After a hearty breakfast, we began bright and early at 9.00am with Erika Gavillet welcoming all the delegates and introducing the first speaker who was Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at the Wellcome Trust speaking on The OA landscape – one year from on from Finch: view from the Wellcome Trust. Robert added to our store of knowledge about OA initiatives in Europe and the wider global context, which was very informative. Moving on to the new, more heavily mandated policies for OA at the Wellcome, Robert introduced their new monograph OA initiative and also new strictures regarding licenses. Some slides considering the actual proportion of expenditure on APCs for gold route OA were enlightening. Robert then moved on to look to the future, with Europe PMS, eLife and the changing landscape of OA publishing. It was interesting to know that uptake of gold OA by country is US, China, Germany and UK in that order. A discussion of the future of gold APCs, both positive and negative provided food for thought. His take home messages included the fact that the WellcomeTrust still believes that dissemination costs are research costs, and that APC models must remain fair and transparent. A wholly engaging presentation. Robert’s slides are available here: Kiley
Stephen Pearson from Manchester University came to answer our query of What does a bibliometrician do all day? With an entertaining and visually attractive presentation, Stephen explained it’s not all data crunching and numbers, and took us through a typical day in his life. Much more of his work is taken up with people than you would imagine, and a day saw him spending much time out in departments and working with other University colleagues and fellow library staff. The role also encompasses tasks such as business engagement, internationalisation and purchasing, which came as a surprise. All in all, thoroughly engaging and interesting. Stephen’s slides are here: Pearson
After coffee and another useful session with our sponsors, we moved to the TeachMeet section of the conference. This is an annual slot of three short presentations from our membership on services and innovations they want to share.
Vicky Grant from the University of Sheffield started us off with her session on Learning health information literacy together: medical student and patient narratives. Vicky shared her experience of involvement with a highly innovative project to empower sufferers of a chronic condition (in this case, IBS) to work with medical students and to improve their information literacy skills to better understand information and manage their condition. Patient narratives make it clear that being able to harness information for themselves helped their feelings of ignorance and rebalance their position in relation to medical professionals. The library staff’s role was to educate the patients in understanding how to filter out poor quality information, particularly in regard to the internet. This was a fascinating initiative and an unusual one. Librarians don’t often get the chance to meet the patients and see what the power of their teaching can do! Vicky’s slides are available here: Grant
Jo Gardner from the University of Oxford spoke next. Her presentation was entitled Space Crunch: Developing and using criteria for the withdrawal of print journals at a multi-site medical library service. This was an ambitious plan to remove over a thousand metres of journals from two different libraries at the same time and still maintain high quality services to users – not for the faint hearted! What Jo highlighted above all was that preparation is the key. Plans for this final move began as long ago as 2009 and the minutiae and accuracy of understanding holdings information and format availibility was clear. I was particularly taken with the ‘cross of doom’ which marked out journals destined for new places! Emphasising the need for early planning, Jo also highlighted the importance of staff being aware of what their roles involved as well as setting interim goals to keep up morale and to make it to the final goal. Jo’s slides are here: Gardner
The final slot for the conference was taken by Tom Bishop, from The Royal College of Surgeons of England. The RCS are new members and so Tom’s presentation, With surgical focus…: supporting the disembodied at the RCS Library was a fascinating insight into a library not many of us knew about. Beginning with a beautifully illustrated romp through the history of the RCS and library, Tom then turned to explaining the specialist nature of his ‘customers’ with their plethora of specialities and information seeking time poor roles. The RCS has developed a highly specialised and focussed current awareness service which provides timely and pertinent information targetted at the heart of users’ needs. The success and usefulness of this service was easily demonstrated. Tom went on to describe further developments in the future for the RCS library. A wholly fascinating insight into our newest recruits! Tom’s slides are available here: Bishop
Betsy Anagnostelis closed the conference, and a jolly good lunch was had by all.