CULIB - Cambridge University Libraries Information Bulletin

ISSN 0307 7284    Edited by Kathryn McKee, Mary Kattuman, Charlotte Smith and Kate Arhel

Issue 67, Michaelmas 2010: Professional training and development

CONTENTS


EDITORIAL

This issue of CULIB focuses on professional training and development.

CILIP provides a whole range of training courses for Librarians. But what are the benefits of being a member of CILIP? And does membership provide value for money? NHS Librarian Thomas Veale describes his experiences of the CILIP chartership process, and Katie Birkwood and Ed Chamberlain present their arguments for loving or leaving CILIP.

Back at the grass-roots level of professional development, Céline Carty gives us a preview of Cambridge University's first 'TeachMeet' for Librarians and Katie Birkwood gives us the low-down on Cam23 (aka 23 Things), an interactive Web 2.0 training programme for Cambridge Librarians. Petà Dunstan brings news of plans for a long-term training initiative for library staff across the University.

In our regular feature on what librarians do in their spare time, Nicholas Cutler allows us to peek inside the world of hive bees.

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CILIP: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT?

First, Ed Chamberlain on why he is no longer a member of CILIP…

As a CILIP Member of nine years and a Chartered Member for the past four, I recently resigned. I decided to share the whole process, including my resignation letter, on the CILIP forum. Presented here is a somewhat truncated version of that post, including the five major reasons why I quit, and what CILIP could do to potentially tempt me back. It also touches on what I believe to be major issues affecting the future of our profession and the skills that will be most vital to information workers in the future. You can read the whole story at http://communities.cilip.org.uk/forums/t/11967.aspx, including the original letter of resignation and a wonderful response from Bob McKee.

1) Cost to me

My biggest issue was the £184 p.a. fee, for which I felt I received little return. It's a non-trivial amount, and I'm not alone in this. When I speak to other non-members, it's usually the cost that puts them off. My institution(s) of employment have never paid my £184 p.a. It meant a lot more to me as it came out of my own pocket, rather than being paid for by a public library service. Here is some comparative data with average earnings versus cost of professional organisation membership fees from some fairly random professions in the UK. All earnings data are from http://www.salarytrack.co.uk/, and all fees data are from relevant institutional websites.

Librarians (av. earnings £24,103)
CILIP – sample fees 2010:
Associates, Chartered Members & Fellows earning £14,001-£17,500: £153
Associates, Chartered Members & Fellows earning > £17,500: £184

Marketing professionals (av. earnings £35,000)
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) – sample fees 2010:
Affiliate: £135
ACIM: £140

Civil engineers (av. earnings £38,000)
Institute of Civil Engineers – sample fees 2010:
Fellow: £325
Member and Companion: £250
Associate Member: £250
Technician Member: £100
Graduate and Affiliate: £171

IT professionals (av. earnings £50,000)
British Computer Society (BCS) – sample fees 2010:
Professional (MBCS) £95
Fellow £130
Chartered: £135

There is no maths behind this, but just by eyeballing the figures it is obvious that CILIP fees are comparatively high given our average wages. Compared to the British Computer Society, we really suffer. There may be a large difference in quality of service, but I doubt it.

What can CILIP do better regarding membership costs?

Rather than try to justify the cost, take drastic actions to lower it. We are not a well-paid profession: fees need to be relevant to wages.

CILIP needs to lower membership fees to maintain and increase its membership headcount. Ideally, I would like to pay around £80-£100 for an online-only service. That would be value for money. It would attract more folk.

If membership really is declining, how about a 'pay-as-much-as-you-can-afford' model with a minimal set of online-only services alongside or instead of those paying fees? Budgets could be allocated to commission articles and works depending on how much was raised annually. If people like what they see, they may pay more. Non-librarians may also wish to sign up, if what we have to say is useful.

2) My personal professional development

Chartership was useful to me as a reflective exercise. However, none of the material in the portfolio or the then 5,000-word report was covered in enough detail to be that useful. In fact, it felt like I was covering it, well, just to say I had. Furthermore, the goalposts keep moving. The following year, the programme was very different. I expect it has changed again since 2006.

My current employers are trialling a mentoring scheme and an ongoing personal professional development plan in the library. Cambridge University offers ILM accredited courses in management and first-class IT training to its staff. Cambridge University Library also offers an excellent set of in-house practical training sessions for staff and users. I appreciate that this is possibly very far from the norm of academic and public library services, but with all this on offer, why would I want to repeat the chartership experience through revalidation?.

The core skills I use on a daily basis (PHP, Perl, CSS, XML, Javascript, Core UNIX etc) have either been self-taught or learnt on the job. None of this was covered by my Chartership process, and CILIP seems to offer very little guidance for Librarians wishing to gain these increasingly vital skills.

