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UKeiG Professional Development update


2017 was a busy and successful year for UKeiG’s CPD programme. Topics covered included:

  •  Search usability: filters and facets
  •  Research data management for information professionals
  •  Advanced knowledge management: strategy & digital implementation
  •  Better social media for libraries
  •  Digital literacy in the workplace
  •  Open access, open monographs, open data, open peer review: overview of a disruptive technology

 UKeiG’s 2018 CPD programme is due for publication and will be updated on a regular basis. Please visit the Professional Development section of our Group page, and keep an eye open for new courses. Book early to avoid disappointment.

In order to ensure the relevance of our courses and events the UKeiG Management Committee is keen to work with our members to focus on seven key strands for development:

  •  Information retrieval/search
  •  Scholarly communications/open access
  •  IM/KM/intranets
  •  Social media
  •  Ethics, legal compliance, intellectual property
  •  Digital literacy
  •  e-information/e-industry R&D

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about our CPD offering please contact UKeiG’s Honorary Secretary John Wickenden in the first instance at

Search usability: facets & filters (10 May 2017)

This course provided an introduction to the basic principles of search usability with a focus on the development of faceted navigation schemes that deliver both search effectiveness and user satisfaction. It attracted a diverse range of delegates including intranet/web managers, information architects and search specialists. Faceted search offers tremendous potential for transforming the search experience. It provides a flexible framework that can satisfy a wide variety of user needs, from simple fact retrieval to complex exploratory search. It is now the dominant interaction paradigm for most library sites and is being increasingly applied to a wide range of search applications. However, with this power comes a challenge: what kinds of categorisation schemes are effective and how should we use them to support search and navigation? Above all, how can we deliver search applications that address a growing range of user needs without compromising usability? The course included presentations and group work to enable delegates to analyse, evaluate and improve the effectiveness of search applications within their own organisation, exploring the fundamental concepts of human-centred design for information search and discovery. The day was led by Tony Russell-Rose, Director of UXLabs, a UX research and design consultancy specialising in complex search and information access applications.

UKeiG Management Committee member Claire Carter writes: “The delegates who joined us for this workshop were from a variety of backgrounds including the online fashion industry, charities, specialist research libraries and HE. The day was divided into four well-defined sessions each building on from the previous session so that by the end of the day we had been taken from a blank canvas to being able to create a fully-fledged faceted search diagram. With the help of the workbook given to individuals we were guided through this process with Tony initiating enthusiastic discussions on topics such as search problems, user personas and the use of facets in search information architecture. Research was well documented throughout to support the day’s assertions and some myths were also debunked.

There were a large number of complex definitions and processes to absorb. Tony was incredibly skilled at making sure everyone had got to grips with terminology before moving on. This was mainly because of his excellent use of real life examples and his ability to help relate these to individuals’ situations. Tony left the group with a useful bibliography as well as other online resources in order to continue our usability journey.”

Research data management for information professionals (17 May 2017)

UKeiG Management Committee member Rose Marney writes: “This one-day course, led by Andrew Cox and Eddy Verbaan (University of Sheffield), was an excellent introduction to its subject and would be recommended to anyone who is at the beginning of a journey into research data. Featuring a mix of talks, exercises and discussions, it explored the nature of research data and the roles of the various parties who might be involved in its creation and management. They provided extensive and informative supporting documents: policies, job descriptions, checklists and models for assessing maturity, alongside a copy of the Concordat on Open Research Data. The Concordat ‘proposes a series of clear and practical principles for working with research data that cover the many roles needed to support the research process. It is not a rulebook, but a set of expectations of best practice developed by the research community itself.’”

Better social media for libraries (10 November 2017)

eLucidate editor Gary Horrocks writes: “This has to be one of the most successful CPD courses that UKeiG has organised. Already there is a substantial waiting list for 2018. Course leader Ned Potter (@ned_potter) writes: ‘I work for nine days out of ten as an Academic Liaison Librarian at the University of York and one day in ten as a trainer in library marketing and presentation skills for various organisations including the Bodleian Libraries, the British Library and UKeiG. The thing I'm really interested in is communication, both online and face-to-face. All my work revolves around that in some way.’ And it shows.

