Building a customer centred space – using observation to inform library design

Rachel Van Riel from Opening the Book gave a thoroughly inspiring talk about observing library users and how to adjust your library to suit your user’s needs. This is something that I was particularly interested in from a work point of view as I am responsible for a special collection for our trainee teachers and I’m not sure how it is currently used but feel it could be better utilised if it was laid out differently.

Rachel spoke about how libraries can learn a lot from retail and recommended Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: the Science of Shopping (which I’ve added to my wishlist!) as well as the TV programmes Mary, Queen of Shops and I’m Running Sainsbury’s. Rachel referred to some of the interesting findings of Underhill, including the fact that 2 out of 3 shoppers want no assistance, and 50% of those who touch an item buy it. Obviously libraries are slightly different to shops, but many of the principles are transferable to libraries.

Rachel emphasised the importance of observing your library users, as we often have assumptions which may not be correct. Much of Rachel’s research so far has been with public libraries, but she has also observed in academic libraries with surprising findings. Some examples of her research include:

  • Leaflets in an entrance area which were observed by security from 9am until 7pm. 1726 visitors entered the area; only 15 looked at the leaflets and no one took a leaflet. The institution re-considered the placement of the leaflets. Rachel’s advice is to try different places and observe – how many look, how many take – get evidence to help your decisions.
  • Time of visit – could be observed by head counts or using the counters at entrance/exit. Evidence shows that libraries tend to be busiest around lunchtime, although this may well vary at different times of year and on different days, particularly in academic libraries (e.g. if there is a key lecture at a certain time). This information could be used to aid decisions with staffing and where priorities should be at different imes of the day – e.g. shelving, staffing circulation desk, roving enquiries etc.
  • Observing age of visitors at a public library service, estimated by front line staff. The library service concerned thought most of their visitors were over 70, but in actual fact there was a wide range across all different age groups, with the most common age group 30-40. This helped shape the future direction of their service. Could also be used to look at gender differences or different demographic at different times.
  • Length of time of visit, either by asking people on their exit (although perception may not be accurate) or by issuing slips of paper on entrance to be collected at exit. At a UK academic library, they found that the most visits range from 6 to 20 minutes; taking into account that many visits will have been well over this, there must also have been a lot of very short visits. In this case, the institution needed to make sure the needs of those who visit for only a short amount of time are met.
  • Flow from main entrance – where do people go? A study in the academic library showed that the majority of people either went to the main circulation desk (near the entrance) or to the area on the ground floor with journals, book stock and study tables. Very few people visited the enquiries desk or IT desk, demonstrating that staff time may be better utilised by roving in areas of high traffic to assist users at their point of need. A more detailed study looked at how many users were using stock from the library – often difficult to measure if it is not borrowed. Interestingly, they found that the shelves had as much traffic as the IT area which surprised staff.
  • Browsing – how do people browse the shelves? Do they suffer from the uncomfortable “browser’s neck”?! Important to make material easy to browse for those not looking for a particular item – use forward facing feature fillers and locate pertinent material at eye level if possible.

Whatever observation you undertake, it is important to have an easy to complete observation chart and ensure all staff observe in the same way.

The talk really highlighted the importance of observation and how such a simple thing can add so much more understanding about your service than just listening to those who volunteer feedback, as this is such a small proportion of your users. Certainly food for thought, and also encouraged me to buy Rachel’s book, The Reader-Friendly Library Service, which is primarily written for public libraries but has a lot which is also applicable to academic libraries. I felt really inspired after Rachel’s talk and hope to suggest some of the observation ideas in my own workplace.

The development of Library 2.0 and the use of Web 2.0 technologies in FE library services

Andrew Eynon, Library Resource Manager at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, shared the work he has been doing with Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 technologies in FE. I subscribe to Andrew’s blog and follow him on Twitter, so it was good to meet him in person to see the work he has been doing in FE. He even mentioned my blog in his presentation too (thanks Andrew if you’re reading!) but I forgot to give him one of my lovely new Joeyanne Libraryanne cards.

Andrew started the presentation by asking is to discuss in groups the concept of Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and if they are the same thing or fundamentally the same. My group decided that Web 2.0 = user-generated, interactive, read write web; Library 2.0 = use of Web 2.0 in library context. Andrew added his thoughts that Library 2.0 is about the outcomes and processes rather than the tools and technologies.

