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NoWAL Research Group

Glossary of acronyms for Research Support librarians

 APC – Article Processing Charge. The fee that some publishers charge for making an article openly accessible through the ‘Gold Route’. RCUK allocates some funds for this, and institutions may also provide some funding.

ARMA – The UK’s Association of Research Managers and Administrators They are tackling similar problems as librarians supporting research.

CORECOnnecting REpositories is an aggregated collection of Open Access research outputs which are harvested from Open Access repositories.

CRIS – Current Research Information System. A system which stores and manages information about the research conducted at an institution.

CRM system – Customer Relationship Management system. An system which stores and tracks customer interactions, helping managers to code and analyse common problems/enquiries in order to develop services.

EPSRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (sometimes pronounced ‘Ep-Serc’). Significant in discussions about Research Data Management, as their expectations around the storage, accessibility and linking to research data came into affect in May 2015

HEFCE – Higher Education Funding Council for England. They control the format of the REF, and allocate funding on the basis of it. They have recently stipulated that research must be made openly accessible in order to be included in the REF.

OA - Open Access. Research outputs (journal articles etc) which are available to anyone without charge.

 RCUK – Research Councils UK, the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. They have an Open Access policy that stipulates that the output of the research they fund should be open access.

REF – Research Excellence Framework. The assessment of research quality conducted by HEFCE and used to judge the performance of higher education institutions (HEIs)

UKCoRR – United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories. The professional organisation for UK open access repository administrators and managers.

UKSG – From their About page: ‘Our mission is to connect the knowledge community and encourage the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication. We are the only organisation spanning the wide range of interests and activities across the scholarly information community of librarians,publishers, intermediaries and technology vendors’


NoWAL Conference 2015 – Abstracts and Biographies

Click here for a printable copy of the Conference Abstracts and Biographies


Keynote Speaker: Jo Nory

Biography: Jo Norry is Director of Libraries and Learning Innovation at Leeds Beckett University, a converged service delivering integrated library and IT support, and management of the virtual learning environment, student support systems and study skills support.  Her professional interests focus particularly on the student experience and the central role libraries and learner support play in student achievement and quality enhancement, and she is also interested in workforce planning and management development.  The service is justly proud of having held the Customer Service Excellence standard, and its predecessor, Charter Mark, since 2001.

Jo is a Fellow of CILIP, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and holds postgraduate qualifications in librarianship, management and Anglo-Saxon, the last being much more relevant than it might seem!  Jo’s career has been chiefly in higher education, after an initial foray as graduate trainee at York Minster Library.  Prior to joining Leeds Met in 2000, Jo worked at Sheffield Hallam University and Nene College (now University of Northampton).

Abstract: In the academic library sector we think of ourselves as an essential element of the university operation, woven into the fabric of our institutions, and with large buildings, significant budgets and staff numbers, we’re a very visible part of the university picture. But in the new digital world our main business is now online, our most expensive resources indistinguishable from free online information, and our information skills have transformed into digital literacy, where many others claim a slice of the pie. But this digital context also offers libraries new opportunities for a relevant and more deeply embedded contribution, collaborating to develop a new virtual university landscape which also has the library at its heart.


Breakout Sessions 11.20am – 11.50am


Name: Sarah Pittaway

Job title: Team Leader: Academic Services

Organisation: University of Worcester

Email: s.pittaway@worc.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Audience engagement

Title: Student Engagement at Worcester: A New Approach

Biography: Dr Sarah Pittaway

Responsibility for: academic liaison, e-resources, reading resources (including reading lists, digitisation, and interlibrary requests) and, more recently, student engagement.  Previous roles: variety of e-resources/subject librarian roles at the University of Birmingham, whilst completing a part-time PhD in Medieval Studies.

Twitter: @Dr_Sarah_P


The Hive is a ground-breaking venture housing Europe’s first integrated public and university library, as well as the local archive and archaeology service and county council hub.  Although bringing many benefits to the university population, the library still has to address typical student concerns such as number of textbooks, use of resources, availability of PCs, and so on.

Alongside our traditional responses – teaching information literacy, promoting our services and availability of study space, and working on reading lists and collections with academics – we want to find new ways to talk to our students.  In particular, we are keen to engage with them as partners and change agents, actively involved in evaluating, developing and delivering our library service.

Hence the post of Student Engagement Co-ordinator was born.  A new member of staff joined the team on 8th April 2015 with a remit to talk to students both within and outside of the library, to get feedback on existing services, to challenge them on how we might deliver some of their expectations, and to take ownership of some exciting new projects.

This paper will provide a detailed picture of how the first three months of the Student Engagement role has developed, how we have started to change our relationship with students, and some of the projects that we have been able to plan for and develop.

The role of Student Engagement Co-ordinator is a new one, not only at Worcester, but across the sector.  At the time of writing, I am only aware of comparable posts at Nottingham and Warwick, and two further ones being recruited to at Newcastle and Greenwich.

I have received a great deal of interest from colleagues across the sector already would be delighted to share early experiences of how the role is developing with NoWAL delegates.


