On reading – an end to the Update updates?

I read quite a lot. I suspect this is not an unusual statement for people working in library and information roles.  Keeping up with the constant flood of things I want to read, happen to read and feel I should read is a challenge.  This blog has recorded the evidence of me working through one of my back logs and I have been tackling slightly smaller piles of a whole raft of other regular publications.  Generally things are starting to look okay with me reading about stuff that actually happened recently.  I haven’t really got back up on my blog reading – perhaps a next project.

Anyway – one conclusion from all the Update updates is that while I value some of the things I read I suspect that my ramblings are of less value (even to me).  Accordingly future Update updates will be perhaps be about a single item that particularly strikes the imagination.

I was pleased in the Dec 2016 / Jan 2017 issue to see a snippet about the publication of the Principles for Metrics report that was produced by a task and finish group I chaired for the Knowledge for Healthcare programme.  Work continues on creating ways to engage people and build their understanding of metrics (see previous posts on this). A new version of the quality metrics template is under development to help with this.

On a personal note I was glad to read an appreciation of Julian Lendon who died last year.  I never knew him but the Solihull Central Library he oversaw the planning and building of was a formative place for me.  This video preview for a talk there on Beatrice Cadbury gave me a chance for a little look around and is a nice example of how libraries make a difference.

Update November 2016 (and March 2015) and the end of the road

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It has been a long old struggle but this post covers the current issue of Update and the last of my backlog. The plan is not to let it get out of hand – there is no doubt that a current issue of Update is more interesting than one a year plus old.  While not always the most thrilling of publications I have continued to find the odd thing I have not heard about elsewhere and some really helpful brief articles on a wide variety of topics.

The October issue has a timely article on privacy and the Library user. My catch up reading meant I read another article by the same author (Paul Pedley) only the other day.  There is a handy list of potential paths to take to work with users around privacy issues.

I have already spoken to colleagues about the article by Wendy Morris on the Big Read at Kingston University. We are currently engaged on a mass reading project and there are valuable ideas here on how to build on the possibilities this offers.

South London colleague Sian Aynsley updates on the KfH Learning Zone. I heard a verbal update on this at #NHSHE2016 so this is more a reconfirmation of details of this helpful resource.

Finally in this issue I enjoyed reading about the experience of Sue Willis on the Libraries Taskforce. It is fascinating to have a glimpse at this task of influencing within government. The importance of adjusting communication styles to suit audience was an obvious take away.

And finally – May 2015!

I had already seen the Design Thinking for Libraries toolkit but this is well worth a look if you are interested in user experience and design thinking. There is a free book with all sorts of tips and ideas on how to learn more about users. I will probably read this again ahead of a project I am managing to use external consultants to help with this at work.

Finally there is an article explaining obligatory revalidation – sadly it didn’t make the case strongly enough to get it past the members!

October Update (and April 2015)

The shrink wrap crackle of a new edition through the letterbox pushes me to try not to fall further behind again.

October 2016 had some good stuff in it.

Interested in the plans for the new Lambeth Palace Library – I work just around the corner and will hopefully be involved in a building project myself nearby so there will be two Library projects within a few hundred metres over the coming years.

The Library Leadership Reading Group is profiled.  I have dipped in and out of this but frequently find it hard to participate in twitter events in the evenings. I am hoping to participate in the next one on Compelling People which looks useful for me as someone who needs to influence people without some of the usual levers.

Alison Day writes about the creation of the PKSB for health I am a fan of this in that it finally prompted me to complete my PKSB.  Having examples grounded in my predominant practice was a real help. The new online version also made it much easier to work through (and share). The close working between NHS libraries and CILIP has been a real positive for both.

I loved the Reads and rights campaign at Bath Spa – such a brilliant engagement project building on the strengths and values of the library within the institution and society.

Way back to April 2015 next with the announcement of the Knowledge for Healthcare Framework – stunning to think it was less than two years that this was published given all the work and progress subsequently (more on this in another post).

The other main thing to strike my eye was a piece by Paul Pedley on protecting the privacy of users particularly relevant in the light of the passing of the IP bill and a tide of news relating to capture and use of personal data.  There is a lot in the article to check out and some solid pointers for areas that we need to look at as a service.

 

Update September 2016 (and May 2015)

I am falling behind so this is a quick post.

September 2016 first the hoody issue.

My being behind flags to me that I need to read more about the NHS Library Impact Toolkit. This is a key agenda across the NHS and rising at work so I need to know more here.

