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libraries@cambridge 2017 Conference

libraries@cambridge 2016 Conference


08:30-09:00 Registration
09:00-10:45 Morning Plenary Session

Introduction to the Conference by Graham Virgo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Professor of English Private Law in the Faculty of Law, and Fellow of Downing College


Keynote Address 1 by Dr Jeremy Knox, Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh

Digital technologies are emerging in ways that excite and trouble the project of education and the idea of the university. Networked devices, social media, and ‘big data’ analytics appear to embody the promises of ubiquitous access, global participation, and scientific innovation, yet also the perils of surveillance, corporate power, and increasing inequality. Navigating this terrain requires creativity and criticality in equal measure. This talk will outline a number of projects undertaken recently at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh that offer inventive, sometimes provocative, responses to the challenges of technology in higher education and the cultural sector. Covering the themes of ‘openness’, ‘automation’, and ‘cultural value’, this talk will outline work with: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), offering free access to resources and teaching from the university; automated teaching using social media, via the ‘teacherbot’ project; playful student-centred data analysis, in the form of the Learning Analytics Report Card, or ‘LARC’ and mobile engagements with gallery exhibitions, from the Artcasting project. Discussion of this research will emphasise opportunities for innovative approaches to educational technology that respond productively to the instrumentalism and desire for efficiency that dominate the field.

10:45-11:30 Tea/Coffee (and poster viewing)
11:30-12:10 Parallel Sessions 1 (choose 1 from A, B, C and D):

A. Andor Vince, Collections Care Officer, Fitzwilliam Museum

Superheroes and emergency response: how well are we prepared for a disaster?

Emergency planning is an essential part of collections care in libraries. But what does this mean in practice? This practical lecture will look at how librarians can prepare themselves to respond to a disaster effectively and with confidence.

B. David Marshall, FutureLib Project Coordinator, Cambridge University Library

The Tracker Project

The FutureLib Programme Team will talk about the findings of their Tracker Project, which is currently exploring the ways in which users navigate Cambridge libraries, and the University as a whole. In this session, they will share video footage (recorded through the use of digital eyetracking glasses), showing where students looked while trying to find books and other resources. There will also be a focus on the research process itself, the interim analysis and prototype designs that were arrived at on the basis of this.


C. Rachel Walker, SGR Librarian at Schlumberger Gould Research, Cambridge

Moving into Knowledge Management

Having recently moved into a corporate library, in this talk Rachel will look at the challenges faced so far in taking on a role which involves knowledge management. We will look at what knowledge management is, why it is a huge challenge for companies today, and what she has learned in her first four months in the role.


D. Failure panel (Martin French, Senior Library Assistant, SPRI; Claire Sewell, Research Skills Coordinator, Cambridge University Library; Marta Teperek, Research Data Facility Manager, Cambridge University Library)

In this panel discussion, the speakers will talk about failure in various professional and academic contexts. In a world where success stories are shared, how do we equip ourselves for when our own tasks and projects take a downward turn? We will be sharing stories, discussing how to cope with a failing project or task, and inviting contributions from session attendees.

12:20-13:00 Parallel Sessions 2 (choose 1 from A, B, C and D):

A. Kirsty Wayland, Disability Development Consultant, and Rachel Demery, Disability Advisor, at the Disability Resource Centre, University of Cambridge

Welcoming disabled students in the library

This interactive parallel session will consider how we make our libraries welcoming to disabled students and create the environment which encourages them to use and enjoy them. Kirsty and Rachel, who have between them more than 30 years of experience in supporting disabled students in higher education (and have held library tickets for even longer!), will discuss and share good practice on ways to enhance and work with the environments we are in to make it a comfortable experience for all involved. They will consider practical examples that can be put into practice straight away.


B. Bridget Warrington, Managing Conservator, Cambridge Colleges’ Conservation Consortium, University of Cambridge

The hidden heroes in special conservation

In 2017, the Conservation Consortium celebrates 30 years since its foundation, and the studio continues to carry out a huge variety of conservation and preservation work for its twelve member colleges. Three full-time conservators work on library and archive items including medieval manuscripts, rare printed books, ancient parchment and modern twentieth-century archive collections. This session will introduce the amazing skilled craftsmanship of the past that we uncover in any conservation day. It will outline some recent projects and how we take an item forward by devising an individual conservation treatment plan to ensure longevity while always retaining its integrity.


C. Lesley Gray, Head of Digital Services, Cambridge University Library, and Oladeji Famakinwa, Cambridge Libraries Connect Programme, Cambridge University Library

Searching in the 21st Century

Searching is what our users do daily in a vast range of interfaces and systems with which they interact daily - it is not just something that they do in libraries or when using library catalogues or discovery systems. This session will take you under the hood of iDiscover to look at how it works, how it is built, and how it has been designed to meet the needs of 21st century library users.


D. Masud Khokhar, Head of Digital Innovation, Lancaster University Library

Library Innovation

During the last two years, Lancaster University Library has taken a transformative approach towards building innovation in its approach and practices. They have adopted an ethos of collaboration, both internally within the institution and beyond that. This is an ethos that empowers them to actively seek partnerships, inspires creativity, develops leadership and builds confidence. Innovation is developed internally in multiple ways, through models like forced innovation, exploratory innovation, randomised innovation and empower innovation, with results both surprising and inspiring. Examples include student-led innovation events, institution-wide research and learning projects, learning how our users use the Library building by mapping their journeys, enticing academic behaviour by campus-wide gamification, linking with local schools using Minecraft as a platform, promoting our special collections via innovative channels, and development of key projects on the topics of Open Access and Research Data Management. Come along to hear about the strong culture of staff empowerment and technical experimentation which is a key part of Lancaster University Library’s ideology towards building an innovative library of the future.

13:00-14:00 Lunch (and poster viewing)
14:00-15:30 Afternoon Plenary Session:

Keynote Address 2 by Dr Emma Coonan, Information Skills Librarian at the University of East Anglia, Norwich

The underside of the carpet: can superheroes fail?

We spend our lives trying to outgrow our mistakes and distance ourselves from our failures. But learning always involves getting it wrong before you start getting it right, and it may be that what we try to sweep under the carpet is a more important – and more positive – part of our professional lives than we like to admit. In this keynote, Emma Coonan will talk about the part that failure has played in her career as a librarian and journal editor, consider whether right answers are always a good thing, and ask what happens if we look closely at our ideals.

15:30-16:15 Tea/Coffee (and poster viewing)

Ange Fitzpatrick, Judge Business School: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility* *Or the nagging suspicion that I'm only Superman due to some kind of clerical error

Meg Westbury, Wolfson College: Collaborative information practices and libraries: a pilot study

Jo Milton, Medical Library: The development of a super book fetching service

Emma Etteridge, Engineering: The Moodle: Origins

Jenni Skinner, African Studies Library: Volunteers at African Studies Library

Jenny Sargent, Cory Library: Am I a Library Superhero? Well, I'm not sure about that, but I've certainly tried to play Prince(ss) Charming to the Cory Library's Sleeping Beauty

Veronica Phillips, Medical Library: The incredible vanishing training room: teaching and training in a time of transition




Follow this year's conference on: #camlibs17