Wednesday, 18 December 2013

No Library, Information Specialist is an Island - CILIP MmIT AGM and Technology Talks

On the 17th December CILIP's Multimedia and Information Technology Committee met for their quarterly meeting and yearly AGM at CILIP Headquarters.
The morning started with our usual two hour meeting where we discussed everything from our journal to next year's conference in Sheffield which will be on the exciting theme of Sound & Vision.
We were also lucky to be visited by Anthony Thompson who was one of the committee's longest serving members going back to the 1970s and a member of the journal's editorial board. After lunch guest speakers and Annual General Meeting attendees joined us for our AGM and three talks.

The three speakers, Nick Woolley Head of Academic Library Services, Northumbria University, and CILIP Vice President Barbara Band Head of Library and Resources at The Emmbrook School and finally myself as MmIT Secretary . All three speakers presented their views on the current issues and developments in library technology under the theme: The Changing Landscape of Library Technologies: Implications for the Library.

I started the presentations talking about the work of myself and colleagues at ScHARR and the drive to take advantage of the technologies afforded to them at the University of Sheffield. My presentation is below on Prezi.

Nick Woolley captured his extensive experience and talked about the connectivity of the library, connecting users with their library on and off campus using such as near-field communication and RFID. Nick touched on the various new developments that are helping shape his library's future including augmented reality, QR codes, MOOCs and the aforementioned near-field communications. The thing that under-pinned Nick's excellent presentation, as with Barbara and my presentations was the idea that technology should not purely determine how learning and library services are delivered, rather enhance them and their user's experiences.

Barbara Band finished the trio of talks speaking about her experiences of school libraries and in particular her own at The Emmbrook School. Again like Nick and myself talked about her drive as a keen advocate of technology but also wary of their misuses. Barbara spoke of her concerns about the increasing desire to put investment into technologies for schools at the expense of libraries and teaching information literacy. I felt that the sessions raised as many questions as they answered potentially, including mine, and answers that in time will need tackling. Issues over whether we are using technologies for the sake of it, at the expense of pedagogy, that information literacy plays a major role in this shift and if neglected could unravel the whole thing. Yet the real positive is that myself and the two speakers are just a tiny part of a huge collective of proactive bodies in the library and information sector that are considering and tackling these challenges. 
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to both speakers, and usually I like to send the odd Tweet or take notes at such events, but bar a solitary Tweet I was totally in tune with the speakers hanging on every word (a rarity for many in these days of diminished attention spans) 

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