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Knitted planes, J. B. Priestley’s shirt and Iris Murdoch’s beer mat collection – experiencing the “Discovering collections, discovering communites”conference (part 2)

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Secret Garden, Library of Birmingham

In my last post I talked about the Social Media panel I attended at the Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities conference held in Birmingham (29-30th Oct).  After a networking lunch where I mostly stood on the edge and talked to my friend (I had very blocked ears at this event and trying to hear people in a noisy room was really difficult), I went to the “Demonstrating the impact of collections” panel (5).

We all want impact, and we are all looking for ways to demonstrate our impact, especially to those higher up the food chain, so this seemed like a good panel to attend.

First up was Katie Giles talking about “Widening the Arc of friendship: exploring letters from Iris Murdoch and Phillipa Foot with the local community”.  Kingston University’s Centre for Iris Murdoch Studies  and Archives and Special Collections acquired over 200 letters from Murdoch to her friend and fellow philosopher Philippa Foot that covered a period of 40 years. The centre already had a large collection of letters and other items associated with Murdoch (such as her beer mat collection!), but decided to use this new acquisition in a community project, opening up the letters to non-academics and people who would never normally use their collections.

The letters arrived in a red canvas bag, in which they had been housed all along, and this red bag became a symbol for the project. The letters ranged from decorative airmail letters to postcards, and included a sketch ‘the dog of happiness’. They approached a variety of different groups within the local community, such as local schools, Age Concern Kingston, Carers, and Adults with Learning Difficulties in Kingston, and ended up with an age range of participants from 10 to 83 years old!  They devised certain activities tailored to the participants, but ensured that all groups were given a visit to the archives.  A particular challenge they overcame was working with adults with very low levels of literacy, but still successfully engaging them in a project centred round letters from a novelist.

Top tips learnt from the project:

1) Always talk to experts – different groups of people have different needs, so talk to the ‘experts’, the carers etc who normally work with these groups, and find out how best to engage with people.  Don’t assume you know best!

2) Be adaptable and think on your feet.

3) Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Next up Kirsty Patrick (Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex) talked about “Mass observation behind bars: building collections with the prisoner community”.

The Mass observation archive captures what every day life in Britain is like. The first round of investigations took place between 1937-1950s and involved volunteers sitting in pubs and cafes watching and taking notes about people, as well as a panel of volunteer writers who completed surveys.  Newer material has been collected since 1981, although they no longer ask volunteers to ‘spy’ on people in public places!  There is also the ‘12th May’ project – in 1937 Mass Observation called on people to keep a diary of everything they did that day (which was George VI’s Coronation day), this project has been repeated since 2010, and anyone can get involved.

At the archive they are trying to widen participation in this project and want to reach sections of society who would not normally get involved.  Due to this they have reached out to community groups, disability charities and prisoners.  In 2013 the Mass Observation project went behind bars at Lewes Prison, and took part in creative writing activities with prisoners.  Those who contributed felt that they had been given a voice.  Prison diaries were found to be very structured with strict timings due to the nature of life behind bars, but provided interesting insights to an aspect of everyday life in Britain not normally covered.

Both these two papers showed imaginative projects working with diverse sections of local communities and demonstrated that archives are not just for academics and specialists.

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Ceiling of Shakespeare Memorial Room, Library of Birmingham

The final paper in this panel was “Valuing the archives: from non-market valuation to input-output analysis” presented by Lertchai Wasananikornkulchai (University of Glasgow) and based on research he is currently undertaking. I admit some of this did go over my head a bit as he discussed various economic models for demonstrating the value of archives.  But a useful exercise in attempting to show that input-output analysis is a better model for smaller institutions and archives to use.

 

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Knitted planes, J. B. Priestley’s shirt and Iris Murdoch’s beer mat collection – experiencing the “Discovering collections, discovering communites”conference (part 1)

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Library of Birmingham

Over two days at the end of October (29-30th Oct, 2014) I was attending and speaking at the RLUK ‘Discovering collections discovering communities’ conference in Birmingham.  A gathering of archivists, museum staff,  librarians and academics it was a fascinating experience.  Building on a previous conference that had looked at ‘Enhancing impact, inspiring excellence; collaborative approaches between archives and universities‘ that had taken place the year before, this event focussed on cross-sector collaboration and the impact this could have.

