WAGUL Technical Services Forum 2017: Summary

The theme of this year’s event was on practice sharing and networking.  In his opening address, the University Librarian, Stephen McVey touched on the changing nature of the world around us, with reference to changing nature and use of the buildings on which Notre Dame is situated and the connections to the changing nature of the role of Libraries and the roles of people working in libraries.

The morning was divided into three sessions, the first of these was a Practice Sharing session, which involved a ten minute presentation from each of the libraries on a project or process that they were involved in or had recently undertaken.

Practice Sharing Presentations

  1. MarcEdit: meeting the past, present and future metadata needs of the Library (Robyn Schofield, Notre Dame)
  2. Running a Library Material Availability Survey (Sonja Olsen, Curtin University)
  3. Centralised directed resources: integration of RL into the LMS Christine Hinsley, Edith Cowan University
  4. Evaluating print collections with GreenGlass (Bryan Chan, Murdoch University)
  5. Centralised Service Desk Service (Sonja Dunning, University of Western Australia)

The power point slides for each of these presentations can be found on the WAGUL Event page

Sli.do an anonymous crowdsourcing question and answer tool was used to gather audience questions about each of the presentations and these were explored and discussed at the end of the practice sharing session.  There were 14 questions submitted in total across the 5 presentations and these ranged from questions about the actual software used in a project to planned actions as a result of the outcomes from the projects.  The full list of questions from Sli.do are available on the WAGUL Event page

Networking Morning Tea

Following on from this was a networking morning tea loosely based on a ‘speed networking’ theme with the intention of breaking the ice before the third more structured group networking session. All attendees were asked to wear their work name badges and were assigned a spine label which represented a group they were assigned to, based on the roles and responsibilities they self-selected when they registered for the event. Their task during morning tea was to introduce themselves and their roles to peers from other libraries wearing different spine labels.

Networking with Sticky

In this final session, attendees were organized into groups based on the roles and responsibilities they had self-selected when registering for the event and were then asked to reflect on four topic areas associated with the group’s roles.  The groups were given an hour to discuss these four topics, take notes and then spend a further ten minutes transcribing the key elements from their notes into a Sticky Note application on iPads supplied to each group for use during the session.  These transcribed notes in the Sticky App then formed the basis of a presentation, which each group used to present their findings to the Forum in the final 30 minutes of the session.  The compiled ‘Sticky’ notes from each of the group presentations are available on the WAGUL Event page

Stephen McVey concluded the event with a summing up of the practice sharing and the networking group presentations and the theme that ran across each of these which was about collaboration through networks.  Picking up on these aspects, Stephen elaborated on the types of collaboration libraries might engage in and the pre-conditions for successful collaboration, including vision, knowing who to collaborate with and sharing.

The feedback on the event was very positive, 65% of attendees responded and of those 86% rated the event as very good or excellent.  This rating was also borne out in many of the written responses including:

“I think the presentations are very useful as they portray what libraries are working on and demonstrate what that library considers important to their service”

“I learnt a lot and it was great sharing ideas and commiserating on difficulties with people working in the same area as myself”

“It was the only event I recall going to where I was calling out goodbye to people from other universities at the end of the event. I found the networking aspects to be very beneficial and inspiring”

“This year felt like a new event that had a lot of thought and preparation around its creation.  Great work!”

A compilation of the survey results can be found WAGUL Event page

ShareCase 2016: Summary

The Engagement Initiatives: The art of getting to know you theme focus for the 2016 ShareCase provided an opportunity to explore library initiatives and projects designed to engage with students’, staff and community.  In her opening address, the UWA University Librarian, Jill Benn reminded us that 2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of ShareCase; so it was also fitting to consider the benefits it has bought to the fostering of engagement amongst West Australian University Libraries.

Following is a summary of the three theme areas from the day and links to the theme Padlets – which provide copies of the presentations, discussion points and further information and contact links.  Even those that couldn’t attend will be able to get a flavour of the day and further information on any of the great range of library initiatives introduced.

You can also go to the WAGUL Event page for the full program summary and Padlet Links.