Name: Susan Halfpenny

Job title: Learning and Teaching Advisor

Organisation: University of York

Email: susan.halfpenny@york.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: Developing a Digital Literacy Framework

Biography: The Teaching and Learning Team at the University of York is a cross Information Directorate team comprising of Library and IT professionals. As a Teaching and Learning Advisor I am responsible for leading on the development of our generic digital literacy support materials for students. Over the past 12 months I have been working collaboratively with the Health Sciences Department and their Academic Liaison Librarian to review digital literacy provision linked to our Digital Literacy Framework.  Based on the findings of the review we plan to roll the model out to other departments and develop a complementary generic blended learning programme for digital skills.

Abstract: The increase in online technologies and wider access to information sources has resulted in digital literacy being increasingly important in the Higher Education (HE) sector. This has led to a number of different information and digital literacy frameworks and curricula being developed and adopted by HE institutions (SCONUL7, ANCIL, PriDE). At the University of York a substantial amount of work has been done by the Library to embed information literacy into departmental programmes and modules. Since merging with IT Services the opportunity has been provided to take a coordinated approach to information and digital literacy.

The Information Directorate Teaching & Learning team have undertaken work to develop a Digital Literacy Framework to articulate the attributes, practices, skills and understanding of a digitally literate person. The Framework provides  an overview of some of the capabilities linked to IT, media and information usage and creation. Based on Beetham and Sharpe’s (2010) digital literacy development model, the framework describes how students develop higher order digital capabilities based on access to new technologies and functional skills.

Work has been undertaken to map current provision of digital literacy training to gain a better understanding of what the Library and IT Services are offering in terms of skills support for students. As a result of the review of current training we are developing blended learning materials to support students and staff in the development of their digital skills.

This short paper will outline the core elements of the Digital Literacy Framework and work conducted so far on developing support material for students covering digital and information literacy skills.

This paper will be of interest to anyone involved with information or digital literacy delivery within curriculum design and generic programmes. It will discuss some of the challenges faced in developing a digital literacy framework and designing a skills programme of this nature, as well as provide some tips and ‘best practice’ based on the findings of the Digital Literacy Review.


Name: Jennie Blake

Job title: Learning Development Officer

Organisation: University of Manchester Library

Email: jennie.blake@manchester.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Learning spaces

Title: Living in the cloud with our feet on the ground: connecting the physical environment to digital services.

Biography: A native Californian, Jennie Blake came to the UK after working for over a decade in a variety of areas of education. Although initially her focus was on academic research, she has spent that last few years working with people across the University of Manchester Library to develop and launch its award-winning skills support programme, My Learning Essentials. Since its launch, the programme has gone from strength to strength and is currently seen as a key part of the Manchester student experience and a core support for its student population. Jennie often travels to give talks on MLE and the pedagogy, practice and process that lie behind it.

Abstract: The University of Manchester Library’s Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is now an integral part of student life for the nearly 40,000 students attending the University. Its striking design and innovative approach have won awards and praise since its opening, but the building has moved beyond the initial response to firmly embed itself into the collective experience of students. This paper will focus on one key aspect of that experience and look at how the Library has integrated physical aspects of the building: its student designed artwork, flexible and responsive spaces, and open feeling, into the blended-learning resources now offered by the Library, creating clear connections between the physical site and the virtual and face-to-face support. Students and staff thus engage both with the building and with the resources, unifying the resources on offer and further highlighting the Library’s ability to deliver what is needed where it is needed, and when it would be most useful. We will look particularly at the ability of the building to act as a support for the pedagogy of the programme and as a way to make the virtual aspects more concrete, examining some of the specific responses of students and staff to making the physical space, the face-to-face support and the online resources theirs to affect and improve.


Name: Amar Nazir

Job title: Research & Learning Services Support Assistant

Organisation: The University of Manchester Library

Email: amar.nazir-2@manchester.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Research Support/Open Access/Future

Title: The Researcher Experience Study:

Understanding our Researchers at the University of Manchester


Biography: Amar Nazir is a Research & Learning Services Support Assistant, working within the Academic Engagement Team at The University of Manchester Library.

As a member of the Academic Engagement Team I have a keen interest in anticipating and meeting the teaching and research needs of our academic community at the University of Manchester. A key focus of mine is evidence based practice, which provides a bedrock for engagement strategy and decision making.

The Researcher Experience Study (the subject of my presentation) highlights a key example this approach, and as will be shown, proved a real eye-opener.



In mid-2014 The University of Manchester Library concluded the Researcher Experience Study, an ambitious investigation mapping different types of researcher activity against the different stages of a researcher’s career. Finding highlighted five key issues:


  1. Research environment
  2. Use of information resources
  3. Creation of information resources
  4. Information management, and
  5. Publication and dissemination of research results


This presentation will reflect briefly on the methodology used, explain our finding in the above five areas, and importantly demonstrate how the Researcher Experience Study has informed the design and development of current and future services and provision using an evidence based approach.

At a time when many academic libraries are grappling with the challenge of meeting the needs of their researchers, our work with the Researcher Experience Study provides a useful insight into the mind-set of the researcher at Manchester and explores their library needs.


Breakout Sessions 12.00pm – 12.30pm


Name: Tim Leonard

Job title: Assistant Librarian

Organisation: Lancaster University

Email: t.leonard@lancaster.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Audience engagement

Title: Jolt the Library: Interdepartmental collaboration to enable student innovation at Lancaster University Library

Biography: Tim Leonard is an Assistant Librarian at Lancaster University Library. He works in the Library’s Academic Services Team in a project-based role to support teaching and learning at the University, with a particular emphasis on library provision for undergraduate students.

