Library Camp SW 2014

I attended Library Camp SW at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education last July and the first ever Library Camp SW at Exeter University the July before.  They were really enjoyable events and the diverse range of library and information professionals and people from related fields led to very interesting and informative discussions.

Last year at the end of the event the Bristol team asked if there was anyone who would like to run it next year.  I put forward the idea of running the conference in the brand new Exeter Library to the steering group for the redevelopment of the library and they unanimously voted their approval for the idea.  I particularly wanted to form the Library Camp SW 2014 team from across a range of libraries to represent the range of people who attend the camp.  Networking really does work and a colleague, 2 Devon, 1 college, 1 school and 3 University of Exeter library staff volunteered for the team.  My intention was that individuals within the team would be able to take on/share the roles that interest them so that it would not be more time consuming than they were happy to do.

It has been a fast learning curve for me.  The first meeting was about introductions, discussions about the team’s Library Camp experience and I gave an overview of Library Camp SW and the Exeter Library redevelopment.  I had gathered literature and photos to show what was involved and we discussed initial ideas and roles.  I realised that working from the agenda was not enough and a detailed action plan was needed.  I investigated project management and found the Project Management chapter from ‘The New Professional’s Toolkit’ by Bethan Ruddock and the Open University Open Learn ‘Planning a Project’ course very informative and thought provoking.  They not only helped with the Library Camp SW project but helped me understand the project management of the new Exeter Library.

For the event to be a success I not only needed to run the project capably but ensure it was marketed well.  In the weekly CILIP news email I found, in the 41 free webinars link, ‘Leveraging Social Media for Non Profit Events’.  Its aim was to increase awareness and attendance while being as efficient and effective as possible.  Perfect!  I learnt how to improve the ticketing life cycle of an event and the need to create a Marketing/Communications calendar.  So bringing all my learning together I developed a project management plan.

One of the publications I needed to advertise Library Camp SW 2014 in is only published irregularly 3 or 4 times a year in and had a copy date of 9th February. This is early for a July event and would require the eventbrite ticket site and wiki up and running.  From the second team meeting everything needed to be in place within 12 days.   I used my ‘23 Things @ Devon Libraries’ social media training and further research to set up the wiki http://libcampsw2014.wikispaces.com/ .  Everybody has busy working lives and I found that people agreeing to and being listed on the plan as actioning a task wasn’t enough, people need to see where they are in the whole and who is waiting on who.  I communicated by team emails and individually with team members working on different parts of the eventbrite tickets, wiki information, advertising, etc to keep to deadlines.

The result of all the effort so far has been brilliant.  The adverts in the bulletins, websites have been sent in but not yet published so from social media promotion alone: 33 of the 100 free tickets have been bought in the first week for an event in 21 weeks time!  The importance of networking has been proved to me again.  Eventbrite lists the attendees so now anyone who reads the adverts and shows interest in the event will see it is a popular event and the range of people attending.  For example the 33 attendees are from: 9 public, 7 college, 5 university and 3 school libraries and include associated professions such as Arts Council England and Bristol Festival of Literature.

I initially did not realise the amount of work my suggestion to hold the event at my library would create for me but I am enjoying the challenge.  The learning and planning I have put in will not only benefit the event but I will be putting it to immediate good use in my work.  I have until 22nd May, when Exeter library reopens, to become skilled in business and intellectual property to provide support in the new Business and IP Centre and run workshops!

Visit to the Library of Birmingham 7th February

I visited the Library of Birmingham on 7th February.  I had 2 particular reasons for the visit.  Exeter Central Library has been under £4.5 million redevelopment for 1 1/2 years and reopens on 22nd May.  Therefore I wanted to see what had been achieved at the Library of Birmingham (for 188 million), good practice and what the difficulties had been.  The new Exeter Library will have a Business and Intellectual Property Centre for the first time and I will be part of a team of 4 with responsibility for the centre so I wanted to learn about the Business and IP Centre at the Library of Birmingham and how it worked, the databases they used and which were most useful, any difficulties they had and what they would like to change. 

