A warm welcome awaited us at Venue Cymru, which was brilliantly located over the road from the most beautiful promenade that I have ever seen and it was sunny (most of the time).
Everyone I met was so friendly (and networking is not my forte) that I came away feeling that I had made many new professional connections, which was one of my reasons for going to the conference as I have recently started Chartership.
I was keen to listen presentations that relate to my job at University of South Wales (as Assistant Librarian) such as ‘Marketing to Thrive and Survive’ from Swansea Uni librarians, Sian and Giles. This was an interesting presentation as they told us about various events that they organised in order to market the library and to improve engagement with students and they have won an award for it (we’re not jealous!).
Swansea used a number of different events to take the library to the students, rather than expecting the students to engage with the library, events such as ‘Assignments – Survive & Thrive’, ‘Blind Book Date’ and ‘Parrots & Plagiarism’.
Swansea also use a number of other tools such as online subject guides, social media, digital promotions on plasma screens and pop-ups, to keep the library on the students’ radar.
It was reassuring to hear that they faced similar challenges, such as multi-site libraries, with co-ordination needed between campuses and struggling with staff numbers to maintain events, as the library work-load carries on regardless of librarians popping-up all over campus.
As a result, I have been able to remind our managers that other HE libraries have budgets to run competitions and even give away prizes, which does engage students by lightening the mood and is a step away from the traditional image of an academic library.
This was the friendliest conference I’ve ever been too and definitely the best location – good choice CILIP Wales Committee and thanks for awarding me a free day.