Paper given at the BIALL Conference 'Charting the C's: Collaboration, Co-Operation and Connectivity' 11th June 2015, Brighton, UK.
Paper entitled: Infiltrate and conquer? Showing the world what librarians can do.
This session looks at how exciting things can emerge by creating opportunities and forging partnerships with those outside of the library world. The speaker will showcase both established and newly developed learning resources from the lawbore site created with input and in collaboration with academics, e-learning specialists, students, alumni and publishers. Covered will be insights into tools and technologies used. There will be a look at strategies on how to successfully connect with stakeholders (students/faculty in this case): what works best and why, as well as effectively communicating big ideas to potential partners, encouraging them to want to get involved. Emily will also explore personal experiences around how these partnerships have enabled her to have far greater reach than envisaged within her institution.
In charge of mooting Organised events Took initiative to do things in collaboration with others
Was originally going to call this talk ‘Traitor or innovator’ Called me a diva, traitor and declared that I was not a team player The situation was dire and I had to get out or lose what made me love my job.
So I swapped to academia, teaching within the law school. I teach Legal Method, English Legal System and Land Law currently. I’m a personal tutor to 72 students, and teach the entire LLB1 cohort weekly which this year was around 350 students. Moot Director. It’s pretty unusual to make this step and I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity (law school rescued me). New lecturers are generally expected to have PhDs and significant publications. However they wouldn’t have done this if I hadn’t been for the contribution I had made to the school – contributions that basically equate to assessing needs of users, seeing some gaps, having some good engaging ideas to push these forward and to bring others on board if they have different expertise. Stuff I’m sure many of you do frequently.
Despite leaving the profession I a large part of my heart remains with librarianship and my work still involves many of the activities I loved to do before. The thing that really hurt was being accused of not being a team player when for years I had been working with so many different people, just not necessarily librarians within my own institution. Librarians are fantastic teachers, organisers and collaborators – I want to remain a part of that.
What do we get out of it???
As faculty research and teaching practices continue to shift in response to their rapidly changing information environment, their uses of the library also change, as does their perception of the value the library offers. Faculty used to rely almost exclusively on the library for the scholarly materials they needed for research and teaching, and librarians guided faculty to and otherwise facilitated the discovery of these materials. As scholars have grown better able to reach needed materials directly online, going to or using the library is not essential to carrying out research and so faculty are turning to other options.
Guthrie, K. and Housewright, R. (2010) Repackaging the Library: what do faculty think? In Climbing Out of the Box: repackaging libraries for survival, special issue, Journal of Library Administration, 51 (1), 77–104
A few years ago there was a fair bit of buzz about the ‘echo chamber’ – basically the idea that as librarians we spend too much time telling other librarians about the great work we do. It’s so important to get out there and be part of the networks and communities that your clients/users rely upon – for me this meant engaging with the academic law community.
We have to move in different circles from those we are familiar with. It can be intimidating being out of comfort zone Social media has made it a little easier in some ways Go to non-library conferences
It’s a big community out there – external to the library, your organisation, your country even. We know how much support we can get from other librarians internationally – sharing experiences, being helped with tricky enquiries, collaborating on projects (shout-out to Alison and Deb) Deb and I met at Internet for Law conference – Alison and I did paper together at AALL some years ago but what about those other parts of the business or institution? Are there opportunities for getting involved?
Mostly on my own prompting.. I’ll tell you about a few examples…
Technology always helps to engage people – they want swanky, shiny things with their name on it!
This summer UCC Library is mounting an exhibition to document the distinctive history of this legendary and iconic Cork City music venue - Sir Henry's. Sir Henry’s bar and nightclub, located on South Main Street, Cork (1978 – 2003) was renowned locally, nationally and internationally for its vibrant music scene. It is hoped that this exhibition, which launches Wednesday July 9 and will run until Saturday September 27, will be a catalyst towards establishing an archive related to Sir Henry’s and the wider popular music scene in Cork. The objectives of the exhibition, curated by Martin O Connor, (UCC Library) Stevie Grainger (Radio Presenter and DJ at Sir Henry’s) and Eileen Hogan (School of Applied Social Studies, UCC), are:
To begin the process of creating a permanent archive of popular music in UCC Library starting with Sir Henry’s and branching out into Cork’s wider popular music scene To document a very much hidden history of an important part of Cork’s recent social, cultural and musical past To preserve this history for future interested parties To engage with the wider Cork Community as part of UCC’s outreach programme
Collaboration – Stevie G & Eileen Hogan (academic) Applied Social Sciences Dept at UCC. PhD on Cork Live Music scene
Community – those who owned the club, worked there, clubbers, bands who played there, drinkers. Gathered material from them – tickets stubs, set lists, flyers, photos, clothing, records. Also gained certain items from the family involved in setting the club up originally. Vital to get a well-rounded exhibition – from both dance and rock sides. Also wanted personal stories, narratives, information.