Tim has worked in HE libraries since 2003 and has previously held posts at Cardiff University, Manchester Metropolitan University and University Campus Oldham.

Abstract: Jolt the Library was a collaborative project between Lancaster University Library and Lancaster Information Systems Services’ Innovation Hub, to find an innovative idea to improve the student experience at the Library.

The project was launched in November 2014 and over 130 entries were received from Lancaster University students. Ideas were shortlisted by the Jolt team, before six finalists were chosen to pitch to an independent panel of judges at our live final in March. The winner of Jolt the Library won £1000 and will see their idea implemented by the Library during the 2015-2016 academic year.

This 20 minute presentation will explore;

  • The Jolt the Library project and how staff between the Library and ISS worked together to launch and promote the competition
  • some of the themes that emerged including health and wellbeing, alternative study spaces, navigation, and tools for checking the availability of study space
  • Ways in which Jolt the Library ideas have informed our current refurbishment project or provided support for our existing plans
  • how ideas from Jolt the Library are going to be implemented at Lancaster University Library in the future, including our winning idea for the loan of health technology such as smart cushions
  • The potential that a student competition like Jolt the Library has for student engagement with the Library building and services
  • Lessons learned from the project

For more information on Jolt the Library see: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/library/jolt-the-library/



Name: Jody McGurk

Job title: e-Learning Support Assistant

Organisation: The University of Manchester Library

Email: jody.mcgurk@manchester.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: Empowering learners with digital support

Biography: Jody McGurk is an e-Learning Support Assistant as The University of Manchester Library. He currently spends most of his time working on the award winning My Learning Essentials skills programme. Jody’s interest in online learning was sparked at university while completing a module on the future of e-learning. His key areas of interest are e-learning development, instructional design and VLE development. Having previously worked in the private sector and in secondary education Jody has gained a great deal of experience designing learning resources for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Abstract: My Learning Essentials is the University of Manchester Library’s award-winning skills programme, offering a combination of face-to-face and online development opportunities.

In order to deliver a programme to a student body of around 40,000 students, a flexible and responsive structure is paramount. The programme features online and face-to-face elements which work in tandem to deliver support to students at the point of need, whether they are working on a literature review at 2AM or planning ahead for a presentation or exam. By providing a comprehensive suite of openly available online resources, My Learning Essentials extends the Library’s reach beyond the walls of the buildings.

Both elements of the programme use a student-centred and highly interactive style, which has achieved significant recognition for its pedagogy and engaging use of technology, including a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Innovative Blended Learning.

Development of the programme is driven by student demand to ensure that what we’re offering is what our students really need.

Through My Learning Essentials, the University of Manchester Library has been able to collaborate with various other central University services, such as the Careers and Counselling Services, to extend the reach of their support. These partnerships have allowed us to offer a wider array of opportunities to students, all available from a central point of access. This has enabled My Learning Essentials to become more visible in the wider University community, highlighting the Library’s position at the centre of students’ learning experiences.

This session will focus on the themes of “digital support “ and “open access”, exploring how the online and face-to-face elements of My Learning Essentials work together to support students in their personal and professional development.

The My Learning Essentials programme is going from strength to strength and demonstrates how an academic library is tackling skills support for diverse student population.

This session will give us the opportunity to share some of the lessons learned form the programme and will give us the opportunity to engage with colleagues from other institutions on digital support and open access.


Name: Mary Pickstone

Job title: Research Support Librarian

Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University

Email: m.pickstone@mmu.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Research Support/Open Access/Future

Title: The challenges of supporting researchers in a post-92 University

Biography: Mary Pickstone is the Research Support Librarian at MMU. After short spells in public and research libraries, Mary moved into higher education and has spent most of her career at the Alsager Site of MMU in a variety of roles culminating in several years as Site Library Manager.  In that role Mary had responsibility for academic liaison with undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and with researchers in several departments including Sports Science and Performing Arts.  Mary is also active in Cilip ARLG, chairing the NW group.

Abstract: Over the last few years the post-92 Universities have increased their research effort.  This has brought about changes in the culture of these institutions, from having primarily a learning and teaching focus to becoming more research active.

At MMU, the Library has always supported researchers but traditionally as an add-on to the mainstream support given to undergraduate and taught post-graduate students.  The growth in research activity, and the coincidental push towards open access publication, has changed this and introduced new activities and services, to which MMU Library has had to adjust.  These extra demands have entailed grappling with new and unfamiliar jargon and procedures: Open Access requirements, funder mandates, APCs, Research Data Management, and a revitalised role for the Institutional Repository, all with limited budgets and staffing resources.

Some of the challenges the library at MMU has faced as a result of these changes are:

  • being part of the cultural change of the institution to include more of a research focus
  • coming to terms with lots of new concepts and procedures and the jargon that comes with them
  • supporting the Repository, managing data, complying with funder mandates, managing APCs,
  • building relationships with other areas of the university such as research leaders and administrators
  • advocacy work with academic and research staff and students about new research services

This presentation will explore how MMU Library is coping with these challenges.

This session will be a valuable topic for the conference because many of the new research services – OA, Data Management, the institutional repository – deal with online resources, and librarians in the post-92 universities have had to learn new ways of organizing, promoting and advocating these services to support the research aspirations of our institutions.