The project he was involved in aimed to employ a Web 2.0 librarian to support library and teaching staff, discover how Web 2.0 is currently being used, look at the development of Library 2.0 in FE, and develop an online tutorial on Web 2.0 technologies (see presentation for full list of project aims). They also aimed to used these technologies as part of the project (e.g. using a blog to document the project progress).

The main outcomes of the project included a number of useful resources collecting current use of Web .20/Library 2.0, such as the FE Library 2.0 wiki, Library 2.0 in Wales wiki, the Library Web Quest (a staff training tool adapted from the Learning 2.0 programme) and the LibeRaCe blog for Coleg Llandrillo Cymru. Andrew spoke about the different uses of the LibeRaCe blog including lirary news, current awareness, marketing, suggestions, book requests, reference enquiries and a discussion forum. They currently get around 1000 hits per month on the LibeRaCe blog which is great to hear.

It was nice to see so many at the talk discussing the use of Library 2.0; some who are yet to try anything but eager to find out more, others who are experimenting with numerous different uses. 🙂

Managing in tough economic times

Sheila Cannell, Director of Library Services at University of Edinburgh, spoke about the current risks to libraries and how to try to overcome some of them during the recession.

The risks she highlighted included:

  • Value proposition
  • Human Resources – large numbers close to retirement age, little to attract newcomers to profession
  • Durable goods – value of books decrease, value of space increase
  • Legacy technology – still using old technology
  • Intellectual property – using Google to find e-books etc.

Sheila made suggestions as to how these risks could be addressed, such as changing the perception of the library, investing in staff development, building a new vision for the profession, adapting the collection to use space differently, and collaborating to find new ways of doing things (e.g. collaborative digital books such as Hathi Trust).

She talked about how many of our users are in different places to libraries, using a version of the Web Trend Map with its distinct lack of library presence to demonstrate this (click image for larger version):

Web Trend Map from Information Architects (formforce on Flickr)

Web Trend Map from Information Architects (formforce on Flickr)

Sheila emphasised that the word “library” isn’t an issue, and instead of trying to rebrand as a different entity we need to focus our efforts on changing people’s perceptions of the library.

Some of the ways libraries can address the recession include:
1. Taking costs out of the business (e.g. giving user what they need, but not more than they need; review all activities and stop some if appropriate; review staff costs; increase productivity)
2. Finding other sources of income (e.g. diversification of income streams – charge for services, find different funding streams, new business opportunities, grants)
3. Collaboration (e.g. work with others to reduce costs or bring in income, cloud computing, hosted services – for example SHEDL, Scottish Higher Education Digital Library, which combines funds from Scottish HE institutions to allow access to wider variety of e-journals for each institution)
4. Innovation and creativity (e.g set a tone in library to encourage low cost innovative ideas, create a culture to discover small solutions that work for users)

As well as saving money, the recession gives libraries the opportunity to move on with other agendas, e.g. sustainability, digital, open access, empathising with user groups.

What can we do?

  • Move to user’s space (e.g. Web 2.0)
  • Provide easy to navigate digital environment
  • Support institutional business in all ways possible (learning and research)
  • Transform library as space
  • Think about information literacy agenda
  • Provide help, support and consultancy
  • Measure impact! Value value value
  • Be proactive
  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate (users, others professions, other departments etc.)
  • Listen to users

As many of the audience were managerial staff, Sheila also discussed how bosses need to adapt their skills to cope with the economic climate. She emphasised the important of looking after staff and also themselves by sharing values, motivating, developing, being open and honest to build trust, and the key – communicate, communicate, communicate.

I was pleased to see Sheila mentioning how important communication is; it’s something I’ve been harping on about for a while as I think it’s something that as a profession we need to improve, it’s been evidenced both at local levels in all the library work I have experienced, as well as on national level (such as the CILIP 2.0 event regarding communication from CILIP), and even further afield to global communication with other countries e.g. American Library Association. One of my main areas of concern when implementing anything at work is the consideration of communicating that change to both staff (within our department and further afield) and users.

Sheila’s talk was really interesting, it’s good that despite accepting the difficulties, we can focus on how to overcome these and there was actually a lot of positive ideas in her presentation. I certainly look forward to more collaborative work and addressing some of the other agendas affecting libraries at the moment.

Copyright law, librarians, information professionals, and the digital revolution – Ten Tips to make you top

If I’m being perfectly honest, I think there were a lot of us who were wondering if a session on copyright had been a good choice for the slot first thing in the morning on the second day. However, out doubts were proven to be unfounded when Jason Miles-Campbell from JISC Legal gave an incredibly interesting and upbeat presentation about the legalities of copyright and how to work with them.