In the academic sphere, chartered status is not required and does not affect my status and pay. In fact, to maintain it, I have to shell out myself despite the apparent lack of gain.

How can CILIP do better regarding professional development?

This is a tough one to call, as the whole sphere is so personal and role-specific. Ultimately, I felt I could do better elsewhere, although this is dependent on my staying with my current employers.

Certainly, I would like to see a re-focus of the core librarian skill set for the networked environment, in which we now all operate. In the near future, a modern information service could involve data curation and storage, online communication services and data manipulation, database design and potentially web application construction on behalf of users. Yet CILIP does not appear to be skilling a workforce to do this. Are advanced Boolean searching, Cat., Class. and Information Literacy really as valuable now as some in the profession believe them to be?.

3) My professional information needs

What my users want and what they think of us (locally and nationally)
Reports from the JISC, LIBQUAL, LISU, and those from my own institution give me this information. Articles and data on this from CILIP are too vague, too late and often seemingly dumbed-down for a general audience.

What others are up to
So many people in my sphere blog or publish in professional journals (Library Hi-tech). CILIP always seems behind compared to RSS feeds.

Technical developments
Information on software and service developments is too late, too sparse and not technical enough. I am more technically-minded than most library workers due to my role of Systems Development Librarian. However, given the move of published material to the electronic sphere, I would argue that CILIP needs to focus more in this area. Systems are vital to management and delivery of e-resources and probably to a lot of future services as well.

Job ads
I get the email list of job ads from CILIP, which is great. It's good that this is open beyond CILIP to others. But the website and email lists are enough for this service: I did not need the bi-weekly expensive shrink-wrapped publication. Which brings me onto…

Literature
I'm sorry to say that Update and the Gazette stayed in their shrink wrapping for the past year. I've got a mountain of blogs, RSS feeds and material from companies in the sector (Talis and Ex Libris to name but two) that keep me informed about the things I really need to know. I work in the academic sector, yet CILIP Update seemed to be 60%-70% public libraries in content. I noticed nothing for Information scientists. CILIP was a union of the LA and IIS. Yet the material for the latter body has dwindled.

What can CILIP do better with professional information and literature?

  • Go e-only, and cut costs and fees in doing so.
  • Publish less, but more often. I'm glad to see CILIP Gazette has its core articles online opened up at least. This is a step in the right direction.
  • Stop sending expensive mail shots for irrelevant training courses through my letterbox (well, they will now...)
  • Save the big stuff for other academic LIS journals. Maybe sponsor one and make it freely available online with membership.
  • Look beyond the public library sphere – academic and specialist libraries are out there as well.
  • Stop playing catch-up. The debate has moved on elsewhere from CILIP. The argument last summer over its usage of Twitter is a case in point (http://www.philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/2009/02/cilip---epic-fail.html). It sent out some bad signals (personally I don't get Twitter, but others do and that needs to be appreciated).
  • Publish elsewhere. Get articles into the Guardian media section and TLS / TES on a regular basis. A monthly column from a Librarian would be great.
  • Write more press releases. Don't be afraid to add a Librarian's spin on issues of current public attention. Sex up our issues and make them newsworthy!

4) Advocacy and Recognition

Within Cambridge, Librarians are probably valued as much as in any other academic institution. Yet our role and services are being constantly challenged by faculty and others within Cambridge (http://wwmm.ch.cam.ac.uk/blogs/murrayrust/?tag=lotf09) and deservedly so. We need to really get a grip on what it is we do now that is useful, and what else we could be doing to maintain our worth.

I would love to see proactive literature and targeted appearances in the media, proving how Librarians add value to an institution and what happens when they are taken away. Unless of course, we are not missed, in which case more investigation needs to be done as to why, what is filling those Librarian-shaped gaps, and what other gaps could we fill? One way that our value can be recognised is by speaking up as a body, and potentially by being politically active on matters that concern us. The ALA seem to be heavily involved in American legal and political issues.

What can CILIP do better with Advocacy and Recognition?

Get us out onto the news, into papers and onto TV. Challenge politicians about issues of copyright and licensing in e-journal publishing, and about perceptions of how children and students use the Internet.

Get involved in the search debate, the Google books issue and future of publishing debates at national level. Don't let publishers dominate the UK government's approach to Open Access. Engage in a debate not only amongst ourselves on some closed forum, but in the real world out there.

Be controversial. Our profession is undergoing great change and threat. Don't coddle them with shrink-wrapped full colour journals, but instead force academic librarians to challenge how they are perceived and how the skills and services they have could be applied in a relevant fashion.

