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CILIP conference 2017. 5th–6th July 2017, Manchester

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:

Welcome

Day 1
Keynote: Dr Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress
@LibnOfCongress
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
@elisamagnini
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
@terrykendrick
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
@Floridi
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.

End of day 1

Day 2
Keynote: Neil MacInnes, Strategic Lead-Libraries, Galleries & Culture, Manchester City Council
@macinnes_neil
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
@paulacarley
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
@CeriH
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
@SueLaceybryant
Louise Goswami, Head of Library and Knowledge Services Development, Health Education England, Kent, Surrey and Sussex
@GoswamiLouise
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
@nickknoco
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
@jamesclay
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
@Audesome
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
@lcromptonreid
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
@publiclibnews
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 and Morag

Paul Gray and Morag Higgison
September 21, 2017

Thinking of Blogging best practice

Writing blog content can be challenging

Recently on Saltire (the Scottish Government’s Intranet) my attention was drawn to a blogging course organised by Digital Communications. My experience of blogging was really very little and decided it needed improving!  On checking further I saw that the course on offer was full.  So what next?  It sounded too good an opportunity to miss and decided to make contact with the course organiser and ask if I could just turn up on the day. On the basis if you don’t ask?  I am so glad I did as  I was able to attend this structured, informative and practical session and given a great opportunity to discuss any experience (or not as the case may be!)  on blogging with other attendees.  I am now blogging using my notes, plus discussion hints and tips from our get-together. Guess the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’ as they say?

Where to start:

First of all we considered the question – “why blog?”, do people really need to know what we have all been up to? Is the content really going to be of any interest or relevance?  You don’t know until you try but it may help us to consider some of the following points before making a start:

  • Focus your blog on a relevant topic, subject or event that you know about and feel you can write confidently on
  • Use a headline that is informative and will capture attention
  • If your blog is too lengthy or wordy – it’s difficult to engage with readers – so keep check
  • At the same time make sure your blog post isn’t so specific that there isn’t enough people looking for that particular information
  • Know your research process – where and how are you sourcing your information
  • To write good content you must set aside the time to do so

Keep Writing relevant and topical content:

  • Consistency is the key to getting readers you’ve already attracted to return to your blog
  • It takes discipline for most of us to write – so stick with it
  • Informative posts can help answer questions & solve a problem – so think of your content and it’s value
  • The blogs that attract the most readers are the ones with frequent updates
  • Having a co-blogger/author can take some of the pressure off, especially if all contribute regularly
  • If you have a ‘comments’ on your blog, be sure to keep an eye on them – it’s an easy way to involve your audience and get valuable feedback

Maintaining your blog:

  • Plan your blogging activities including writing articles in advance – set aside time in the calendar
  • Take time to evaluate and consider what makes posts popular and more likely to be shared?
  • Usability – consider format so readers can quickly scan the content by using – bulleted or numbered lists, line breaks, bold fonts and images
  • Continue to keep your blog clutter free as it grows and develops – do not add too many links or images
  • Get a colleague to proof read your posts
  • When and where possible continue to promote your blog – use social media e.g. post on Twitter or Facebook

Putting in to practice:

Blogs are a great way of reaching users with information but it is also a good way of sourcing information. Working in the Library we often have to source information from online subscription databases and the internet. Generally we are looking for up to date information or anything published within specific time limits. This information can be used to answer enquiries, to help set up alerts or to help gather evidence for a literature search. Blogs can therefore be a useful and relevant tool to include in any search options.

You will find blog search engines out there and definitely worth investigating. May also be worthwhile to note that evaluation of what your source is important. Make sure any information you source via the web is fit for purpose as anyone can put information on the web!

Morag Higgison
August 8, 2017

CILIPS Conference 2017 – Strategies for Success. 5th-6th June 2017, Dundee

I attended the conference on 6th June and helped to facilitate a workshop on fake news and alternative facts – the challenge for information professionals.  Here are some useful summaries of the conference plus my notes from the day:

Welcome from the President
Liz McGettigan @lizmcgettigan
A very positive address from the CILIPS President encourages the conference to shout louder about what we do, to work smarter and work together to show what a strong library network can do.

