Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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There's been quite a lot of talk on Twitter about this year's New Professionals Conference (hashtag #npc2010). It's great to see the increase in use of Twitter from last year when I think there was only me and a couple of others using a hashtag I'd made up! I'm hoping to develop further Twitter support including a list of delegates (more on this later). I'm a bit late in organising it this year but thankfully the conference is on a non-working day so I should hopefully be able to attend, I'm just trying to get this confirmed at the moment. For anyone...

So, the final day, an early start to day 3; the first session was at 8.45am! After dragging myself out of bed and checking out of the hotel, we managed to make it across in time for the first session. I chose to attend the session by Alanna Ross and Christine Furno, who discussed their use of active learning to try to improve their 50 minute one shot information literacy sessions, comparing the use of clickers with a traditional lecture style session and a problem based learning approach; unfortunately their results were inconclusive but following further qualitative research they discovered that students did not see this as important due to lack of faculty support - sadly a lot of nodding faces at this point. Moving forward, they hope to integrate the session at the most appropriate time and link it to part of the module assessment by working with faculty.

Apologies for the delay in getting this post published, think I may have finally caught up on my sleep now! Day 2 of LILAC 2010 began with a lovely hotel breakfast followed by a dash (due to the appalling weather!) over to the Strand hotel. The first session of the day was the second keynote of the conference, Dr Karen Fisher from University of Washington. Karen spoke about her research into lay information mediaries (LIMs):
those who seek information in a non-professional or lay capacity on behalf or because of others, without necessarily being asked to do so, or engaging in follow-up

What a brilliant start to the conference! After a full breakfast at the hotel, we wandered over to The Strand for conference registration where we were met by hoards of librarians everywhere! Thankfully it was all very well organised and we were able to get registered before heading to the pre-conference sessions. I had chosen a session on RefWorks (reference management tool), where I learnt more about the Telstar project integrating RefWorks functionality into Moodle (contact Owen Stephens, who managed the project, if you are interested to know more about this). I also attended the session on assessment which Amanda Poulton (@rangtang) took (originally planned to be taken by Jo Webb (@webbery) and Chris Powis), and it was particularly useful to discuss assessment ideas in small groups, and hear about some of the innovative assessment ideas from DMU. The final pre-conference session I attended was one I’d been looking forward to and it certainly didn’t disappoint – I can see why the speakers won an award for best paper at a previous conference! Sarah Faye Cohen (@thesheck), Janet Cottrell and Michelle G. Miller spoke about the information literacy support at Champlain College, and measuring the impact. It was really interesting to hear a group presentation from such different perspectives – an information literacy librarian, a library director, and a provost. The main themes I took from the presentation was the need to consider all data when measuring impact and guiding future developments – “data is not always easy to understand, but it doesn’t mean it’s not important”; to find allies amongst faculty/academic staff, celebrate small successes and express gratitude; and to learn to tolerate uncertainty and accept a culture where it is OK for things to not work – I loved the quote “failing often is OK if you can succeed sooner”. You can view the presentation (strongly recommended) on Slideshare. Lunch followed, and there was a first-timers section to network with others who hadn’t been to LILAC before. The committee were also around at this point to introduce themselves and answer any questions. The conference was then officially opened by Sean Haughey, Minister for State for Lifelong Learning, followed by the first keynote of the conference from Tony Durcan, Head of Culture, Libraries and Lifelong Learning for Newcastle City Council. Tony’s keynote was very interesting – he discussed some of the new developments at Newcastle’s flagship library in the city centre, including some “soft triangular” (plectrum shaped according to Sarah!)  enquiry desks to reduce some of the barriers people face at traditional altar-like enquiry desks. It was interesting to hear that there has initially been a number of concerns and fears from staff about the changes to enquiries, but that now staff preferred the new style of roving support and more informal enquiry desks. Tony also discussed the implications of recent developments such as the Digital Britain report and the DCMS public library review, and how important it is for public libraries to enable access to computing facilities, internet access, and training to support these. He opened with a fantastic quote from The Aspen Institute (2009);

Not long to go now, LILAC2010 starts on Monday and I'll be travelling to Ireland tomorrow. Unusually for me, I am pretty well organised and most of my stuff is packed ready to go. I had a minor dilemma with clothing yesterday, but I think I'm sorted now, it's so difficult to know what to take! This will be the largest scale multi-day conference I've been to, so I've been following the advice from others such as Vicki Owens (who attended LILAC last year and shared some great tips) and Erin Dorney. I've got some comfy flat shoes, got loads of...

A little while ago, I read an article about oMbiel's mobile app for universities, CampusM. I'd hear about it on Twitter, and the University of Sheffield's recent implementation, but the article in Talis' Panlibus magazine gave more context into just how much information was available in the app. I thought I'd find out more, and was able to get a copy of the app from the App Store on my iPhone. Of course, I'm not a member of the University of Sheffield so many of the features I cannot use, but a brief overview of the features are shown on the...

[picappgallerysingle id="258453"]So, as I may have mentioned (I think it's taking over my life at the moment!), I'm currently writing my dissertation for my MSc Information and Library Studies course. I'll be doing my research over summer, but in the meantime I'm actually writing it in the correct order rather than leaving the literature review until the end, which I may have been guilty of when writing my undergraduate dissertation (on gender stereotyping in sport, bit of a change of subject!). I've noticed during this process though, that it's incredibly easy to get out of the habit of writing in...

Exciting news - I'm going to the Librarian's Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 2010! I've always really wanted to go - providing information literacy support is one of my favourite parts of being an academic librarian. A colleague attended LILAC last year and said it was fantastic, so I applied for the sponsored student award this year and am absolutely over the moon to have been successful. :) This year it's being held in Limerick, Ireland - I've never been to Ireland so I'm really looking forward to it (shockingly, I've never actually used a Euro either as I haven't been...

Just a quick post in case you didn't see the announcement on Jennie's blog - the UK Library Blogs wiki is now open for any registered user to edit. Time has flown by, but it's been two whole years now since Jennie initially starting looking for UK library blogs. What initially began as an individual (Jennie!) searching out for other UK bloggers, was turned into a directory of both individual blogs written by librarians and library blogs written for users, and supplier or other information professional's blogs. With a little bit of assistance from Phil Bradley, Christine Rooney-Browne, and myself, it...

I recently wrote a short article about OCLC QuestionPoint's new mobile widget for Fumsi, and thought I'd also post it here for anyone interested. As an avid iPhone user, I'm always keen to test out new mobile technologies - especially those relating to libraries. I was really pleased when I heard that OCLC were planning to release a mobile version of their QuestionPoint chat widget to enable users to access the service from their phone. It's currently available for iPhone, Android and Palm phones and I tested it on my iPhone recently. The Qwidget looks exactly the same when you access...