There were a variety of panels to choose from on the first day, and the ones I attended all proved to be fascinating, albeit mostly not directly relevant to my job.  Although I was speaking about a special collection, and collaboration with academics and clinicians, I am a cataloguer and this isn’t the main part of my role.  Most of the speakers I heard appeared to be archivists rather than librarians, and I think the focus of the conference tended to be on archives.  This didn’t matter though, as all the papers were really interesting, and lessons learned about archive collections can also be applied to special collections in libraries.

The first panel (3) I attended was on “Social media: virtual collecting and the new frontier of discovery?”, and this was probably the panel I felt I could relate to most directly as I blog, tweet, and use Pinterest (all for work purposes as well as personal). First up was Simon Demissie from the National Archives discussing popular Twitter feeds such as the @Theretronaut and @HistoryinPics who have large followings and utilise historical images without really paying attention to referencing and copyright.  As librarians, archivists and historians we will probably feel distinctly uncomfortable about this.  Demissie however, whilst acknowledging this problem, also believed that as professionals we had a lot to learn from these kind of feeds and sites, especially if we wanted to engage with audiences in a similar way. He focused on the @ukwarcabinet feed which utilises cabinet papers from the National Archives to provide a narrative of the Second World War.  This has been very successful, especially around the 70th anniversary of D Day, but ultimately may prove to be unsustainable due to the level of work entailed to provide accurate referencing and metadata.  Demissie provided a lot of food for thought on this topic.

Next up was Alison Cullingford, University of Bradford, and author of The Special Collections Handbook.  I have heard a lot about Cullingford and her projects in the past, but this was my first chance to hear her speak and meet her in the flesh (not just on Twitter), and I was not disappointed.  This was the paper where we met J. B. Priestley’s shirt, wrapped in a bag and ‘fresh’ from The Mayfair Laundry, and appearing on the 100 Objects Bradford blog.

Cullingford looked at how for early adopters social media has  matured into an ideal way of promoting special collections, although there are many of people out there who are still very wary of using it.  Using the 100 Object Bradford blog project as a case study she explored how they had used it, what the benefits were, and what lessons they had learned.  For example, it is a good place to address popular enquiries, using the information that people were already asking for.

As an aside Cullingford mentioned St Andrews special collections blog Echoes from the vault which has been running a project using ‘How to’ books as a starting point for blog posts. Great idea!

The final speaker in this session was Peter Findlay (JISC) talking about using and contributing to Wikipedia as a way of promoting collections and project work. At JISC they have a Wikipedian ambassador who is embedded in the community and helping to challenge the notion that Wikipedia is inaccurate and not a source to use.

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Library of Birmingham

He pointed out that every time a project is funded a new web resource is often created that usually ends up being just another fragmented silo of information; and that we should be thinking about working more closely with big platforms like Wikipedia to share knowledge and images.

I really enjoyed this first panel and it set me in good stead for the rest of the conference.

(Further posts to follow)

 

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Celebrating librarians on the printed page

How, as librarians, do we measure the impact of the staff development activities we pursue? This is a thorny issue which we are always trying to resolve in our Staff Development & Engagement Group.  When people attend conferences they have to fill in a feedback form (although many forget to!), and they are invited to write about their experience in our SDEG newsletter.  So we have opportunities to feedback to our colleagues, and share what we have learned – but measuring impact? If anyone has any bright ideas on this issue I’d love to hear them, as asking people six months later how their attendance at a training session has improved their work doesn’t usually yield any useful results (if any results at all!). 

While discussing performance metrics and the like at our last meeting we also touched on the issue of personal professional achievements.  Staff gain qualifications, present at conferences, and publish their work – but most of the time this passes almost unnoticed, except perhaps by a few colleagues or a line manager.  Surely these are the kind of things that should also be shared and be celebrated – they are steps on the way to ‘high visibility’ librarianship – but there are times when the wider world of librarianship might know what you have done, and yet the person sat opposite you is unaware.  Many of us don’t like to shout about our achievements, we are too modest/shy/embarrassed/don’t want to look like we are boasting/don’t think anyone will be interested etc etc. 

For the next issue of our newsletter the focus will be on celebrating achievements, and most specifically on those who have published in the last year.  A call out across the library service yielded several results (and of course we are still reliant on people letting us know), but hopefully we will be sharing details to a wider internal audience, and this may also encourage others to take steps to write up their projects too.  We are also trying to track down those who have gained qualifications and won awards – so many people seem to hide their light under a bushel when they should be proud of what they have achieved – and we should be proud of our colleagues too.