Benefits – press had interviews and features on the exhibition. Irish press as well as some nationals. 200 people at launch, then visiting every day.
As libraries move from being focused around collections to students –learning spaces require the collaboration and input on a cross-institutional; basis. Integrated learning environments where students can work alone or collaboratively, space flexibility. Also students themselves. Some universities have also lead collaborative projects on behalf of their institutions – developing and managing learning spaces outside of the library: Bradford University, University of Bolton, Teeside and the University of Cumbria amongst those. Portsmouth, Exeter.
LIDP analysed the non/low use of library resources over a four-year period (2005 to 2009). The initial driver of this work came from a project looking at equality impact assessments. Library usage data, defined as the number of e- resources accessed, the number of book loans and the number of physical accesses to the library, was compared against student attainment. The initial work suggested a strong correlation between library usage and degree results obtained by students, notably with a significant underuse of library resources at both faculty/school and course level emerging as a factor.
Correlation between low student library activity and non-attainment.
Later collaboration with 7 UK university libraries – Bradford, De Montford, Exeter, Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores, Salford, Teeside.
Turf warfare & territoriality
I asked a series of individuals who used to be law librarians and went on to other professions to tell me what library skills they still rely upon today.
not that librarians are difficult customers! It's just if you can deal with a BVC student threatening to sue you and turn that around then you can deal with anything...
2. I now work for KMPG as a Senior Knowledge Manager for the Global Corporate Finance business and I’ve been in my role for 10 years. I work closely with the country leaders in the business to help define a knowledge strategy for their business, looking at the size and focus of the business and what their priorities are for their business in the short term and over a longer period. I work with them to understand which markets and clients they want to attract, how they need to collaborate with colleagues in other geographies (either to share business opportunities or to leverage knowledge and experience) and what resources they need to do their day to day work. I then establish which resources they need and which communications channels will support them. Much of this involves connecting people to technological solutions, but this is never easy and a lot of awareness/training both in process and tools is necessary.
As well as working with individual countries I need to ensure that what I do fits into the overarching KPMG Advisory knowledge strategy (the Advisory part of KPMG is essentially the consulting part) and that people are made aware of how others work and what they do, ensuring that teams do no operate in silos and are able to demonstrate a ‘one firm’ approach with their clients.
3. The main skill I’ve taken from librarianship is the ability to help people articulate what it is they need. My experience has been in corporate environments which are pressurised and early on I learnt that asking ‘what do you need?’ doesn’t necessarily result in someone articulating perfectly what they’d like. Much of what I do now is very similar to business analysis and I think that my early experiences at Freshfields helped me to develop skills in making sense of an immediate requirement and understanding a situation, fleshing it out and also predicting what might be needed in the future. The ability to get to grips with often complex ideas and information has also been a key skill. When I joined Freshfields I had no legal or Telecoms knowledge or experience and similarly when I joined KPMG I knew very little about Corporate Finance, but I think librarians develop the ability to analyse a situation and identify what they need to know in order to be able to support their customers/clients/team and what can be ignored. People sometimes assume I have a much deeper knowledge of Corporate Finance than I do and I think that is because I can talk knowledgably about areas that are important to the people I support.
Communication skills play a big part in what I do now and were critical in my previous roles. Not just in the obvious area of dealing with egos and personalities, but also in dealing with the complexity of global working. I work in a global team and manage a number of colleagues who work in our offshore team in India. Cultural understanding and sensitivity is key. I began to develop these skills at Freshfields working with people at all levels in many different geographies and now identify communication skills as being the critical factor in the smooth running and cohesion of the team I work in.
Clarifying needs: used on enquiry desk, v important still. Dealing with approaches from charities etc, working out where to direct, what to focus on. Analysing needs of enquirer translates to analysing needs of an organisation. Being a "hub"...as librarian built role as point of contact, place to come with queries, problems. Had become a connector within organisation. V useful when pulling together groups of volunteers. Also still use research skills...benchmarking, what are other organisations doing? Have helped refine search strings for CSR news alerts!
With other non-library depts. in your organisation With other librarians in the UK and beyond With your users
Infiltrate and conquer?