With a sudden rise in ebooks and the switch to e-journals largely complete, large chunks of a modern academic library could become surplus to requirements for a cash-strapped University. Google Books and EBSCO between them could put a lot of people out of jobs. Let's face up to this.

5) "You have to be involved in CILIP to get the most out of it"

I often heard this throughout my membership. Yet with a personal life and job that often expands beyond work time, dedicating even small amounts spare time to CILIP to take part in groups and committees outside of work felt like a lot to ask.

I personally found that my time was better spent elsewhere. Once I chartered, I decided to put the time I previously used working towards chartership at home into learning programming languages. Out of the two endeavours, one has got me my last two jobs, one has not…

JISC and JA.NET supplier user groups (and many other bodies out there) are also vying for my time. On the list, CILIP ended up slipping.

What can CILIP do better regarding user involvement and qualifications?.

  • How much of volunteers' time is spent on CILIP bureaucracy? How many of CILIP's volunteer-run committees are really necessary?
  • Are the skills that CILIP (and library schools) encourage us to develop now the right ones for our employers, our users and the needs of a modern information service?
  • Where is the coding, the database design, the use of online data services, manipulation of XML, intelligent blogging etc?

Final thoughts on leaving CILIP

A lot of what I've written is probably not well-founded. It's based on my own opinion and point of view from not having been that involved with CILIP over the years. But CILIP's failure to engage me is perhaps the reason I quit CILIP, so it's a fair bet that others have quit or not joined because they have formed similar opinions – well-founded or not.

Perhaps the crux of the argument was raised in a comment to the original forum post:

"Here's the real key to all this. In other professions, if you resign your membership of the controlling professional body you are no longer able to practice that profession with all that that entails. Funny how in librarianship it doesn't seem to work that way. The fatal flaw, but you are leaving so how much does it really matter?" (from http://communities.cilip.org.uk/forums/t/11967.aspx).

In the academic sphere, this is most certainly the case. As I concluded in the original post, whilst I found it to be somewhat surplus to my needs, it would be an unarguable blow to our profession if CILIP or no similar body were around to work in the interests of Information Professionals.

Ed Chamberlain
Systems Librarian, University Library


Now Katie Birkwood on why she is a member of CILIP…

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals claims to be "the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers", which provides "practical support for members throughout their careers and speak out on behalf of the profession" (from http://www.cilip.org.uk/about-us/pages/default.aspx). It was formed after the merger of the Library Association with the Institute of Information Scientists in 2002, and had roughly 18,000 members in 2008.

CILIP is an easy, and perhaps worthy, target of criticism, criticism that it actively invited from those working in the library and information world earlier this year as part of its 'Defining our professional future' discussion (see http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/cilipfuture/pages/default.aspx). One notable contribution to this discussion was a post by Ed Chamberlain of the UL about his decision to leave CILIP. Ed highlighted the high cost of CILIP membership in comparison to other similar professional bodies, the lack of recognition of CILIP and CILIP qualifications in the workplace, CILIP's lack of forward-thinking, and its ineffectiveness as a body advocating for the profession.

I've been a not uncritical member of CILIP since I started my Library and Information Studies MA in 2006. Despite there being several areas in which I feel it could do better, I plan to remain a member for the foreseeable future. CILIP membership certainly brings me some personal benefits. I'm currently working towards Chartership, and whatever you may think about the value of the qualification itself, I think that the process is definitely helping my professional development. It's no bad thing to be forced to sit back and reflect on what you've learnt, and while I could do that without pursuing Chartership, having an incentive (and a mentor who'll make me stick to my goals) is no bad thing. As I become more aware of, and engaged with, various trends in modern libraries, I find the CILIP publications and e-bulletins of increasing interest. The coverage in CILIP magazines might not be great, but they do inform me about things I would never otherwise have heard of. The various special interest groups within CILIP also provide splendid opportunities for networking and professional development across a range of subjects.

My main reason, however, for staying a member is somewhat more aspirational. I feel that library and information professionals ought to be represented by a central organisation that brings together and speaks on behalf of various diverse facets of the profession. There are several excellent associations for more specialised areas of library and information work, but I think that we would be poorer as a profession without one main body speaking for all of us. CILIP isn't perfect, but for the time being I'm going to keep working with it in the hopes that it can be improved. You're only young, green and idealistic once, right?

Katie Birkwood
Hoyle Project Associate, St John’s College Library


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CHARTERSHIP: A REWARDING JOURNEY

Although I started working in an NHS library relatively recently, I was encouraged to pursue chartership at an early stage. Generally, I have found that the CILIP framework provides a useful, pragmatic set of tools for professional development. The process and support instils the confidence to make continuing professional development a main priority at work. An initial briefing comes from the introductory session to chartership hosted by CILIP. In the mentorship scheme an experienced professional provides continuing guidance with the portfolio. It is important to gain support for the process in your workplace. Since it aims to deliver service and skills improvement it should not require too much persuasion or guile!