My own publications can be found listed on academia.edu

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Smug tweaking, shrinking cataloguers, and the corridor of uncertainty: CILIP Cataloguing & Indexing Group conference 2012

Although I am sure others will blog about #CIG12 in a more indepth manner*  I just wanted to express my delight about the excellent conference that took place earlier this week in Sheffield.  Two days packed full of thought provoking presentations, 25 speakers and just over 100 attendees; at times my brain was hurting, and I felt weighed down with concern about the things I didn’t know but really should; whilst at other moments I felt proud to be a cataloguer, and inspired to tackle new things.

There were four themed sessions spread out over the two days; Working with new standards, Working co-operatively, New challenges for cataloguers; and Developing working practices.  RDA, as to be expected, was a key issue to be talked about.  Celine Carty brought us updates from the ALA conference, and managed to succinctly condense 5 days into one talk.  It was extremely useful hearing about the view from across the pond, and she also gave us a great handout of links too!

There was quite a contrast between this conference and the last CIG conference in 2010 with

Keen attendees ready & waiting

attitudes to RDA, from what I can remember of two years ago, most people in the room weren’t really sure about how they would be tackling RDA, and were waiting for guidance from someone else.  This time round a good 50% of the audience were actively preparing for RDA, were devising training sessions for their staff (or looking for online material they could use), or were very aware of what work they had to do.  I also don’t think that anyone in the room was thinking of it as ‘Retirement Day Approaching’.  Celine Carty passed on some take home messages; things like “its now when not if” and “evolution not revolution”, she also commented that actually it can be quite good not to be the trailblazers.  While the rules are still being refined, and problems still being ironed out, its quite nice to be able to learn from what is happening in the US.  Stuart Hunt also gave us some food for thought in his session on ‘Implementing RDA in your ILS’, and pointed out that as well as us cataloguers having to get our heads round RDA, that we also had a lot of communication work to do – we need to talk to system vendors, and record supply agencies, colleagues who work on the front line and those who are library management.  We also need to consider whether our systems are ready for RDA, there are new fields, will they display or be indexed, will there be problems loading data into the system etc etc.  Anne Welsh & Katharine White also reminded us that there is always change, and we already have hybrid systems.  We need to accept that there never was a better time to embrace RDA, although we should question everything; and that standards, materials, and even students are always evolving.

Conference venue – Halifax Hall

Although RDA was casting a big shadow over us, there were plenty of other topics to discuss too.  Deborah Lee introduced the idea of the proposed UK NACO funnel, a project to collaborate on creating authority files.  Traditionally a funnel is managed by one person which is a huge commitment, and there can be delay in training new members to join; this current project however is aiming for a cascade of training  and aims to get as many participants acting independently as soon as possible with a critical mass of people who are happy to train others.  It will be a great professional development opportunity for anyone who gets involved.

As we are probably all aware we are in the midst of a time of many challenges for cataloguers, as Heather Jardine noted – ‘change is the new normal’.  We are having to face restructuring and streamlining, changes in roles, as well as changes in rules and materials.  There were several presentations demonstrating how various cataloguers are adapting  to these challenges including Helen Williams’ overview of ‘transforming a bibliographic services team from copy cataloguers to metadata creators’.  Her team have had a growing involvement in their institutional repository LSERO; with a review of workflows, additional training and comprehensive documentation the team have become multi-skilled, and better future-proofed.

Shelf-ready reared its ugly head towards the end of the conference (sorry, I admit I am not a fan!).  What still stood out for me, (and is one of my biggest problems with the whole shelf ready thing), was the standard of records being supplied – the poor quality, wrong classmarks, e-book records for print records, etc etc and even some poor processing.  What kind of service do vendors think they are providing?  And since so many of us are guilty of ‘smug tweaking’* why aren’t there more ‘good’ records available?

CIG do great bags!

I haven’t mentioned everybody who talked, but would like to say I gained something from every speaker; I’m not a fan of cricket but really enjoyed hearing abut the Marylebone Cricket Club library courtesy of Neil Robinson, and the challenges he faced with revamping a bespoke classification system (and his corridor of uncertainty); and even though I’m not a fan of shelf-ready I appreciated hearing about experiences from Sheffield with Emily Bogie, and Warwick with Christina Claridge.  And I really should mention the High visibility cataloguing blog and Cat23 –  a project I’m keen to hear more about.

The conference was great, the people were great, and as a tiny aside I was extremely pleased with the range of cold/soft drinks available at break times!  I don’t drink tea/coffee, and wouldn’t expect more than a glass of water to be offered (don’t even get that sometimes), so a multitude of fridges with a variety of beverages made me very happy!  The cakes were good too…

I also really liked that there weren’t any parallel sessions – so I got to hear everybody; and the concept of having lightning round talks was good too.  Ten minute snippets of projects and ideas, although shame-facedly I over ran in my own sessions and got flashed the ‘red card’.

