#uklibchat Summary – New Year’s Resolutions 7 Jan 2014

This is what people said at the start of the year. I wonder how well people have been doing so far with the New Years Resolutions that they mentioned?

I’ve put together the direct answers to the questions asked. For the an archive of the actual tweets during the session please click here

Q1, What was your biggest achievement in 2013?

Quite a few people mentioned getting a  a professional job or a permanent job as their biggest achievement in 2013; for others it was starting an MA or finishing their degree.

Other notable mentions:
@Karenmca: Biggest achievement was publishing an @ashgatemusic book! http://t.co/voUjfs0swB 3 reviewers so far and seem to like it.
@pennyb: Winning an @slaeurope ECCA – I don’t seek external validation too often, but that really changed how I see myself. #uklibchat
@LottieMSmith: obtaining a bursary to go to IFLA WLIC and experiencing my 1st global conference #uklibchat
@poetryghost: I’m also really pleased we got 6 young people through Bronze @ArtsAwardVoice last year
@DonnaLanclos: received an internal grant to do research
@catmacisaac: finding my feet with new responsibilities for HR issues, budget & social media.
@kosjanka:Q1 I’m rather fond of what happened with @voiceslibrary idea, and watched how it grew and supported folk over the year.

Q2. If you made a resolution last year how successful were you?

Not many people who attended the chat had made any, here are some of the responses:

@libchris: semi successul – got as far as gettting mentor! Applied for more jobs, but overcoming interview nerves still defeats me :( #uklibchat
@SaintEvelin: Not v successful, but playing the New Job Excuse card ;-)
@Kosjanka: My resolution last year was to complete Aclip. I failed, totally. But I did gain a new mentor, which I hope will help.

So a mixed bag.

Q3. Do you have any professional new year’s resolutions for yourself?

@Jaimeeuk: #uklibchat I don’t want to call it a New Years Resolution but just an aim to complete #chartership by Nov 2014 (before new rules apply!)
@Karenmca: To continue forging ahead with social media (http://t.co/WHee8AVUk2 + @whittakerlib, but try to draw better line btn work/home
@BookishKirsten: More of an aim, but hoping to get enough work submitted to go to both #aberils study skills and complete diploma. And get web editing experience/training. Seems like a useful skill to acquire!
@library_lizzie: I have lots of things I want to do in 2014 – one of them is to know my limits and not try to take on too much. Personal resolutions: participate in at least 1/2 uklibchats, get dissertation published & be more active on MmIT committee
@AgentK23: Get chartered, and this time there’s a deadline so it is more likely to happen. Plus watch TEDtalks and make infographics #uklibchat
@DonnaLanclos: hard to have a new resolve, still working on goals from last year.
@catmacisaac: I’ll be on maternity leave this year so aim is to keep up to speed with trends/issues while I’m away from work.
@SaintEvelin: It’s a rollover: Write more; get involved; be more assertive; generally get stuck in. Need to stop being so quiet and bumbling
@payne_clare: try to live up to the values of the nhs constitution in my work and behaviour
@avenannenverden: If I have any resolutions for 2014, it would be to actually understand everything about the budget and such.
@Kosjanka: I don’t really do resolutions. I constantly re-evaluate what I do and how best to work in the environment I’m in.

Q4. Do you have any new year’s resolutions for your institution?

@JaimeeUK: I’d like to see more use of Twitter on an enquiries basis, or introduction of Librarian Chat sessions. Instant internet reply
@SaintEvelin:Be good. Don’t stray from being a great acad library disseminating knowledge & delivering what people want/need. Get a porch.
@LibraryMargaret: I’d like to see more using technologies in enquiries, doing more IL work with students and generally getting away from desk .
@BeccyPert: Maybe hire an interior decorator… our building is pretty uninspiring :(
@BookishKirsten: Carry out annual user survey, and hopefully improve service based on that.
@avenannenverden: We have lots going on at our library, and I hope we’ll manage to land more project money for events.
@Karenmca: I’d like to find a way of using @whittakerlib library to inspire even more creativity @RCStweets
@Kosjanka: I do want to see my organisation finally release it’s data and information on the world, and make our catalogue OA.
@poetryghost: I’d like to see more communication and decisive management in the lead up to a new library (in 2015)

Q5. How do you move forward from ‘failed’ resolutions?