Although my mentor works in a different type of library service, I feel his objectivity and knowledge of important transferable skills very much assist my progress, reflective process, and so on. Because of the many aspects common to all library services working with a mentor who has a different background may even be advantageous. Communication, needless to say, is as vital in mentorship as it is generally within information and library services.

The structure of the Personal Professional Development Plan (PPDP), a main requirement of chartering, is a set of short- to medium-term objectives with timescales and critically-assessed outcomes and impacts on service provision. Being action-oriented and outcome-focussed it is far from a simple tick-the-box process. It is what you put into it, and in that sense you should exercise a degree of freedom in thinking about how you aim to develop. I probably could not over-emphasize the importance of choosing objectives that you feel are worthwhile. However you wish to confer value on them, the bottom line is, it's your development – and you need to be fully motivated. Keeping objectives realistic and achievable, by using SMART goals (Watson, p. 47), will also maintain enthusiasm.

On completing objectives, and reflecting on their impact you may see more to do or that something else should have been done or how improvements could be made, all of which is part of the learning process. Through the PPDP the iterative and progressive nature of CPD becomes part of your work practice and contributes to a sense of real and merited steps towards professionalism.

You are also required to plan how you will participate within the profession. I have found special interest groups, such as the East of England Health Information Trainers, give practical interesting experience, good networking opportunities and are very motivating. The body of professional knowledge (BPK), a schematic diagram of Information and library work (CILIP), is a useful conceptual reminder of the big picture. Participation in the wider profession and expanding awareness of it are essential motivating factors and learning experiences.

Having embarked upon on chartership I feel it is a rewarding journey which I can tailor somewhat creatively to my strategic purposes and workplace requirements. With vision, it has the potential to make a great difference to the service and value information professionals provide in many diverse ways. It can reflect the wide range of strengths of new professionals, while also nurturing core competencies.

Thomas Veale
Asistant Librarian, Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Watson, M., 2008. Building your portfolio: the CILIP guide. London: Facet publishing.
CILIP, 2004. 'Body of Professional Knowledge'. [online] CILIP. Available at http://www.cilip.org.uk/sitecollectiondocuments/PDFs/qualificationschartership/BPK.pdf [Accessed 16th August, 2010]


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CAM23

23 Things Cambridge (Cam23) ran from May until August this year and aimed to introduce UL, faculty and college library staff to Web 2.0 technologies for library use. Cam23 was organised and managed by a hardworking team of six (Andy Priestner, Libby Tilley, Kirsty Taylor, Sarah Stamford, Emma-Jane Batchelor, and Emma Coonan) and was sponsored by Emerald publishers.

The beauty of 23 Things was that we learnt by doing. At the centre of the scheme was a blog maintained by the Cam23 team, on which, Mission Impossible-style, new Things to do would appear each Monday morning. Each participant then scurried off to try them out (rumours that Cam23 crashed Twitter were quite unfounded – it was the World Cup what did it!) and to consider their usefulness for libraries.

The Things were: iGoogle, RSS feeds, blogs, Doodle, Google Calendar, Twitter, tagging, Flickr and creative commons licensing, SlideShare, Delicious, LibraryThing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Zotero, marketing with social media, Google Documents, podcasting and YouTube, wikis, and Wordle, with a week for reflection built in half-way through.

Over 100 library staff took part, and 61 completed the course by the 31 August deadline and received a celebratory £10 book voucher. Everyone taking part created their own blog on which to record their impressions of each Thing. Bloggers were given the choice to reveal their identity or to stay anonymous. Although some were troubled by the rash of anonymous librarians, I found it refreshing to be able to read, and be read, without the interference of preconceptions based on personal experience, place of work, age, or appearance. With blog titles such as 'Bird Brain', 'Digital Sceptic', and 'the shy one's library blog', it's clear that personalities, if not identities, were shining through.

It's impossible to summarise responses to each of the Things, as for every tirade it was possible to find an equal and opposite love poem. LinkedIn probably provoked the quietest response and Twitter was the definite winner of the Cam23 Marmite award: we either loved it or hated it.

The most surprising occurrence during Cam23 was when Tim Spalding, founder of LibraryThing, responded to the (somewhat unflattering) comments about LibraryThing posted by three Cam23 participants on their blogs (http://npagelibrarian.blogspot.com/2010/07/librarything.html, http://librarywanderer.blogspot.com/2010/07/thing-14-librarything-for-libraries.html, http://maedchenimmond.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-understand-not-what-you-mean-by-this.html). In a similar vein, staff from Mendeley and Zotero contributed to several people's posts on the topic of reference management software. Suddenly finding ourselves read by the people we were writing about was an object lesson in how to use social media to the advantage of your organisation by responding to criticism in its place of origin.