Break time

My only regret is that I didn’t get to talk to some people who are Twitter contacts (we need Twitter icons/names on our badges!); however, I did talk to people who I didn’t previously know, and that is always a good thing.  I’m looking forward to the next CIG conference already! 

* See for example @archelina (Rachel Playforth) and @stjerome1st (Lynne Dyer)

* Can’t remember who coined this phrase at the conference, so apologies are due!  However, I do have to put my hand up and admit that I indulge in this practice.

All the presentations are due to be added to the CIG website soon.

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Together we are stronger: attending the CILIP Career Development Group national conference

 I’d never been to a CILIP Career Development Group conference before this summer, probably because I’m not a member of CDG so hadn’t paid much attention to their conferences before now; but this year their call for papers really resonated with the work that CLIC (Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation) does, and so in conjunction with Kristine Chapman from National Museum Wales I put in a proposal which was accepted.

The theme for the conference was ‘Together we are stronger’ and focussed on looking at opportunities for partnership and collaborative working.  Collaboration could be between different sectors, within the same sector, between new and experienced practitioners, or working with academics, for example.

The event was held at a conference centre in Birmingham, and as to be expected from the theme, attracted attendees who were a mixture of new and experienced library and information professionals, and who worked in many different sectors. Librarians from the health sector were particularly prominent, alongside many from the usual higher education sector.

The conference was a mixture of plenary and parallel sessions; though with such a tight coalescing theme it felt a shame to have to miss sessions, as all sounded particularly relevant and interesting.  The key note speaker for the day was Liz Jolly from the University of Teeside.  Her presentation was entitled: ‘Developing our community of practice: learning together for a stronger profession’ and emphasised that professional practice needs to be underpinned by learning and research.  She believes that we should all be life long learners and reflective practitioners; and noted that the more senior one gets one should still remember to ‘give back’ to the profession.  Other tips she gave included the idea of networking with people who are different from you, and embracing a combination of continuity and change.

The first parallel session looked at ‘Sharing knowledge and experience’ and I chose to attend ‘Producing the evidence for effective evidence-based librarianship’ by Karen Davies (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).  She introduced the topic of evidence-based librarianship (EBL) by explaining that in many ways it had emerged from the concept of evidence-based medicine – something which I expect all the health librarians were aware of, but which many others weren’t. 

EBL is about looking at the best level evidence to inform decision making practice in librarianship.  We should also critically evaluate and appraise the evidence we have.

If we can’t immediately find any relevant evidence we should try looking outside the traditional LIS area, for instance education, management, and marketing are three areas where we might find comparative research or ideas which could be applied to librarianship.  If we need to carry out the research ourselves it is also worth considering collaboration – with someone from a different library, a different institution, or someone who isn’t working in a traditional LIS role (ie look again to education, management etc).  You may want to utilise a student (someone who wishes to do some research for their dissertation), though be aware that their aims may differ from your own, and it is always worth consulting with their supervisor about the project.  Even if you are doing the research yourself consider contacting a possible mentor, someone who is more used to the research process than you might be, and who can perhaps cast a more critical eye over your prospective survey or research plan, and offer you advice.

Davies also mentioned the Evidence Based Library and Information Practice journal, which is an open access, peer reviewed journal, and a good resource for research that has already been completed.

The next session was on the ‘Wider professional outlook’, and as one speaker had had to cancel we were all able to attend the presentation by Patricia Lacey (Dudley PCT) & Emma Gibbs on: ‘Developing your own skills network’ . Their talk was about the West Midlands Health Libraries Network which has a learning and development group who put on one day ‘Knowledge sharing’ events (ie staff development/training days).  They have a wide pool of hospital libraries based in the West Midland, and are able to utilise a variety of staff to run these event, with sponsorship to cover refreshments and venues.  They also have job shadowing opportunities available on their website – this is a list of libraries that are willing to participate, individuals make contact and arrange placement themselves.  In addition to the main Knowledge sharing events they also have a paraprofessionals group which focuses on training that is practical for the job.

The following session was the first of the ‘Collaboration & partnership’ sessions, and I attended the ‘Collaboration to show impact of information sharing skills training’ by Stephen Ayre (George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust).  His presentation was about a collaboration of NHS libraries in England (mainly Midlands) who have pooled together to create an impact survey which can be used across all participating libraries to create a larger pool of evidence.  They have been looking at the impact of education training on NHS staff, based on the Kirkpatrick Hierarchy; and have developed an impact assessment tool.