The day embraced social media audit and strategy, with practical tips on best practice, including optimising the use of images, twitter lists, advanced searching and analytics. The feedback from delegates included: ‘I’ll be bringing loads of new things back to teach others. I’m bursting with ideas. Great content, all legitimately relevant. Lots of good tips. I agree that everything Ned taught us can be used immediately as opposed to just talking about future trends like a lot of presenters do. Super practical!!’

He referred to social media in libraries (Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram) as the ‘silver bullet’ that breaks the barrier of library austerity, engaging the user community in an informal, subtle, interactive, reiterative way; enabling more effective marketing, feedback and communication. Run, don’t walk to book a place on this course.”

Digital literacy in the workplace (15 November 2017) #UKeiGDigWk

Claire Carter writes: “This multi-speaker event had a great line up of presenters with Ian Hunter from the law firm Shearman and Sterling, Charles Inskip from UCL, Lis Parcell from Jisc and Wendy Foster from City Business Library. The room was packed with delegates representing many sectors of the information industry. Each speaker sparked lively debates over language, definitions, roles and assumptions around the entire field of digital literacy. There still seems to be a huge difference in understanding around this concept depending on the type of role and industry one is working in. However, after an in depth debate on what digital literacy means, the room came to a consensus that it was time to stop quibbling over definitions (even though it would be nice to have a central one) and get on with the practicalities of how to teach digital literacy.

From a higher education viewpoint Ian Hunter provided evidence that his newly employed law graduates were still attempting to find professional information via Google, Wikipedia and similar resources despite all our rigorous attempts to produce law graduates who were information and digitally literate. This was further evidenced by Charles Inskip’s presentation on the extensive research he had undertaken matching employer, student and university perceptions of professional digital literacy. Again the differences in language and what it means to be digitally literate at university versus the workplace were very clearly depicted. Despite a big push from the HE sector on providing employability skills for their graduates, there is clearly more work to be done here.

Wendy Foster concluded the day giving an insightful talk on the work of the City Business Library (CBL). If attempting to impart the importance of digital literacy on a distinct community such as students, graduates or members of a particular organisation was tricky, doing so with the dispersed public membership of the CBL was going to be harder still. Wendy took us through the different incarnations and tactics they had used to make sure their populace could use the resources effectively offering support to a range of business information seekers including sole traders, start-ups, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, charities and job seekers. Again the language staff used was crucial to engagement with terms such as ‘training’ and ‘databases’ consigned to the rubbish heap.

Digital Literacy is a work in progress partly because of the ever-changing nature of the technology and media. The workshop was a source of inspiration and reflection for Ian Gardner in his lifelong learning blog “Whose Education Is It Anyway?”: “What does being ‘digitally literate’ even mean? What does digital literacy look like? What does it mean to different industries/sectors? How does it compare to ‘information literacy?’ My view is more in line with the Belshaw model. When I think about digital literacy, I think about digital competency and capability. This includes how people can be encouraged to be open to technological change, continue to develop their knowledge and skills within the requirements of their role and for possible future needs. In the initial brainstorm of what it meant for us, I made the point of saying that it really can mean anything and everything. The different perceptions, semantics and language used around the topic continued to come up throughout the day and I couldn’t help but feel that businesses have adopted ‘digital transformation’ as a buzzword, largely via IT Services, whilst a lot of professions have been left behind. The Jisc presentation (Flexing your digital muscle: beyond information literacy) considered the wider issues. Is the model of content creation, problem solving and innovation (in addition to an information focus) the way to go when thinking about digital skills? Skills are changed by technology, so knowledge and behaviours will also change.”

Open access, open monographs, open data, open peer review: overview of a disruptive technology (21 November 2017)

UKeiG Honorary Secretary John Wickenden writes: “Delegates from Universities, Schools and Further Education joined the course on Open Access (OA) in London. It was led by David Ball, an independent information consultant, with extensive experience in the subject. The day started with a definition of Disruptive Technologies and some early examples (for example, Honda 50s and Kodak cameras). We then looked at whether OA was a disruptive technology. Throughout the day we explored various subjects around OA in small groups, which helped us to understand the implications of the subject. This included looking at the traits of Open Science, Open Data and Open Access. We also looked at the different types of Open Access including: Gratis OA, Libre OA, Green OA and Gold OA. We looked at the implications for libraries, authors and Higher Education and the future of peer review. The format of the day led to lively discussions in the small groups around the subject. Because of the interactive format of the course everyone obtained a good grounding of the area and the implications for their jobs, their organisations and the wider information industry.”


Notes for contributors 





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