Keynote One – The Road to Copyright Literacy: a journey towards library empowerment
Dr. Jane Secker @jsecker
Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City, University of London
Chris Morrison @cbowiemorrison
Copyright and Licensing Compliance Officer, University of Kent
Jane and Chris’ entertaining session on copyright literacy.  Copyright can sometimes seem to be one of the more daunting types of enquiry our Library receives.

I really enjoyed their use of Mentimeter to poll the audience on how copyright made them feel.  Top answer?  “Confused”!  Their simple message in response to the poll – libraries have to deal with copyright, we just need to deal with it and not to be afraid of it.  We need copyright literacy.  Without copyright literacy copyright issues go unsaid, advice tends to err on the side of caution which reduces the amount of information in the public domain.  Therefore the cost of accessing information can increase.

We also need to bridge the gaps between activists and practitioners, creators and consumers, rights holders and lawyers and libraries.  Copyright literacy requires:

  • Education not training – and rethinking copyright education for librarians
  • Balance between content and approach
  • Becoming comfortable with not always giving a simple yes or no answer

Following the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property (2011) the UK enacted a range of copyright reforms in 2014 that were intended to provide libraries, educational establishments and cultural institutions with greater freedoms. Jane and Chris also recommended the following resources:

Scotland welcomes refugees – the role of the library in resettlement and inclusion
Dr. Konstantina Martzoukou @Dinamartz
Post Graduate Programme Leader, Robert Gordon University – iSchool
Konstantina’s key message was we must rethink our approach to immigration in light of recent attacks, and then discussed the findings of New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities 2014 – 2017 Final Report. (2017).
These were:

  • How can public libraries help Syrian refugees (esp. women) access services
  • Refugees perceptions of what Scottish police and GPs do are different to their experiences
  • Older refugees didn’t use technology and relied on interpersonal skills
  • Refugees had health needs so families required support to develop health literacy skills
  • Refugees wanted to learn English quickly

Linked Data: opening Scotland’s library content to the world
Dr. Diane Pennington, University of Strathclyde @infogamerist
Diane explained what’s sometimes referred to as Web 3.0 is the semantic web, then described the importance of Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs) in increasing our ability to find information.

The Scottish Government is encouraging the use of open data with the Open Data Strategy (2015) and Realising Scotland’s full potential in a digital world: A Digital Strategy for Scotland (2017) which talks about how we need to use open data to be world leader in digital technologies.

Libraries have a big role here.  Libraries need to implement open data to help people find resources, and librarians need to make more creative and efficient metadata and cataloguing data.  However, Diane’s survey of Scotland’s libraries staff’s understanding of open data revealed most had a vague understanding and thought licensing restrictions could be a barrier.

Towards an information literacy strategy for Scotland
Dr. John Crawford
John gave an instructive overview of progress towards an information literacy strategy for Scotland.  Citing Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation (Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2014) and a meeting with Fiona Hyslop (Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs) with a focus on digital literacy.  John explained information, political and health literacies are also important and backed this up with examples of work in Scotland including refugees, older people, political engagement and health.

John explained what our information literacy community of practice in Scotland is doing to advance this work, including securing funding from the CILIP Information Group to survey information literacy skills in secondary school pupils. Information Skills for a 21st Century Scotland is an online community of practice which is open to everyone both within and outside the information profession, primarily in Scotland but also elsewhere. It is for anyone who is interested in information literacy and associated skills and competencies.

Hosted by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), Information Skills for a 21st Century Scotland also includes the Scottish Information Literacy Framework, information about the Scottish Information Literacy Project (formerly based at Glasgow Caledonian University 2004 – 2010) and a valuable archive of material, including the Project blog, built up over several years.

John referred to two key articles in the special issue of Library Trends in 2011 which informed the decision to create the Scottish Information Literacy Project (see above).  John stressed there is still a need to evaluate the impact of the community’s work, though progress has been made with the publication of Realising Scotland’s full potential in a digital world: A Digital Strategy for Scotland (Scottish Government, 2017).

