I attended day 2 of this year’s CILIPS conference. Here are some useful summaries of the conference plus my notes from the day:
A last minute change of programme meant Jane Cowell’s presentation on innovation in libraries became day 2’s opening keynote. Jane is the CEO for Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries near Melbourne, Australia. For me, this was the highlight of the day and Jane has also blogged about her presentation.
Innovation: it’s a state of mind was Jane’s overview of how Australian public libraries should be embracing change. I felt there was much in what she explained that could be applied to all libraries – include our own Library. First up, don’t focus on technology when thinking of the library of the future. Libraries always adapt to changes, so we already use technology. Think about how to make the technology work for our missions and values. But we need to focus on meaningful experiences. How do we connect people to the information they need?
Librarians need to innovate, but innovation needs to solve a problem and a culture to support it. Encourage lots of ideas till you get to the one that works. Try something new and question every norm.
Of course there will be constraints on what we can do, but that can help us focus our ideas. Jane found that management assumed staff were resistant to change. That wasn’t necessarily true but staff should be encouraged to focus on what’s important rather than saying “I’m too busy”.
A point that stood out for me was that librarians need to focus on the user – it’s about them. That’s why Amazon and Netflix are successful. Convenience beats free. Users would rather pay for Audible than get audio books from the library.
Our Library is planning to explore how we can use open access (OA) research more, so They Call it Open Research from Dominic Tate was very useful. Dominic described the two main routes to OA are the green and gold routes. The green route is where an author self archives their research in an OA repository (embargo periods may apply). The gold route is where an author pays a publisher to make the research available on OA. Though Dominic pointed out that research funders may have conditions on publishing.
Being free to the end user, OA offers wider access to research. As the OA movement presses for increased OA publishing, SCURL is looking at the possibility of a Scottish university consortium for an OA Press.
The joy of digital from Kirsty Linstad was the second keynote of the day. Kirsty cited Marie Kondo and encouraged us to declutter, leaving us only with things that bring us joy. Digitising stock can help us declutter and make stock more accessible, though we must be aware digital is a different way to experience an item. Also apply OCR as this will improve the quality of the data.
Kirsty echoed Jane’s keynote when she stated if students have no ‘spark of joy’ when finding information they may give up. They are used to services like Amazon and Netflix. Libraries have to learn from that. Innovate and experiment to get it right. It will take a lot of effort and time to give our users what they want, and not overload them. Make it easy and a joy to use.
Louise Annan from University of Glasgow Library and Stewart Hardy from the National Library of Scotland had similar themed presentations on how libraries should use social media to communicate and engage with users, staff and the world. Louise explained how she uses different tools for different reasons. For example, using Hootsuite to schedule posts 3 months in advance. Except Instagram as this is much more effective when used as a more personal, ‘real time’ tool. Stewart also advocated the importance of putting personality into social and high engagement is all about the conversation. This approach has increased numbers of followers on the National Library of Scotland social media accounts and increased engagement.
As a workplace Library we have access to our workplace Yammer account. Both these talks made me think about how we could more personality and engagement into our Yammer posts.
July 6, 2019