There were a few good tips for this. Reassess the resolutions and carry on the ones that worth keeping, think about why things went wrong and learn from mistakes, but there’s no need to wring your hands over them. Try to be realistic with future resolutions.

Q6. What is the next big thing for libraries?

Some of the responses were:

  • gamification
  • OA and HE funding
  • move towards websites and learning tool being mobile device friendly
  • augmented reality
  • RDM (Research Data Management) and Improved CRIS  (Current Research Information System)
  • someone mentioned the 14 predictions Phil Bradley had made.
  • the continued war on local services – perhaps leading to a breaking point and massive radical action from the public to defend their libraries
  • library as a meeting place, and a space for events and for debates
  • the dream of ending paper-based copyright declaration forms
  • more widespread stocking of e-books in public libraries

Q7. Do you have any suggestions for #uklibchat topics for 2014? (Including past chats you would like to see repeated)

  • More generic LIS topics
  • Library services to alumni ..barriers, good practice, hints and tips
  • Services to distance learners
  • Research Data Management
  • Making activities in the Library on a small budget
  • Negotiating with vendors/ purchasing strategies
  • Getting the most out of our diminishing budgets
  • library wars RPG session

Your newest team member!

Hi everyone,

My name is Gaby and I’m the fresh out of the box new member of the #uklibchat team (@GabyK_lib). I currently work in a public library in the south east. My title is no longer librarian but I still get to do great projects in my library for all ages from the summer reading challenge, to the home library service. Prior to that I used to be Children’s Librarian responsible for Teens at the same location.

I discovered #uklibchat a while back and have really appreciated the ninja way it has got me involved in PD in my own time, a thing I thought I’d never do. I also love that it helps me learn about other librarians, their work and make new friends.

I’m going to be your friendly neighbourhood librarian in charge of May’s chat on the topic of “Classifying the Librarian” which will be about all the ways we go about supporting our customers needs. Librarians can be teachers, advisers, information sources, researchers, events managers, web designers, data analysts, marketeers, child minders, social workers. But really, how far does a librarian stretch? And how far should we push the boundaries of what a librarian is?

Why not come and join in with the chat on Tuesday 6 May?

Changes to website

You may have noticed that there are a few changes to the website.

We’ve removed the calendar page at the top, as we’ve not had the time to keep that up to date. To compensate, we’ve added a  ‘subscribe’ widget to our sidebar, and you’ll get an e-mail sent to you every time we post an agenda or a feature on here.

We’ve also removed the comments page, as it was not used much. You are always welcome to contact us via our e-mail address uklibchat[@]gmail.com or to send a tweet to our Twitter account.

We’ve also added a bit more blurb to our  ‘About #uklibchat‘ page, and as we mentioned in a previous post, we’ve added a handy page with links to feature articles that have been written for  #uklibchat.

image from pixabay

Feature #12 – Reading

Our guest post this month is by Mobeena Khan, Stock and Reader Development Librarian at Hertfordshire Libraries. This post is her own views, and does not necessarily represent the views of her employer. If you would like to join this month’s #uklibchat on reading, the agenda is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c5EDJd_DBxp8hJZp1aIrbNNTmpoN8ODbAuY6cpE5JV8/edit?pli=1

Reading. When the lovely folk over at #uklibchat asked me to write this blogpost for them, I was so insanely flattered to even be asked that I said yes pretty much right away. Rookie mistake. Because reading? How on earth do I encapsulate reading and what I think and feel about reading in 1000 words. It cannot be done. It just can’t . There’s too much to get excited and passionate and angry and confused about. So, I’ve tried to distil it into reading and libraries and even more so into reading for pleasure.