Fake news and alternative facts – The challenge for information professionals
Jenny Foreman, Head Librarian, Scottish Government @jennyforeman
and The Information Literacy Community of Practice
Jenny presented an overview of online fake news then explored the response to fake news from the largest websites such as Google and Facebook before focusing on the response from library organisations.  This led into group discussions to explore the views and responses to fake news amongst those present.  An updated version of this presentation includes a summary of the discussions and you can read the full findings from the discussions here.

Fake News Workshop

Fake News Workshop

Keynote 2 – Securing the future: where next for our community in 2018 and beyond?
Nick Poole, Chief Executive, CILIP @NickPoole1
Nick wrapped up the conference by stating we’re a very broad profession and embedded in many organisations.  We have skills organisations will need in the coming years with a predicted increase in number of knowledge management jobs.  Though noted only 15% of English library and information science (LIS) staff are members of CILIP.

CILIP is aiming to put LIS staff at the heart of democratic society and encouraged the conference to be more inclusive when working with other information professionals.  Rather than Internet restrictions we need to create an information literate society to create a democratic society.  CILIPS will continue to work with Wikipedia and other partners.

Nick concluded by recommending the 10th anniversary issue of the Journal of Information Literacy and highlighted the following current campaigns and strategies:

Jenny Foreman, Paul Gray and Morag Higgison
July 4, 2017

Scotland’s Digital Strategy

Scotland’s refreshed Digital Strategy was launched on 22 March by Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Constitution, Derek MacKay MSP at an event in Tontine House, Glasgow.
https://beta.gov.scot/publications/realising-scotlands-full-potential-digital-world-digital-strategy-scotland/

“The strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland as a vibrant, inclusive, open and outwards looking digital nation and describes the actions we collectively need to take to ensure that Scotland anticipates and reacts positively to the changing opportunities the digital age presents.”

Information literacy per se may only be mentioned once (see extract below) but our take on the digital skills mentioned throughout the document includes not only being able to work online using technology, but also critical thinking skills, information search skills, skills to inform decision making as well as understanding privacy, security and keeping safe online.

“Digital allows information to be transmitted faster and further than ever before, enabling us to develop new communities of interest and opening up new opportunities for education, commerce, creativity, friendship and leisure. In doing so however, it raises new challenges around security, information literacy and privacy”.

Jenny Foreman
March 24, 2017

Information Literacy Symposium. 18th November 2016, Glasgow

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and The Right Information, the Scottish Information Literacy Community of Practice hosted a Digital and Information Literacy Symposium examining the relevance of digital and information literacy in relation to health, education, housing, employability and welfare reform. The central theme was how we ensure equality of access to information across the country and reduce the gap between the information rich and information poor.

symposium

SLIC has uploaded the presentations and curated tweets from the symposium. Here is our summary of the day:

Information Literacy in Impoverished Circumstances: Insights from information Behaviour Research
Dr Steven Buchanan, Head of Information Science (iLab) Research Group & Director of PG Teaching, University of Strathclyde
@StrathCIS
Steven described the research iLab is conducting in a range of groups including:

  • Information seeking behaviours of young mothers
  • Information behaviours of disadvantaged and disengaged adolescents

However, Steven pointed out that iLab research suggests that we need to review how public libraries meet the information needs of people in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances, and develop core literacy skills. An action-oriented interdisciplinary approach (bringing together academia and practitioners) should support this work.

Information Literacy in the Health Sector
Annette Thain, Manager Knowledge Services, NHS Education for Scotland
@athain @nesknowledge
Annette took us through a wide range of resources in the NHSScotland Knowledge Network that support health literacy. Health literacy was defined as people having enough knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to use health information, to be active partners in their care, and to navigate the health and social care systems. These resources include:

Clinical librarian and outreach librarian roles involve carrying out information sourcing on behalf of health professionals. Generally the librarian is part of the clinical team and must work quickly and accurately to find relevant research evidence and other information so that care and treatment can be decided on. This is an expanding role in the health information professional workforce and research has shown that clinical/health librarians do make a difference to the quality of care be enabling health care staff to:

  • Be effective and safe practitioners
  • Work as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Help patients and the public gain the skills and ability to find, understand and apply health information as and when required to do so

It was interesting to hear results of NHS Education for Scotland research which showed 75% of health staff surveyed would ask Google before asking colleagues. One final tip which I’ll be checking out was how to bookmark tweets you like by linking your Twitter account to your Diigo account.

