Monthly Archives July 2015


Back from hols now! This is a post I wrote for the CILIP blog and was published on the 20th July. In my opinion blogging does include choosing a style, not taking yourself too seriously and so forth, but the main driving principle is to simply do it. Practising the art is not about making everything perfect (for that is the charm of blogging), but it’s about regularly maintaining a social media presence and overcoming fear. It can be scary entering such a huge forum, but after a while you’re looking at notifications, feedback, comments to prove that it’s actually working and promoting whatever you’re writing about. In my case I am keen to promote the University Library and its resources for research. My best hope is that this CILIP piece may encourage some to start blogging or at least get others to post more frequently and find their voice in the blogosphere.



I’ve always found LinkedIn, the world’s largest business networking site, a really useful way of connecting with colleagues and those associated with the University of Lincoln. It’s also a way of connecting of ex-colleagues. You may legitimately describe it as Facebook for work purposes. I have embedded a neat video on using LinkedIn for the uninitiated, which might whet your appetite if you haven’t got an account (of course, it’s free). Or at least the version I use is free. I also like the LinkedIn Pulse feature which has a vast range of such interesting articles – you can follow them on Twitter @LinkedInPulse. You might also decide to become a self-publishing author on LinkedIn, a tentative step which I haven’t yet undertaken.

Lexis Library is a fantastic database which covers UK national and regional newspapers and is available via > resources > databases > L > Lexis Library.  The Library Service at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has kindly uploaded a short YouTube video on how to find newspapers and narrow the results to tailor to your research needs.  I would recommend Lexis Library to all students wishing to contextualise their research and ‘hook’ the reader into their assignment. Using newspapers makes the assignment current, interesting and shows a knowledge of wider issues.

PS. There is an option to watch the video full screen at the bottom right-hand corner below.

Do you know that our self-service machines which are located in the Library wing to the right of the turnstiles contain some 48 loanable laptops. Students can borrow them up to four hours. Why not borrow a laptop and use our flexible learning space on the ground floor?

It is a scenario familiar to all those working in the higher education sector. Space is the new, and certainly not the final, library frontier as highlighted by The University of Manchester Library’s insightful blog post on this key library priority.  It is a peculiar conundrum in the digital age where electronic information was meant to reduce the need for physical spaces. Not true. There is continued demand for ‘learning spaces’ where creative spaces are available for group discussion, presentations, etc:

“Academic Libraries are amidst a sea of change and challenges. Open Access, new publishing models, self-publishing models, research data management, local systems moving to the cloud, big data, competition from Google, mobile apps, therapy dogs , linked data, restructures; a mix of opportunities and ideas through which the Library is striving to support students, staff, research and the community as best we possibly can using the resources available. But for all we might think we’ve found the Next Big Thing, there is one thing which still rides high in every survey, consultancy or conversation in the queue for coffee”:

Our stats at the University of Lincoln show that whilst e-books and e-journals are extremely popular, loans of physical books attract comparable stats. Surveys consistently show how important libraries are to study, they are recognised as safe and encourage a studious environment. Even though the University of Manchester have recently opened the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons in October 2012 they found  students wanted even more study space. They innovatively opened more rooms  to deal with their busiest period, calling it ‘Exam Extra‘. Other ideas they have promoted include the marvellous live webpage called Book a space, that shows which rooms are available in the library.

Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

 The University of Manchester Library.

Further analysis is required. Other universities like Birckbeck, University of London, are trying to find solutions to the Space Issue via OccupEye. The University of Stirling posted this video about maximising their library space using some interrogative software.

I spotted this interesting feature about information literacy this morning so decided to tweet and blog. That is the pure immediacy of  social media – finding something interesting and share it within minutes. There are multiple information literacy communities out there and joining them is easy, just by following them on Twitter or choosing another social medium. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Information Literacy Group defines a compilation of  What is Information Literacy? When, where and how would you apply it to practice, and how does it relate to other literacies and skills sets? According to UNESCO, the Prague declaration of 2003 defines information literacy as encompassing:

“knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning.”

While SCONUL (The Society of College, National and University Libraries) famously developed the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model in 1999, with the most recent version published in 2011. The latest version recognises that becoming information literate “is not a linear process”, rather, individuals can take different paths to become information literate and may learn different skills at different points.

The following ‘lenses’ have been created which take the seven pillars and observe them through the eyes of individuals engaged in the following types of activities:

For anyone who is interested The Information and Literacy Group has a good website and blog which contains useful links, articles and suggested further reading.