 

As most of you know, I’m a public librarian and always have been. We can be quick sometimes, as a profession, to skip over the book part of what we offer. Being under threat, as most public libraries are, we can be incredibly quick to say “We’re not just a building with books, you know!” – and we are indeed, so much more than that. We have free access to computers and the internet, we have services for babies and children and teenagers. We have reading groups and author events and services for housebound users and users whose first language isn’t English. We stretch and stretch and stretch and sometimes, I feel we forget about the books. The books and their magic are part of what draws people in. It’s still the thing that people associate a library with, any library, public, academic, whatever. Sometimes, we forget about the books.

child reading image from pixabay
My job title officially, is “Stock and Reader Development Librarian”. I work across fourteen libraries and when I am asked what I do, I say, only half joking, “My job is about getting things onto library shelves and getting people to look at them”. Reading is a big part of who I am, personally and professionally. It always has been. I joined my local library when I was about seven or eight after a class visit there. I rapidly became one of those children who visited the library every week, on a Saturday and took out the maximum number of books I was allowed to take out and started reading one of them on the way home. It’s probably a miracle I am alive today. I’ve no idea how I crossed all those roads. Reading was and is, easy for me. It’s a refuge. Picking up an old book or the new installment of a series is like being with old friends again; as if no time has passed at all. I am incredibly lucky to have a job that makes sure I try and pass that on to other people.

Because, just as I know I am lucky, I know equally, other people are not. Other people find reading hard. Whether that’s because of low literacy levels, English not being their first language, dyslexia or just not being a reader, reading, this beautiful, every day, vital, necessary thing can be really hard for people. Reading for pleasure is something a lot of people don’t understand and cannot access.

One of the many ways we tackle this in my library service is with a project I help run called “The Book Doctor”. We saw the idea being used initially in another authority and expanded it to use in one of our main urban libraries. The idea behind the project was to offer a bespoke service to our users, away from the pressures of the enquiry desk, whereby members of staff could offer an in depth, one on one service to users who were stuck with their reading. We, as staff members would take the time to talk to users about what they have read and what they were looking for. Users would be able to come to a drop in session where they could talk to a member of staff and get ideas and help to tackle whatever the reading problem was – whether that was that the reader had finished a great series and wanted another one, whether they were looking for a specific genre or books set in a specific period or something completely different. We wanted to empower our readers and users to continue or start to gain pleasure in their reading.

smurf reading image from pixabay

My fellow stock and reader development librarians and I devised a training programme that consisted of training regarding print resources, electronic resources and a list of book prizes that we thought would help in answering questions and helping to widen stock knowledge. About six library assistants were picked to participate in the project and for the first eight of the monthly, hour long sessions, they were buddied up with me or my colleagues. We had posters designed and had the sessions advertised on our social media streams and we helped further identify ourselves as a distinct operation by wearing white lab coats. We have “prescription pads” which we use to write down recommendations for our users and anyone who uses the service gets a free request. The sessions have been running since April 2013 and we are now looking to expand the service to other libraries in the county.

This is just one way that we’ve tried to help our users get more out of the library service. We utilised staff skills and expertise to help enable people to get more out of reading, to find other ways into it, other ways through it. I’ve barely touched on some of the other issues around reading such as helping people with learning difficulties or dyslexia access the library, encouraging children to read and fostering a lifelong love of reading through libraries and there are probably a whole host of others that haven’t even occurred to me. But as library staff, we should continue to embrace reading. We should keep promoting it in every form to everyone who walks in through the door. Whether they read themselves or listen to a talking book or have books read to them, reading is a vital part of who we are as people. It strikes right down into the core of who a person is. The right book at the right time can change your life. We should never forget that.