Digitally Agile National Principles
Liz Green, Senior Development Officer, YouthLink Scotland
@lizfmgreen @digitallyagile
Liz explained the work of the Digitally Agile Community Learning and Development Project. This focused on the 3 phases of the Digitally Agile National Principles – a national framework of guiding principles for the use of digital technology and social media in community learning and development.

The 9 principles have been designed to be used and adapted by anyone who feels that focus and clarity is needed in digital technology and social media learning. The principles are of particular importance to those working in organisations and services from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors .  Those working in this area work with some of the most disadvantaged groups in society.  The principles are easily related to everyday practical teaching and can help those disadvantaged groups increase their digital literacy and improve their lives.

It was also interesting to hear of the other work YouthLink Scotland is involved with. This includes:

  • The Digital Youth Network – a network for practitioners who are using digital tools and online spaces in their work with young people
  • 5Rights – takes the existing rights of children and young people (under 18) and articulates them for the digital world
  • LGBT Youth Scotland which now offers an anonymous live chat service around a range of topics i.e. sexting
  • #notwithoutme project – engaging and building young people’s digital literacy

Digital Learning & Cultural Practice
Dr Cristina Costa, Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning, University of Strathclyde
@cristinacost
New networking cultures are emerging as more and more people engage digitally.  Working and communicating digitally is changing some of the fundamental ways people connect, interact, share, and work. A new networking culture appears to be evolving as a result. It is increasing vital that new forms of engagement are put in to practice in all areas of working life and at home. The world is a very competitive place to live and work and it is therefore important to keep up to date with developments and advancements in terms of collaboration, personal and professional development. The technology has to become more than a tool, it must become an enabler, a concept and a mind-set. The aim being to allow us to become knowledgeable  in digital literacies in order to becoming knowledge able and apply new skills in our everyday lives.  Aiming to have the confidence to create, evaluate, analyse and apply these new skills.

Cristina then described the digital learning and teaching strategy for Scotland in 4 quadrants, highlighting its relevance to each:

  • Develop Skills – Educators, Skills and Confidence
  • Improve Access – Learners, Access
  • Empower – Leaders, Drive Innovation
  • Enhance – Curriculum and Assessment

Cristina developed this by explaining the importance of critical digital literacy. By applying these skills we can recognise the Internet as a place to access knowledge networks. The skills also allow us to use free online tools like Wikipedia – but take them at face value. Users also need to be aware that employers may now routinely Google for information about applicants to find out more about them. This is one reason why we should all be aware of our digital identity (persona) and what we say online.

One key message we took away from this session was to try and mirror users’ online behaviours when providing information online. So if they’re used to searching trip advisor – try and present information in a similar format.

Basic Digital Skills & Information Literacy
Beth Murphy, One Digital Project Officer, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
@betty_murphy @digiscot
Beth gave a very clear and interesting presentation on the work SCVO is doing to tackle inequality by equipping individuals with basic digital skills. SCVO’s One Digital initiative was also highlighted.

Having the skills to apply our knowledge of digital skills in every aspect of daily life, particularly in the workplace we must be able to find, evaluate, use and manage information that is valued by employers.  We must be confident when working online and be able to know which information we can trust to ensure that it is fit for purpose.    Once we have source our information and selected the appropriate material we must be able to keep up to date with any further developments.  We must think about our digital presence – be safe and ensure that we bear in mind that anyone can put information on the web , emphasising the importance of selecting appropriate material or evidence to help support decision making.

