumn. Annoyingly the group members are listed incorrectly – the main folk involved have been Dorothy Curtis, Lorna Wilson, Tracy Pratchett and Richard Parker.  It has been a real challenge working with a group spread across the country. It was striking how much more effective we were after having had a face to face meeting – something I would certainly try to have sooner in future such projects.

Back to the present – March 2016 Update…

The launch of the Cilip Online register of practitioners is announced as set for the 14th of March – not before time. I had an enlightening conversation with a colleague who I would have expected to be all in favour but who had voted against revalidation.  Sadly I think it reflects a need for much greater communication and engagement around the new revalidation process.  The traffic on jiscmail lists on this topic was depressing.

The Yale MeSH Analyzer looks like it could be a nifty tool.

An article on life as an outsourced library chimed with what I just been reading from the November issue.  The experience shared does not seem to me to offer any great advantage from being outsourced other than reducing MoD headcount. Providing a service to other organisations myself under SLA I know how much trickier it is to work with an organisation when you do not fully belong to them – I suspect this is less of an issue for the case discussed but I doubt it helps.

Work on developing data science courses connected to recent involvement I have had with information governance around data and high performance computing. There are major management problems to anticipate and a big role for metadata managers.

The Knowledge for Healthcare update this time is on the major work around Resource Discovery.

The cover article is on IP crime.  The focus seems to be mostly film / music with a side order of small fry ebook theft.  Missing is the storm around Sci-hub which is taking the unlicenced sharing of journal articles to a whole new level. I hope there will be something on this shortly as it raises enormous questions for a swathe of work we do.

Finally – a listicle from Matt Holland – I think a lot of what he says this time could be applicable to my own role where I do not often work at home but do not have a “home” at work either.  I like the idea of “not being strange” I would extend this to say “have some boundaries” – when work follows you home it can be hard to turn off.

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!

 

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.