Moving on…

IMG_0074The inaugural LLS conference in 2012 was a celebration of the research activity undertaken then by Library and Learning Services staff at the University of Northampton.  Fortunately, the enthusiasm and energy demonstrated at that event have continued to drive our work and, inspired by the success of the conference, more colleagues than ever before have been bidding for funding, seeking collaborations and actively engaging in research activity to inform their practice.

So two years on, we are preparing for LLS Conference 2014.  We have a full programme of events, including research presentations, posters and, of course, the highly popular ‘minute madness’ slot.  As before, we have representation from all teams in LLS, and we hope to involve even more LLS folk on the day.

Since we are now hoping to make this a biennial event, we have decided to move the blog to a more sustainable platform.  We will be using ‘MyPad‘, the University of Northampton’s implementation of Edublogs, a WordPress based blogging tool.

This will therefore be our final post on this blog.  We are grateful that our readers found it sufficiently interesting to ask the British Library to preserve it in the UK Web Archive and we hope that you will follow us to our new home.

Thank you for your interest and support.



Promoting UK-Canadian relations

We have just had the pleasure of playing host to a fellow librarian from the University of Saskatchewan.  Virginia Wilson is over here for most of this month visiting and interviewing librarians who are also practitioner researchers.  Virginia came to Northampton having seen our conference blog and some other external presentations that we have given on librarians conducting research.

Unlike here, in Canada it is apparently the norm for university librarians to be employed on academic contracts and there is an expectation that they will conduct research.  In support of this they are permitted to spend a significant part of their working week on research activity and after six years they get the chance to take up to one year as a sabbatical.

Sounds good to me!

CILIP Update to feature LLS conference

Continuing our efforts to promote practitioner research and capitalise on the success of the LLS conference, we have been working on an article describing the development of the research culture that we are so proud of here at Northampton and, of course, how this enabled us to put on the conference .

We’ve just received the good news that CILIP Update want to publish the article later this year. Fantastic! (Latest news: A copy of the article is now available on NECTAR, the University of Northampton’s institutional repository)

Being mindful of our different audiences, I should say that CILIP Update is the membership magazine of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.  It is distributed to 17,000 CILIP members, many of them practitioners working in academic libraries.  In terms of potential impact this is definitely the tops!

LLS Conference blog to be saved for posterity

UK Web ArchiveGreat news! We received a request today from Rossitza Atanassova, Curator of Library and Information Studies at the British Library. Rossitza wants to preserve this website in the UK Web Archive. It will form part of “a collection of websites on the evolving role of UK libraries and librarianship in the 21st century and that could be of interest to future researchers of library history”.

How flattering that Rossitza thinks that future scholars might be interested in our work!

Twelve minutes of total madness

From the planned, practiced, timed and perfected, to the spur-of-the-moment soapbox speech, the minute madness presentations had everyone watching the clock.

The six presentations before lunch set the tone (frenetic, intense, hilarious) and the six at the end of the day left us all buzzing. An impressive number of the presenters managed to spit everything out in time, but it was hard – really hard!   And with Nick ready to leap into action with his dreaded horn the pressure was definitely on!

So for those who might just have missed a detail or two, here’s the list of topics.  If you’d like to know more about any of them then do get in touch (click on a name to send an email).

Lastly, a technical note:  One or two folk asked how we created the timer on each of the slides.  It uses the ‘Custom animation’ feature of MS Powerpoint.  A rectangle is created for each second of the countdown and displayed for one second.  The animation starts with a click and finishes by displaying an ‘End’ rectangle.

Originally we incorporated drum rolls to mark the end of each presentation, but then we decided that it would be much more fun to have live sound effects and the horn was found.  (Actually, there was a middle stage in our plan – we wanted to use the Learning Technology team’s vuvuzela but none of the organising team could reliably get a noise out of it – clearly not a problem shared by South African football fans!).

A powerpoint version of the presentation is available here: LLS Conference 2012 Minute Madness template.

(Horn image from Wikimedia Commons)

First LLS Conference a resounding success

Photo: Sharon Song

What a day!

Thank you so much to all the folk who turned out for what proved to be a really exciting and vibrant conference…

Thank you to the 23 external delegates who came from libraries as far afield as Dublin, Yorkshire, London, Birmingham and all points in between.

Thank you to the 27 academic and support staff representing all six of The University of Northampton’s Academic Schools and several departments.

And thank you to the 36 LLS staff who presented papers, created posters, gabbled for minutes of total madness and showed the enormous enthusiasm that was the subject of many envious comments from other delegates.

As we come back down to earth, we’ll be doing our best to share the outputs of the conference with those who did and didn’t make it.  Nick has already uploaded all of the presentations, the posters and the banners, and will shortly be sharing some of the feedback we have received.

If you attended the conference and feel able to comment on any of the presentations or posters then please feel free to do so – just add your comment to the appropriate page.  If you have anything to say about the conference generally then by all means comment here.  It was our first ever conference but I’m sure it won’t be the last, so do help us to make the next one even better!

Meet the organisers

It is clear from Chris’s post that research activity is strongly encouraged in LLS.  So much so, that when the idea of a departmental conference was mooted, there was no question about whether it would happen, only when.

Thus is was that a small group of us – Nick Dimmock, Charlotte Heppell, Fiona MacLellan and myself (Miggie Pickton) – found ourselves planning and organising our first ever conference.

The team: Charlotte, Nick, Miggie and Fiona

Continue reading