Beth then focused on the Basic Digital Skills Framework – a really valuable resource which can be used by individuals and organisations to help people to assess and develop their digital skills. Another resource worth checking out is Doteveryone. Created by Martha Lane Fox to understand and address the moral and social challenges the Internet presents, in order to help make life fairer and simpler for everyone in the UK. Beth finished by outlining SCVO’s future plans which include:

Meet The Hackers
Gerry Grant and Adam Rapley, Ethical Hacking Consultants, Scottish Business Resilience Centre
@abertayhackers
The best session I’ve ever attended on cyber security – Gerry and Adam’s entertaining reality check on cyber security had many attendees vowing they were going to update passwords and be more aware about protecting their data.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre offers business services including security assessments, footprinting (finding someone’s digital footprint) and training on cyber security. There is more information on this in SBRC’s resources. They presented many tips to help us secure our data – some of which we hadn’t considered before:

  • Always back up your data
  • Never click a link on an email unless you know who it’s from and what it is. Mouseover the sender to reveal the email address it came from.
  • System updates matter – always take the upgrade when prompted
  • Use strong alpha-numeric passwords and include symbols. A space also counts as symbol – though very few people use it
  • Use different password for different accounts
  • Or use passphrases instead of a passwords. These are harder for hackers to find and may be easier for you to remember. An example of creating and remembering a good passphrase
  • Also consider password managers such as Lastpass and 1password
  • Use two factor authentication when offered – e.g. Google accounts
  • Check the privacy settings on your social media accounts
  • Be aware that social media accounts are totally public by default, and can include personal details such as your location unless you make them private (or at least turn location off)
  • Be wary when using free public wifi. You could be connecting to a fake wifi network hackers have set up to intercept your data. Make sure the URL of the wifi network starts with https. Turn off wifi and click on forget network when you’re finished using it
  • Use wigle.net to find wifi networks

cake

Paul Gray and Morag Higgison
December 6, 2016

CILIPS Autumn Gathering. 20th October 2016, Glasgow

Always a highlight of my work calendar, this year’s Autumn Gathering was a full and varied day with plenty of interest to this government librarian.  And of course a great place to meet those colleagues I’ve only worked with via phone or email over the year.

CILIPS has uploaded some presentations and photos from the conference and there was plenty of Tweetage to get a sense of what the hot topics were. Here are my key points from the day:

Keynote talk on ‘Library as Third Place’ – Diane Bruxvoort, University of Aberdeen Librarian and Director
Wikipedia defines Third Place as the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (“first place”) and the workplace (“second place”). Examples of third places would be environments such as cafes, clubs or parks.  Diane explained how the Sir Duncan Rice Library opened in 2012 has embraced the concept of a library as third place.

To achieve this the library is open 24/7, designed to be a low stress place and one of interaction. Staff have also redesigned some services such as inter-library loans to make them easier for students to access.  Unpretentious and playful and a home from home to a diverse population.  It also plays host to student societies and community groups.

Diane explained these changes are not revolutionary. They are attitudinal, cultural and pervasive and library staff must innovate and adapt to continue developing the library as a 3rd place.  Though it does represent a cultural change and challenge for library staff.

Free for all: open licensing at the National Library of Scotland – Gill Hamilton, Digital Access Manager, National Library of Scotland
Open licensing allows people to reuse your content and redistribute under the same licence you used.  The NLS has done this using Creative Commons licences.  Gill explained NLS’s approach to open licensing was ad hoc:

  • NLS content digitised by the Internet Archive  – licensed under Creative Commons
  • NLS out of copyright images made available via Flickr Commons
  • Europeana – NLS contributed content to these collections

There was inconsistency in metadata and licences and access, and moral issues around applying copyright on digitised works where the originals are out of copyright.  Legislation came in that helped remove barriers and improve access, and in 2014 NLS introduced a licensing policy and streamlined down to 3 Creative Commons licences.  The policy was introduced making content open to all, and now part of the role of the NLS Wikimedian in Residence is to push to make more content open.

Coding in Libraries – Dr. Martin Goodfellow, Coder in Residence, Glasgow Life
Martin gave a very interesting overview of this work from its start 4 years ago to date.  He began by explaining the process of coding can help you in other areas of life and recommended Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions.

This work is about teaching young people in Glasgow how to use technology in digital making classes through CoderDojo in 12 clubs in Glasgow. Held in public libraries and using libraries PCs. These have been very popular and have waiting lists.  Martin also assured us you don’t need to know about coding to run one. Just be enthusiastic and happy to work with young people.

