The bottom 2 images are on Boston Spa, our warehouse, a blend of the old and the new, where items are retrieved by people and by machine
This year our 3 major exhibitions were Royal Manuscripts Writing Britain Mughal India We’ve recently had the on the road with the Jack Kerouac scroll And now the A-Z of crime fiction
I maybe slightly biased when I say this, but the British Library is a remarkably unique place. Not just because of its design or collections, but because it’s a hybrid. It brings every type of researcher together, from the undergraduate to the academic, the entrepreneur, the designer, the writer, the lawyer, the genealogist, the list goes on. All of these groups of people use are using our physical space, whether that is in the Reading rooms or our public spaces, our cafes, exhibitions, wifi spaces – the users of these spaces are still researching but not in a traditional library behaviour – they aren’t using collection items, or asking for help from a physical person With such a vast collection and only being housed under 1 roof since 1995 (sort of), we have seen a merging of catalogues, card catalogue conversions etc. A lot of the questions are about searching and discovering content we hold. Now these are impressive and at times mind blowing statistics about us, however, don’t get too excited just yet. We still have 34 online catalogues Less 40% of the staffing body are qualified librarians Less than 50% of my own department is a qualified librarian
This is the reality of the physical space of the Reading Rooms, this actually a picture of our Asian & African Studies Room. All our Reading Rooms look the same and make up 12 hundred study spaces, with an additional 250 PC spaces. No collection items can leave the Reading Rooms, how are we maintaining our occupancy rate and our relevance. I will be the first to admit that in part it is because we have a unique collection, and yes that is an advantage of being a legal deposit Library, Now you will look at this and may just possibly be slightly impressed, but you may also be wondering OK whats all of this got to do with Information Literacy? Well the shocking truth is, it has absolutely nothing to do with information literacy The library maybe one of the most amazing research libraries in the world. But we have no formal requirement to teach. In fact if you ask any of my team, up until 4 years ago, I would suggest that whilst they had heard of information literacy, very few of them would be able to tell you what it was, or how they engaged with the process. But please don’t judge them. We have no remit to formally teach researchers how to research. We have no formal remit to teach referencing and citation. We have no formal remit to teach plagiarism avoidance, we have no formal remit to teach information literacy. And the reason is we are not an academic institution, we are a national library, we are a cultural institution, we are a hybrid of the museum of the book and the access to the future
At the BL we wanted to test the future of physical space and digital content. In October 2010 the BL, created its Growing Knowledge: the evolution of research project. The project was to help us design and deliver future research services and environments with a view to developing the Land to the North of the St Pancras building, which is currently a car park and also supporting our 2020 vision – details of which can be found on our website. The objectives of the project were Install a prototype digital research space within the Front Hall for both individual and collaborative working Design and build user interfaces and workstation arrays that demonstrate a vision for multimedia digital research Evaluate the individual and group user experiences in this technology rich environment Be the starting point for the Digital Research Centre programme and other future service proposition developments
So Why did we embrace information literacy? Well as we all know, nothing stays the same, as this beautiful hockney proves. For one thing, the BL employed me, I have 10+ years as an HE librarian, so of course I was going to bring along with the knowledge I had learnt from working in that sector, from being involved in LILAC from its very first year. And this coincided with a massive change for staff and readers for the first time in 10 years, a new catalogue interface. Now this doesn’t sound too exciting or enlightening but for an organisation that is accountable to the nation, who anyone in the world can use, providing they can prove why they want to use us, any change has the potential to have a massive impact. I can’t tell you the complaints we got when we changed caterers 3 years ago and the price of the coffee went up. So a massive change has an enormous impact This is the 2 January the first of a collection The arrival of Spring in Woldgate East Yorkshire in 2011, by David Hockney At a Royal Academy Exhibition in London, earlier this year the Bigger Picture, nothing really remarkable about that, until you learn how he painted it. ‘ The winter is difficult because of the cold, which I feel intensely because of my thin legs. When the snow came in late December 2010 I began to draw it on my ipad sitting in in a car. I had the drawings printed out about five feet high. After making five or so like this I began to realise that using the ipad could be a very good method of recording all the changes that I knew would occur on that quite road and the I had already begun the work’. I’m hear today to talk about how advances in the catalogue/OPAC of the british Library, changed the culture of training of our front line staff
This is the interface to the main integrated catalogue, as you can see from the screen shot, it only provides search and discovery access to less than 8% of collections. For the rest you would need to look at different online catalogues, and numerous specialist card catalogues. As well as a separate A-Z list and search function for electronic resources The catalogue interface wasn’t what readers and users and customers of BL expected from their national library, it was no longer fit for purpose. There were also changes with the future content the library would be collecting. Electronic legal deposit and web archiving
So 2008, the winds of change began to emerge in the Reading Rooms. Using Primo, an Ex-Libris product, we started to develop a search discovery and access portal. It allowed readers, users and customers the opportunity to discover and access nearly 57 million items, including, sound archives, websites, e-journals and e-books 33.5% of our collections are now available through this one interface.
