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CILIP Briefing: Skills for the future academic library - Programme
Wed, November 28
9:15 am



10:00 am

Welcome & Introduction - Questioning mantras and building new paradigms

The speakers elaborate on the implications for library roles following last year's SCONUL report, "Mapping the future of academic libraries".

Andrew Cox, Stephen Pinfield
10:40 am

Research analytics: new roles for libraries and librarians

The availability of a wealth of publishing and citations data opens new research support and evaluation roles for academic libraries. We need information professionals with the knowledge and skills to use this data responsibly and provide expert services. That includes both hard skills in analysing, interpreting and presenting data and soft skills in collaborative working, communication and culture change. This presentation will cover the work of the Lis-Bibliometric practitioner forum in articulating and addressing the current skills gap and Katie’s own experience of developing a Library Research Analytics Service for the University of Bath.

Katie Evans
11:10 am



11:40 am

Skills for the intelligent library

“AI will transform library services, forever altering the mix of skills and tools needed to serve our users" Arlitsch and Newell (2017: 794). This session reflects on the type of role academic librarians may play under the new paradigm of the Intelligent Library, and how far this implies the translation of existing competencies, upskilling or the acquisition of entirely new competencies.

Andrew Cox, Stephen Pinfield
12:10 pm

New creative learning horizons for libraries? Exploring opportunities for information professionals to develop and support new technology-based learning communities and spaces in academic and other library services.

This presentation will look at how information professionals can implement new service offerings in academic and other libraries through building on existing skills and interests of staff. Framed by Robert's professional experience and research, he will discuss how librarians and learning technologists can work together to create user focused information and digital literacy material. Robert will also be discussing how we can support experimentation with new technologies in communities of practice (e.g., Virtual Reality sessions for science and/ or art), and provide a platform for new creative learning spaces (such as makerspaces). Although this talk will be primarily from an academic library perspective, it will also look at public library possibilities around the above activities.

Robert Curry
12:40 pm



1:40 pm

Soft skills to enable effective relationships

In 2014 the University of York moved away from a traditional subject model for liaison to a functional structure. Unlike some functional approaches, liaison and engagement is considered to be one of the key functions, along with skills training and research support services. Originally producing a framework of 10 core competencies for our liaison librarians to develop themselves we are now reframing these as 6 enablers for staff more generally across the Library. These enablers include the much harder to learn soft skills such as resilience and change, becoming a trusted partner, open thinking and open communication. This talk will cover how we have approached engagement activities ensuring staff have the skills they need to be successful in this, which includes undertaking annual action plans as well as a major UX project to better understand academics.

Michelle Blake
2:10 pm

Embedding UX research and design

A recent SCONUL report described UX design as one of the most important emerging technical skills for academic library staff. While UX research techniques are increasingly familiar and accepted, most University libraries are still some way off embedding an actual UX design process. UX design is all about making the most of UX research, transforming user data into new services and products through a process of prototyping and iteration. The result of following a fuller UX design process, as opposed to just trying out some UX research techniques, is a range of truly user-centred services that place the needs and behaviours of today’s students, researchers and academics far higher up the agenda.

Andy Priestner
2:40 pm

Text mining - new tools, new skills

Text mining tools, which analyse the frequency and relationship of words in texts, are growing in number and availability. Many user friendly tools are now available free of charge on the internet. These tools are increasingly used by a wide range of researchers, but they are also tools which can help information professionals in developing literature searches (particularly those for complex research questions and systematic reviews) and analysing research output and impact. This presentation will outline what text mining tools can do, and will explore the opportunities for academic librarians to act as gatekeepers and facilitators to the use of new analysis techniques and tools. The presentation will also highlight the opportunities for academic librarians to use these tools to support research in a wide range of subjects and to contribute to projects around the measurement of research impact.

Julie Glanville
3:10 pm



3:40 pm

Workforce Development; report from the SCONUL Task and Finish Group

The SCONUL Task and Finish Group has commissioned and is undertaking a range of research to better understand three specific areas of workforce development in UK HEI Libraries: diversity and how we foster it; the pipeline for new talent; developing the current workforce. This presentation will summarise the work to date and interim outcomes and observations.

Caroline Taylor
4:10 pm

Workshop session

The workshop will enable delegates to think through the nature of the skills gaps in their own organisation and to develop ideas about how to approach bridging these gaps, both through existing training resources and through sharing or creating resources within the community.

4:50 pm

Closing remarks


Andrew Cox, Stephen Pinfield
5:00 pm



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