Sharing our knowledge with HE and the wider library community

During the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown periods, we have had to embrace change, adapt to working from home, and learn new technologies.  Upon reflection, whilst University College of Estate Management (UCEM) staff have had had to adjust to remote working, our fully online teaching and learning delivery, and IT infrastructure underpinning the e-Library services placed us in a stronger position than our counterparts. 

As an academic librarian my role is to manage and disseminate information.  However, during this period I have made a significant contribution to the wider information profession and educational sector by taking the opportunity to impart my knowledge and experience in assisting/enabling those whose physical buildings had closed and had to quickly transition to a fully online delivery model.  A greater emphasis was placed on cross-functional collaboration in knowledge creation. I was able to have a greater presence, via virtual conferences/webinars, e-newsletters/journal articles, and social media channels, to share experiences and support the library, information & knowledge communities.

Part of my role as Information Governance Manager involves keeping abreast of the latest developments and benchmarking the work I do against that of others.  To raise my profile and that of UCEM I welcome the many CPD, networking and profile-raising opportunities that allow for knowledge creation and further engagement with the library profession and wider sector(s) that education as well as knowledge and information management.

Employers Forum 2021: Future ready library and information services

I regularly attend the GuildHE Librarian Network, CILIP National and Copyright Conferences, and more recently represented UCEM and participated in the CILIP Employers Forum 2021 that targeted senior library staff from wide-ranging professional contexts.

This popular one-day Employers Forum, run by CILIP – The Library and Information Association returned in 2021, as a hybrid event and provided an excellent opportunity for senior staff from the wider profession to share knowledge and learn with their peers.   I attended the event in person as I live close to Oxford, where the event was being held, and wanted to make the most of the library tour of the Bodleian which was so inspiring and made me feel very lucky and privileged to have been given the opportunity.

There was also the chance for delegates to benchmark their service beforehand in the following areas:

  • Knowing your users,
  • Influencing people,
  • Evidencing value and impact – social impact,
  • Consolidating digital gains and turning them into long-term practice, and
  • Planning for sustainability – a proper Green recovery, all key areas to address, discuss, share knowledge, and experience, and learn from peers.

The welcome was provided by Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian (the senior Executive position of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) that started the day off on a real high.  There were also two guest speakers during the day – Stephen Wyber, Policy and Advocacy Manager, IFLA who spoke on ‘Influencing and advocating’ and Blerina Hashani, Public Policy & Campaigns Manager, British Library who spoke on ‘Libraries responding to the climate change crisis’. 

To finish the day delegates were invited to an evening social and networking event to continue discussions.  I made a number of key contacts, that I will certainly be following up on and arranging future meetings with.

@CLA 2021

CITE stands for the Copyright and Information Technologies in Education.

On Thursday 25th November the Winter CITE Forum took place.  This forum takes place currently once a year, are still being run Virtually, and provide a great opportunity for sharing ideas and best practice; networking with colleagues; and discovering different methods for using library workflow platforms.

Talks this year covered

  • copyright and images (title tbc);
  • Born Digital in the DCS;
  • CLA Higher Education Licence Update;
  • Improving the accessibility of DCS scans at Middlesex University;
  • The process to request readings in alternative, accessible formats;
  • Accessible copies pilot at the British Library.

Following a recent Copyright Review of UCEM and the copyright processes and practices that we have in place, I was asked to present, as a guest speaker, at CITE as they were impressed with what they saw.  My presentation ‘The UCEM e-Library: Our story so far’ covered who we are and some background into our history.  I then gave a virtual tour of the e-Library and the resources available today.  I covered the importance of networking, benchmarking, and learning from others/best practice. I then ran through our Copyright process, showing attendees our new Workflow Tracker and integration of the CLA Digital Content Store. 

Whilst we have all experienced challenges along the way, and especially over the pandemic, I want to highlight the importance of networks in supporting each other and sharing best practice.