Confirmation in print of my MCLIP revalidation. I attended a fellowship event organised by Cilip London last week – I really need to get on and just do this. First job will to be find the necessary mentor – anyone care to help?

The article by Jane Secker on text and data mining was useful with clear pointers to developments and potential roles. I wondered about how this sort of work might mesh with the AI and automation agenda – might we see automated tools doing most of the grint work in literature work?

Complementary to this was the article on Full Library Discovery. Not sure quite how far down this path we are yet. Trip plus local materials could be the basis of something in the NHS.

Back to May 2015…

There is an advert for the UHMLG annual conference (I still owe this blog a day two post from it) that was my first UHMLG event – as of yesterday I am an UHMLG committee member.

A bit late really to read the article about the first UXLIbs Conference. In practice I have read a lot about this at the time and since. I finally read the Protolib report this week which uses the techniques discussed here and is a real eye opener on student use of space. I was in one of our super high intensity spaces yesterday thinking about what might help mitigate some of the effects of it.

July August Update (and June 2015)

I read these two issues on the train up to Scarborough for the CILIP HLG 2016 conference and these notes have been sat waiting for a quick tidy up ever since. I was slightly annoyed by this Cilip Conference special as it was a reminder that the change to the Cilip Conference being an annual affair means other events had to shift. The HLG conference appears not to have sold out this year which may well be related to the new date and HE colleagues were missed.

HLISD is featured after ten years in existence. I had a small hand in this in the past and am glad it continues to serve a useful function. It was a shame that the end of the NLH marked a reduction in the use of HLISD as a data source into other systems. I hope this will be returned to as we develop future sites. I wonder if the API is public?

I enjoyed the article on interlending in public libraries (takes all sorts I know). I take the position that people should be able to access whatever they require through their library. Within that I have a strong suspicion that ILL is frequently uneconomical versus a well streamlined purchase route.

June 2015 was also a Cilip Conference special!

Research by the Arts Council England on health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries is a good match for projects at work around impact.  A range of techniques were used to seek to put a value on libraries. The figure seemed low to me – £19.51 for users is barely the cost of a few books. This does compare well to the figures I subsequently heard about in the presentation on RoI at HLG2016.

The article by Sarah George on joining students on a field trip was a great example of opportunistic engagement. Participating in the scholarly life of the institution gave openings of an informal and semi informal nature. Closer work with placement libraries seems a logical way to go and something currently in mind.

CILIP Update June 2016 and July August 2015

June 2016 Update (plus July / August 2015)

Thought I would have a change from reading about the chaos being unleashed by the EURef and flip through the latest from CILIP (and from them a year back).

June 2016 first.

Bit surprised that the consultation on the new membership model is given just a small news item. This seems a pretty big deal to me.  The new lower price is likely to be welcomed by many.  I wonder how strong the maths is on the number of people likely to take up the “leaders” option and how convincing the package of extra benefits is?  There will definitely need to be some strong recruitment of members.

Positive to hear how the Library at Ferguson supported the community following the shooting of Michael Brown.

Even more positive is the column by Dawn Finch as President on the importance of ethical principles in the profession.  I have been disappointed again by the decision of HLG to suggest conference sponsors should influence the content of the event.  For me this falls foul of the 7th principle

Impartiality, and avoidance of inappropriate bias, in acquiring and evaluating information and in mediating it to other information users.

Meanwhile back in 2015 when we had some semblance of order in UK politics.. Michael Gove was scrapping the book ban in prisons.

I really should have checked out the Impact Toolkit (launched in this issue) by now.  Glad to see Mary Dunne was involved – she spoke really well at HLG 2014 in Oxford.

Over the page is David Gurteen on Knowledge Cafes.  I attended one a few years back at the BDA but found it a bit overwhelming with numbers involved that day.  The focus on conversation is really helpful as we work on driving engagement at work.  A reference is lacking for the Zeldin book on Conversation which I recommend to all as a quick but worthwhile read.  I am very keen on the idea of conversation needing to take place in the physical world – definitely more benefit for me.  The more I can talk to people the better things go.

Interesting to read of efforts at Plymouth to provide core reading material as e-textbooks for undergrads.  It would be interesting to know how strong the actual usage was – a drop in paper circ for purchased titles was mentioned which you would expect.  The preceding article on ebooks was a handy reminder of a few issues and options as I look at what I can do for my NHS users.

 

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.

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.