Monday, 17 November 2014

Innovative Information Literacy at an Innovative Un-Conference

Colleagues may be interested to read this great post arising from the recent Library Camp Glasgow.

 
by Jane Furness (Edinburgh College of Art)

Library Camp Glasgow - We Sponsored, and Amanda Brennan Reports on a Great Day

Here's a report on the recent Library Camp at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.  Our thanks go to Amanda Brennan, Academic Librarian at Bernard King Library, Abertay University, for sharing this with us.

"I'm coming slightly late to the party given the range of excellent reports already blogged and tweeted over the last few days (for example here), but I thought I would add my impressions of my second 'un-conference' experience at Library Camp Glasgow 2014, held at the Mitchell Library on Saturday 8 November.

"Visiting the Mitchell is always a pleasure (one of the highlights of last year’s event was the ‘behind the scenes’ tour offered by Myra Paterson, an opportunity offered again this year) and having attended the inaugural Library Camp in 2013, I had a better idea of what to expect this time around. The morning started with a lively round of Librarian Bingo, always an excellent icebreaker, though as I don’t knit, own a cat or play a team sport I’m afraid I was a grave disappointment on the box ticking front! It did give me a chance to spot some of the home-made badges sported by fellow attendees – perhaps next year I’ll actually get around to making one myself (though given my abject lack of crafting talent, this remains unlikely).

Sharing experience

"Since last year’s Library Camp I've completed my postgraduate diploma and taken up my first professional post. Something I really appreciated this year was the opportunity to talk to Academic Librarians and Subject Librarians from other institutions and I spent quite some time quizzing them on their information literacy provision, learner engagement techniques and collection development strategies – basically extracting whatever useful tips they were willing to part with! The first of my chosen sessions, Jane Furness on Innovative Information Literacy was particularly helpful in this regard with its lively discussion of more interactive approaches to teaching information skills. As the discussion progressed we turned to ways to engage both students and academic staff with the library more generally – the consensus seemed to be to adopt a ‘stealth’ approach, taking information literacy provision and other services out of the library and into the departments wherever possible.

Advocacy

"Jennifer Horan’s session Advocacy – a worthwile cause? followed next, and many of the questions and challenges raised chimed with what I’d heard in the earlier discussion. Some of the other participants shared anecdotes on the misunderstandings they’d encountered about their roles and professional qualifications – it never fails to surprise me how little many people understand about what librarians actually do, even in education and academia, but then perhaps this indicates a need to better publicise our services. The session raised a number of pertinent questions. How do we demonstrate the value of the work we do as librarians? Can we even be advocates for our own work? These questions seem especially timely given recent assaults on school and public library services in particular. Jennifer pointed us to the excellent Library A to Z campaign, which attempts to list the many and varied activities going on in libraries today.

Reflective Practice

"The third of my sessions was Do You Practice What You Preach? pitched by Karen McAulay. Karen took us through her own reflective blog and shared her experience of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Teaching Artist course, focusing on the idea of reflective practice. Our subsequent discussion raised interesting questions about the extent to which we ourselves reflect on what we do. As I’m considering pursuing Chartership in the next few years and would not describe myself as naturally reflective, I have thought about ways to cultivate more reflective habits. It was useful to hear what others do and our discussion has prompted me to dig out the Professional Development Plan I completed as part of my postgraduate diploma, and to resurrect my long dormant Diigo account.

Transferable skills

"Last but not least was 23 Librarians live! pitched on the day by Gordon Hunt. I’m a big fan of the 23 Librarians concept and what I’ve enjoyed more than anything about both of my Library Camp experiences has been the chance to hear about what other librarians do. Having only worked in academic libraries, I’m always fascinated to hear about what librarians get up to in other sectors. Several participants shared their interesting and unusual career trajectories, reinforcing that the skills we take for granted as librarians are much in demand, even when looking outwith traditional library roles. The importance of marketing ourselves and our professional expertise came up again, though in this case the focus was on tailoring applications to fit the post in question, emphasising skills and experience over job titles. As I’m currently in a temporary post, the question of career progression is one that’s been very much on my mind. This session encouraged me to think more broadly about possibilities for the future.

"All in all Library Camp Glasgow was, once again, a thought provoking day, providing a friendly and relaxed forum for discussion and reflection. Students and new professionals looking for a less intimidating way onto the conference circuit should definitely consider attending future events, though its appeal is by no means limited to those at the beginning of their career. In these days of budget constraints and service closures, grassroots events like Library Camp are more important than ever. Many thanks to Anabel Marsh and the other organisers for providing such a valuable opportunity."

E-Book Conference Continues to Resonate!

