Morag Higgison and Paul Gray attended this year’s CILIP conference. We both took alot of messages and thoughts back to the Scottish Government Library from this busy and excellent event. Now we’ve had time to reflect here are some useful summaries of the conference plus our notes from the day:
Keynote: Dr Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress
Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. The first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. Carla gave a very engaging keynote where she explained that she was interviewed by President Obama for the post of Librarian of Congress. President Obama stated he wanted the Library of Congress to be more accessible to Americans.
Carla being a great believer in the rights of all people (not just researchers), to educate themselves, and in the importance of open access to information online, she went on to explain accessibility and engagement is what she wanted to achieve most of all. After meeting with the British Library Carla was impressed by how the British Library had achieved this.
Once in post she found some resistance amongst some librarians to make the Library of Congress collections more open, but as they saw how other librarians worked with children and other visitors to explain the collections they started to come on board.
Rethinking Libraries – workshop run by Arup
Julian Diamond, Associate Director, Information Management, Arup
Elisa Magnini, Analyst, Foresight + Research + Innovation, Arup
Julian explained how Arup worked with various libraries to increase use. For example, introducing QR codes on metro systems to advertise a library. They also use a management tool to focus on measuring library use by community use rather than book issues. We then broke into groups for a workshop looking at key trends which will impact on libraries.
Spark not fluff – quick win marketing workshop
Terry Kendrick, Director of Executive Education, Leeds University Business School
Librarians are aware that marketing is far more than creating a set of leaflets for their marketing communications. Highlighting from the outset the need for a good marketing strategy. This interactive workshop demonstrated key things that any library marketing strategy must have if it’s to be successful: a simple, practical guide to the whole marketing planning process from goals to implementation of marketing strategies and communications.
Keynote: Professor Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information, University of Oxford
Luciano Floridi’s keynote argued that questions are now the key to power, not answers. Internet connectivity has risen rapidly including the growth of the Internet of Things. Between 2003 and 2010 there became more connected devices than people and the last 2 years has generated 90% of all online data.
It also means the concept of ownership has changed. For example, you don’t own an eBook.
Luciano described the philosophy of information – its problems, approaches, and methods, explaining further that information as ‘an answered question’ and is about uncertainty. Who controls the questions shapes the answers and who shapes the answers controls reality. The role of libraries is to counter this power to control by providing answers – reducing uncertainty. Read more at Power lies in controlling questions.
What makes a great communicator?
Claire Bradshaw, Director, Claire Bradshaw Associates
Whether we like it or not, when meeting someone for the first time first impressions count. Communicating is easy, but communicating well is a skill. Positive exchanges of information is something not everyone can do. Good communication habits come with regular practice. Claire’s workshop offered a fast overview of what makes a great communicators. Starting by defining communication is the act of transferring verbal, written or non-verbal information. It is good to remember that different personality types tend to have preferred ways to receive information. For example, introverts prefer written information. Seminal research by Albert Mehrabian, Journal of Consulting Psychology, 1967 breaks down communication as:
- Body language 55%
- Voice/tone 38%
- Spoken word 7%
Claire then explored the ‘mind-body’ relationship. How our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behaviour and our behaviour can change our outcomes. For more on this watch or read Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk.
We then broke into small groups to explore our personality types. You can find a version of the personality type compass used in the workshop here. It can highlight issues such as if you don’t tend to ‘show off’ then writing a strong CV can be hard.
A key message here was we all have different personality types, and at times those differences can create difficulties and clashes, but if we understand the differences we can find ways to work together and the differences can become a strength.
Keynote: Neil MacInnes, Strategic Lead-Libraries, Galleries & Culture, Manchester City Council
Neil gave a very positive background as to how Manchester Libraries developed and expanded services to enable and offer an up-to-date modern day library service to meet the needs of all Mancunians – all with no dedicated budget.
For example, by co-locating libraries with other council services and unifying services, targeting non-library users, providing services to older residents, relaunching the Manchester Libraries website and relaunching Manchester Central Library as a third space. Neil then explained there’s more to do and Manchester has published a public libraries skills strategy 2017-2030.
Digital play: Ways to enhance the library experience
Beyond the summer reading challenge: Using young volunteers to shape your year-round teenage offer
Paula Carley, Service Development Co-ordinator, Manchester City Council
This session looked at ways to engage with library voluteers, with a view to setting up a dialogue , listen to ideas and thoughts on how to best develop the service together. The workshop showcased the Imaginators, the young volunteers at Bolton Library & Museum Service, and how the programme has evolved over time.