Dojos cover basic programming languages Scratch and Python aswell as web technologies, cyber security, physical computing (equipment such as a Raspberry Pi).  Apart from the physical equipment all the tools used are open source and accessed through a browser.

Some of the initiatives include participating in National Coding Week on 19/9/16, the Hour of Code project, coding music using Sonic Pi as part of Celtic Connections, Wee write! – coding for creative writing and Build it Scotland using SketchUp and printing 3D models created on Minecraft.

Glasgow Life is planning to set up clubs in all Glasgow public libraries and introduce to school libraries.  However clubs do need volunteers to run them, but Martin explained the work he does talking and presenting about Glasgow Life’s coding projects encourages volunteers to come forward – especially from colleges and universities.

Decade of Commemorations programme – Ann Duffy and Linda Ming, Northern Ireland Libraries
Based in the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies this was a very powerful and fascinating insight into Northern Ireland Libraries programme – a decade of commemorations from 1912 to 1921.

Financed by the Together: Building a United Community fund it includes exhibitions, talks, displays, workshops, drama and music telling story of Ireland’s past and it’s shared heritage.  Bringing people together, creating discussion in an inclusive and respectful way.  Just one example of this is a reader development project – 2 cities 1 book. Bringing readers groups in Belfast and Dublin together.

I don’t think I’ve seen such a shining demonstration of the positive role libraries play in community life.  Anyone wanting to discover more about some of this work should check out The Library Men of WW1 and Living Legacies 1914-18.

Although acknowledging some political, cultural and religious barriers remain, Ann and Linda described how the programme has resulted in greater community engagement and increased footfall in libraries with communities talking together and opportunities for them to work together.  It’s good to hear another 5 years of commemorations are planned.

Information Literacy in Scotland – Cleo Jones and Jenny Foreman, The Information Literacy Community of Practice
The Information Literacy Community of Practice (IL CoP) is an online community of practice which is open to everyone both within and outside the information profession, primarily in Scotland but also elsewhere. It is for anyone who is interested in information literacy and associated skills and competencies.

This workshop introduced delegates to the IL CoP and how it is working to progress the Scottish Government’s Smarter Strategic Objective and SLIC’s strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020 focusing on 5 of the strategy’s strategic aims:

  • Reading, literacy and learning
  • Digital inclusion
  • Economic wellbeing
  • Social wellbeing
  • Culture and creativity

Delegates were then asked to provide examples of how libraries are helping to achieve each of these aims using a ‘speed dating’ format.  I have a declared interest here as a member of the IL CoP  I helped facilitate the workshop – and it was fast and furious with lots of examples for IL CoP members to collate.  It was personally really exciting to hear all the work libraries are doing to achieve these aims and we hope to share the results soon.  In the meantime please check out the workshop presentation.

Final keynote – Libraries, Scottish Book Trust and key national agendas – Marc Lambert, CEO, Scottish Book Trust
For me, a key message of the conference was how libraries underpin culture and Marc summed that up perfectly.  Starting with asking if the Chauvet cave paintings could be considered a library, then moving to Scotland’s first lending library at Innerpeffray before describing what the Scottish Book Trust is doing now through Bookbug and the First Minister’s Reading Challenge to contribute to SLIC’s strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020.

Marc pointed out these programmes are funded by the Scottish Government and national ambitions should motivate us to develop literacy skills.

Marc also stated the role of libraries in 21st century still needs to be addressed and asked what kind of collaboration between government, the Scottish Book Trust, SLIC and others will be needed in future to deliver programmes.

Paul Gray
October 23, 2016

Making Connections – CILIPS Conference. 6th-7th June 2016, Dundee

The CILIPS annual conference is always a great networking event, with a great diversity of events.  This year was no exception and please do check out the conference presentations and talks.