On a less global – but no less exciting – scale, Cam23 has increased communication and collaboration between library staff across the University. It was from discussions on Cam23 blogs that the Cambridge TeachMeet idea emerged: it was agreed that a meeting to discuss communication between Librarians should be held at the end of August.

The programme has also seen the birth of new library initiatives, including the UL Tower Project Blog (http://vl203.wordpress.com/), and a blog and Twitter feed for Jesus College Quincentenary Library (http://quinlibrary.wordpress.com/; http://twitter.com/@QuinLib).

You can investigate the Things and the bloggers (several of whom plan to keep on blogging) further via http://23thingscambridge.blogspot.com/. There's no space here to mention all my favourite posts from the participants, but I can't pass over 'Miss Crail's discussion of marketing' (http://misscrailsruminations.blogspot.com/2010/07/m-word.html); make sure you read to the end to see some truly startling and inspiring library posters!

Katie Birkwood
Hoyle Project Associate, St John's College Library

http://maedchenimmond.blogspot.com


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IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME: THE CAMBRIDGE LIBRARIANS' TEACHMEET

What is a TeachMeet? If you'd asked any one of us that question two months ago, we would not have been able to answer.

TeachMeets are informal "unconference"-style meetings originally for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology. Participants volunteer to give 7-minute or 2-minute presentations, in any format, on an aspect of their teaching or a technological tool that they are using in their work. Emphasis is placed on "things currently happening in a classroom" and the aim is to create a relaxed setting to promote discussion and networking between presenters and audience, creating a professional development opportunity where people learn from each other.

Isla heard about the idea of TeachMeets from a teacher friend, wrote about it on her 23 Things blog (http://ilk21.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/teach-meet/) and wondered aloud whether this could be applied to libraries, given the increasing amount of user education and teaching involved in the librarian's role and the need for continual professional development. Several people commented on her blog that they thought it could and… Cambridge Librarians TeachMeet was born.

The organising team did not all know each other before their first face-to-face meeting at the end of July. However, we did all agree on the basic ground rules for this first ever librarians' TeachMeet. We wanted to build on the spirit of community engendered by the 23 Things programme, but also broaden it to anyone who works in any library or information service at any level or any job title willing to come to Cambridge for an event. We wanted it to be free to participants to make it as inclusive as possible. Finally, we really hoped to provide a welcoming, non-intimidating format that would encourage people who had never given a presentation before to volunteer themselves as presenters.

The Cambridge Librarians TeachMeet has a broad theme of "techie tools and teaching tips" and we have been promoting it as "librarians learning from each other". We set up our own page on the TeachMeet wiki website, encouraging people to share great ideas they've trialled in their libraries, talk about things they had tried that had been a huge success or, alternatively, things that didn't work and what they might do differently next time. We started by setting a date and talking about the event on our 23 Things blogs and on Twitter. Within a week of the initial meeting, 20 people had signed up on the wiki (by no means all from the 23 Things programme) and we had secured a venue. We were fortunate enough to secure funding from CILIP's East of England Small Grants Fund and the Cambridge Library Group to cover the cost of refreshments. Within a month, and without any formal publicity, we already have 40 people signed up.

There seems to be a huge appetite for this new style of professional development. The topics people have signed up to discuss so far include the cephalonian method for library inductions; personal response voting systems in user education; creating video tutorials; and transition skills for pupils moving from school to university. It looks set to be a great opportunity for people who work in different sectors of the library world to meet, network and get tips from each other.

The inaugural Cambridge Librarians TeachMeet is set to take place on Monday 27th September, some time between the writing of this article and the publication of this issue of CULIB. If you are reading this and were at the TeachMeet, we hope you enjoyed it and learned something from the presenters. If you are reading this wishing you had been there, then fear not – part of our strategy has been to put as much information as possible online. So the wiki has details of the Delicious tag and Twitter hashtag (camlibtm) which will draw all these resources together and will continue to be updated with presentations, pictures, reports and maybe even video after the event.

We are also planning to carry out a full evaluation of this first ever librarian TeachMeet so that we can use what we learn in our planning for a bigger, brighter and hopefully even better version for early 2011. Watch this space!

The Cambridge Librarians TeachMeet organising team are Chris Barker, Katie Birkwood, Céline Carty, Isla Kuhn and Niamh Tumelty and you can find out more or get in touch via the wiki http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/w/page/28149182/Cambridge-Librarian-TeachMeet.