Yvonne Barker, Business & Learning Manager, gave a very informative 2 1/2 hour tour of the 11 floors of the Library and a good insight into the thinking behind each area.  Having seen many images of the library I had this picture in my mind of a cube covered in metal rings and hadn’t realised this iconic building was actually in 3 tiers.  This had been planned to allow for 2 gardens, the Secret garden on floor 7 and the Discovery Terrace on floor 3.  I thought that the outdoor space to read, relax with friends and enjoy the views was very relevant to the new Exeter Library where a new entrance to the rear of the building has been made to allow access to the park behind.  A lot of thought has gone into the outside areas in Rougemont Gardens but the visit has inspired more creative thinking about the balcony area on floor 2.  The Shakespeare Memorial Room, Skyline Viewpoint, Book Rotunda and Ampitheatre were amazing but for me the most significant impression I have is of half empty or completely empty shelves.  The shelving length was designed to equal the books that had been bought for the new Birmingham Library and of course with over half the stock out there are these huge gaps and no money to buy more stock.  As part of the stock team for Exeter Library I will be discussing extra stock and where to store it with the team.  In addition to the worries over cuts to services in Birmingham Yvonne had a big problem with IT.  There are still rooms not in use as the outside company who has the one million pound annual IT contract for the library hasn’t completed the work yet.  When we moved into the temporary library I put forward that it was essential that IT be done early so that it could be tested and any problems solved and this visit has reinforced this necessity for the move back into the redeveloped library.

On the Business and IP side I learnt that not all planned activities were in place yet.  Yvonne explained that some, such as the Learning Suite not yet up and running, were due to the IT not being completed but others due to time.  The first month after opening on 3rd September staff spent all their time on crowd control and it wasn’t until November they really started to get business and IP activities going.  This demonstrated to me the need to have everything not only in place for the opening of the new Exeter Library but to have organised the next few months after opening.  Yvonne also discussed impact and signage as you walk into the Business, Learning and Health floor and ideas on how to improve what they had at present.  This I found significant and was a timely reminder to step back and look at the Business and IP Centre from the customer’s viewpoint, particularly is it professional and does it give people in business/job hunting confidence in the expertise of the library.   I then had an instructive session with Carol Wallace, the Business Co-ordinator, about the Business & Learning databases the library subscribes to.  This included popularity, uses of the different databases, costs, etc.  This information is very important to Exeter Library as there is a lot of discussion at senior level about which databases to open the new Business and IP centre with.

I took lots of photographs of the interesting and the amazing and the more mundane notices, signs, leaflets etc to feedback to the development team.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/soolibabc/sets/72157640653172654/  Taking the photographs helped me focus on what I was seeing and caused me to think about why I was taking that photograph and what I wanted to achieve in showing it to the development team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World

Timeline showing History of the Web

Fantastic! I have finished the 23 @ Devon Libraries Social Media e-learning course. I can blog, Tweet, post on Facebook, upload photos on to Flickr, etc for leisure, work and training.

So what next? This week I have started the Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World MOOC offered by the University of Southampton. The videos of the tutors talking about different aspects of the topic and the activities really make you think about not just how the Web is changing the World but how the people who use it are changing it.

One activity was to make a timeline of the history of shaping the Web. I am 1/4 way through “50 digital ideas you really need to know” by Tom Chatfield so I thought yes I know the answer to this activity. In reaction to the 1957 launch of Sputnik by Russia the US Department of Defence created ARPANET in 1969 will be the start of my timeline. However as I read the 72 cards it did get me thinking do I need to go back further to the start of radio and electricity, but that led me to thinking you could go back as far as the start of human communication and the opposable thumb! Therefore my timeline starts in 1957. Trying to short list all that has shaped the web and trying to decide whether they have been technologically or social driven has really made me have to think!

The 2 Ronnies – The Confusing Library

Ronnie Corbett is looking for a book and asks the librarian Ronnie Barker for help as the books appear to be messed up. Ronnie Barker is surprised as the books are ordered just as the architect of the library wanted – by colour and size not by author.

I am sure that the architect and designer of the new Exeter Library will allow for practicality as well as looks!

Library Camp SW

I had a very interesting day at Library camp SW at the University of Bristol on Saturday 27th July.  People were from a range of libraries; academic, public, museum, health etc including a completely digital library, and from linked occupations such as Library Management Systems and Bristol Literature Festival. It was an unconference so people pitched ideas at the start of the day for discussion sessions and you then you chose 5 of the 20 sessions which you were most interested in.