Keynote Speaker: Rosie Jones

Biography: Rosie Jones has worked in academic libraries since 2001.  In 2011 she moved into a specialist role project managing the development and implementation of the award winning Alan Gilbert Learning Commons at the University of Manchester Library.  After the success of this project her remit grew to planning, initiating and managing a wider range of complex library projects covering all library spaces and any plans for library management of a learning and study space.  She is now Associate Director of Library Services at Liverpool John Moores University where she continues to develop her expertise in this area through the new Copperas Hill development, an ambitious project to create a community for learning and knowledge in the heart of Liverpool city centre.

Abstract: There is an increased awareness in Higher Education that learning spaces need investment.  Most are either currently redeveloping, creating new or have strong aspirations to change their learning environments.  These aren’t all necessarily library spaces, but as experienced learning space managers libraries are in a strong position to influence these areas and to take the opportunity to manage them.    This changes our ‘core’ business and takes us into new territory, sometimes outside of the library, where we design, influence and implement creative spaces which not only support learning and knowledge but enhance it too.  This presentation will explore the changing environment of learning spaces and encourage a shift  from models which clone ‘‘traditional’ library spaces to innovative designs that challenge and engage our audiences.
Breakout Sessions 3.15 pm – 4 pm


Name: Kevin Bolton

Job title: Archives + Manager

Organisation: Manchester Central Library, Manchester City Council

Email: k.bolton@manchester.gov.uk

Contact number: 0161 234 1902

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Audience engagement



Kevin joined Manchester City Council in 2004 as Principal Archivist and has been Archives+ Manager since 2012. He was part of the team that oversaw the transformation of Manchester Central Library. Previously he was an Archivist at Liverpool Central Library from 2002 to 2004.


Abstract: Manchester’s Library, Information and Archives Service delivers leisure, cultural, learning and information services through a network of neighbourhood libraries, community outreach libraries and the world class Central Library. The service also operates the 24 hour virtual library, HMP Manchester Prison library and housebound service, supports a number of neighbourhood book collections and archives.

The refurbished Central Library reopened on 22 March 2014 and welcomed over 5000 customers on the first day. The library was closed for a period of four years and the success of the transformation is clearly evident with the creation of a world class original modern library fit for a world class city. It has become a major cultural destination and a must see visitor attraction in the city with a particular focus on creating a one–stop shop and a centre of excellence for family and local history, telling the story of Manchester and its people, through print, digital, photographic images and film.

A charitable development trust was established for Central Library in 2012, and to date has attracted significant contributions from a range of funding bodies. Arts Council funding has also been awarded to support the “LibraryLive” programme of cultural activity which included a week long music residency with award winning Manchester based band Everything Everything.

The service operates a hub and spoke model for service delivery, with Central Library underpinning the overarching library offer across the city. Our network of 14 neighbourhood libraries continues to provide a vital role in the heart of their communities and supporting the 5 universal library offers around reading, digital, information, health and learning. Manchester Libraries is developing Manchester standards and customer promises to support the delivery of the universal library offers. The 7 community outreach libraries, operated in partnership with volunteers and other agencies, provide local access to library services supported by a parent/buddy library.

We have developed a number of strategies order to engage with new audiences. These include:

  • Cultural and arts programmes in libraries.
  • Digital interpretation and digital engagement for special collections and rare books.
  • Outreach and community learning programmes.
  • Working in partnership with volunteers and community programmes.



Although this papers focuses on a local authority approach we like the idea of looking at how the challenges (and solutions) local authority library services face can help inform the academic sector.


Name: Lisa Otty

Job title: Project Officer

Organisation: EDINA

Email: lisa.otty@ed.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: Stewardship and preservation of e-journals: what is the role of the academic library?

Biography: Dr Lisa Otty is a Project Officer in Bibliography and Multimedia at EDINA, where she supports work in the areas of digital preservation and digitisation. She is an affiliate of the Centre for the History of the Book, where she held an AHRC research fellowship in 2011/2012. She has held research and lecturing posts in book history, literature and digital humanities at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee.  She has also led a number of collaborative projects with partners in the galleries, libraries, archives and museums sector, including most recently the RSE-funded ‘Scotland’s National Collections and the Digital Humanities’ (2013/14).


The rapid growth of e-journal publishing in recent decades has had a profound impact on the ways that academic libraries manage their serial collections. In the past larger research libraries were custodians of content, storing print copies of all the volumes and issues they had paid for and enabling patrons of smaller libraries access these through personal visits and document supply services.  Today, libraries no longer physically hold this material. E-journals are instead stored by the publishers: they grant access through subscription.  When preservation is undertaken, it is usually outsourced to large archiving agencies such as Portico and CLOCKSS. This has several implications. Their traditional stewardship role is in doubt. The library’s role in identifying, selecting and preserving publications of value for the scholarly record seems to have receded.

This paper considers some of the key issues and challenges that the current situation presents. This includes evidence that is being generated by the Keepers Registry into which ten of the world’s leading archiving organisations report, against the ISSN Register. It will also include early report on recent consultations with the both library and archive communities (conducted as part of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra project). The balance of argument is that academic libraries still can and should play a vital role as stewards for scholarly publications. This may mean devising effective ways of working in partnership with archiving organisations, including national libraries, rather than viewing such agencies as a remote ‘insurance policy’.