Showing the world what
librarians can do
A sad story…
• Law Librarian for 14 yrs
• City University London
• Great relationship with
the law school
• Lots of recognition for
• Freedom to develop a
very varied role
• Arrival of new Director of
• Felt I was too involved
with law school
• Sought to dilute and cut
What?!! And you want me to
listen to you after that???
A successful, collaboration-rich
library and information service will:
• be part of the shift to open-access scholarly
• be entrepreneurial and mutate services, take risks,
and learn from (regular) failures to confront disruptive
• collaborate within and outside our professional and
institutional boundaries, working as part of multi-
service teams and with organizations and businesses
outside our perceived sector walls
From: Rebecca Davies ‘The Changing Higher Education
Context’ in Melling & Weaver: Collaboration in Libraries
and Learning Environments (2013), p.10-11
Benefits of collaboration with
those outside libraries
• It makes new relationships
possible – beneficial to all
• We are in the ‘edgeless’ era
of Higher Education;
convergence & holistic
shared services rule.
• Need to make our value
explicit as traditionally our
services much more
Connect & collaborate – avoid
the Echo chamber
• “A situation in which information, ideas or
beliefs are amplified or reinforced by
transmission and repetition inside an
(See more via Ned Potter and Laura Woods
• Looking out for Calls for
Papers at academic law
conferences (BILETA, ALT)
• Writing articles
• Tweeting and connecting
with lawyers, going to
• Joined Editorial Board of
the Law Teacher
• Entered the Routledge/
ALT Teaching Law with
I muscled in by…
There’s a lot of
Connect & collaborate
• I’ve worked with:
– Ed Tech
– Other law
• Part of Lawbore website
– focus on legal skills
• Multimedia resources
• Worked on Mooting
section with an academic
• Bank of essays of varying
standards in core subjects
• Written & audio feedback
• LLM International
• Approached by
students in a
• Via Learnmore (if skills
• Via blog Future Lawyer (if
• Gives them the chance to
raise profile, write for fun,
communicate with peers
• Helps us foster community
feel & show what’s going
on out there
• Peer learning – inspire
Collaborating with students
• Lots of potential here!
• Maria Bell & Jane Secker at LSE – Student
Ambassadors for Digital Literacy (SADL)
• Collaboration between the Learning,
Technology & Innovation team (Lti) and
“explore the role that student ambassadors
can play in developing and integrating
digital and information literacy into the
• Interviews, articles
…and in person
• Bringing them in for mooting
workshops, careers talks
• Creating opportunities for our
current students (e.g. UKHRB)
Anatomy of a law report
• Helping students
understand the layout of
a case within a law report
• Audio hotspots narrated
by Paul Magrath from
*Also Halsbury’s Laws of
England – what is it for?
with Lexis for the blog.
Summer collaboration plans
• Research resources around a
virtual brief – videos, animation
(with academic colleague) to
support BPTC students
• Induction week exercise around
Legal Writing & legal landmarks
(with help of Academic Support
team) for first year undergraduates
• Creation of snappy video
resources for new law students
• Martin O’Connor – UCC Library
• Collaboration on an exhibition (July-Sep
2014) about an iconic bar and nightclub in
Cork, Sir Henry’s.
More on Sir Henry’s
• Initial spark from a tweet
• Collaboration between a librarian, a
DJ/Promoter and an academic but also the
massive Sir Henry’s community
• Collaboration encouraged via social media
(Twitter, fb & a project blog)
• Benefit to library – national media
coverage, brought those to UCC who had
never been, connections with town.
• Uni-wide collaborative Learning Spaces projects
involving Facilities, IT, Library, Student Services,
Students Union, Schools
– Campus Hub: University of Victoria, Wellington NZ
– Saltire Centre, Glasgow Caledonian
– Information Commons, Sheffield
Collaboration between academic & support
departments key to success.
• Collaborative Data projects across many
– Library Impact Data Project stemming from University
• Existing attitudes
• Different cultures
See Cook & Lewis (2007) Student and Academic Affairs
Collaboration: the divine comity, National Association of Student
Personnel Administrators (NASPA)
Lots to offer eg. 1
Roles in library
Researcher at The Guardian, Researcher at Lehman
Current role: Director, Anti-Money Laundering, Deutsche Bank
Skills still utilised: 1. Ability to organise the work of the team to ensure that
we can find the information again if required to
produce it to senior management, the regulator or law
enforcement. The information collated is varied and
may include correspondence, interview records, bank
account data and management information.