 

 

Agenda – #uklibchat on Reading, Tuesday 1st April 2014

It’s no joke – we will be running a #uklibchat on the topic of reading on 1st April. Despite the fact this is a topic that is highly connected to libraries and librarians in the popular imagination, it’s taken us nearly three years to have a chat devoted to it.

Reading can sometimes be defined in narrow terms as just being about reading fiction for leisure but we’re interested in exploring this topic from as many angles as possible – whether it’s e-reading, academic reading, professional reading, the science of reading, the future of reading…the possibilities are endless! However, it’s you guys that shape our agenda, which you can contribute to here.

The chat will be held at 6.30-8.30pm UK time on Tuesday 1st April 2014. Watch this space for a guest blog post, coming very soon!

EDIT: You can now read Mobeena’s post here.

 

6 March 2014 Agenda: Digital Libraries

The next #uklibchat is on a Thursday, 6 March 6.30-8.30pm GMT. We’ll be talking about digital libraries, focusing on born digital content like e-books, e-journals, audiovisual and web content.

The agenda is now available here.

To get you thinking, read our feature article by @SimonXIX: ‘What do we talk about when we talk about digital libraries‘?

If you’ve not joined #uklibchat before here’s our guide to joining in.

Feature #11 What do we talk about when we talk about digital libraries?

Modern information work is dominated by the digital. All libraries work with the masses of digital information that computer technology has made possible. ‘Digital libraries’ – the assigned topic of this blog post – is too big a topic to be covered adequately in a 750-1000 word blog post and so, rather than covering all of the issues involved in digital libraries and digital librarianship, the focus of this post is the definition of ‘digital library’. The aim is to be ‘thought-provoking’ rather than ‘comprehensive’. Caveats and excuses in place, let’s begin…

The term ‘digital library’ was once defined as “a focused collection of digital objects, including text, video, and audio, along with methods for access and retrieval, and for selection, organization, and maintenance of the collection.” (Witten, et al., 2010, p. 7) This definition – representative of other available definitions of ‘digital library’ – is so broad as to be meaningless. In philosophical parlance, the definition is necessary but not sufficient. Specifically, the use of the term ‘digital objects’ makes this definition applicable to too many things that intuitively we would not want to categorise as digital libraries: text strings encoded in HTML are digital objects and therefore a focused collection of those – a website – is a digital library; digital images are digital objects and therefore any mobile device with a camera contains a digital library; library OPACs and discovery platforms are digital libraries; each Amazon Kindle is a digital library; Wikipedia is a digital library.Digital Library

Due in part to the ever-changing, ephemeral, and ethereal nature of digital information, any rigorous definition of ‘digital library’ will be insufficient. Digital libraries take too many disparate forms for any one definition to be meaningful. Accordingly, a list of real examples and extrapolation of their shared characteristics may be the best ‘definition’ possible. And so:

A stab at a non-exhaustive list of things that one might call a ‘digital library’ in a LIS work environment:

  • Collections of digitised content. Including but not limited to:

◦       Archive collections

  • The British Library/Qatar Foundation Partnership’s India Office Records component

◦       Manuscript collections

◦       Image content

◦       Audio content

◦       Video content

  • Born-digital collections. Including but not limited to:

◦       Institutional repositories

◦       Publisher sites for aggregated electronic content

◦       Commercial ebook vendor platforms

Bonus list of things that are pretty much digital libraries but aren’t considered as such in LIS for cultural and/or legal reasons:

  • Streaming services for digital content
  • Torrent sites (particularly those for ebooks)
    • The Pirate Bay
    • Isohunt.to
    • Etc.

Even if we were to be stricter and restrict the term ‘digital library’ to only those collections which contain books (a term which would itself require definition), then we still have a mass of diverse platforms offering a range of digital objects. Most people in a LIS environment will be working with one or more of these digital libraries and so understanding and appreciation of them and the issues raised in working with them is essential for modern LIS workers.

