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.