The second of the ‘Collaboration & partnership’ was where myself and Kristine gave our presentation on CLIC and highlighted the benefits of cross-sectoral staff development events. 

In the third and final session I listened to Rebecca Dorsett  (Royal United Hospital Bath) talking about: ‘Shelving together: collaborative working through different library environments’.  Her key message seemed to be that we should be aware of different practices in different sectors that could be used cross-sector. With her top tips being that we should explore other library environments, be willing to share resources, and work together to create unique projects.

In addition to these presentations there was also a workshop session, and an update on the CILIP future skills project.  Overall it was a very interesting conference and left me with plenty to think about.  I will certainly watch out for CDG events in the future.

All the presentations are now available on the CDG website

 

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Embracing an old friend: CPD23 revisited

In case you hadn’t noticed CPD23, the online professional development course for library and information professionals started running again a couple of weeks ago.  Although I completed the course last year, and got my certificate (hurrah!), last week I found myself revisiting the course in spirit, if not quite in practice. The Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation (CLIC) staff development group that I am involved with has decided that we would like to try and support staff in our local area who are working through cpd23.  To do this we are aiming to run a number of sessions ranging from simple meet-ups to perhaps some practical events where participants can get some help on areas they are struggling with.  Our first meet-up took place last Wednedsay evening in a bar in Cardiff (no, not a yurt this time) and was organised by @KrisWJ with details placed on her blog Taking for Binding .

We had a range of people turning up  – some had completed the course last year, some had started last year but got stuck, some were thinking about starting the course this year, and some just came to meet up and have a drink with other information professionals.  The bar had 2 for 1 cocktails on offer, and pretty soon most of us were indulging!

Lack of time seems to be the biggest hurdle for most people, both in terms of preventing them from starting, and also for holding them up, and preventing them from finishing.  I talked to the few people who had finished the course last year to see how they had managed, and this is what I found.

  • One person did most of the course at home.
  • One person did most of the course at work – due to their institution having a generous staff development policy which gave them study time they could use.
  • One person did most of the course at work – but in the lunch hour.

If you are lucky enough to have an institution that will support your professional development by allowing study time, then go for it!  I think most of us, however, will not have that kind of generosity shown to us.  At our meet up there was a group of people from one library who had started last year, and they initially all stayed behind after work one day a week to work on the course.  Giving themselves time to do it, but also being able to support one another, which can be really beneficial.  I think the answer to the time question is, if you really want to do the course you will find time – whether this means staying behind at work at the end of the day (or coming in early), doing it in your lunch hour, or doing it at home.  Not everyone’s situation will allow for this, I realise, but you might be able to flexible elsewhere.  One of the main driving forces, especially towards the end of the course, was the thought of getting a certificate!

To be completely honest, with cocktails in hand, we probably didn’t talk about CPD23 all that much!  Not as a big group anyway, apart from establishing who we were, and where we were up to; but there were lots of other, smaller, conversations going on that night, and I think everyone enjoyed the chance to get together, and will look forward to the next time.

Strangely enough, the very next day I spoke at the CILIP Cymru conference about CPD23 and my experience.  It is probably the first conference where I have actually been invited to speak, so I was very excited (nervous); even though it was essentially a re-run of the presentation I gave at the CLIC Social Media event last November.  It seemed to go well (I was in the same session as Jo Alcock, who was fantastic), and I’ve heard comments that there were people in the audience who hadn’t heard about CPD23 until my talk, and were going to go and check it out afterwards (so hopefully I helped ‘convert’ a few new recruits).

I will probably keep an eye on the CPD23 blog to see how things are going, and it might encourage me to revisit a few areas where I had problems last year.  I know one person who, even though they completed the course last year, is going to do it all again this year as she felt there were some areas that she didn’t focus on properly.  Now that is dedication!

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A summary of the ‘Conversations with Cataloguers in Wales’ event [Part 3]

So, we come to the afternoon session of the ‘Conversations with Cataloguers in Wales’ event.  For this final session we had two speakers, and then a discussion slot.  The first of our two speakers, Elly Cope, was sadly unable to be with us due to illness, however she did send her presentation and notes and so, using myself as a stand-in, we were able to hear her talk by proxy.

