Developing a digital strategy for your library: embracing mobile technology

This event has already taken place. View upcoming events

Tue, 13th Oct 2015 - 9:30am to 4:30pm

The latest event from CILIP examines the importance of incorporating mobile technology when planning a digital strategy for your organisation.

In 2014 the use of mobile devices to access the internet overtook desktop use for the first time. Smart phones have now become the first screen customers access to communicate, research and share.  As mobile devices are always to hand they are not only reshaping the customer experience, they are changing the entire process. 

With the opportunity for an anytime, anyplace, anywhere connection to your customers, mobile phones and tablets have revolutionised digital engagement because they open up opportunities for where and when you can connect to your customers. 

Such a fast paced explosion of developments can lead to organisations jumping on the mobile band wagon, and as a result deliver poorly planned digital strategies, without taking the proper steps to ensure success.  

Why you should attend?

If you are currently implementing or about to implement a digital strategy, this event will ensure your organisation makes the right decisions when considering mobile devices and takes a strategic approach.

At CILIP’s Executive Briefing you will:

  • Hear case studies from academic and public libraries 
  • Understand the benefits of taking a strategic approach to service development
  • Learn why it is important to consult users before implementing a strategy
  • Learn how to turn your online presences into a successful digital service


09:15   Registration and refreshments

10:00   Chair’s welcome

Gill Needham, Formerly Associate Director, Open University Library & Programme chair, m-libraries conference

10:10   What’s next for your digital library? Ask your customers!

The University of Manchester Library has taken a customer driven approach to transforming its digital environment, combining in depth usability studies with external benchmarking and advice from industry experts in order to gain a rich understanding of current and future customer needs and expectations. This talk will describe the highlights of the digital market research done at Manchester and how this has translated into a strategic programme of developments called the iLibrary programme.

Lorraine Beard, Head of Digital Technologies and Services, The University of Manchester Library

10:40   Using users’ usage to select sustainable services

Inspired by a presentation asking users what they want, the team at University of Leeds undertook research into students’ needs for mobile services, using similar questions to Char Booth’s survey of Claremont Colleges Library, California presented at m-libraries 2012. There were over 1300 responses to the initial survey and a (mostly) identical survey has been run each year.

The research demonstrated that library staff ideas about what users want often do not match users’ ideas about the relative importance of different mobile services.

Over 3 years of the survey trends have been identified in mobile device ownership and usage, and preferences for mobile library services. The results were used to plan focus groups, particularly where there were discrepancies between what the team thought users wanted and what the survey results told them; and then focused their limited time and resource for development, to create mobile services tailored directly to match the needs of users.

Bo Middleton, Head of Digital Library Services, University of Leeds

11:10   Refreshments

11:40   Positively disruptive – Edinburgh’s digital library

Edinburgh City Libraries transformed its online service from an ‘add on’ to delivering an extensive and engaging digital library successfully raising the public and political profile of the library service. This presentation will outline the underlying strategy and the steps to success.

Jim Thompson, Digital and Information Services Manager, Edinburgh City Library

12:10   Panel discussion

12:30   Lunch and networking

13:30   Smart or smarter?: how mobile can accelerate development

Mobile devices are now ubiquitous across university campuses and within library and information services the uptake of apps is often more spontaneous than strategic. This can result in ad-hoc initiatives which fail to deliver on their potential; the counterbalance is that a fully strategic approach can limit flexibility. This presentation will examine the ‘smart’ strategic approach which can be adopted to extend use of mobile technologies whilst remaining flexible and adaptable to new opportunities.

Alison Mackenzie, Dean of Learning Services, Edge Hill University

14:00   A mobile presence: on responsiveness and apps at UCD Library

In 2012 the Communications and Outreach unit at UCD Library received a small grant which enabled them to undertake research to expand their knowledge and understanding of native and web-based applications. The grant also allowed them to look at other ways to develop their mobile library environment, a strategic priority for them. In this presentation, Josh will briefly describe their activities and findings, and conclude by summarising their mobile presence at UCD Library, from their responsive Digital Library to their foray into practical demonstrator applications that they subsequently developed for their library.

Josh Clark, Outreach Librarian, University College Dublin

14:30   Refreshments

15:00   Putting users at the heart of your mobile strategy

In this presentation Kay will demonstrate the benefits of taking a strategic approach to service development in today’s ever-changing digital environment. Using the implementation of the mobile strategy at the University of Glasgow Library as a case study, she will illustrate how the strategy has supported a number of specific service enhancements and ensures that their mobile innovations are evidence based and focused on user needs.