This session would be of broad interest to those attending the NoWAL conference because it addresses an area that will be of increasing significance in the future, namely the curation and preservation of born-digital scholarship.Digital preservation is currently not a high priority for many institutions, so awareness of what is at stake needs to be raised and collaborative action considered: a library consortium event seems the perfect place to begin these discussions



Name: Gwen Riley Jones and Josie Sykes

Job title: Photographer and Visitor Engagement Manager

Organisation: University of Manchester Library

Email: gwen.rileyjones@manchester.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Audience engagement

Title: Collection focused, audience driven, invite response – The Voices Project.

Biography: Gwen Riley Jones – University of Manchester

Gwen Riley Jones is Photographer at The University of Manchester Library. Gwen has worked in the cultural and heritage sector for 8 years. Currently working in the Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care (CHICC) Gwen is passionate about the ethos of CHICC – a bespoke approach tailored to the needs of the collection and the customer, and believes it can and should apply to a whole range of academic library services (and beyond).

Gwen was invited to join the Voices project, as Voices Live Library Project Manager, to bring a collection-focused, audience driven approach to audience engagement activity.

Josie Sykes – University of Manchester

Josie Sykes has worked in Heritage Learning for 12 years, specialising in community engagement, exhibition development and volunteer management. She has led engagement programmes with marginalised communities from across the North West and was a content developer for the Museum of Liverpool.  She joined the John Rylands Library as Visitor Engagement Manager in January 2015 and brought with her a passion for creating innovative learning opportunities and engaging diverse audiences with collections.


Abstract: Libraries have a powerful opportunity to use their collections and staff skills to engage audiences. The University of Manchester Library (UML) staff have worked collectively to reach new audiences through a programme of social media campaigns and in-depth engagement programmes (with local communities) through the project Voices. In direct response to University and Library strategic objectives, Voices challenged our staff to work in innovative ways to engage audiences specifically with collections. The programme has had an impact on both participants and working practices across the Library.


This paper will share the key working methodologies, outcomes and impact of the Voices project.

Voices Explore was a collaborative project between the Library and Back on Track, a charity providing services for long-term unemployed in Manchester. The programme placed collections at the heart of informal learning at the Library and within a community setting.

Voices Live Library developed new digital audiences for the Library using a variety of models for engagement. The project tested a range of social media channels, effort levels of our audiences and models for co-creating content.

Impacts from across the Voices programme include:

–              New ways of working for staff, in support of the Library’s Culture Change objectives.

–              Development of staff skills and confidence, working with new audiences and with different tools for engagement.

–              Participant enjoyment of the Library’s spaces, collections and resources.

–              Increased knowledge and understanding of research skills and the offer of the Library.

–              Growth in our digital audience.

–              Increased exposure to our digital collections.

–              Production of co-created content.

–              Increased knowledge of our digital audience and their habits.


Name: Satish Patel

Job title: Library Development Manager

Organisation: University of Salford

Email: s.m.patel@salford.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Short paper: 30 minutes

Theme: Learning spaces

Title: Student engagement and co-creation of learning spaces – It’s all about the pizza!

Biography: Satish Patel is currently the Library Development Manager at the University of Salford. As well as project managing recent library development projects Satish is also responsible for the University Print and Copy Service for both staff and students.

Satish’s main interests are in developing innovative service and space provision to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction based on analysing user needs, observing best practice in the sector and integrating them as appropriate into service delivery. Other interests are in user experience and how we draw on the rich data we hold from all student consultation and use that to inform co-created service design.

Abstract: This session aims to reflect on and learn from the experiences of two library space development projects at the University of Salford. Both refurbishment projects had very different approaches to student engagement and consultation.

The projects were:

  1. Library Development Project Phase 1: Closure and relocation of Health Sciences Library to Main Library, May 2013 – September 2013
  2. Library Development Project Phase 2: Closure and integration of Arts and Media Library to Main Library, August 2014 – August 2016


For the first project very little student consultation was carried out and it could be argued that while consulting with students via a series of listening events a decision to move the Health Sciences Library had already been made. The listening events were really aimed at setting the context for change and explaining the rationale as well as giving students the opportunity to discuss ideas on how to minimise the impact of the move. Lessons learnt from this project with regard to student consultation include the fact that we should have started consultation very much earlier. By the time we were running the listening events most health students were already out on placement so had no opportunity to comment on proposals.

It was clear that given the student fallout and potential impact on NSS scores the phase 2 project would have to take a very different approach to student engagement and consultation and start to think about co-creation of spaces and genuine student engagement and more importantly learn from mistakes made in the phase 1 project.

For phase 2 of the project the Library employed a Library Guru (Les Watson) to talk to all stakeholders ranging from senior staff including the Vice Chancellor, Heads of School, Students Union Sabbatical officers, Students  and Library Staff. These discussions were aimed at understanding the future requirements of both library spaces and services and to develop a roadmap of space and service improvements for the lifespan of the building. The output of all this consultation was an options appraisal which outlined 10 work packages which would deliver some of the service and space improvements users were asking for.

A design team (FUSE Studios) were also commissioned at this stage to work with the Library team and others to work up plans to RIBA Stage 3 (Developed Design). During this design phase a range of student consultation was starting to take place. FUSE studios ran student and staff focus groups and talked through the plans using mood boards, presenting key facts about what the project will deliver in order to manage expectations. Additionally the project team with the Student Union officers visited several other university libraries which had recently been refurbished to gather design and usability ideas.

