The wonderful Weston Room, Maughan Library, Kings College, London was the venue for the second meeting of 2013 for the University Science and Technology Librarians’ Group (USTLG).
This informal group holds two meetings a year with presentations from colleagues contributing to the theme for the day. Having participated in several of these get-togethers I have found them to be informative, reassuring and welcoming; this one was no exception.
Participants had the opportunity to take a tour of the Maughan Library at the beginning or end of the day and impressive it is too.
Director of Library Services at Kings College, Robert Hall welcomed us before Moira Bent kicked things off. During this she told the group that she is standing down as Chair. Moira has been a brilliant facilitator at these meetings and will, thankfully, continue to participate. Our appreciation was shown with a bouquet of flowers, presented by Carole Rhodes, who will now take on the role of Chair.
Onto the main agenda for the day and the first presentation was from Alison McNab, University of Nottingham. Alison gave us some tips on making an impact as a new subject librarian. An experienced and active librarian Alison has recently taken on a new role in a new subject area. Her tips come from her own practice and contained some useful reminders for those experienced in a subject area as well as those embarking on a new one. These included the idea of knowledge transfer, going along to lectures in your school seminar series, identifying points of contact physical and virtual, keeping a complements book/folder, building on service strengths, engaging with users.
The second presentation of the morning delivered by Niamh Tumelty, Cambridge looked at the 7 pillars through and Engineering lens. Niamh is an experienced subject librarian for English, but has recently moved to supporting Engineering. Following an overview of how s
he worked with the English students and applied the 7 pillars in that subject area, Niamh then went on to facilitate a discussion session where we considered the information literacy skills that the broad range of Engineering students have and identified the areas that they need to develop. An interesting, short discussion, Niamh has collated the outcomes of that into a blog post http://npagelibrarian.blogspot.ie/2013/12/7-pillars-through-and-engineering-lens.html
Following these presentations we were ready for the first of the two discussion sessions of the day; a change to the usual format of the USTLG meetings which gave participants the opportunity to discuss various topics of interest. Suggestions for topics were made prior to the meeting and we signed up on the day to the topic we wanted to talk about.
I was part of a group discussing information literacy for science and technology students. Each group had some talking points as prompts and we considered:
- How might info lit be different for scientists?
- What areas should we concentrate on?
Adam Edwards in action USTLG
- What works well?
Other topics discussed were referencing, getting and staying up to date in our subject, and supporting researchers.
Notes from these discussions are available on the USTLG website (http://www.ustlg.org/ ).
This concluded the morning’s activities and it was time for lunch, generously sponsored by the IEEE.
Refreshed and refuelled we came back together for the afternoon agenda. This began with Eszter Lucaks and Ruth Wolfish from IEEE with a lively presentation giving some ideas on how we can market our sessions; Marketing that FITS (Fun, Interactive, Targeted, Succinct). With examples of how the IEEE has worked with librarians, academics and students they showed what worked for them following the FITS model. It seems that food and free stuff works very well alongside the robust resource being demonstrated or the skills being taught.
Elizabeth Simpson, King’s College London was up next with a case study of how they have been developing new ways to engage students by using Camtasia and Libguides. As we will be getting Libguides at the University of Brighton in the coming months it was really interesting to see how they are being used by others, as well as getting an insight into some of the features of them.
Amongst other things, Elizabeth pointed out that Libguides are a lot more flexible than the webpages that they were using before, allowing for more interactive content.
In order to show the students how to use the Libguides they have been using Camtasia to make instructional screencasts.
The final presentation of the day came from Shazia Arif and Monique Ritchie, Brunel. The focus was on the Research Data Management experience at Brunel.
Monique, Research Librarian and Copyright Officer gave a really good overview of the research data management journey at Brunel so far. She highlighted the main stages in their project from conducting a fact finding survey to investigate existing RDM policies and practice to her analysis of the data and the outcomes of the survey.
Notes from discussion points
Shazia was able to add the subject librarian perspective to the presentation and what the implications of this are for her role and her school. One of the main messages I got from this presentation is that research data management is a growing area in our field and that we need to consider how we, as subject librarians can work with it effectively.
Presentations done, we grabbed a tea and split into our second round of discussion groups. The topics covered in the afternoon were; Ebooks, social media, research data management, how to cope with increasing student numbers and top teaching tips.
Kirsty Thompson summarising discussion points
I was part of the social media discussion. To structure our discussion we looked at what we do with social media at our organisations, whether there is a social media policy in place, what the implications of this policy are, whether the library or information service needs its own policy that fits with the organisational one.
We could have carried on our discussion into the evening, but had to come back together to share the main points of our group chat, again the notes from these discussions can be found on the USTLG website (http://www.ustlg.org/ )
Carol Rhodes closing the day with some words
Another successful, enjoyable and useful USTLG meeting was closed with some words from Carole Rhodes with details of the next meeting which will take place in May 2014 at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.