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Improved Digital Skills for public library staff thanks to SCL E-learning programme Add News288 to Scrapbook

Nearly 14,000 public library staff, 80% of the workforce, signed up for an SCL e-learning programme designed to improve their digital skills and digital confidence. The pro-gramme, funded by SCL and Arts Council England, helped library staff to recognise barriers people face when getting online, equipped staff to support people with various disability needs, and strengthened their role as digital champions.

For many people in the UK, the local public library is the only place to access free computers. According to ONS data more than 4 million households do not have internet access, and a large part of this group state that barriers, including lack of skills and equipment and access costs, prevent them from connecting to the Internet. Public libraries offer more than just computer and internet access: most have internet taster sessions aimed at both novice and experienced computer users.

Local and central Government departments in England rely on libraries as a delivery channel for their digital services. Now, thanks to the SCL programme, most libraries in England have taken steps to improve the digital confidence of staff members in order to help customers even more.

Ciara Eastell, SCL President, said:

"I'm very pleased that so many library services got involved in this training. It was delivered at low cost and to a tight timeframe, and in response to the identified training needs of library staff. Having a baseline of skill and confidence in place across the whole country gives us a real opportunity to talk with the new Government about the potential of public libraries to be a key venue for digital inclusion work with the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Brian Ashley, Director of Libraries, Arts Council England, said:

"Access to trusted skills and expertise is part of the library's USP. This needs to be continually refreshed, especially in the digital world, so the Arts Council felt it important to invest in this important work. The scale and value for money achieved in this programme is remarkable, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Society of Chief Librarians and with the Leadership for Libraries Task Force.”

An independent evaluation of the e-learning programme, carried out by Oakleigh Consulting, found that most staff felt better placed to help customers meet their online needs.

The evaluation surveyed library customers and found that 65% did not have a computer at home and 53% needed help get-ting online. 90% of the customers surveyed said that the online support they received in libraries was very important.


University of Lincoln's Library Shortlisted for Times Higher Education Award Add News286 to Scrapbook

University of Lincoln libraryLincoln has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Library Team category of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) 2015.

The THELMAs recognise the outstanding work of academic and professional services teams across higher education institutions in the UK.

Ian Snowley, University Librarian said:

"We’re extremely proud to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. The Library is the heart of our campus, and we work hard to continue to develop the services we provide to students and staff. This nomination recognises the commitment and dedication of our staff, and the effort they put in to making sure the services we provide delight our students.”

Opened in 2004 in a stunning conversion of a Victorian goods and grain warehouse, the Great Central Warehouse Library has won awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Last year the Library was named "a beacon of innovation and best practice” when it was awarded Customer Service Excellence status by the East Midlands Quality Centre.

The Library provides a variety of services and facilities for students and staff, offering more than a quarter of a million print book titles and thousands more e-books and journals. The last academic year (2013/14) was the most active in the Library’s history with almost 700,000 visits. An extension to the Library was officially opened in 2014 by HRH Prince Edward The Duke of Kent, providing extra seminar rooms, study space and ICT equipment.

The latest award nomination reflects ways in which students are given a clear voice in how their Library is run through close collaboration with the Students’ Union and the Library’s own Student Advisory Panel. This has enabled staff to respond to identified needs: for example, 24/7 opening is now standard for the majority of the academic year and a free Harvard referencing handbook provide students with a definitive guide for essay and dissertation work.

Winners of the THELMAs 2015 will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday 18th June 2015. To see the shortlist, visit:

Managing Access to the Internet in Public Libraries [MAIPLE] Add News282 to Scrapbook

MAIPLE was a 24 month project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), carried out between September 2012 and August 2014 by a team from Loughborough University, led by Louise Cooke and including Rachel Spacey, Adrienne Muir, Claire Creaser and Valerie Spezi.

The aim of the project was to identify measures taken in UK public libraries to regulate access to internet content and evaluate their impact and effectiveness. The final project report is now completed and published. It can be downloaded free in PDF form and there are also had a limited number of copies printed to sell at cost price for anyone who wants to have a hard copy. To purchase a bound full-colour paper copy at cost price plus p&p, please visit the online store. More information on the website:

Comments, questions, and observations on the report, the project findings and the recommendations are welcomed; contact the Project Lead, Louise Cooke

See the report here: Managing Access to the Internet in Public Libraries [MAIPLE] Acrobat document  

Guide to collaboration between the archive and higher education sectors Add News280 to Scrapbook

The National Archives and Research Libraries UK commissioned a piece of guidance to explore how archives and academic institutions could better collaborate with one another.

The Guide to collaboration between the archive and higher education sectors was produced by Caroline Peach (of Preservation Matters Ltd) and is the result of an extensive period of research involving staff from a variety of archival and academic bodies. It explores many of the benefits and challenges of working between sectors and it is a part of The National Archives' wider collaboration with Research Libraries UK.

The guide can be downloaded here:    Guide_for_archives_to_collaborate_with_Higher_Education Acrobat document  

A video to accompany the guidance can also be found through the above link. This video was filmed at last year’s collaborative conference, "Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities: Forging collection based collaboration between archives, museums and academia."
Further content from the conference can be found here:

Patent Libraries Network - Northampton Library joins Add News277 to Scrapbook

Hull and Northamptonshire Central Libraries become recognised intellectual property centres after joining the UK’s patent library network.