Jason began with a really simple slide summarising the basics of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR):

Are you the owner? If not get permission, or use statutory exception.

It’s a simple concept but that really is the main premis behind IPR, and it was a great simplistic start to the presentation. He then went on to discuss his top tips surrounding copyright use in education:

  1. Turn negative to positive – need to avoid using negative terminology and emphasise how re-using and adapting other material can mean a shift of focus to different pedagogy and approach to teaching rather than preparing materials. Set a good example by using material you are able to use with confidence and certainty.
  2. Get it on the agenda – formulate a mission for the institution to use other people’s material to save money and resources, whilst raising awareness of copyright and what it means.
  3. Tackle ownership issues – think about IPR of staff work (if it is produced for employment purposes then institution own rights) and IPR of student work
  4. Declare an expert – have an institutional champion who is visible and can make decisions
  5. Publicise your licenses – ensure lecturers know about licenses and what they enable them to do. There is support material on the JISC legal website and the license websites themselves.
  6. Use what’s available – raise awareness of material that can be used; copyright owned material, license owned material and appropriate creative commons licensed material. Build up a bank of support material (e.g. institutional repository)
  7. Integrate copyright – lead by example and show best practice; integrate into courses to raise student awareness.
  8. Circulate case studies – examples of how to use the material available to you
  9. Ask the question – ask the owner of copyright material if you/your institution would like to use it, and explain the exact purpose you would like to use it for, you may be surprised that people will allow you to use material for little cost (or even nothing at all!) if it is for educational purposes only. It may be worthwhile having a template of how to ask.
  10. Use JISC Legal – wide experience of issues which JISC legal provide information on – they are not lawyers so cannot tell you what to do but they can offer advice. It’s a service you’re paying for so you should utilise it.

It was a really interesting talk and I will certainly be visiting the JISC legal site in future. I hope to work with our Copyright Co-ordinator (at least we’re already doing number 4!) to look at how we can help our lecturers, as I know it is a major issue for our academic staff at the moment; they’re are torn between the conflict of trying to offer online material and interactive resources, yet be aware of copyright when linking to external material.

To Shibbolise or not to Shibbolise…

Chrissie Turkington, Senior Advisor at JISC Regional Support Centre in the Northwest, talked about the basics of Shibboleth, and played JISCs Introduction to Federated Access Management video (embedded below). I hadn’t seen the video before and was impressed with the simple manner it explains something that is usually so confusing.

Chrissie then split us into groups to discuss the benefits and issues of implementing Shibboleth from different points of view; senior management, lecturers/teachers, IT staff, and learners. Interestingly, she had set up a FE Federated Access Management wiki before the session, and added to it as we gave feedback after our group discussion. Have a look at the wiki if you would like an idea of the discussions we had, and if you would like to add/edit the wiki I’m sure Chrissie would be happy to add you, she was happy for anyone in the session to collaborate on the wiki. The main focus was FE as the majority of the audience were from colleges, but similar principles also apply to HE.

e-books for FE: getting beyond handouts to providing a 24/7 digital library

I went along to this session more for information purposes, as I’m interested in e-books and how they are being used in education. Obviously, many of our prospective students are currently in FE and their experiences of e-books in FE may well shape their views and opinions coming into HE.

I was unaware of the e-books for FE project before the session, so it was interesting to hear that almost 3000 e-books covering core areas in FE are now available for all FE institutions for 5 years with ulimited concurrent usage. Even better, FE colleges has been consulted throughout the project to see what their needs are and which books they would appreciate having access to. Anna spoke about the project itself, including the consultation phase (over 80,000 votes were made regarding which e-books to purchase) and the details of the license the e-books are available on.

The books are available on the Ebrary platform, so a representative from Ebrary showed a demo of some of the main features. There were a few features which impressed me, such as opening as a web page rather than pdf (which means even mobile devices can open e-books), ranking  relevance from a search shown in the tables of contents (i.e. more relevant chapters easily identified), and including a citation and URL automatically when adding copied text to a document (although of course this may not be the referencing style you use). The issue of copyright was raised, and Ebrary has set up a restriction of 40 pages copy/print (i.e. if you copy 10 pages, you would only be able to print 30 pages), however this is per session which I think needs clarifying as it could potentially open it up to abuse. Ebrary can also customise the page for each college free of charge, and are looking at a pricing model to enable colleges to purchase extra books or newer editions to expand the collection.