Kay Munro, College Librarian, University of Glasgow Library

15:30   Panel discussion

15:50   Chair’s summary

16:00   Event closes


  • Lorraine Beard

    Head of Digital Technologies and Services

    The University of Manchester Library

    Lorraine is responsible for leading a team which manages and develops the Library’s eLibrary infrastructure, digitisation infrastructure, the Library Management System and the Institutional Repository. Lorraine is a member of both the Library Leadership Team and the IT Leadership Team for the University of Manchester and in these roles has been involved in the development of the Library and IT Strategies for the University. Recently Lorraine has been closely involved in improving the user experience at Manchester by implementing a new LMS and developing a research data management service. She has also led the development of the Library’s digitisation strategy and led the team which has developed the University’s institutional repository, Manchester eScholar, which is now one of the largest in the UK. She is also the Library’s lead on innovation, and has led a number of new projects and services emerging from this including the Eureka innovation challenge competition and gamification. Lorraine has had various roles in academic libraries over the last 18 years, including Faculty Librarian and Electronic Resources Librarian. Before pursuing a career in libraries, Lorraine worked for several years in biological sciences research, after finishing her degree in biology at the University of Manchester.

  • Josh Clark

    Outreach Librarian

    University College Dublin

    Josh has worked at University College Dublin for the past 11 years. He is currently Outreach Librarian in the University’s library, which has five locations on campus with over 100 staff. He is part of the Library’s Communications and Outreach Unit, and is heavily involved in the multichannel promotion of the library’s services and resources via social media, the library’s website and at various campus events. He is also UCD Library’s webmaster and was involved in a fundamental redesign of the Library’s website and accompanying mobile presence in 2011. In 2012 he and Rosalind Pan, Head of Outreach, won a research grant to explore the possibilities for mobile web and app creation for academic libraries, and have surveyed Irish libraries as to the extent of their own mobile developments for their users.

  • Alison Mackenzie

    Dean of Learning Services

    Edge Hill University

    Currently holding the post of Dean of Learning Services at Edge Hill University, Alison is responsible for a range of complementary academic services, including library services, learner support, comprising IT, academic literacies and support for students with a specific learning difficult (SpLD); learning technology and media development teams who provide support and expertise on technologies to support teaching, learning and research to academic staff, students and researchers.

    Prior to taking up this post, Alison held the post of University Librarian at Bangor University, a variety of roles at Manchester Metropolitan University and in her early career worked in art colleges and commercial practice. Alison is an active member of SCONUL and has recently stepped down from her role as a member of the Executive Board and Chair of the Performance Measurement and Quality Strategy Group. She has recently co-edited ‘Mastering Digital Librarianship :strategy, networking and discovery in academic libraries’, published by Facet, 2013 and is currently planning a second publication on digital scholarship.

  • Bo Middleton

    Bo Middleton

    Head of Digital Library Services

    University of Leeds

    Bo leads on the development and coordination of the all the systems which underpin the work of the University Library, as well as strategy related to innovation, digital content and research support. As a member of the Library Leadership Team she has responsibility for digitisation services, the Library Management System, the institutional repositories, the Scholarly Communications team and the newly established Research Data Management service. Current work underway includes project planning for the newly acquired South Bank Show Archive, implementing an augmented reality App for ‘Art in Campus’, compiling a business case for institutional adoption of ORCiD, and refining the processes for research outputs deposit/ingestion.

  • Kay Munro

    College Librarian

    University of Glasgow Library

    Kay Munro is a College Librarian at the University of Glasgow Library. Kay has a particular interest in the impact of technology in Libraries. She has a key role in a number of Library projects looking at particular aspects of emerging communications and information technology developments. These include the delivery of the Library’s mobile technologies strategy, and the implementation of Librarytree, a social discovery interface which harnesses some of the techniques from gaming to reward elements of library behaviour and make interactions with the Library more fun. She has co-published a number of articles and papers relating to mobile technology initiatives at the University of Glasgow Library.

  • Jim Thompson

    Digital and Information Services Manager

    Edinburgh City Library

    Jim leads the Edinburgh City Libraries Information and Digital Team which manages the Library Service web presence and online resources, as well as service Media Fund and Key Performance Indicator monitoring and reporting. Over the last six years Edinburgh has grown and developed an extensive online offer using bespoke and off the shelf products. Jim’s experience in managing neighbourhood and Central library services has been critical to leading delivery of online services that attract and retain new customers and change perceptions of public libraries. Jim has led Edinburgh projects to deliver self service, new libraries, and currently the third generation of the Peoples Network in Edinburgh Libraries. Jim is also a member of the Public Lending Right Advisory Committee.


7 Ridgmount Street
WC1E 7AE London

United Kingdom

Event Format