From UDC to DDC: reclassification at the University of Bath  was the third of our papers looking at a reclassification project.  This project had started in 2009, and was still ongoing – in fact there was mention that there was possibly another 17 years to go before it was completed!  The hierarchy of the library service at Bath was explained, and it was shown that the project was very Academic Services driven, whilst the Cataloguing team’s involvement grew along the way.  The background to classification at Bath showed that it was traditionally done by the Academic Services staff rather than Technical Services.  They had an interesting story (possibly just a rumour!) that UDC was adopted by the first librarian after the Second World War because it was too expensive to buy things in from America and they couldn’t afford the Dewey schedules; thus UDC was seen as similar and cheaper.  Over the intervening years the system of amending or updating had become very haphazard and at the start of the project they had 35 different classification variants in use.  A task group was set up to review the problems and suggest a methodology of tackling the problem; this included looking at the possibility of out-sourcing the classification.  They proposed that Dewey should be introduced across the whole library, and to use the Coutts shelf-ready service for new books.  In 2009 a pilot project was run on the 720s (Architecture), an area identified as having received a lot of complaints in the past.  The pilot took 22 weeks and 6,768 items were reclassified.  As it was deemed successful they decided to extend it to some other subject areas; however they also decided not to use the shelf-ready services and thus the cataloguing team were responsible for down-loading records and Dewey numbers.  In 2010 Management books had been added to the list of subjects being converted and there was a noticable increase in workload and some demoralisation issues (seeing new books come in as UDC and yet knowing at some point they would have to be redone).  The decision was made for all new material to be classified as Dewey, with the faculty librarians being responsibile for the previous editions retro-conversions.  Each summer there is targeted retro-conversion project, and with more procedures becoming embedded, and every item that passes through the workroom being ‘Deweyfied’ it is hoped that the project may speed up a bit (and not take the 17 years as predicted!)

The final presentation for the day came from Jemma Francis and was entitled Capturing & archiving Welsh government publications.  Jemma works for the Welsh Government where her role includes managing the Library management system, overseeing cataloguing and managing the publications archive which has all new Welsh Government publications added to it.  To capture the publications for cataloguing she needs to search the corporate website, as well as relying on colleagues for alerts about new publications, plus receiving copies of circulars and notices via distribution lists.  All these items are catalogued and there are currently 30,000 publications on the library catalogue.  The library is also involved in an archive scanning project at present, aiming to make resources more accessible – both internally, and to the public in general.  They have a project team who have 30,000 items to scan, at least a third of which are not already on the catalogue.

To finish off the day we had a discussion session, which Stuart Hunt, the chair of CILIP’s Cataloguing & Indexing Group (CIG) facilitated for us.  As was perhaps to be expected, having a room full of over 40 cataloguers and inviting them to join in a discussion, did lead to quite a lot of silent moments!  By nature cataloguers are often relatively introverted individuals (well, that is the stereotype, and we didn’t do much to alter that view!).  Stuart talked about CIG and how it worked, what it does for its members, and also how CIG Scotland functions.  The aim of our discussion was to see if there was a desire to form some kind of all Wales cataloguing group or forum, whether this be affiliated to CILIP, and be CIG Wales, or whether a stand alone group.  The general consensus seemed to be that, yes, we would like to have some kind of group – there was even a general feeling that becoming CIG Wales would be a good thing.  However, with a show of hands we demonstrated that only a relatively small percentage of people at the event were CILIP members.  Stuart pointed out that it was possible for people to join the Cataloguing & Indexing Group without being members of CILIP (pay a smaller membership fee of £30 to CIG rather than main CILIP membership), and then if individuals lived in Wales they would automatically become members of CIG Wales.  The only proviso being that the elected committee members (chair, treasurer, secretary) of CIG Wales would have to be CILIP members, but if we wanted any other committee members in addition to these three that would be fine (and they wouldn’t necessarily have to belong to CILIP).

It is very difficult to make these kind of decisions in a large group, and for the time being we felt that we could go away and think about things, and take up the discussion in a different space – on an online forum for example, or an email list or a wiki.  If we were to have some kind of group we would also need to decide what we wanted out of it – would it be easier as a group to put on practical sessions?  Even if we weren’t CIG Wales we could still liaise with CIG to arrange training sessions.

With this in mind I have set up a wiki on pbworks as an initial space to start discussions http://cataloguersinwales.pbworks.com/  I admit I am pretty much a novice at setting up/using wikis so if it looks a bit rough and ready, and you think it needs more adding  – then it probably does (well, please let me know/give advice!).  But please do join in the discussion (especially in you live/work in Wales).

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