Céline Carty
English Cataloguing, Cambridge University Library


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NEW LIBRARY STAFF TRAINING INITIATIVE

Most of us agree that training and professional development opportunities for library staff in Cambridge are crucial to maintaining the high standard of service we provide. The popularity of sessions that have been provided in the past few years, and the enthusiastic response in feedback, illustrate the continuing need. Training not only informs and educates but also brings staff together in facing the challenges of new developments. Attempts to provide such courses on an ongoing basis, however, have come and gone over the past decade. It has to be admitted that this has created a sense of disappointment.

However, it is important to try again! To this end, a representative committee have met to plan another initiative. The University Librarian, Anne Jarvis, is fully supportive, both in encouraging it and in providing resources. CPPD are also lending their support. Several lessons from past attempts have been noted for the new venture. One is that allowing staff from Colleges, Faculties and Departments, and the University Library to participate on an equal basis, promoting a sense of unity in the library community, is a clear aim. (The planning committee has two representatives from each group, and includes the Deputy Librarian). Opening the sessions to all makes any provision more cost-efficient and also encourages co-operation and the exchange of ideas across the University.

The costs of training need not be prohibitive. There is such expertise in the university as a whole that much training is a matter of sharing the skills and knowledge already present, rather than financing expensive outside consultants. Even amongst outside speakers, there are those who are willing to come without demanding a large fee.

After talking to various library staff groups to elicit opinions, it has been agreed to aim for morning training sessions only (as many of us can't be away from their libraries for a whole day!). Also, given the differing staff work schedules, providing some sessions in term and some in the vacation is the aim.

A section on training is currently being developed on the Cambridge Librarians CamTools site, where it will be possible to book a place for any given course. A session on teaching skills for library staff has been fixed for 11 January 2011, with an excellent trainer from the University of Northampton, and a course fee of just £1. Others on plagiarism, copyright and project management are in the planning stages. There are many other suggested topics that it is hoped can be provided in the future. More information will be available from the beginning of the Michaelmas Term 2010.

The initiative needs to build gradually, but we can hope that, with the right structures in place, and the support of all the library community, it will prove a sustainable venture.

Petà Dunstan
Librarian, Faculty of Divinity Library and Fellow of St. Edmund’s College


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LIFTING THE LID ON BEEKEEPING

Before I go any further, I should admit that beekeeping is actually my parents' hobby, although having helped them with it, on and off, since I was in secondary school, I believe that I am amply qualified to write about it. It is also a highly topical activity, with much media coverage having recently been given to the threats facing both the bumble bee and the hive bee. Beekeepers therefore have a very important role to play in ensuring the survival of these important insects. Indeed, it is doubtful whether colonies of hive bees would survive naturally in the wild in intensively farmed areas such as East Anglia.

Queen bee surrounded by workers

Like most bee colonies in Britain, our bees are kept in fairly traditional wooden hives, consisting of a series of stackable boxes surmounted by a roof. The bees can freely move between boxes, so that the brood is raised in the lower box, while any additional ones above this are normally reserved for honey storage. The 'combs', that is the sheets of hexagonal cells in which the larvae and honey stocks are kept, are built by the bees themselves, although we provide frames with pressed sheets of wax to get them started! The frames can then be lifted out and moved for ease of examining the colony.

There was, perhaps, a time when beekeeping amounted to little more than the occasional inspection to ensure the health of the bees, and taking any surplus honey in the autumn. Since then, the increased prevalence of bee diseases, and the need to control or prevent swarming in built-up areas has meant that inspections and intervention are more frequent.

The beekeeper's task therefore begins in the spring, checking that the bees have survived the winter, and ensuring that the hives are clean and in good order. As the queen bee starts laying eggs again, so the colony will begin to expand from around 10,000 bees during the winter, to up to 60,000 during the height of the summer. Early in the spring, it may be necessary to feed the colony with sugar syrup or pollen substitute to encourage it to build up in time for the main honey flows.

Moving into the months of May and June, a good colony of bees should be enlarging considerably, and storing plenty of honey. Apart from watching their crop accumulate, however, the beekeeper needs to be vigilant to the risk of swarming. This is the bees' natural way of starting new colonies; a new queen is raised, and the old queen then leaves with a retinue of the worker bees.

This can be used to one's advantage if you wish to make an increase in your number of viable hives, although it inevitably reduces your honey crop in the short term, and the neighbours aren't always appreciative of clusters of bees hanging in their garden! Most therefore try to control or prevent swarming, although it should be stressed that as bees essentially remain wild insects this is not always possible.

If all goes according to plan, you would hope to take your first crop of honey between the late spring and early summer. Once all the frames are full and the honey is mature, the box can be removed from the hive, having first been cleared of bees. This is the point at which you discover that beekeeping can involve heavy work: the weight of a full box, including frames, can be up to 20kg. Similarly the honey must be spun out of the frames using centrifugal force in a device resembling a large spin dryer. Although electric models are available these are prohibitively expensive, so many are still hand-cranked!.