Organisational Knowledge and Information Governance
Ceri Hughes, Director, Head of Knowledge Centre of Excellence, KPMG
Ceri explained that organisations need to prepare for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will come into force on 25th May 2018.
Ceri also announced that CILIP and KPMG are working together to publish a revised and updated edition of Information as an asset: The board agenda, originally written by a committee under the chairmanship of Dr Robert Hawley in 1995. The updated report will be published in Autumn 2017.
Read more here.
Mobilising Evidence and Organisational Knowledge in the NHS
Sue Lacey Bryant, Senior Advisor, Knowledge for Healthcare, Health Education England
Louise Goswami, Head of Library and Knowledge Services Development, Health Education England, Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Sue explained how Lord Carter identified need for greater use of evidence to engage manager and clinical leaders and to improve the decision making process in using factual data and evidence. Healthcare evidence base depends on type of healthcare. For example only around 35% of osteoarthritis healthcare is evidence-based.
A million decisions is meant to encourage decision makers to use libraries to implement evidence based decisions. Healthcare information professionals have a measurable impact on NHS services and save the NHS money.
Louise described the board self assessment tool to enable NHS organisations to make better use of knowledge as an asset – covering leadership, culture, knowledge resources, priorities and planning. Also anyone can use the workforce development resources – learning zone to help skill up on knowledge management.
Information Management and Knowledge Management; the conjoined twin disciplines?
Nick Milton, Knoco Ltd
Nick discussed TD Wilson’s paper – the nonsense of knowledge management. This argues knowledge management is in our heads and as soon as it’s expressed it becomes information management. So ‘knowledge’ can’t be managed. He then discussed the confusion between knowledge and information management. He defines knowledge as uncodified information – but there is overlap.
The Intelligent Library
James Clay, Senior Co-Design Manager, Jisc
James spoke about the intelligent campus – taking advantage of technologies to improve the student experience, research and management of the campus. For example, using it to create a smarter campuses room management, student engagement, turning smartphones into educational coaches, predicting computer demand, expanding library as use increases and using RFID to track books. Having a deeper understanding of the utilisation of the library will allow for more effective and efficient use of space, even to the extent of having a flexible library that expands and contracts as demand for space in the library changes over the day or over the year.
Supporting citizens with protecting their privacy online
Aude Charillon, Library and Information Officer, Newcastle Libraries
Aude started by reminding us that all our technology collects data and recommended Data and Goliath to read more on this and how privacy is about choice – you’re making an informed decision about your privacy. Aude also explained how Newcastle libraries have privacy training and how all their digital skills programmes include this.
Learning from digital disruption and how it can help libraries
Dave Rowe, Geospatial software developer, CartoConsult
Dave defined digital disruption as changes by new technologies that happen so fast it effects models and ways of thinking. He cited Kodak and Blockbuster as companies which failed due to this. There are various responses to disruption – try to stop it, invest, keep customers, retreat.
Examples of disruptive technologies are 3D printing, eBooks, open data, APIs (such as the Open Data Institute’s visualing rail disruptor.
Dave stated that Libraries tend to have closed systems and closed data and use outdated technology. This needs to change. He also made the point if you don’t make information available via open data it’s probably FOIable anyway.
Increasing reach and access through Wikimedia
Lucy Crompton-Reid, Chief Executive, Wikimedia UK
Wikimedia have a vision of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society through the shared creation of and access to open knowledge. Lucy manages the UK Wikipedia in residence programme and gave an introduction to Wikipedia, asserting that there is still a big gender bias in coverage and mentioned the 100 women and Art+feminism editathons and ways to address this.
Lucy also encouraged us to use Wikidata and plans to work with CILIP for librarians to engage with the #1lib1ref campaign from the Wikipedia library.
“No-one I know uses it any more”: the reasons used to cut libraries
Ian Anstice, Editor, Public Libraries News
Ian explained to campaign for libraries you need to understand everyone’s point of view. For example, quiet is important in public libraries – think about how you zone quiet spaces. “More than a library” type promotions – what’s wrong with being a Library? Don’t denigrate your unique selling point – public libraries freely give equality of information.
He then launched into a passionate plea to protect public libraries. Starting with saying we all need public libraries as a safety net in society – so stop austerity and fund libraries. The investment will bring a return – other countries are increasing funding. Closing Libraries is a negative feedback loop.
It was suggested that joining the CILIP Publicity and Public Relations Group could also help.
Paul Gray and Morag Higgison
September 21, 2017