UHMLG ’11

Good meeting in Southampton for UHMLG ’11 – I was busy on twitter, as were a few others, and the pdf of the  uhmlg-11-twitter feed is here in glorious PDF (thanks to tweetdoc)

more thoughts on UHMLG later.

.. so later that day.. I thought I’d reflect a bit on the presentations at UHMLG – the ppts of which I’m sure will appear in due course at http://www.uhmlg.ac.uk/. the most interesting presentations I thought were about the new competencies which would be required of librarians/informationists/whateveryouwanttocallus – the need to stop going on about the same old skill sets but actually go out and get the new skills that will convince the researchers that we can actually contribute something positive and constructive to their work, rather than just saying that a literature search is generally a longer, slower process than they can be bothered with. there were 2 research project going on, talked about by Antony Brewerton (warwick uni) and Rachel Kotarski (BL) which were particularly talking about this: respectively RLUK Subject Librarians: Skills Set Investigation and JISC Defining a new role: the embedded Research Information Manager I’m sure there are plenty of people already out there providing bibliometric support, bibliographic software training (I do this at least) and actually do involved as a member of the team? But where are they? ( pause, waiting to be inundated of “here I am” type responses!) It’ll be really good to see best practice examples when these 2 pieces of work are published in full.

The fabulous @glttrgirl was talking about another new competency: Digital Professionalism

I think this sort of thing is really interesting – (and is the sort of thing that will be address to some extent by Week 2 Thing of the CPD23 programme). There are a number of strands that have got me thinking – recruitment (are we actually testing on competence to carry out particular tasks, or do we just assume that they can do things like blog, keep up to date, take an active role in CPD etc?), traditional problems but in a new environment (eg bullying in an online environment, or helping doctors understand all the issues of talking in public (ie facebook or twitter) and potentially talking with patients in public)

and are we making massive assumptions about the level of information literacy in students/professionals before we start offering them additional support. We assume they know that plagiarism is a bad thing, but do they know it extends to images from the internet? Are students/professionals really aware of the permanence of virtually everything they put online?

and lots of other very good stuff – very very interesting!

2 other talks which I thought were very interesting were from Anne Gray, Knowledge Officer, NHS Milton Keynes (and creator of the MK Knowledge Zone) and Debra Thornton, Knowledge and Library Services Manager, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Both were talking about the services they developed to better server commissioners and managers in their trusts – a very different set of skills required, not least because there was so much tacit knowledge involved. It took attending loads of meetings, all the time, to ensure that these 2 librarians really understood what was required by the people they were supporting – so much grey literature rather than bog standard journal articles. Both services make a massive difference to the quality of the decision making in their trusts by providing the best/right/most appropriate information to those who need to make those decisions (and we’re not talking clinical decisions, we’re talking management/economic/funding/commissioning/etc)
Very very interesting services, one of which has already be cut off at the knees after funding was not extended after the end of the pilot project (yet, naturally they still wanted the service to continue!), and one of which is feeling concerned for its future since it sits in a PCT, and PCTs may not be much longer for this world. typical, eh?
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