During this phase of consultation the design team took a leading role in the focus groups with students and staff and really drilled down into the thinking behind the design and were prepared to be challenged by both students and staff.

In parallel to the work of FUSE Studios the Library started work on an ethnographic study of library spaces. This was one of the most interesting elements of the project and enabled us to gather qualitative data on ‘how people behave’ and to understand their Library usage by asking the following broad-based research questions:

  • How do students (and other users) use our informal learning spaces?
  • How do they want to use them?
  • To what extent are we providing for their needs?

The aim was to complement the work done by our Library Guru and FUSE Studios and draw together a rich picture of what our students need from a library space.


Breakout Sessions 3.15 pm – 4 pm




 Name: Deborah Harrop and Bea Turpin

Job title: Information Scientist

Organisation: Sheffield Hallam University

Email: d.harrop@shu.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Workshops: 45 minutes

Theme: Learning spaces

Title: What makes an informal learning space? A case study from Sheffield Hallam University


Deborah Harrop is an Information Scientist in the Centre for Health and Social Care Research at Sheffield Hallam University. She designs and undertakes literature reviews, up to and including systematic reviews, for funded projects and/or publication. Deborah has extensive teaching experience and has recently been using her training skills in the consultancy arena. She is a HEA Fellow, elected regional committee member of CILIP and a peer reviewer for an education journal.  Deborah has been undertaking research into learning spaces for over 10 years and is currently completing a book chapter on the topic with colleagues and her co-presenter.

Bea Turpin has worked as a librarian at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) since 1995.  She is currently an Information Adviser in the Learning and Information Services Department with responsibility for supporting the Department of Computing. This role involves library collection development, information skills teaching and staff and student support.  Bea has been researching informal learning spaces; learner preferences and design since 2008 and was involved in the redevelopment of the learning centres at SHU.

Abstract: This session will share research which aimed to investigate ‘What makes successful higher education informal learning spaces?’ and manifested itself in the redevelopment of informal learning spaces in the Learning Centres and the ongoing development of campus spaces at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). Findings from the aforementioned primary, empirical research culminated in the creation of a typology of nine learning space preference attributes and the assertion that all nine attributes must be given due consideration when designing and evaluating informal learning spaces. The typology is underpinned by a theoretical framework derived from existing published literature and is drawn from the disciplines of learning theory, placemaking and architecture and the need for an understanding of the synergy between the three. The typology of learning space preference attributes will be shared, alongside examples of how it led to the implementation of real changes to learning spaces at SHU.

Jamieson (2007) calls for new spaces that challenge the status quo and the ambition is for the typology to be used as a partial response to this. Participants will be asked to test the generalisability of the learning space preferences typology by working in groups and using the typology to build theoretical spaces which creatively resolve existing concerns and push boundaries in their own user environments. Each group’s output and experiences of using the typology will be shared via a whole group discussion and culminate in an attempt to build a series of interrelated, complimentary and coherent spaces supported by a research base. By critiquing the typology, the intention is to offer a pathway for the ongoing development of interrelated, complimentary and coherent learning spaces.

The focus of the workshop will be the participants testing the typology of learning space preference attributes and in doing so working in groups to have a go at planning aspects of a type of informal learning space of their own. In order for participants to test the typology, they will need to know a little bit about it. The early part of the session will briefly introduce the participants to the typology and what each attribute means. Below, I have provided a detailed breakdown of the workshop, complete with anticipated timings.


Introduction – define informal learning spaces and explain what we have been trying to do at SHU. The research method will not be discussed, but participants will be pointed to where they can find this information should they also wish to know about this aspect (1 min)

Typology of learning space preference attributes – provide an explanation of the nine attributes; namely: destination, identity, conversations, community, retreat, timely, human factors, resources and refreshments (10 mins)

Theoretical framework – quick summary of the literature review which underpins the research at SHU (2 mins)

Testing the typology of learning space preference attributes – to make it more practical, the typology has been transformed into a series of questions which you can use when planning a space) – groups of 4-5 asked to (1) select a space to redevelop or create, (2)  use the questions on an activity sheet which relate to each attribute in the typology to help them design an ideal space for the purpose they identified, (3) reflect on the typology and how/if it worked (15-20 mins)

Whole group discussion about informal learning spaces and the research at SHU – feedback from each group about what type of space they developed and a brief description of the key features, followed by a critique of the typology (5-10 mins)

Questions and what next? – What we are up to at SHU and how participants can find out more about the research and re-use our materials (1 min)

In addition, to help participants with ideas, we will be providing a printed pack containing annotated photographs showing the redevelopment of informal spaces at SHU which illustrate how the typology has been applied.

JAMIESON, P. with contributions from MIGLIS, P., HOLM, J. and PEACOCK, J. (2007). Creating new generation learning environments on the university campus. Adelaide, South Australia, Woods Bagot Research Press.


