I attended the Internet Librarian International (ILI) 2014 Conference at Olympia a couple of weeks ago and found the opportunity to talk about our experience of transforming SUNCAT, learning about the latest library trends and generally meeting follow Librarians very useful.
My presentation is available on the SUNCAT website but unfortunately the other presentations from the conference are password protected.
After mistakenly trying to join some of the numerous other conferences taking place at Olympia at the same time some of the highlights for me included:
The opening keynote from Michael Edson of the Smithsonian who talked about the dark matter of the Internet – the huge amount of cultural activity on the Internet which is valuable but difficult to capture so is not well covered by our cultural institutions. He made particular reference to the Vlog Brothers who you can check out at http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers
A number of the speakers spoke extensively about or at least touched upon the changing and new roles available for Librarians with the advent of new trends and technologies. Developments in publishing, open access, open source, mobile apps and research data management were highlighted by Brian Kelly (CETIS) as key findings from the 2014 NMC Horizon Report for Libraries.
Suzanne Enright from the University of Westminster described how they used Agile Methodology to develop a Virtual Research Environment, while Mary Antonesa from Maynooth University Library presented on the development of a simple directional app to assist users find locations and items.
Ben Showers Head of Scholarly and Library Futures at Jisc encouraged us to follow three principles when collecting and measuring metrics:
- Principle 1: Measure what really matters, not just what you can get data for
- Principle 2: Don’t collect or measure if you are not going to act on it.
- Principle 3: Make as much of your data available as possible.
And finally of great interest was the presentation around engaging users in the tender exercise for a new LMS and discovery tool at the Open University. This included setting up a user panel, interview and observation sessions and creating wireframe prototypes to gather initial feedback. Sodertorn University in Sweden also conducted similar exercises with users and discovered the importance of:
- Relevance ranking
- Terminology is vital – we should avoid using too much library lingo in discovery system
- Facets should be highlighted so that users don’t overlook them
All very helpful as we continue to develop the SUNCAT service…