 

Luckily lots of people came to the session I pitched on innovation and came up with some exciting ideas.  The session on Chartership was popular with lots of helpful tips coming out of the discussion.  The session on Apps put forward 35 favourite library apps.  There were interesting and some unusual examples in the session on Collaboration.  Other sessions included Information Literacy, Social Media, Reading Groups, Your Perfect Library, Disaster management, Library Displays, eBooks …..  Everyone thought it was a really good day despite the early start and the soggy end to the day.

 

23 Things @ Devon Libraries: Twitter and bit.ly

 

I now have 20 tweets about events. They are tweets about events that I have attended or future events. I will need to buy a smartphone or notepad to be able to tweet at events! I have also added 4 tweets using bit.ly to share links using URL shortening.  One of the shared links is to the Gromits unleashed website as I saw 3 of the 80 Gromits unleashed in Bristol.  Another is to the Great Gorilla trail website as we now have one of the 50 gorillas in Exeter Central temporary library!  He is called William as he has Shakespeare quotes on his back.  It is the school holidays and the children are enjoying following the trail maps to find gorillas. I have also used bit.ly to shorten the link to this blog page and sent a message on Twitter using the shortened URL as a link, (I checked it works).

Gadget and Social Media Day

I really enjoyed the SWRLS/CILIPSW Gadget and Social Media Day.  I got there early so I could have a good look round the library at UWE.  The staff were really helpful and gave me a behind the scenes look at the Book Sorter they have had for 18 months.  Staff were asked to think of a name to call it and the winner was BERTHA, Big Electronic Re-Turns Handling Apparatus.  Even the initially sceptical now can not remember how they managed before it. The books are transferred straight from the sorting bins to the correspondingly labelled book trolleys.  Also in the entrance foyer of the library is their 3D printer.  It is a donated £2500 domestic 3D printer using plastic to build up the models.  The university added a webcam so that the students can see when it is in use.  It certainly sparks interest in people walking by, however it does take several hours to build a model so it is lucky that the library is open 24 hours a day.

72 people arrived for the day.  It started with 15 presentations of 5 minutes each in length.  They covered Technology Petting Sessions, IPADs, tablets, Iphones, e-readers, Roving, Apps, Twitter, My Study Bar, Plymouth University Library App, Flikr etc.  After lunch it was into groups to try out the devices.  There was a treasure box of devices from Bridgwater College.  I liked the Easi-Speak microphone with USB.  Talk into the microphone, eg to record 6 book challenge, and then put into USB port.  The old library I worked in, which is being refurbished, had a Plasma in the entrance foyer.  I hadn’t thought of using a simple Kodak photoframe on enquiry desks to also promote library services and events.  Gloucester Library hadn’t even had their trial Library App for a whole day but demonstrated it’s uses.  It was bright, colourful and easy to use.  People particulary liked that you could scan a book in a bookshop and see if it is in the library and reserve it.  Very interesting day and met lots of interesting people.  Only thing wrong was that it was too short as I still had so much more to find out and more devices to try out. 

I have just started to have a look at My Study Bar.   I like the overlay which colours the whole screen and the Tbar, a block of colour overlay, so that text is easier to read by people with dislexia.  I also like the VuBar so that only one sentence can be viewed in a white box at a time, helping people with sight difficulites.  Lots more to explore. 

I am now re-energised for 23 Things @ Devon Libraries course.

 

 

 

 

23 Things @ Devon Libraries Week 12

Library Thing

I wondered about the point in joining Library Thing as I know what books I have read or could look it up online as the library lists the last year’s books I have borrowed.  I can use the Fantastic Fiction website to find recommendations.  Still when I joined a group suggested by Library Thing from my selection of books it was easy to find new authors as members had listed their top 10.  Library users often ask for recommendations.  The local button gave a list of local libraries, bookshops, book cycle, etc which library users would find useful.

Twitter

I have joined up to Twitter today and chosen to follow 5 library related twitter users.  I have updated my profile and I have tweeted about the book I am giving away for World Book Night and added mentions and a hashtag.  I need to explore a bit further to find out more about it’s uses and possibilities.