Through the remainder of the summer, hopefully a pattern should develop with the bees storing a second crop of honey, while the beekeeper, ever vigilant, continues routine inspections. As the risk of swarming diminishes, the examinations focus more on assessing when the honey will be ready, and on checking for disease.

With luck, good management and favourable weather, a second crop of honey will be taken at the end of the summer, before feeding the bees with sugar syrup (to make up for the honey we've taken) to last them through the winter.

For those interested in learning more about beekeeping, the main reference is: A guide to bees and honey by Ted Hooper. 4th ed. Yeovil : Marston House, 1997. Anyone interested in starting beekeeping for themselves would be well advised to contact the Cambridgeshire Beekeepers Association.

Nicholas Cutler
Librarian, Computer Laboratory


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PEOPLE

The Arcadia Project has appointed three new Fellows: Harriet Truscott, Esther Bingley and Dan Sheppard. Harriet came to Arcadia from CARET. Her project investigated the wider issues involved in placing examination question papers online. She worked on developing a prototype of a system for retrieving examination papers online.

Esther is the co-founder of Graduate Junction – the largest online academic network set up for the needs of early-career researchers. Her Arcadia project investigated the information needs of early career researchers – focusing on PhD first years and masters students.

Dan's project focussed on techniques that would assist "mashing up" – combining content from many sources to create new services. Using teaching and learning documents (examination papers, reading lists, syllabi etc.), Dan worked on developing techniques to identify "mashable" components at a fine level of granularity so as to add value to navigating within the content. This would also encourage social networking around the content, through forums for discussion and recommendations.

We have new faces heading the Music department – Anna Pensaert, Head of Music at Pendlebury is the new Head of Music at the UL. The new Deputy Head of Music is Dr. Clemens Gresser. Clemens fills a new post which is part of a three-year pilot in which there will be one Head of Music, and one Deputy Head, across both libraries. After studying musicology Clemens worked as a librarian at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität's Musicology Department, and later at the University of Surrey, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and at the British Library. He joins us from the British Library where he was a curator. The UL's music department bid farewell to their Senior Cataloguer, Michael Jones.

English Cataloguing welcomed back Agnieszka Drabek on her return from maternity leave. Starlit Harris has joined as Intermediate Cataloguer (part time).

European Cataloguing welcomed their new Slavonic specialist – Helen Bach. Helen (popularly known as Mel) read Russian and Hebrew at Oxford and then went on to a Masters in Library and Information Science at UCL. Her many-faceted career has included teaching in Russia, working as a civil servant and working as a Russian specialist in the London library. Mel will be concentrating on Russian, Ukrainian and Polish (the three Slavonic languages currently taught in the university), but will also take responsibility for material in other Slavonic languages.

Jessie Salmon left to start an MA in Library and Information Studies at UCL and Rachel Marsh returned from her stint at libraries@cambridge. Warm congratulations to Eleonore Miguet on the birth of her baby son, Antoine.

The Tower Project has two new junior Cataloguers, Lawrence Brooks and Joshua Hutchinson, and a Senior Cataloguer, Megan Cooper. Farewell to James Harmon and Rhonda Arnold. Rhonda and Tim Arnold have left for sunny Hawaii where Tim is going to pursue an MBA.

ESS welcomed back Merina Tuladhar and Laura Waldoch, both returning from maternity leave. ESS bid farewell to Sebastian Verweij, Paul Johnson and Phiwe Mtwebana.

David Piper has joined DSpace as the Support and Liaison Officer, whilst the libraries@cambridge team welcomed back Angela Pittock after her secondment to the English Faculty library.

Ben Davenport and Rachel Kress have joined the DRA.

Priyanka Pais has joined the Entrance Hall team and Liz Edwards-Waller returned after her stint as Deputy Head of Reader Services.

Robin Payne has joined the Manuscripts Room as Superintendent (part time). The Bible Society has a new Research Assistant in Liam Sims.

The Near Eastern department bid farewell to their assistants, Erol Baykal and Gemma Tully. Roberta Borghero and Ignacio Sanchez have joined the department on a project.

The Genizah Research Unit has two new Research Associates: Dr. Gabriele Ferrario will be working on Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic material, and Dr. Amir Ashur will be working on Aramaic, Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic material.

The Darwin Project welcomed their new Research Associates: Philippa Hardman and Sally Stafford.

Congratulations to Rhiannon Cook of Official Publications on her marriage this summer – she is now Rhiannon Taylor.