Read more…

2016 WAGUL Research Forum

The 2016 WAGUL Research Forum was held on Tuesday 28th June at Murdoch University. The theme for the day was based on the National Innovation and Science Agenda. Constance Wiebrands, University Librarian of ECU Library and WAGUL Chair, welcomed 84 participants from WAGUL Libraries, CSIRO, and ANDS to the event.

The keynote titled National Innovation agenda and impact on research was delivered by Professor Chris Hutchinson, Director Research and Innovation Office of Murdoch University. Professor Hutchinson’s talk was very engaging and topical, he discussed quality measurement and reporting exercises such as ERA and HERDC, importance of non-traditional research output, engagement and societal impact, identifiers, data linkage, eResearch, data visualisation, and the role of academic and research libraries within the changing landscape. The keynote was very well received.

Professor Andrew Rohl, Director, Curtin Institute for Computation, gave the audience an overview of Research Bazaar (ResBaz). The first Perth ResBaz was held at Murdoch University in 2016, following the successful ResBaz held in Melbourne the previous year. The event aimed at equipping researchers with digital skills and tools required to do their research better, encourage collaboration and community building. The presentation has certainly lead the audience to consider different kind of research support and partnership libraries can establish within an organisation.

Library staff from WA University Libraries and CSIRO took on the challenge to share innovative research support services at their institution in 3 minutes. Topics included:

  • Curtin Research Journeys: Identifying Touchpoints Along the Way (Jaya Ralph, Curtin University)
  • Research Online Supporting ECU Researchers (Maureen Couacaud, Edith Cowan University)
  • Research Support at Murdoch University: a Story of Emerging Relationships (Joanne Richards, Murdoch University)
  • Researcher Learning (Jackie Stevens, The University of Notre Dame Australia)
  • Partnering with Researchers (Kylie Black, University of Western Australia)
  • Workspace: a Powerful, Cross-Platform Workflow Framework that Enables Collaboration and Software Reuse (Sue Cook, CSIRO)

The forum was concluded with a researcher panel moderated by Constance Wiebrands. Panellists, Professor Andrew Rohl, Dr Toby Burrows, and Dr Janet Richmond discussed how the Innovation Agenda affects stages within the research journey, pain points, and the role for libraries in supporting these stages.

You can read the Post Forum Report here.

Technical Services Event 2016

On 20 April 2016, around forty staff from the technical services areas of the WAGUL libraries met at Curtin University for this annual event. Curtin’s University Librarian, Catherine Clark, welcomed participants and noted the importance and topicality of the day’s themes. Catherine also took the opportunity to introduce the new WAGUL website, and was able to stay for part of the morning’s activities.

The first topic for the day was how the different libraries were managing monograph acquisitions following the end of the WAGUL consortial purchasing agreement in December 2014. Libraries have mostly consolidated purchasing with one or other of the previous vendors (YBP and Coutts), and are also using patron-driven models to a greater or lesser extent, depending on budget. There was much discussion about the best way to buy Australian materials, which are not felt to be handled well by the major overseas suppliers, even though these overall provide better workflows and better integrations with library systems than local suppliers.

This session was followed by a workshop on performance indicators for technical services. Different groups considered the questions: What can/should we measure? What is the ideal level of service? What is an acceptable or realistic level of service? As they relate to different areas of technical services work: monographs collection development and acquisitions, subscriptions collection development and acquisitions, cataloguing and discovery, resource sharing, and reserve and reading lists. While there was not time during the event to come to any definite conclusions, the workshop session led to some interesting discussion. The notes have since been circulated to assist with further work in this area.

The third session addressed the topic of collection development with a falling Australian dollar. All libraries are in a similar position in 2016, with sharply reduced spending power. There is thus a renewed emphasis on ensuring value for money, and making sure that that systematic procedures are in place to identify cancellations. Collection and collation of statistics through systems like Intota Assessment and Ustat has become particularly important.

The morning concluded with a series of presentations about electronic reserve and the provision of student reading lists. This is currently an area of significant innovation as libraries investigate and implement new generation systems, including Leganto and Talis Aspire, to streamline processing and improve the student experience.

The event produced a good deal of valuable discussion on each of the selected themes, with active participation from all libraries and across all work levels, and was an excellent opportunity for making and renewing contacts.

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.