The project sounds like a really great oppportunity for FE colleges, and something I hope will support them and their teaching as well as introducing students to using e-books for their studies.

Building and designing a sustainable library service

The keynote was delivered by Fraser Muir, Director of Information Services and Learning Resource Centre at Queen Margaret University (QMU), who opened the conference with a presentation about the campus and its sustainable strategy. He began the talk by asking us some questions to respond to using TurningPoint voting systems. Interestingly, 45% of the attendees were currently involved in a new building project, and 63% of participants were actively discussing sustainability at their institutions. I was amazed at how many of us are involved in new builds, especially when you take into account the current financial issues many institutions are suffering.

Fraser went on to discuss project re:locate, which was established to enable design and planning for the QMU campus in Musselburgh which opened in 2007. The aspirations of the project were to design a campus which was welcoming, inspiring, had a community focus, learning centred, flexible, extendable, integrated, distinctive identity, and sustainable (saving money and environment too). One of the aims of the campus is to be the most sustainable in the UK; “to develop a sustainable community for learning and life”. Achieving this level of sustainability included consideration of many different areas within the campus, including:

  • thermal insulation
  • natural ventilation and thermal mass (absorbs heat in the day and releases it at night)
  • lighting control systems
  • biodiversity and sustainable drainage (they even have a family of swans on campus)
  • low carbon footprint (including consideration about how people travel to the campus)
  • sustainable IT
  • efficient use of space

The Learning Resource Centre forms the bedrock of the academic building on campus, and is the only area to have increased in size following the merge of the two previous campuses (currently 4500m². The LRCs brief was to be the heart of the campus, technology-rich, environmentally friendly, and provide flexible learning space for students. There was a clear design emphasis on flexibility in the LRC, with flexible learning spaces and open areas for differing study purposes evident throughout the building. The study space ratio to FTE is 1:4 (half with IT access); in order to utilise space efficiently study spaces are merged with social spaces, terraces are utilised for PC access, and use of laptops turn classrooms/study rooms into an IT lab. 43% of the shelving is compact shelving to improve space effiency of the stock within the LRC. The ground floor is separated into a secure area (with the book stock etc.) and a non-secure area (incorporating the social PC areas and canteen).You can see loads of photos of the LRC at the library Flickr account.

Other initiatives to promote sustainability include reuse and recycling of out-of-date books with a local book donors agreement, and the use of canvas LRC bags (see below) which help reduce the use of carrier bags and also act as a source of income (£2 each).

QMU canvas bags

QMU canvas bags

Another major issue is the use of IT; “IT strategy employed by QMU is absolutely fundamental to the overall sustainable strategy”. Fraser presented a scary statistic; UK HE and FE utilise nearly 1,470,000 computers and will have ICT related bills of around £116m this year. QMU have adopted thin client technology for the majority of their machines (still have some PCs which act as a backup). They estimate that they should get 5-6 years from each thin client and each also uses less electricity which combine to save a lot of money. The use of thin client also enables remote working, which can help reduce unnecessary transport and therefore the carbon footprint.

QMU have received an excellent rating on both CEEQUAL and BREEAM (where they were the highest scoring UK university project), and scored 17 ecopoints from Envest (lower scores are better; 22 points for an ecobuilding, typical building is 40 points). Their energy certificate score is B+ (with the only suggestions for improvements being solar power and wind turbines which QMU ruled out as they were too expensive).

Just earlier this week (I knew there was a reason for not finishing this blog post until now!) they won a Green Gown award for the Green ICT category, and were highly commended in the Sustainable Construction category.

You can read more about the sustainability at QMU on the sustainability section of their website.

presentation about the campus and its sustainable strategy. He began the talk by asking us some questions to respond to using TurningPoint voting systems. Interestingly, 45% of the attendees were currently involved in a new building project, and 63% of participants were actively discussing sustainability at their institutions.

Having returned from the CoFHE 2009 conference in Edinburgh on Friday evening, I’ve almost managed to catch up on sleep since and gather my thoughts on the event. I’ll write separate posts for the sessions I attended (otherwise this would be a mammoth post!), but thought it would be useful to give an overview and highlights of the conference first.

After an eventful journey (involving three trains when it should have been one!), I was pleased to meet others on their way to the conference for the last bit of the journey. We made our way to the registration desk where we were met by members of the organising team who were all extremely welcoming and helpful. This was evident throughout the whole event – it was organised very well and you were always able to find help if you needed it.

The theme of the conference was “E-libraries and Green libraries: exploring accessibility and sustainability” and many of the talks/workshops addressed current issues such as sustainability, dealing with the recession, copyright, and using new technologies.