Tom Pullman left the Squire Law library to work as an Analyst at the Unified Administrative Services.

Chris Pascoe has retired after serving the University for 36 years. Before joining the UL in 2005, he had been the Club Steward at the University Sports and Social Club, from 1974. He started at the Entrance Hall and then moved to the Map room. He and his wife have retired to Hunstanton and plan to spend their time walking, bird-watching, taking photographs and fishing.

We also bid farewell to Socorro Secker. Her friendly face will be missed in the Library Offices where she worked over the last eight years. She has retired to pursue a life of leisure – her agenda includes cruising down the Panama Canal!.

Peter Filby of the Central Science Library retired after serving the University for 45 years. He started at the School of Agriculture and in 1966 joined the School of Applied Biology Library, moving later to the CSL. It is not quite goodbye, as Peter plans to return as a volunteer.

Niamh Tumelty has moved from the Medical Library to take up the post of Assistant Librarian at the English Faculty Library. Niamh replaces CULIB editor Kate Arhel who has decided to care for her son Benji at home full-time. Kate intends to continue in her CULIB editorial duties though!.

Homerton bids farewell to Geoff Mizen, who retired in August. The new librarian at Homerton will be Liz Osman, who moves from the Henley Business School. Some people may remember Liz when she was a Graduate Trainee at Trinity back in 2004-5.

Candace Guite has left Christ's to become Senior Subject Librarian for Law at the University of Stirling. This is a part-time post which picks up a long standing interest that she has had in legal information. Her new office overlooks Airthrey Loch, which is a view that takes some beating!

Following the departure of Colin Higgins, reported in the last issue, Christ's College has appointed Naomi Herbert as Assistant Librarian. Naomi's post of Librarian's Assistant at St John's has now been filled by Ryan Cronin, a theology graduate from Cambridge. St John's also welcomes Sam Bailey, previously at Sidney Sussex, to take up the new post of Projects Assistant.

Stewart Tiley, Librarian of Sidney Sussex is leaving to become Librarian at St John's College Oxford from 1 October.

The new permanent librarian at Murray Edwards is Kirstin Preest, previously temporary acting librarian.

Sue Brooker left the post of part-time Library Assistant at Wolfson in March, after more than six years' service, and was replaced by Dr. Laurence Smith. Laurence is an archaeologist with several years' experience of working at the Haddon Library in various guises, and has recently completed a Diploma in Information and Library Studies at Robert Gordon University.

At Trinity, Ruth Bridgen, Library Assistant, retired in April 2010. Jean King, Wren Tourist Custodian, retired in April 2010. Bill Brotherston joined the staff as a Wren Tourist Custodian in April 2010. James Kirwan joined the staff as Senior Library Assistant in May 2010.

At Trinity Hall, Helen Murphy has started her distance learning MA in librarianship at the University of Aberystwyth.

Marta Machala leaves Churchill College to go to Oxford to do a DPhil, and her position as part-time Library Assistant is taken by Laure Cinquin, formerly Graduate Trainee at St John's, who will work alongside part time studies for her MA at UCL.

It's that time of year when it's all change for Graduate Trainees. Murray Edwards says goodbye to current Graduate Trainee Elizabeth Allen and welcomes Jennifer Yellin in her place. At St John's, Laure Cinquin is replaced by Erin Lee, an Oxford graduate. Christ's new Graduate Trainee is Charlotte Byrne, a music graduate joining them from a year abroad in France. Trinity's Graduate Trainee, Annelies Borsboom (now Van Wezel) was married in May 2010 and is leaving in early September. She and her husband are moving to Chicago. The new Graduate Trainee, Tom Ford, joins them in early September. At Newnham, Sarah Fletcher, Graduate Trainee for 2009-2010, is going on to full-time study for the MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies at University College London. Taking her place is Annie Johnson, who has recently completed her BA in Music at the University of Nottingham.

Simon Barlow has replaced Alex Saunders at the Haddon Library. Formerly Assistant Records Manager at the British Library, Simon is a qualified librarian who is currently considering chartership options. He is also a keen scuba diver.

The Classics Faculty welcomes their new graduate trainee Rebecca Woods, a graduate in Modern Languages from the University of Sheffield. Away from the library, Rebecca is a cricket umpire.

The Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies Library has appointed Steven Campion as their new Junior Library Assistant. Steven joins the PPSI Faculty library after successful completion of an MSc in Zooarchaeology.

CULIB would like to congratulate all 61 librarians who completed Cam23, and give special mention to those who received awards at the closing ceremony on 2nd September: Christine Alexander (Best Blog), Helen Murphy (Best Blog Post), Katie Birkwood (Peer Support Award); Lesley Read (Progress Award); and Sarah Fletcher (Best Blog Title).


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