Library round up

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As well as sitting behind our desks, stamping books, the University of Southampton library team take part in a large number of training events and conferences, within the University, nationally and internationally.

So, what sort of events do we host or attend, and why? We will be posting on this blog to feature a snapshot of some of the events, starting with:

BLA Conference 2015, 24th – 26th June, Liverpool

The conference is an opportunity for UK Business Librarians to meet once a year and share ideas – this year’s theme was ‘Innovation’.  I like to get practical tips from these events and, indeed, I learnt about a new tool called that is like an online version of clickers – I hope it will make some of my lectures a bit more fun next year.  It’s also healthy to be challenged by new, and perhaps even radical, ideas…  We heard how a Dutch library has cancelled its version of DelphiS (our discovery tool) and is now considering dropping its WebCat too (although they haven’t quite thought through all the practicalities yet).  And we welcomed a visitor from New York who told us that, as government funding is cut, Librarians should be out looking for investors.  In between, we discussed actions plans, online induction and how to harness innovative ideas from you, our students.

Taking 3 days out from our busy library may sound indulgent and, you might argue, that I could have learnt the above from blogs and articles without leaving my desk.  But I get something less tangible from getting away and having time to listen and think. It’s like the library equivalent of a long walk in the mountains or a yoga retreat – could we call it ‘professional invigoration’?!  And I got to see a bit of Liverpool – well worth a visit if you’re up that way.

Harry Gibbs – Business Librarian

Southern University Libraries Networking Event, 30th June, Chichester

We (Julie and Natalie, 2 library assistants from our Client Services team) attended this event at the University of Chichester on 30th June. The theme was “Outreach-reaching out to our users” and focused on how libraries and library staff can make libraries a better learning space for readers as well as a fun, interesting and social place to be. The event started with a talk by one of the subject librarians at the University of Huddersfield on the various ways they interact with their students both in the library and on campus generally. A lot of good thoughts came out of this which have been cascaded to colleagues at the University of Southampton. This was followed by each library in this group doing a 15 minute presentation on their library’s interpretation of Outreach. After lunch we had a presentation by the head of ICT at Chichester on developments in moving the student intranet to Moodle.

More and more libraries are moving on to social media to promote the resources they have and the services they offer.  The online student community is growing and the learning is shifting from place located to space located where we can share information, questions and answers and support each other.

The whole day was very interesting and we would recommend any similar ones that come up as each University Library had very different ideas on this theme. There were talks on support for Distance Learners, use of social media and the penguin from Portsmouth was introduced. It’s also a good way to meet staff from other libraries in the area. It was a great opportunity to get inspired by how other people’s creative ideas and think how we can make even more improvements to what we offer to our readers.

Julie Dowland and Natalie Dekel

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by Nicki Clarkson

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