Peter Robson, email@example.com
• “I used to think ..if there was
reincarnation , I wanted to come back as
the president or pope…now I want to be the
bond market: you can intimidate
Carville, J. quoted in Vaitlingham, R. (2001)
• Personal impressions
• Not based on any objective analysis
• Better that we tread on each others’ toes
than not at all.
• Some boundaries we take for granted….
and rightly so.
We start from the same point de départ…
• “How you gather, manage and use information will determine
whether you win or lose.”
– Gates, B. (1999)
• “La chance ne sourit qu’aux esprits bien préparés” (Pasteur)
• “Every business is an information business…information is the
glue that holds together the structure of all businesses.” (Evans
• “Unique feature (of the market economy is) precisely that it
organises economic activity around information.” (Drucker 1993)
• The big challenge (for businesses) will not be more or better inside
information, but to add outside information. (Drucker 2002)
But we have different foci..
• Academics may not be aware of practical
constraints affecting resource exploitation..
– E.g. simultaneous access to Athens resources.
• Academics’ appreciation of
library/librarians varies greatly.
• Never underestimate the ignorance of
academics as to resources available.
The critical role of information literacy..
• Librarians need to have academics on board.
• “Incorporating information literacy across curricula, ….. requires the
collaborative efforts of faculty, librarians, and administrators.”
• For most students this only matters in context of assessed work.
– Allocation of marks for exploiting value added tools
– .. Tools which are expensive.
• Alleged reluctance of many academic to take IL on board.
• You will probably not get academic support without high level
• Is teaching of information literacy too narrowly focused on academic
• When do you do it?
• To what extent are you relating it to students’ assessed
• Is there a case for you contributing to assessment-focused
• Do you get yourselves involved in helping final year
students prepare for interview?
• Do you invite academic recruits for personal instruction?
Are we/should we be at the Schengen
• We need our own areas of autonomy/individuality.
• This should not preclude active intervention to
support our respective roles
• Academics should expect more “invasion” by
librarians than vice versa.
• Perhaps include librarians on VLE module
• Common sense/common courtesy have to rule.
Extending your boundaries:
• Do you want to teach more than use of library /IT
• Do you have time?
• How will you be compensated? Remunerated?
• How will you get to grips with the bureaucracy of
…or should you “stick to your knitting” ?
• Academics automatically assume basic
competences on the part of librarians.
– Shelves in order.
– Courtesy to all customers.
– Fast turn round of inter library loans.
– Speed of acquisitions procedures.
– Consultation on major initiatives.
– Awareness of new resources.
Extending your boundaries?- patents
• Can contribute to good assignments.
• Academics usually woefully ignorant of this
• Students enjoy the topic.
• An excellent free source now available..
• Long term strategic relevance for business.
Patents information: many pluses
•An information resource embracing all areas of technology.
• Access to unique information.
• Access to detailed technical information.
• Advance notice of new technology.
• Advance notice of new products.
• Identification of new applications for existing products.
• Identification of new customers.
• Monitoring of competitors’ innovative activity.
• Identification of “free technology”.
• Avoidance of duplication of research.
…and a few more
• Identification of potential licensees, joint-venture partners
• Avoidance of infringement of existing patents
• A means of identifying an important intangible asset.
• Information about individual inventors/researchers.
• A valuable information resource for university/high-school
• Information about prospective employers.
• Accessible information: esp@cenet:
• Cost-effective information.
• An information source used by successful manufacturing
…and a few drawbacks
• Unutterably boring.
• Many patented inventions are trivial.
• Many are unworkable.
• No peer-reviewing.
• Deliberate obfuscation evident in titles.
• Quality of examination can be suspect.
• Volume of documentation.
• Investment-critical searching needs experts.
– ACRL (1989) Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report
– Carville, J. quoted in Vaitlingham, R. (2001) Guide to using the financial pages.
4th ed. Prentice Hall
– Drucker, P. (1993) Post-capitalist society. Harper.
– Drucker, P.F. (2002) Managing in the next society. Butterworth-Heinemann)
– Evans, P & Wurster, T. (1997) Strategy and the new economics of information.
Harvard Business Review, 75 (5) 70-82
– Gates, B. (1999) Business @ the speed of thought. Penguin.
– McGuiness, C. (2006) What faculty think-Exploring the Barriers to
Information Literacy Development in Undergraduate Education . Journal
of Academic Librarianship, 32(6) 573-582
– Patently absurd (2008) available from http://www.patent.freeserve.co.uk/
– Van Dulken, S. (2000) Inventing the 20th century. British Library
– Van Dulken, S. (2001) Inventing the 19th century. British Library
Breakout session: Boundaries: do you
have any, do they matter?
• What boundaries in your workplace between
librarians and academics constrain your work?
• (How) do these have negative impact on the
• How do these impact on your own self-
• How can the impact of these constraints be
mitigated/minimised? (Do you want them to