The addition of these two libraries to the network brings the total number of PatLibs across the UK to 15. The centres will provide businesses and entrepreneurs with advice and support on IP issues. They will also offer patent searching, clinics with IP professionals and general business advice.

Both libraries have been supported by the Enterprising Libraries programme. This is funded by the Arts Council England and the Department for Communities and Local Government, in partnership with the British Library. The programme uses libraries’ roles in the community to spark local economic growth.


2015 Universal Offers poster available Add News269 to Scrapbook

Universal Offers 2015

A pdf version of the Society of Chief Librarians 2015 Universal Offers calendar can be found here:

SCL Universal Offers library poster 2015Acrobat document  


See also the resources section of SCL's website:



Refurbished Lincoln College Library Add News259 to Scrapbook

Study pod in The Library, Lincoln College A new layout for The Library in Lincoln College fulfils an ambition to provide students with modern learning facilities and resources that are logically organised and easy to find.

Lincoln College is sited over three locations: two in Lincolnshire and on one in Nottingham. It is the largest educational institute in the County with around 9,000 students of whom over 3,000 study full-time. The campus on Monk Road is both the administrative centre and the largest site of the college.

See more and images: Designing Libraries

Lincoln College library:

Suffolk libraries receive grant to develop arts Add News258 to Scrapbook

Suffolk Libraries has been awarded just over £99,000 by Arts Council England (ACE) to develop new arts opportunities in eight of the county’s libraries, with more to follow.

Suffolk libraries arts grantThe money has been granted through ACE’s ‘Grants for the Arts’ scheme which is a lottery-funded programme to support activities to engage people in creative arts activities and help artists and arts organisations carry out their work.

Suffolk Libraries are teaming up with Creative Arts East on the project which aims to deliver a programme of events with the potential to attract and ‘wow’ audiences.

The money will be used to help establish an initial eight libraries as spaces where the arts can be enjoyed and experienced with a focus on projecting high quality recorded performances in the library.

Some of the funding will be used for new equipment to enable libraries to provide events where digitally projected performances are shown to an audience. The programme could include digitally projected recorded performances such as of Donmar Warehouse’s Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Katherine Tate or The Unicorn Theatre’s production of Michael Morpurgo’s Billy the Kidd.

There will be a focus on introducing new audiences to the arts and showing them what their library can offer. The programme will also help to establish stronger links between Suffolk Libraries and local arts organisations. The events are likely to take place in 2015.

Tony Brown, chair of Suffolk Libraries, said: "We are delighted to be awarded this funding which will help us to develop the role of our libraries as centres for cultural, social and learning experiences and hopefully encourage people to visit the library. Some people may be put off experiencing the arts in traditional, formal settings but the library may provide a more familiar and comfortable environment for them to enjoy the arts. New technology also gives us the opportunity to deliver these experiences in new and exciting ways.”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: "Libraries are at the centre of local community life so provide great locations for artistic performances and exhibitions. We are incredibly pleased to be supporting this project that will bring high quality artistic experiences to new audiences.”

The eight libraries involved are Ixworth, Felixstowe, Gainsborough, Glemsford, Hadleigh, Lowestoft, Capel St Mary and Stradbroke, representing a range of libraries and locations across the county.

The programme will also support library staff to become ‘community champions’ for the arts so they can encourage current and new customers to take part. The project will also make the most of existing library stock – books, ebooks, magazines, DVDs and printed and online information about arts in the area.

Suffolk libraries link:

Discovery Add News257 to Scrapbook

 DiscoveryDiscovery holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Over 9 million records are available for download. 
Archive users can now search, browse and tag 32 million record descriptions through the Discovery catalogue, making it a unique archival resource for researchers around the world.

The value to researchers of combining catalogue and organisational data from across the UK archives sector in one place is enormous.

Discovery incorporates data from:
•           National Register of Archives (NRA)
•           Directory of archives (ARCHON)
•           Access to Archives (A2A)
•           Manorial Documents Register (MDR)

Northamptonshire wins a Libraries Change Lives Award Add News252 to Scrapbook
Enterprise Hubs – Northamptonshire Library and Information Service and the Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Enterprise Hubs, a partnership development between Northamptonshire Library and Information Service and the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, which stimulates business start-ups and self-employment among the region’s budding entrepreneurs and job seekers, was recently announced the winner of the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award.

About the project

Northamptonshire Library and Information Service and the Northampton Enterprise Partnership (NEP) work together to provide a new business information and marketing service for people in the region who have skills or ideas they would like to turn into self-employment or business start-ups, including many would-be job-seekers who cannot find opportunities in the local job market.

Together the library and NEP encourage users to use their skills to turn themselves into self-employed entrepreneurs.


Users are supported with free and low cost business expertise via drop-in sessions, one-on-one consultations, workshops and valuable insight into local markets and opportunities, as well as access to low-cost office and meeting space. 


Since launching in April 2012 the service has helped over 900 people, 105 of whom are known to be trading in areas ranging from cleaning services to boat-building and from creative arts to veterinary lab services – this accounts for about 10% of all the county’s start-ups in that period.

At least 12 of these new businesses have become employers of staff or apprentices.