Name: Liam Bullingham

Job title: Information Adviser

Organisation: Sheffield Hallam University

Email: l.bullingham@sheffield.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Workshops: 45 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: The Library of the Mind: using cognitive mapping to draw your library’s web presence

Until recently I was an Information Adviser at Sheffield Hallam University, acting as the subject librarian for Art and Media Arts, but in June I started at The University of Sheffield as a Liaison Librarian in the Social Sciences team. Before all this, I worked at a law firm, the NHS, and was a Graduate Trainee at MMU in 2008-9. Professionally, I’m a keen user of technology enhanced learning, graphic design for libraries and social media. Outside work I’m learning to speak Farsi, make cocktails and am into film, board games and video games.


Objectives: the session will take the form of a workshop, encouraging participants to think about their own library’s web presence, and asking them to consider how it is currently and how they would like it to be ideally.

Methodology: participants will be asked to follow a cognitive mapping approach, using pens and paper to draw a visualisation of their library’s website and other online features now and after further development, and encouraged to reflect on the changes they would make.  The presenters will also talk about how mapping has been used with students, and how lessons learned have been fed back to students and staff.

Outcomes: delegates will also become familiar with the cognitive mapping method and also return to their home institutions with initial ideas for development work.

This workshop invites participants to reflect on the nature of their library’s presence on the web and evaluate its online performance. Key conference concerns regarding the ‘seamlessness’ and ‘invisibility’ of library services are relevant here and the cognitive mapping approach can prove to be an engaging, active way to elicit audience feedback and promote discussion.




Name: Robert Cunningham

Job title: Faculty Librarian

Organisation: Liverpool Hope University

Email: cunninr@hope.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Teachmeet: 7 minutes

Theme: Audience engagement

Abstract: For the last five years Hope’s subject librarians have been out of back room offices and at subject support points at the heart of student areas. Initially trialled as a pilot, it proved so successful it was incorporated into our recent library refurbishment . Whilst recognising the need for virtual support as a result of students’ increasing reliance on the digital library, we have realised that face to face support with their subject librarian is equally as important to our users.

We believe that having all subject librarians based out in the library and not hidden away in offices is not only unique, but an effective way of supporting users in their use of the digital library.

We would like this opportunity to share with colleagues from other institutions the practical application of what we do, how it positively effects our users, and how it impacts on our other duties and responsibilities.


Name: Helen Monagle

Job title: Assistant Librarian

Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University

Email: H.monagle@mmu.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Teachmeet: 7 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: How data influences the library’s decision-making.


Biography: Helen is an Assistant Librarian working at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). In her previously role as a Principal Library Assistant she focused on collating statistics for MMU’s e-resource usage. Outside of work Helen is one of the co-founders of the New Library Professionals Network (NLPN) and is New Professionals Support Officer for the CILIP North West Member Network.


Abstract: In my current position, working in the Digital Library Services team, I am responsible for gathering statistics for MMU’s e-resource use and training the Senior Library Assistants I manage in this task. This teachmeet will consider how data influences the library’s decision-making and will illustrate how usage statistics are used as a decision making tool for all of our subscriptions.

We collect e-resource statistics on a monthly (rather than annual) basis for packages and individual journals. These statistics are gathered for the SCONUL report, our Annual report and also when requested by subject librarians therefore all of these contribute to purchasing and renewal decisions.

The collection of statistics is a combination of gathering them manually from publishers’ websites and using automated tools such as JUSP.

The teachmeet will share strategies used by MMU, which include developing a streamlined process to ensure that work isn’t duplicated or arduous. These lessons can be appropriated to enable participants to facilitate their own e-resource usage practice. Furthermore, participation in the teachmeet will allow for demonstration of the tools and techniques used and a discussion of the various ways in which this data can be used e.g. promotion of resources, purchasing decisions etc. and how support from digital library teams is an important part of the modern academic library.

As a consequence of the changing nature of Academic Libraries in response to external and internal factors, libraries needs constant reinforcement, re-alignment and proactivity in order to be seen as sustainable, affordable and relevant. This teachmeet seeks to reaffirm the positive role of the modern academic library and the extent to which digital services have impacted upon their core business and the clients they serve by highlighting the importance of data (usage statistics) in decision-making processes. Usage statistics are used as a decision making tool for all of our subscriptions and in light of funding can be used to make savings.



Name: Maggie Barker

Job title: Library Services Manager

Organisation: University of Salford

Email: marsh-barker@salford.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Teachmeet: 7 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title:  Face-to-face, phone, chat or email – how do students want to make enquiries?

Biography: Maggie Barker has had a long career in Libraries, competing her postgrad at the North London Poly in 1980 – not quite the Jurassic period. The first stage of her career was in London, working mainly in special libraries – Aslib, National Children’s Bureau and the RNID. The second stage involved child care so she switched to being freelance – mainly writing abstracts for Anbar then Emerald. The third and current stage is working at Salford University as Library Service Manager where she works as a job share managing the enquiry services and spaces development at Clifford Whitworth library.

Abstract: Salford University offers support to library users in using our resources, including e-resources in a number of ways: accessible within the library we offer the traditional library enquiry desk, plus roving support on the library floors; and accessible both within the library and outside we offer email, chat, text and webpage guidance and support.

We are conducting research into how well these services meet our users’ needs, asking if they have used these services, how well they met their needs and if they have any preference about which method they use. The analysis will be shared in the TeachMeet

This would offer an insight into how Salford University library delivers support for e- and other resources and give more generalizable information about the value placed on the different methods by users



Name: Rachel Fell

Job title: Senior Assistant Librarian

Organisation: MMU

Email: r.fell@mmu.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Teachmeet: 7 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: Virtually Supporting Online English Students at MMU

Biography: Rachel Fell is Senior Assistant Librarian at Manchester Metropolitan University Library.