However, note how many of the platforms in the above list are out of the control of libraries or librarians. Publication databases are created by publishers and commercial entities; repositories are created by academics; websites and social networks are created by software developers and programmers. Digital libraries are, by and large, not managed by librarians. If librarians are not involved in the creation or curation of digital libraries, then in what sense are they ‘libraries’ at all?

Digital libraries provide a good example of the changing role of library and information workers in a culture of digital content. Since we do not manage these platforms, we instead become experts on them: guides through the steppes of digital information. The major issue with this is that while LIS workers are aware of how much they know about digital library platforms, their users are not necessarily aware of that. Why would they associate JSTOR, a shiny commercial platform, with the staff behind the big desk on the other side of the library? How would they know to ask a librarian about digital copyright or FOI requests or off-campus authentication or ebook file formats or etc.?

Golf Sale

Even this new role is becoming reduced. User-focused design for digital platforms aims to make the experience easy for the user: to ensure that users can intuitively navigate a interface without asking anyone for help. Folksonomies and collaborative systems of organisation make top-down hierarchical organisation systems appear at best antiquated and at worst obfuscatory. Between these two strands of development for digital content, what role is there for information professionals? Libraries are left to point towards digital information – towards those who truly provide digital collections – like a person forlornly holding a sign pointing to a golf sale. We all know they could just be replaced by a signpost.

In a digital context, the word ‘library’ is as outmoded as the word ‘object’. Digital information is a paradigm shift and we are still in the process of modifying our language to accommodate it. Just as the digital things that we call ‘objects’ do not share the same properties as the physical things we call ‘objects’, digital libraries are unlike physical libraries. They are not contained. They are (often) not organised with any strict or logical system. They are (often) commercial for-profit enterprises. They (often) have restrictions on their use. They are not managed by librarians. Digital libraries are not libraries: they are information.

by Simon BarronSimon Barron

@SimonXIX

References

Witten, I., Bainbridge, D., & Nichols, D., 2010. How to build a digital library. Second Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.

‘screenshot3’ from Flickr user: Cambridge University. CC BY-NC 2.0.

‘Golf Sale man #2’ from Flickr user: Richard Cocks. CC BY 2.0.

Our next #uklibchat: Digital Libraries, Thursday 6 March 6:30 – 8:30pm

Our next chat is coming up on Thursday 6 March and our topic will be digital libraries. As we’ve covered digitisation in a previous #uklibchat, and digital libraries is a huge topic, we’re going to focus on born digital collections. We’ll talk about what sorts of digital collections we work with, whether e-journals, e-books, audiovisual collections, or web based content. What are the issues in managing these collections? How do users view them and use them? What is a digital library and where do we draw the line between digital libraries, websites, and databases?

Look out for a feature blog post later this month on the topic. Our agenda will go up for you to contribute questions about a week before the chat. We’re looking forward to chatting with you on Thursday 6 March, 6:30 – 8:30pm!

#uklibchat Announcement

A big thank you to everyone who have joined in and participated in #uklibchat in 2013, and for those who joined us last night for the New Year’s #uklibchat.  We have a few announcements to make:

Sam (@libwig) is stepping down from the #uklibchat team, and going on to become the President-Elect of SLA Europe. Major congrats are in order, it’s been great to work with Sam, one of the original #uklibchat team, and we wish him all the best in all his future roles! We hope to recruit a new member to become a part of the #uklibchat team,  we’ve made stellar choices so far!

We’re taking a one month break, and there will be no #uklibchat session in February, but we are sure to be back on the first Tuesday of March, and hope you will join us for it. More info about the session will be revealed nearer the time.

And for more fun news, we’re looking forward to our 3rd year anniversary in July  and we’re thinking of inviting #uklibchatters to join us for a picnic in the park.  Location is most likely to be in London, and we’re already excited by the idea of meeting everyone in real life.