Producing information for any of these requestors can
be required within short deadlines so having an
effective system for organising information is
2. Knowing how to find information and leveraging the
knowledge of colleagues and peers is undoubtedly
important when conducting an investigation
Lots to offer eg. 2
Roles in library world: Law Librarian, Cardiff University, Director of Library &
Information Services (Library, Learning Tech, IT), BPP
Current role: Head of Student Technology & Learning Resources at
Pearson College (more of a CIO role – listening to
business, works out what business needs & then
articulates to tech team)
Skills still utilised: 1. Good at translating business needs into
2. Working out relative value of things
3. Conversing with techies (explaining needs &
listening to technical restraints)
4. Management – budgets, staff, contracts
Lots to offer eg. 3
Roles in library world: Library Assistant, BPP, Collection Development
Librarian, BPP, Law Librarian, Kings College London
Current role: Ebook Sales Specialist, Proquest – soon to be
Director of International Sales, Geoscience World.
Involves presenting at conferences & selling different
ebook acquisition strategies like pda, dealing with
consortia & completing tenders in order to broaden
Skills still utilised: 1. Library induction talks really helped me become
more comfortable presenting.
2. Knowledge of how library budgets work helped me
sell more efficiently to libraries (just knowing what
a MARC record is gave me huge advnatage over
other sales people)
3. Dealing with difficult law students at enquiry desk.
Lots to offer eg. 4
Roles in library world: Information Officer for Telecoms, Media & Tech
group, Freshfields (research, current awareness &
managing ‘info bank’ of legal precedents.
Information Officer, FSA (managing e-resources,
enquiry desk work on legal/business research, bit of
Current role: Senior Knowledge Manager for Global Corporate
Finance Business, KPMG (work with country leaders
in the business to help define a knowledge strategy
for their business, looking at size/focus of business &
Skills still utilised: Help people articulate what they need – making
sense of an immediate requirement, understanding a
situation – fleshing it out and predicting what might
be needed in the future. Ability to get to grips with
complex ideas. Communications skills.
Lots to offer eg. 5
Roles in library world: Library Assistant, Norton Rose, Librarian, Addleshaw
Booth & Co, Information Officer & Senior Information
Officer, Norton Rose (research/enquiry work,
cataloguing, current awareness & training)
Current role: Freelancer
Indexer at Thomson Reuters & OUP.
Abstracting & indexing legal and regulatory journal
articles for Westlaw LJI. Creating electronic records
for domestic & international legislation and cases to
enrich content on their databases.
Skills still utilised: Abstracting/writing
Lots to offer eg. 6
Roles in library world: Research Librarian, Trainer, Library Manager at
Slaughters, Dentons and Baker & McKenzie
Current role: CSR Manager at Baker & McKenzie. Manage
charitable partnerships and staff volunteering. Help
coordinate pro bono programme. Coordinate
sustainability activities. Also manage some of the
social mobility work experience programmes.
Skills still utilised: Clarifying needs - dealing with approaches from
charities etc, working out where to direct, what to
focus on. Analysing needs of enquirer. Being a
"hub"...as librarian built role as point of contact, place
to come with queries, problems. Become a connector
within organisation. V useful when pulling together
groups of volunteers.
Research skills...benchmarking, what are other
organisations doing? Have helped refine search
strings for CSR news alerts!
• Superb at needs analysis
• Ace organisers
• Great at networking – knowing who to go to for that
specific bit of info
• Tenacious – never giving up in our hunt for information
• Understanding tech
• The ‘hub’ within an organisation – connecting people
…on top of all the traditional skills!
Need some extra ammo to
encourage people to work with
you? Skilling up?
• ITIL – IT service management methodology
(service requests, change management,
incident, problem, capacity management,
• HEA Fellowship – Fellow/Senior/Principal
• Introductory Certificate /PG cert/MA in
What makes a collaboration
• Enthused committed team members
• Individuals who each offer something
different to the project
• Schedule & deadlines – a timeline with a
little flexibility worked in
• Everyone needs to get something out of it
• Willingness to compromise to find a
How do we get people on board?
• Talk about the
• Use something visual
to convince them
• Use examples of
• Align to vision &
Thanks for listening!
outside-libraries/ (UCC exhibition)
• Maria Bell & Jane Secker,
‘Transitions from School to Higher
Education: Understanding the
Needs of Undergraduates at LSE’
Information Literacy, Lifelong
Learning and Digital Citizens –
Second European Conference,
ECIL 2014, Croatia, October 20-
23, 2014, p.309-318
• Sad face: 11th May 2009 by Jaina
• Bricks: Brick wall by Lars Thomsen
• Rocket: Crazy rides rockets by Brandon Doran
• Social Media Marketing Madness
All others purchased from istockphoto