There was plenty of opportunity for networking, with refreshment breaks throughout the conference held near an exhibitors space. It was also good to be able to talk to the exhibitors in a more relaxed atmosphere (e.g. during mealtimes); I think this is beneficial for both the exhibitors (who gain an insight into our needs) and potential buyers (who can speak to the companies on a more personal level).

The catering was fantastic, and we enjoyed a quiz on the first night (which I enjoyed although contributed very little to my team’s efforts!), and a gala dinner on the second evening with a speech from Biddy Fisher, Vice President of CILIP.

The venue was also excellent, and I was particularly inpressed with the ease in which I could access the wireless network from the LRC where the event was held. As the QMU campus is also fairly new (built in 2007), it was also a great opportunity to get ideas to take back for our new build, and we were taken on a guided tour by Jo Rowley, Head of Library Services at QMU.

There was a good mix of workshops, although I did find (as always seems to be the case!) that some of the sessions I were interested in were running simultaneously.

The main lessons I learnt from the conference were:

  • Not to be too ambitious about what you can achieve in the evenings – I planned to write up all the sessions in the evening and also bought work with me which I hoped to find time to do but didn’t even get chance to look at.
  • Plan to arrive early, especially if you are using public transport – I did actually do this, and was so relieved I had as I was nowhere near as early as I’d planned due to train issues.
  • Travel light – you’re not going to need anywhere near as many clothes as you think you are.
  • Don’t be afraid to meet people you don’t know and introduce yourself to others – CoFHE is a group where many people know each other and attend each year, but despite this they were still very welcoming to newcomers such as myself.
  • Find out the conference hashtag (or make one up if there isn’t already one) and use it in all relevant tweets – great way to follow sessions you can’t attend as well as finding other attendees. You can also use Twitter beforehand to find out who else is attending the event.
  • Take advantage of plug sockets when you possibly can – my netbook only lasts a couple of hours and the workshop rooms had no power sockets. If you are planning to use your laptop/netbook, use a socket if you can.
  • Plan some time to explore the area the conference is held if you’ve not been before – I had an afternoon to have a quick nosy around Edinburgh but it would have been better if I’d planned more time to see the sights, many attendees stayed for an extra day or two.
  • Find out a bit about the local area – luckily, I met up with a local librarian who I knew through Twitter and we had a lovely lunch together before I followed her directions around Edinburgh.
  • Accept that you are likely to be shattered by the end if the conference and allocate some relaxation/sleep time after the conference – I spent most of the weekend resting and gathering my thoughts on the topics and issues raised over the three days.

All in all, it really was a worthwhile event in terms of both content and networking opportunities – I met some fascinating people and it’s always interesting to talk to other librarians about their working environment and share experiences. It was particularly good to be able to meet more people from Twitter, both at the event and also in the local area.

Many thanks to CoFHE West Midlands for providing sponsorship to enable me to attend. 🙂

I can’t believe it’s almost a week since I went to the Library Show 2009 (which I kept referring to as the LIS Show but apparently it has changed its name).

I spent the morning looking around the stalls at the show, and chatted to quite a few of the exhibitors who took my details with the fancy zappers. I seemed to be a magnet to all brochures and fliers (I do tend to have a habit of collecting material at every conference I attend!), and struggled to carry everything by lunchtime!

The free seminar programme was good so I decided to take advantage and attended Phil Bradley‘s session on Twitter, and Mike Gayle‘s author session. Although Phil’s session was mainly aimed at those unfamiliar with Twitter, I thought it would be useful to attend anyway and unsurprisingly I learnt a lot – mainly regarding the different search options which Phil knows inside out. I also found out about how a few libraries are using Twitter and it was great to see such good examples of Twitter being used by different types of libraries. Phil gave a very honest presentation and pointed out the downfalls and criticisms of Twitter as well as talking about its good points. Overall, he seems to have a very similar view to myself in that Twitter is an excellent tool for professional networking, and can be a useful resource for both individuals and organisations with minimum time/resources invested. I imagine many people were inspired to join Twitter after Phil’s session – and hopefully the message reached plenty as the seminar room was so full some people were turned away! I also managed to get the opportunity to chat with Phil after the session and it was great to finally meet face to face.  Phil’s slides:

Having recently read the excellent The To-Do List, I was pleased to see that Mike Gayle was one of the authors attending the show. His author session was really interesting, he talked about his journey to becoming an author (including being an agony uncle at Bliss! magazine which I read as a teenager), and discussed his approach to writing. I really enjoyed the To Do List, which is a non-fiction book written about Mike’s year long mission to accomplish a 1277 item long list. It covers things such as sorting out dormant bank accounts, fixing things around the house, and seeing friends you’ve lost touch with. It’s written in a very humorous way and as a home owner who lives her life by writing lists, I could relate to a lot of the book. I hadn’t read any of his fiction so I bought a copy of his latest book, Life and Soul of the Party, whilst I was at the show (and queued to get it signed!). His books are very easy to read, yet thought provoking books about friends and relationships. I read the Life and Soul of the Party in two days during my journey to work (I get three buses each way!), and found myself really relating to the characters and experiencing moments of wanting to laugh out loud or cry at emotional points (but resisted in both cases hoping to avoid odd looks from others on the bus!).

In the afternoon, I helped out on the CILIP West Midlands stand at the show, which was very interesting. Although I am a CILIP member, I haven’t been involved much in CILIP in the past, and hoped to learn something as well as help our region out by staffing the stand. I certainly learnt a lot about the structure of CILIP and how the organisation works (although it sounded very complex and didn’t follow all of it!), and also learnt a little more about some of the special groups. The more I learn about the groups in CILIP, the more impressed I am by the community – there are so many groups out there organising some great events and publishing some really good newsletters and journals. It was good to meet visitors to the stand – there was a mix of CILIP members and non-CILIP members, as well as many who have recently joined CILIP. It was particularly good to be able to speak to those based in the West Midlands region and talk about the work going on in the region and how to keep up-to-date via online networks such as the CILIP West Midlands blog, Facebook group and Twitter account. David Viner and Katharine Widdows have been working really hard to improve the communication in the region and it’s certainly appreciated by myself, as well as many others I spoke to on the day. I was glad to be able to spend a bit of time helping my local branch and hope to be able to help out further in future.

I was a really good event, and I particularly enjoyed being able to meet many people who I had previously only known via Twitter.

I’m just finishing packing (by writing another of my numerous lists!) for the CoFHE Conference 2009 in Edinburgh which starts tomorrow. There’s already quite a few attendees I’ve found on Twitter, and if you are interested in following Tweets from the event the hashtag is #cofhe09. I’m also hoping to see some of the sights in Edinburgh after the conference and meet another fellow twitterer who lives in the area. 🙂

Well it’s summer already (until recently the weather has reflected this too which has been a welcome surprise!), and the time of year when a number of library events happen. This year I have been lucky to be able to fit quite a few into my calendar and was offered sponsorship for one conference which I’m really looking forward to.

Over the next few weeks I will be attending:

At the LIS Show at NEC on Wednesday, I’ll be helping out on the CILIP West Midlands stand in the afternoon. Whether you are a member of CILIP or not please visit the stand for a chat or to talk about developments in CILIP and the benefits of membership (which I am just beginning to learn about myself!). There will also be the opportunity to vote on your favourite photograph for the CILIP West Midlands Library photo competition, which you can also vote for online. I’m also planning to attend a couple of seminars at the LIS Show including one on Twitter by Phil Bradley, who I’m hoping to finally meet in person.

I received sponsorship to attend the CoFHE conference which this year is in Edinburgh, which I am really looking forward to. I’ve attended a couple of CoFHE events previously and really enjoyed them, and the programme for the conference looks great. I’ve not been to Edinburgh before either so am hoping there may be opportunity for me to see some of the sights (including possibly some fellow librarians who live in that area!). I’ll be writing a report as part of my sponsored place, but will also be blogging about the conference, hopefully whilst I’m there if I can get internet access.

The New Professional’s Conference is a little different – I’m attending the conference to speak about networking online for new professionals. I’ve been wondering about presenting at a conference for a while and was inspired by a post by Meredith Farkas about having a go at these sort of things, so decided to apply. The conference welcomes applications from newcomers and first time speakers, and I was pleased to have been chosen to present my idea. I imagine I’ll be incredibly nervous (I’m already feeling a little apprenhensive about it!), but I’m sure it will be a valuable experience.

If you are planning to attend any of these events, please let me know; I’m hoping to meet some new people this year and put faces to names of some of the people I know from online who I haven’t yet met in person. I’ve even had some Joeyanne Libraryanne business cards made up so that I don’t have to keep writing my contact details on scraps of paper for people! 🙂

Joeyanne Libraryanne cards

Joeyanne Libraryanne cards