Sharecase 2015

Staff from WAGUL partners enjoyed a great morning at Curtin University for ShareCase 2015, on Wednesday 25th November. Lynne Vautier, Associate Director of Learning at Curtin welcomed librarians to the event, remarking on the great legacy of Sharecase and the enduring benefits of this sharing to our professional development.

The theme of the event was Library Odyssey: 2015 and beyond. With the aim of encompassing all aspects of the library – teaching & learning, research, collections, marketing – the theme gave the WAGUL partners a broad mandate to showcase the most significant aspects of where they have been in 2015, and where they are planning to go in the future.

The theme was well reflected by the presenters. Zoë Martin from Murdoch University discussed the implementation of the Talis Aspire system for management of unit readings, highlighting the importance of being flexible enough to change roll out plans in response to client needs. There was a great deal of interest from the audience in the copyright management functions within Talis and its ability to link with the library catalogue and learning management system.

Ben Seabourne from Edith Cowan University discussed their significant project to improve communication processes with students by forming a devoted communications and team and by adapting existing core communication systems. This included a better use of the functionality within the iPoint Right Now system (for emails) and the Solidus system (for phone and chats) to categorise and respond to inquiries. Analysing and reporting on enquires to the ECU Library helped to improve the quality and response time and led to proactive changes in procedure. A significant change management process helped deliver this project successfully.

Karen Miller and Matthew Robinson presented a fascinating overview of the MakerSpace at Curtin University, describing their strategy, inspiration and the kind of engagement they have facilitated through this space and the community partnerships they have fostered. Attendees then enjoyed their own engagement with the ‘pop-up’ MakerSpace over abundant amounts of morning tea. After catching up with colleagues, participants returned to their seats full of inspiration and cake, with many sporting new librarian-chic DIY badges.

Librarians from Notre Dame, Sophie Farrar, Lydia Dawe and Bob Hoffman discussed three recent case studies at the intersection of research and practice. Sophie discovered that Notre Dame students typically use the library purposefully, and feel supported by the library, but have a limited awareness of services beyond Tier One or frontline services. Her research will inform communication and promotion strategies. Lydia had a great experience using Wikipedia as a 21st century alternative to a typical annotated bibliography assignment in an undergraduate health sciences unit, and found students really engaged with this activity due to their familiarity with Wikipedia. And Bob reflected on action research as part of an initiative to support referencing at ND, using this framework to step through a complex project of evaluating referencing guides.

Philomena Humphries and Lucia Ravi discussed the recent process UWA undertook to develop their 5-year strategic plan. This included panel sessions, interviews and focus groups with various members of the UWA community, research and identifying best practice amongst Australian (including WAGUL partners!) and international Universities. A resulting Environmental Scan Report was then synthesised into Strategic Directions encompassing student experience, support for education and research, engagement and operational excellence, which will guide the UWA Library odyssey over the coming years.

The final presentation of the day was delivered by Susan McEwan from the State Library of Western Australia. She demonstrated that issues and initiatives in the State Library environment are also relevant to university libraries. She gave a glimpse into activities and services in the State Library that are aimed at serving clients and ensuring the library’s relevance in the community.  For instance, a key project recently completed by SLWA was the implementation of the Encore Discovery Solution to improve access and discovery of their resources and ongoing digitising projects and a concurrent focus on working towards licensing conditions that support the greater sharing of content.

Overall, ShareCase 2015 provided the fantastic annual opportunity to share best practice amongst WAGUL partners, celebrate successes over the year and catch up with our valued WA colleagues.