February Update – the one that considers the MLIS

February 2014 Update (no volume or part numbers I can find?) pops out of the plastic wrapper and spends an hour with me on the 20 bus after the Central Line goes into meltdown.

A few things catch my eye in the news section this time.

The CILIP VLE goes live.  I had a rummage at the time but have not yet got to grips with it (not least as login is a pain – can you login without going to the main CILIP site yet?). Getting to grips with it is on the list as part of revalidation plan.

There is an item on an NIHR publication (PDF) that includes the use of evidence by health managers. I could do with boosting the support for this group in the Trusts I work with so added to the reading pile.

There is an update on progress with books on prescription since the offer in this area by SCL / Reading Agency. Presents it somewhat as an overnight sensation, when it is clearly built on steady progress over many years, but it makes sense to try any lever to secure more work of this kind.

Finally there is the “Access to research” pilot as part of Finch. I had a look at the time of launch but my public library was not then in the scheme. The onsite only search tool, non commercial use clause and no downloading makes this a fairly restrictive pilot. How much time can people get on a PC? How might they be supported to print or download things they actually need?

The campaign for the right to e-read seems a vital one in terms of the future of public libraries. Good to see somewhere the professional body is involved in pushing for the needs of readers. The APPG meeting is mentioned as being back in 2012 which seems a little old even without my belated reading.

The Phil Bradley column is handy as ever.  BigHugeLabs looks a nifty tool.

The future skills section is the regular annual round up to frame the LIS school adverts. Given the debate about the merits of LIS qualifications this article provides some interesting perspectives around the balance between theory / practice and specific / generic. It sounds a good idea that accreditation of courses is now against the PKSB though at the time of the article my alma mater was not accredited.  I really enjoyed my MSc and the opportunity it gave me to really get involved with my topics.  I picked the course carefully as I wanted to work in health libraries and this is a strength at Sheffield. There were things I enjoyed less but most aspects of the course felt relevant and interesting to me (though my threshold for interesting may be lower than yours). I appreciate my view was perhaps coloured by studying full time and with financial support.  I can see how those paying for the course and working through out might have less room to think and different expectations.

Lawbore – looks a brilliantly tailored resource for law students and a powerful advert for City University and their Library Services. Serving students and reaching out it creates a community before and beyond University. I like the fact it has a specific URL.

There then follows stuff about RDA, special collections in Bradford and rare books. Nice pictures but not much else for me (though light exposure of this kind to RDA is probably a good thing).

An item on online mentoring was useful for the more generally applicable practical tips about online meetings. Working in this way is clearly on the rise. New library PCs at work have a built in webcam and Lync also supports screen sharing and online chat. This seems a logical avenue of advance for support at the point of need. Whisper it but I even saw glimmers of a move away from XP in the NHS yesterday.

Last up I was fascinated by the article on collection development for economics (great to see someone from outside the profession pushing debate in this area). While the article is immediately useful to those working with the subject the broader questions about how we carry out the task of maintaining a collection beyond the prevailing view point are applicable generally.  In my view we cannot be neutral collectors but must be inquisitive and open.