Sunday, 17 July 2016

DAY 2: CILIP Conference 2016 - Bringing the information world together

Following Day 1, Day 2 began with a keynote speech by Sir Nigel Shadbolt on open data. He talked about how the world of information has moved from scarcity to abundance and yet much of the information held by Libraries today are under some perverse and bizarre copyright restrictions. He also illustrated the role of health in the UK open data movement and highlighted ways in which Library and Information professionals could support this movement.

My next event was presented by Liz Jolly and Sue White from Teeside University and University of Huddersfield respectively. They shared about The Northern Collaboration project which provided an avenue for Libraries in the north of England to offer out-of-hours virtual enquiry services to users essentially making them 24-hour services. This was followed a session by Catherine Mann from Staffordshire County Council. She talked about how the Council Libraries and South Staffordshire & Shropshire Foundation Trust worked in partnership to deliver services that reflect local need.

I also attended the Using Technology session by Kate Lomax and Carlos Izsak on developing makerspaces. These are collaborative learning environments where people come together to share materials and learn new skills. They indicated that makerspaces enable knowledgesharing, digital engagement and access to technology. I wizzed across to the Managing Information event on Data stewardship by Philippa Fogarty & Richard Turton from X4 Consulting Limited. They highlighted how to unlock the value of data and key areas where data stewardship can make a difference such as policy development. This was based on the New Zealand story of developing data stewardship standards at the Ministry of Environment.

The closing keynote was made by Lauren Smith, a Research Associate from the University of Strathclyde. She spoke about some difficult home-truths such as the myth of Library neutrality in politics and the hugging of CPD opportunities within the profession. She spoke about the need for a wider representation and diversity within the profession and stressed the need for us to be excellent practitioners and committed members of the society. It was a really thought provoking speech.

There were lots of competitions held and Martin Wade from the CILIP Board picked winners for some such as the Best Exhibition Stand Award won by Demco Interiors. One recurring theme was the need for Librarians to support literacy. Not just information literacy but also data, health, cultural, technology, computer and more. It is important that the conference has highlighted the area in which Librarians are most likely to have to focus on next.

Some HEE Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme participants
I was able to do one of my favorite things, networking. I reacquainted myself with Stevie Russell from Book Aid International who I first met at Partnerships in Health Information sponsored Book Launch held in Winchester some months ago. I also met with several participants from the HEE Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme. All in all it was an excellent conference and I learnt a lot. Really glad that I was able to attend.

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