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