We reduced our 37 catalogues to less than 30, which in a space of 4 years in rather impressive Looking at this screen, the search results now cover books, articles, audio, scores, theses, journals, moving images, maps But this level of cultural change for both staff and readers needed some careful consideration. No one likes change, and it fell to me and my team to inform our readers and users of the integrated catalogue that things were changing and our starting point, was those who can impact the behaviours of our readers and users the most. So careful consideration was given to how to manage this change, and thank heavens for Information literacy, to help me and my senior team (all librarians) to develop a programme of training for the staff, both to understand Explore but to also be able to train others to understand it, use it and have success with it
We started off explaining what information literacy was and how we were going to use it to design the training course We used the following statement from NAPA as we felt the same statement could be applied to our staff and readers journey of learning and research. The same could be said for some of the staff of the British Library. They may not necessarily understand ‘Information Literacy’ as a concept, or a theory, or even be aware of the extensive programmes and projects throughout educational establishments in the UK, from schools to universities, but they do have a firm understanding of the research process and do see first hand the research journey, individuals make in the Reading Rooms, from discovering where a distant relative was born, to completing a PhD.
The sense of pride of the brand of The British Library is high compared to other UK public sector organisations, at the 2011 staff survey, brand pride as well as engagement were recorded at 70%. Often overcoming staff resistance to change can be achieved by clearly demonstrating the advantages and positive impact the change has on the customers, readers and users of the Library. Once an understanding of the concept has been achieved, seeing it in practice often confirms to staff that the benefits have been achieved. In this case, throughout the staff training and communication plans, teams who had limited or no contact with the readers in the Reading Room, were invited to shadow the Reference Services teams and talk to the users of the numerous versions of Search our Catalogue; this include the Primo Technical team, who gained an insight into a number of the negative comments first hand. Many colleagues have returned several times to the Reading Rooms to engage with the readers, as the changes and new releases of the catalogue have been developed.
We were selective with which parts of the 7 pillars were relevant to the staff enable and supporting researchers. 5 out of the 7 pillars that would be key foundations to the training plans for all staff throughout the library, to support the researcher on their journey. These 5 pillars are enabling, and if the researcher themselves doesn’t understand the process the librarian is able to provide the support to assist and enable the researcher to achieve them. The other 2 pillars are: Evaluate: a researcher can review the research process and compare and evaluate information and data. Present: a researcher can apply the knowledge gained: presenting the results of their research, synthesising new and old information and data to create new knowledge, disseminating it in a variety of ways. These are subjective and reflective and whilst the librarian can be a sounding board to the researcher on the path of achieving these skills and knowledge, they are not able to directly provide them for the researcher.