Here's another report on the E-Book Conference, this time by Gillian Anderson of Strathclyde University Library.  Our thanks to Gillian - it's great to read about learning experiences that really contribute to CPD!

The right to e-read by Gerald Leitner, EBLIDA
 
Gillian Anderson, Acquisitions Dept, Strathclyde University Library

The chance to attend an ebook conference on my workplace doorstep seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. A quick walk down one of Strathclyde University’s famous vertiginous slopes and I would be there.

The first presentation, The Right to E-read, by Gerald Leitner of EBLIDA, really resonated with me as I deal with e-books on a daily basis. Many of the issues we encounter with publishers and aggregators of e-books, such as access restrictions to e-books being withheld from sale. Is something that we have come to accept as part of the deal with e-books. But, Gerald Leitner’s presentation highlighted that the current situation is of deep concern, as it threatens the very ethos of the library’s public mission; to provide access to its patrons of all commercially available content.

We are in a position where, as Leitner says, “collection building policy may be decided by the publishers and not the library, which could mean a threat to access to information and by extension democracy”.

The imbalance in power between libraries and publishers has prompted EBLIDA to create the “Right to e-read” campaign. It seeks to raise awareness amongst the general public, librarians and politicians about the need to change the legal framework surrounding e-books. 

The whole e-book ecosystem, as he sees it, is faced with uncertainty. Publishers are struggling to develop business models which address the very different mediums of print and electronic books. Social practices are changing, we would in the past lend books to friends and future generations would inherit books. Now, with e-books that is just not possible. 

Leitner talked about the principle of “exhaustion” which occurs with the sale of a print book. After the first sale, the distribution rights are said to be exhausted as a transfer of ownership has taken place, which allows the library to “distribute” or lend the book. Currently, this does not apply to e-books as they are described in EU law, as a “service” and not a “material”. 

EBLIDA are campaigning for a change in EU copyright law that will afford libraries the “right to acquire” digital files and also the “right to lend” any work in any format. The introduction of mandatory fair use licenses, which will ensure libraries are given a reasonable price and publishers will no longer be allowed to refuse the sale of an e-book to a library.  

I hope this snapshot of Gerald’s talk has encouraged you to find out more about the campaign. So, please visit http://www.eblida.org/e-read/home-campaign/ and of course, sign the petition!

 


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Do YOU know any Early Career Music Librarians?

SALCTG has very few music librarians at all! Nonetheless, if you have any early-career librarian friends who recently wrote a dissertation or substantial journal article about music librarianship, then there is a BIG prize (£250) that may interest them.  So if you were at library school with anyone who hoped to make their career in music librarianship, please pass this on!



Early career music librarian, UK or ROI? Dissertation or article on music librarianship? E T Bryant Memorial Prize, 2014L £250 prize - more info at http://www.iaml.info/iaml-uk-irl/awards/bryant.html.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

SALCTG held a plenary meeting at GCU, and what did we learn?

Representatives of a dozen or so Scottish Higher Education libraries met at Glasgow Caledonian University today, and discussed the kind of staff training our various libraries needed.  A wide variety of ideas were mooted, from disability awareness training to support for new professionals, and many other topics besides.

We updated one another about regional training sessions that had recently taken place.  Dundee's TAFLIN (Tayside and Fife Library and Information Network) has wound itself down, to be replaced by a new CILIPS Tayside branch - we look forward to their news in due course.  Meanwhile in Edinburgh, ELISA (Edinburgh Library and Information Services Agency) has a new website and is still live and kicking!

And Sonya, bounding with energy as always, showed her visitors the extent of the library space, skipping nimbly up to the fourth floor then working back down again, to give us a bit of welcome exercise.  Lifts? Lifts are for sissies!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Who's Coming to Library Camp Glasgow 2? At the Mitchell Library, 8th November 2014!

Did you attend Library Camp last year?  Did you miss it, and then kick yourself when everyone told you how much fun they'd had?

It's on again this weekend.  SALCTG has again helped subsidise the catering.  Karen promises to sport a new name-badge, and a delegate from Dundee will provide a report on this SALCTG blog, after the event.  Who else will be there?

Visit the Library Camp Glasgow 2 website, HERE.

What Makes a Good Blog? Twelve Tips for Library Bloggers (Re-posted from Whittaker Live)

When you start blogging in a professional context, it pays to follow some simple general principles.  Here's a blogpost that Karen McAulay posted on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's performing arts blog, Whittaker Live.  It offers some basic advice that will hopefully make your library blogging go smoothly from the start.

What Makes a Good Blog?  Twelve Tips for Library Bloggers