As English Librarian at MMU, I work closely with the English department to support learning and teaching.  Major technological developments including the introduction of Moodle has proved exciting and improved visibility of the support I can offer.

An increase in the number of online courses has presented a challenge in how I can best support distance learners.  More recently, I have tried a variety of tools to engage with online students and I am keen to investigate other types of software, which might increase interactivity and improve support.


Abstract: The provision of online courses has increased over the last few years in the Department of English at MMU.   We are now supporting students both nationally and internationally.  This has presented a challenge as to how we can effectively reach these students to tell them about library resources and services.  One way this has been addressed so far is by visiting live online teaching sessions using a chat-room system called Chatzy.    I have also used BlueBerry Flashback screen capture software to create podcasts. In this presentation, I will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of Chatzy and podcasting and plans for improving online support in the future.

Online provision is likely to increase for all institutions in the future and we need to be able to provide support which is as good as it is for our campus students.  I believe librarians across the North West are dealing with the same challenge.  I hope that talking about my experiences so far regarding what has worked and hasn’t worked as well will be of interest to colleagues when they consider how best to support online students.



Name: Roy Vickers

Job title: Academic Support Librarian (Health Sciences)

Organisation: University of Salford

Email: r.vickers@salford.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Teachmeet: 7 minutes

Theme: Digital Library/Media and Digital support

Title: Flipped learning and referencing skills at the University of Salford

‘I dream of a world without plagiarism…but I’m not the only one’

(Milton Jones)


Biography: I currently dash across the border weekdays from West Yorkshire into the Red Rose County where I work as an academic support librarian at the University of Salford. I provide information literacy training and collections development support for taught students, researchers and academic staff in the School of Health Sciences. I also develop blended learning and promote digital literacy skills across the School’s many programmes, which have varied learning support needs. I also spend some time volunteering at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford.

Abstract: The Library at the University of Salford (UoS) is seeing an increase in the undergraduate need for support in reference management and information sharing through digital tools such as Endnote Online. Such tools can save students much time and effort when referencing. The evaluative skills required for good referencing however remain a necessity. These skills are:


  • Understanding referencing as a broad information management strategy
  • Sharing information and resources ethically in the digital environment


I wanted to try to improve on the ‘chalk, talk and exercise’ models I had been using for delivering these skills. I now run a two-part workshop using flipped learning – a method that gives students control of the pace of their study. The learning outcome is for students to see the role of evaluation skills in their digital literacy when using an online referencing tool. Before taking part one, students must engage with the UoS online learning tool on referencing, and with some pre-workshop exercises. The workshop then embeds key skills in referencing and information ethics through discussion and hands-on exercises. Part two applies these skills as a digital practice using Endnote Online, and tests the skills acquired in the former session. In so doing it shows how skills in information ethics and discrimination are required when using online referencing tools.


This teach-meet paper demonstrates the flipped learning exercises used, how they were designed, and how the overall workshop promotes evaluative skills and their role in the digital realm. This paper also tangentially asks if the boundary between information management and academic writing skills can be more clearly defined.



Name: Sarah Roughley and Zelda Chatten

Job title: Liaison Librarian

Organisation: University of Liverpool

Email: sarah13@liverpool.ac.uk

Type of presentation: Teachmeet: 7 minutes

Theme: Audience engagement


Sarah Roughley is the liaison librarian for the Management School at the University of Liverpool Library, working closely with staff and students to support their teaching, learning and research. She has a variety of responsibilities in the library including being a member of the social media group where she helps to coordinate the library’s presence on Twitter and Facebook, as well as other social media platforms.

Zelda Chatten is the liaison librarian for the Schools of Physical Sciences and Electrical Engineering, Electronics & Computer Science at the University of Liverpool Library, working closely with staff and students to support their teaching, learning and research. She has a variety of responsibilities in the library including being lead of the social media group where she helps to coordinate the library’s presence on Twitter and Facebook, as well as other social media platforms.

Abstract: This teachmeet will focus on how we use social media to develop new and existing relationships with our users at the University of Liverpool. We use Twitter and Facebook to enhance student engagement by promoting our resources and services in a space our students already use; rather than expecting them to come to us. We will look at how we use different voices and a multiplicity of topics to capture the interest of our diverse student body while also reflecting the interests of our library staff.

Through Twitter we have developed a close working relationship with the Student Guild, recruited students to take part in user feedback and been retweeted as far away as Brazil. Our social media presence increases our national and international profile and ensures good on campus relationships with our main stakeholders. By having conversations with students on social media we are able to identify their concerns, respond to issues as they arise and promote library resources in a targeted and effective manner. Our social media team has developed a community which includes students, staff, libraries, institutions and alumni meaning we can promote our library service as part of a coherent communication strategy. Through our online conversations we are able to identify student concerns, respond to issues as they arise and promote our library resources. We can demonstrate to students what we are doing for them and the ways in which we can help.

We will explore how our use of social media has changed our relationships with staff, students and other groups across campus, creating a community that did not previously exist and opening doors to wider engagement. We will also look at how we operate our social media behind the scenes, focusing on how the flexibility of our team approach has developed our audience engagement.


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