I attended the conference on 6th June.  Here are my key bullet points from that day:

Keynote 1: Colin Cook, Digital Public Services and Business Transformation, Scottish Government

  • People have to overcome reluctance of using Internet to gain more of what is on offer – e.g. public services.
  • 82% of scots have Internet access, and highest level of digital skills in UK.
  • Scottish Government’s integrated digital strategy. Investing in infrastructure – super fast broadband to everyone in lifetime of the current session of the Scottish Parliament.
  • Invested in digital skills training. In future Librarians need to understand how to code inc. civil servants. We all need a high level of digital skills.
  • Participation. SLIC strategy for libraries highlights participation and the Scottish Government supports digital participation charter. Scottish Government should lead by example by ensuring its staff have a basic level of digital skills.
  • 3rd sector leading on this and this work is a vital part of tackling inequality – i.e. access to services. If we don’t, we reinforce inequalities. Michael Foreman has done research in this and has written about role of libraries to support this.
  • How libraries fit in – public wifi access, help accessing Internet and digital skills and information literacy and building confidence. Libraries need to role model digital skills.
  • Digital world has implications for everyone. Digital ecosystem – identifying common processes for digital services so we can spend more resource adding value at the front line.
  • Digital skills important for democratic engagement i.e. independence referendum campaign.

Stewart Bain, Orkney libraries. Twitter Tips @orkneylibrary

  • Orkney has 2 libraries and a mobile library
  • Joined Twitter in June 09
  • Tweets should have a Human voice – don’t be dull
  • Library users used Twitter to ask Orkney libraries questions
  • Use what you have and get staff involved. People like to see behind the scenes.
  • Hard to judge what will be popular
  • Be culturally aware, and aware of what’s on the news to get users’ interest
  • Friendly rivalry with Shetland Library – Orkney’s Twitter account was verified before Shetland’s
  • Use polling and emojis
  • Promote library events – gets people in and they discover what else you do
  • JK Rowling followed Orkney Libraries on Twitter, then came to their book club. 2.9m impressions on Twitter when she came.
  • Other authors came for Scottish Book Week
  • Finally, Snapchat and Whatsapp aren’t quite mainstream in libraries yet. A good time for a Library to start doing something similar with these.

Jenny Peachy, Senior Policy Officer, Carnegie UK Trust
Carnegie Library Lab case study – Digital Toybox

  • Carnegie UK is re-engaging with libraries
  • Library lab – funding package to start an innovative project in your library.  Now on second cohort

David Hayden, Acting Partnership and Information Manager, City of Edinburgh Libraries

  • Digital toyboxes in Edinburgh Central Library
  • Applied for £12k to run this, plus mentor support, online learning and collaborating with partners.
  • Inspiration from Makerspaces
  • Develop stronger links with high schools
  • Each bit of equipment easy to use and found staff to engage with it. Contents needed to be different, never seen in the library before and capture kids attention. Staff had to learn how it worked – using the toolkit – and mentor meetings.
  • Pilot sessions – rolled it our as 6 boxes, each on a different theme. Rotating 4 week plan, but became a logistical challenge. The boxes contain:
  • Electronic bits – from littlebits.cc
  • UP! Mini 3D Printer
  • Lego Mindstorms – for coding
  • Synth kits (music) from techwillsaveus.com
  • Engaged over 500 kids in schools, clubs and various festivals. Mini maker clubs in 3 libraries and encouraged problem solving skills. Kids also encouraged to use BBC build it Scotland – inc. building landmarks in Minecraft.
  • Reflections – fear of freedom, required mentor support, image is important to kids as is personal development.
  • Check out the Ideas Box too. Used by libraries in refugee camps.
  • There’s also a static Makerspace in Edinburgh to develop innovation across Edinburgh libraries and expand knowledge sharing across Edinburgh.  The target age range is 12-16, mostly 12 and 13.

Tesco Bank Summer reading challenge Scotland

  • An initiative from Tesco Bank and supported by the Reading Agency.
  • Literacy levels of children improved, sometimes outperforming peers after taking this 6 book challenge. Solus provided an app to deliver this which is launching this year.

Keynote 2: James Robertson – The news where you are: culture and libraries in Scotland in the 21st Century

James’ closing keynote was very insightful and entertaining.  One stand-out point he made was as newspaper circulation crashes, more than ever people need skills to appraise the information they see from other news sources.

Paul Gray
July 20, 2016