At LILAC 2011, about 9 months before Explore went live and became the main catalogue interface, RDF was presented as a paper, as the BL hosted 2 days of the conference that year, I didn’t get a chance to attend many papers, but I did manage to collect the handouts from the paper and speak to the presenters, and the world of RDF, became part of our IL programme for staff. RDF has 4 domains: Knowledge and intellectual abilities – the knowledge, intellectual abilities and techniques to do research (Domain A). Research governance and organisation – the knowledge of the standards, requirements and professionalism to do research (Domain B). Personal effectiveness – the personal qualities and approach to be an effective researcher (Domain C). Engagement, influence and impact - the knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research (Domain D). Each domain has, 12 sub-domains, and within those there are 63 descriptors, all of which encompass ‘the knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards’ (Vitae, 2010). As with the SCONUL 7 pillars, the project team felt that the more subjective elements of the RDF were less relevant to the project, and they therefore focused on Domain A, the first phase of the framework, to help the Reference Services team support the researcher on their journey..
7 competencies relevant to the project for: Not all of the principles of these theories were relevant to every member of British Library staff affected by the project. However, when theories were presented as part of the introduction to the training and as part of the reasoning behind this major systems change, staff were able to understand the principles in terms of their roles to support the researcher journey. The staff of British Library acknowledges that many of the Readers will already have received information literacy training, from their academic institution, either as a student or researcher, for the readers without this background knowledge of the theories and principles of information literacy is not essential to them. What is essential and important to the Readers of the British Library, is the is the staff dealing with their face to face or remote enquiry is trained accordingly and qualified to assist them on their research journey. Part of the Explore project introduced the theories of information literacy to some of the staff for the first time, however the practice and mechanisms of supporting the researchers journey was not
Our brilliant training plan, script, hand outs, tests and games, whilst based on IL theories, were also designed to deliver the training without closing a single reference desk, or reducing any service the readers may expect. So
It would be difficult to conclude that the staff of the British Library are now more information literate than they were at the start of the project. As this was not intended to be an academic project, the staff were not tested prior to the training, as to what their understanding of the theories of information literacy were, or whether they would consider themselves to be information literate. This would be a part of the project to be considered for the future, it would be time and resources dependent, but it could be prove advantageous to test staff now on their understanding of information literacy theories as well as their understanding of Explore. However by the end of the project, staff do have a better understanding of the main theories and how these can be applied to the work they do, in supporting the researcher’s journey of discovery. And while most of them would never claim they are or are not information literate, they are librarians doing a job they have been trained to do, which gives them satisfaction and pleasure.
Why are we optimistic? Staff have been included in the change process earlier, we have told them this change is coming, why its coming and how will ensure they are ready for the change We have tested the readiness for the change much earlier, straight after pilot training, we started a 2 nd set of training just the other week, only 7 months after the first set of formal training. We will retest the readiness twice more this year, once after the new service goes live at the end of April and again in August.
Doolan - A catalogue revolution and the information literate librarian
A Catalogue revolution: The BritishLibrary, Primo and the InformationLiterate LibrarianLouise DoolanHead of Reference ServicesThe British Librarylouise.email@example.com
Our Mission & Vision Advancing the world’s knowledge Our Vision In 2020 the British Library will be a leading hub in the global information network, advancing knowledge through our collections, expertise and partnerships, for the benefit of the economy and society and the enrichment of cultural life.