See you all soon :)

#uklibchat Summary – Putting the User First – 7th November 2013

The idea for this chat came out of a conversation between @agentk23 and @sarahcchilds. We wanted to do a chat on something to do with customer service, but didn’t want to only cover old ground on being polite to customers and smiling nicely. We agreed that with an increasing number of library users accessing material virtually as well as physically, customer service is not just about empathy and interpersonal skills. It’s also about UX, web design and learning from and acting on user feedback and research. We hope the tweets in the chat have made you think about customer service and libraries differently! Please find a summary below – a full archive of the tweets from the chat is available here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgyKBIR780pOdHA0NXhXTk5OS2tpQzhFY3NDemFUeWc#gid=0

1 What is unique about your library’s user-group? What are their characteristics?

Most respondents to this question were from public or academic libraries, although we also had a prison librarian (@crdolby), a school librarian (@mariamernagh) and a polar librarian (@senorcthulhu)!

Even those coming from the same sector often had quite different answers  e.g.

Public library:

  • We are rural, right beside a river, mostly lower middle class, many seniors & job seekers @shelmick
  • I’d say our user group was not unique in a general way, but is diverse as would be expected for an urban area. We have large Asian and Polish populations as well as significant populations of Afro-Carribbean and Somali. @poetryghost

Academic library:

  • Our users are predominantly academic usually looking for something specific. Users are usually students, academics, support staff and we also get some traffic from the local community such as  local business people who want access to print materials and individuals who want to photocopy and browse stock @jackoliver40
  • High-fee paying students so high expectations @priestlib
  • Mostly foreign students and academics looking for foreign language material. @ludiprice
  • I work at an academic art college. Images are very important @donnagrundy
  • Students and academics, with very varied experiences of libraries and expectations of what we can deliver. @bookishkirsten

2. Have you undertaken any surveys or focus groups of your users? If so, did you change anything as a result?

Many librarians collected feedback via surveys, meetings, focus groups and suggestion boxes.

Discussion then turned to the actions taken as a result of the feedback:

  • National Student Survey and Course meeting result: – faculty specialised software available in library PCs, convenient for students after lab closed @uowkwani
  • We listen and action what we can, depending on what it is of course! an e.g. of change as a result of feedback through a user forum was to trial a brighter lighting in a specific study area@jackoliver40
  • We take the annual round of Public Library User Surveys. This year’s was on Children and Young People. The results do inform the manager’s plans and ideas, but I’m never sure quite how much. Especially when, as last year’s adult one, for one reason or another the results were not published to the public @poetryghost
  •  We do a nearly annual survey, and make some changes based on results e.g. more plug sockets for laptops. We ask in survey if there are any books the library should have and doesn’t, and generally buy them. but some suggestions from survey we will always ignore e.g. for coffee machine in the library! @bookishkirsten
    • Feedback is never same as “marching orders. ” We went to a 24/5 schedule after survey via easels of our undergraduate students about what they wanted. They wrote 24/7!!  @donnalanclos

Ways of dealing with low response and lack of enthusiasm in providing feedback were mentioned:

  • Both refreshments and feedback (actions taken post meet) vital to focus group success. @priestlib
  • We have tried but responses were quite low. We do a lot of informal surveying over tea and adjust services @senorcthulhu

3. Do you think staff customer service training is effective in improving things for users?

The main benefit of training given was ensuring a consistent approach. However, doubts were expressed as to how much could be achieved via training due to its blanket approach and the fact that some had inherently good customer service skills and some did not. More specific training (e.g. mental health awareness) was suggested to remedy this.

The book Success at the Enquiry Desk by Tim Buckley-Owen was suggested as a great training tool. (@donnagrundy)

4. In your experience, what are the barriers to putting the user first?

Common issues mentioned included budget; lack of strategic direction, lack of support from management;  staff shortages; lack of knowledge of users; resistance to change from staff; bureaucratic restrictions; laziness; poor communication and lack of creativity.

