Monthly Archives: June 2014

Using Technology in Libraries Study Day

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to writing this up!

On the 28th April I attended the ‘Libraries for Nursing’ study day on Using Technology in Libraries. It was held at the Create Centre in Bristol which is a brilliant conference facility in a converted factory. I also bumped into two people I know from the NHS Midlands Regional Trainer’s Forum which was nice because we had a chance to chat and catch up, which also breaks the ice for others to jump in and join the conversation!

The first session was from Ben Skinner, Head of Library and Knowledge Services for Brighton and Sussex LKS. Ben was talking about the web-based tool he has helped develop called KnowledgeShare which is replacing the Library’s current awareness Access spreadsheet, but will eventually incorporate their Literature Searching facilities and ILL requests and log training and will include the ability for Library users to login online (using OpenAthens to save having even more passwords) to request these services and edit current awareness alerts directly. Because all of these services are centralised it means Librarians will have greater access to statistics, not just for time spent literature searching and training, but also for the number of current awareness emails sent – and hopefully in the future to be able to see how many of these were opened and which links were followed.

It was very interesting, particularly how they are branching out to include other library services, partly to recover costs of development, but also to help spread out the workload of uploading new articles for the current awareness features (in a ‘do once and share’ way). However I have to confess a little part of me wants to know how his current awareness Access Database worked!

Ben’s presentations can be found at

Patricia Santos, Research Assistant at UWE, then talked about their involvement with  the ‘Learning Layers’ research project, trying to find out more about Healthcare staff research and learning network needs (Such as how people move from their personal learning network to asking within their shared learning networks). It was very interesting, but of no direct interest to me: The focus groups have already been selected so we can’t participate and add to their knowledge and the results seem to be directed to developing a social network for personal development; which is still some years away (they are 18 months into a 4 year project) although a trial version is available at

Patricia’s Presentation can be found at

After a delicious lunch Georgina Parsons, Systems Librarian at Brunel University, then talked about how her library service has embraced web technology to benefit staff and students. This is not just limited to Social media marketing, but also to the staff’s use of iPads and related apps to assist in enquiries when roving and at the enquiry desk. Georgina took us through all of the apps and websites that they have used some of which I already use in work, such as Twitter and Facebook, where it was nice to see other suggestions for use, and others which I might consider such as Pinterest for sharing new books stock and general online promotion of the library and Chilli Fresh which Georgina uses to add reviews and ratings to the library catalogue. Some were tools she had used to develop their mobile friendly website – which wouldn’t be applicable to my Library Service as we recently transferred our website to a WordPress CMS which includes a mobile friendly version – or for Room Bookings etc which again isn’t relevant to my library service, but it was still good to see what is available for libraries.

Georgina’s presentation is available from

Nick Gregory from Apache Solutions came to demo their Augmented Reality projects – which was of definite interest to me as a technophile! They showed us some 3d explorable models used for selling yachts at a trade fair and one that was used by Sony to sell televisions – and twos medical one used for discussing infection and for exploring a 3d anatomy model.

It would have been nice to see some library/ library applicable examples of these – I used the break to show some people the one I’d done with our Library cards to show users how to login online and renew books and talked about my plans to create a video to show users how to use our new self service machine – which was of far more interest to the library staff as it was something they could see a use for and it was something they could potentially do themselves.

Nick’s presentation is available from

Following this we had a discussion Workshop so that we could discuss and troubleshoot each other’s experiences and problems with using technology in our library services. I didn’t take any notes from the discussion so I can’t remember which topics we touched, but it was a good way to end the day, especially how we were all still brimming with ideas!


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