Supporting the Vision:Strategic Priorities 2011-141. Guarantee access for future generations2. Enable access to anyone who wants to do research3. Support research communities in key areas for social and economic benefit4. Enrich the cultural life of the nation5. Lead and collaborate in growing the world’s knowledge base6. Optimise organisational capacity and capability
The British Library – The World’s KnowledgeOur 170 million collection items include over 3m sound recordings 5m reports, theses and conference papers Over 50m patents – the largest collection in the World Websites; stamps; maps; manuscripts; hair; shoes ………. Grant In Aid Funding of £91m (12/13) and an additional £33m for the National Newspaper Strategy 3 Major exhibitions a year, as well as free exhibitions and a permanent exhibition of the Treasures of The British Library and events to support these
The British Library – The World’s KnowledgeApprox 1550 staff across 2 London Sites and 1 in YorkshireSt Pancras consists of 5 public floors An additional 6 Staff only floors, 4 of which are basements 11 Reading Rooms Conservation centre 3 public cafes and 1 public restaurant and a staff café and restaurant Wifi 2 terraces
Delivering The Mission, Vision and Strategic Priorities BL Board The Directorates: E-strategy & Information BL Executive Team Services Finance & Estates 6 Directorates Human Resources Departments Operations & Services Scholarship & Collections Teams Strategic Marketing & Communication
A scratch beneath the surface 125,000 registered readers 100,000 registered wifi users 1.2 million collection items consulted per year 1,200 reader desks 310,000 face to face enquiries per year 60,000 remote enquiries per year
Explaining Information Literacy‘Information Literacy is evidenced through understanding theways in which information and data is created and handled,learning skills in its management and use and modifyinglearning attributes, habits and behaviours to appreciate therole of information literacy in learning and research. In thiscontext learning is understood as the constant search formeaning by the acquisition of information, reflection,engagement and active application in multiple contexts’NASPA: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (2004) Learning Reconsidered 2. AmericanCollege Personnel Associationhttp://www.myacpa.org/pub/documents/LearningReconsidered2.pdf
So how did we do it?Project groupFront Line Staff Training: Why the catalogue revolution was happening Information Literacy Theories SCONUL 7 Pillars British Library Professional Competencies Results of the staff survey
SCONUL 7 Pillars5 PillarsIdentify: a researcher is able to identify a need for information toaddress the research question.Scope: a researcher can assess their current knowledge andidentify gaps.Plan: a researcher can construct strategies for locating informationand data.Gather: a researcher can locate and access the information anddata they need.Manage: a researcher can organise information professionally andethical.SCONUL: Society of Colleges, National and University Libraries (2011) The SCONUL seven pillars of informationliteracy: a research lens for higher education. Retrieved 01.03.12 SCONULhttp://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/information_literacy/seven_pillars.html
Research Development FrameworkKnowledge and intellectual abilities – the knowledge, intellectualabilities and techniques to do research (Domain A).Research governance and organisation – the knowledge of thestandards, requirements and professionalism to do research(Domain B).Personal effectiveness – the personal qualities and approach to bean effective researcher (Domain C).Engagement, influence and impact - the knowledge and skills towork with others and ensure the wider impact of research (DomainD).Vitae (2010) The Researcher Development Framework. Retrieved 01.03.12 Vitaehttp://www.vitae.ac.uk/CMS/files/upload/Introducing%20the%20RDF%20presentation.ppt
British Library Professional CompetenciesAn understanding of how knowledge can be organised, managedand made accessible to on-site and remote users in line with currenttrends and resources.A good understanding of the British Library’s collections and theinfrastructure that underpins them, including the cataloguingsystems and classification methodology.A good understanding of the Library’s catalogues, and Aleph, andthe ability to interpret catalogues and indexes in order to helpreaders identify and trace items relevant to their research.Understanding of developments and trends in the wider library andinformation world, and their specialist area that might impact on ownarea of work, particularly new trends in the delivery of ReferenceServices and proactively shares this information.
British Library Professional CompetenciesExcellent knowledge of research methodology and the impacttechnology has on the research process.Good presentation skills.An awareness of current and future trends within the libraryprofession, including Web 2 & 3. An understanding of the relevanceof social networking media in disseminating information amongst thelibrary community, to colleagues within the British Library and toremote and on site users of Reference Services.
TrainingFront line key trainersCascade training scriptsTests and games and prizesFeedback & ReviewRetrainingNew staff & non front line staff
Lessons LearntCommunicationsVLEs and IT restrictionsKeeping up to date with system/content/interface changesDelivery date slippageAchieving and measuring outcomesReporting successesYou can’t please everyone
Next stepsIn April 2013, Non Print Legal Deposit Act will be passed.In readiness for this explosion of new content, for the changeto services and to manage the expectations of readers,authors and publishers.We devised a training plan for front line, based on the sameprinciples as Explore.We are optimistic about its success
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