This question also sparked the following interesting points/discussions:

  • Sometimes we think we know what the users want and so design our services from that instead of the other way around @jackoliver40
  • Also mired in “we are a service” mindset but unwilling to reevaluate what “service” means @donnalanclos
    • Deftly put – & I find an unwilligness and/or inability for staff to put themselves in user shoes @priestlib
    • I find that less than just a sort of disconnect from the current crop of users. @donnalanclos
  • How is ‘user’ defined? Does it include non-users that are part of target population? i.e. are non-users surveyed? @lolinthelibrary
    • I always think it’s an odd Q. For me more interesting Q is “how do we *want* to define users?” @benymlee

5. What do you think are the good and bad bits of your library’s online UX?

Good points:

  • @donnalanclos said they had an in-house UX shop at her university. They constantly keep on juggling web pages, to make it quicker for find content
  • OPAC allows you to expand your search to our partner libraries. I also like that we are starting out in social media – meeting users where they are in the way they want.  @poetryghost
  • We’ve just moved to LibGuides, more flexible & options for social media  @databyatt

Bad points

  • Erm…not really having an online UX? We have a website that needs dramatic improvement! @senorcthulhu
  • Ours is very 1990′s. Current WIP is moving to open source Kuali OLE @ludiprice

6. What are the barriers to better online user experience?

  • Time to review. Resource, both financial and staff. Working with the technology that is available @jackoliver40
  • Lack of professional web design in libraries
  • A crippling reluctance to free libraries from straitjacket of parent org and let them create what users need @MyWeeklyBook
  • politics (small p) @ludiprice
  • Imagination @priestlib

7.What are the alternatives to surveys to find out user experiences? (avoiding survey fatigue)

  • Getting out and talking to users informally. Engaging with the user to listen to what the issues are @jackoliver40
  • Ethnography – and using already done studies as a springboard for policy, don’t need to reinvent wheel  @donnalanclos
    • I did ethnography of amateur web repository I am admin of, it was a fascinating insight into how users tick @ludiprice
  • Secret shoppers & focus groups perhaps, inaction on Facebook and Twitter  @databyatt
  • I try to chat informally to library users & non users in our organisation. It always elicits useful feedback @jothelibrarian
  • There is a lot of possibility with the web – pop up chat boxes on web pages, rate this page, blog post comments, etc . @libraryweb
  • I’ve looked at data and stats from wherever I could get them reliably to help target specialist services e.g. looking at age of population across area to target home library service (some call this housebound library service). I essentially compared and contrasted diff electoral wards on age percentages. Added in care homes and also sheltered accommodation, looked for day centres etc. to give a pic of where elderly stuck at home are @poetryghost

8. Have you tried an ethnographic approach to finding out more about your users?

  • Surely HE libraries could use anthropology students to help them with library studies? Could be a good dissertation project… @sarahcchilds
    • I employ MA students in Anthropology and other social sciences as my research assistants @donnalanclos

9. How do you deal with resistance from some staff to improve service?

  • Performance appraisals and performance management, one to one meetings, reminders, emails. Anything but losing your temper. @donnagrundy
  • I think you really need to massively sell the benefits and have a coherent co-ordinated message. you also have to be very clear about the aims and what you are trying to achieve not just “better customer service” + listen to people’s concerns @poetryghost
  • I’m not a manager, but I try to lead by example. Fortunately I work with fab super-motivated colleagues!  @jothelibrarian
  • Be persistent. Use evidence from user feedback. Keep repeating the message. Take action if needed @jackoliver40
  • The better the organisational culture, the more it supports people to develop and improve service.
    I write about my work/experiences on our intranet: makes good learning material & encourage others to share @jothelibrarian
  • Um… Be contagiously enthusiastic, bat your eyelids and smile a lot???? @ludiprice
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