Some of you know I’ve been on the Aurora programme since October. It’s a women’s leadership course and I’m enjoying it immensely, not least because of the wonderful women I’ve met, the inspiring workshops and the great readings and resources you get introduced to. I love a Ted Talk and its difficult to know which I’ve enjoyed most, from Amy Cuddy to Hillary Clinton. This week I particularly enjoyed Simon Sinek on what makes for successful leadership and starting with why and Dan Pink on ‘drive.’ What has really resonated with me is focusing on why we do things, not so much what we do when trying to explain it to people.
It became clear to me last year that I love teaching and research and inspiring others to use information and technology for their own and others learning. So I’m delighted to be able to officially announce that from mid April I’ll be following my heart, taking up a new role at City University, as Senior Lecturer in Educational Development based in Learning Enhancement and Academic Development(LEaD). I’ll be focusing on educational technologies, digital literacy and hopefully looking to support and develop open practices. Its going to be a really exciting opportunity as I’ll also have more time to pursue the things that interest me, as the post is 3 days a week. But I’m really excited to be joining such a great team, and of course just moving up the road!
I’m going to be very sad to leave LSE where I’ve worked for 15 years. I have wonderful friends and colleagues and I’ve loved working here. LSE has given me so much, including the ability to have considerable autonomy to learn and develop myself, while providing copyright and digital literacy advice for the institution. But its time for me to do something new and I’m not leaving anything behind, but building on all my experience and networks. Copyright and information literacy remain my passion and I’ll be infusing all I do at City with that perspective. I’ll continue my professional work in both these areas, remaining the Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and staying firmly involved in the UUK Copyright Working group. So it is onwards and upwards for me and I hope you will follow me on my next step in the journey of life!
I was having a think about what I’ve achieved in 2016 and what I’m proud of and reflecting lots of really great stuff amidst the depressing political stuff that’s been happening in the world. So here’s my top ten of achievements and things (and people) I am proud of this year.
1. Conference presentations – I always seem to be giving conference presentations but this year really has been quite a year for them including two keynotes – one at the Dublin Institute for Technology’s E-learning Summer school and my big highlight, a keynote at ALT-C in Warwick in September. I’ve also presented on a range of topics, from information and digital literacy to copyright education and games-based learning. In Ireland, Prague and all around the UK. Presenting at the CILIP conference on the Brighton Dome stage (where Abba won Eurovision in 1974) was another highlight for me this year, on the TeenTech information literacy award! And the show will go on, with plenty of exciting trips lined up for 2017!
2. Publishing my fifth book – I was so pleased to finally finish Copyright and E-learning in the spring which I updated with my co-researcher and copyright buddy Chris Morrison. It really has been great to see the positive book reviews over the last few months and to have people make such nice comments on it. I didn’t enjoy writing this book first time around, but working with Chris was a lot of fun and as I predicted, his knowledge and attention to detail (pedantic, no never!) made it a far better book from from the first edition. So thanks for working with me Chris to produce something we can both be really proud of.
3. Chairing the CILIP Information Literacy Group – I’m now in my second year of chairing the ILG and I love working with my committee. We’ve been working on an exciting rebrand to be launched at Lilac in April and the work we’re doing on outreach such as funding research projects and working with TeenTech is so rewarding. I’m so proud of everyone on the Committee and the ILG working groups and can’t thank them enough.
4. Raising over £1000 for Cancer Research UK through charity runs. Some of you will know my friend Maria was diagnosed with cancer last year and I’ve completed 3 charity runs to raise money for CRUK this year. I would have liked go do more but injured my foot so I’m building up my strength and also hoping to do some charity cycle rides instead in 2017, as I love my new bike!
5. Getting a place on Aurora the women’s leadership in higher education. I was so pleased to get a place on this programme which I’m just over half way through and I am so grateful to Rosie Jones, Nic Whitton and to Suzanne Christopher formerly of LSE Learning and Development who suggested I apply for this programme. I’ve met some amazing women and I am learning so much. And it’s got me really fired up about issues related to gender and equality more broadly and helped me make some really big decisions about my future career.
6. Becoming an auntie. I cannot explain the joy and love I have felt since becoming an auntie to Henry James Secker who was born in July 2016. He’s an adorable little chap and I enjoy every moment I spend with him and his wonderful parents, my brother Dan, the computer games geek, and his lovely, generous wife, Keeley. I look forward to a future with this lovely chap in my life and want to share so many things with him when he grows up. I’m also proud to say I bought him his first book and a pen as I have great hopes for him!
7. Giving something back and amusing people through my costumed historical walks. I volunteer for an animal charity, but I am also secretary of our local civic society, which preserves the built heritage and green spaces of the town I live in. This is partly because of my love of history but has also been a great way of being part of the community I live in and I’ve met some really inspiring people, who give up their time to campaign for things they believe in. I’ve also got to combine two of my great loves, dressing up and telling people about history through leading two costumed historical walks this year! I can’t wait to do more.
8. Making copyright literacy a real thing through the website, our first bits of consultancy and continuing road show. This is largely the work I’ve been doing with Chris for the past couple of years, but it’s growing and becoming an international movement, with hopefully an IFLA event next summer in Poland bringing it all together. Teaching people about copyright may seem boring and geeky to many people, but for librarians it’s a really important part of their work and something many feel anxious about. So if we can help here, then that is a great thing, but also to teach this in a wider context as part of digital and information literacy, so copyright isn’t just a problem to fix, but part of open practices in education.
9. Discovering the creative side of me or should that be rediscovering it as I did study art and graphic communication at school and loved both subjects. Through working on games and developing new ideas for workshops I am really starting to enjoy bringing creativity and fun into the work I do and hopefully using that to inspire people. I also now have a lot of coloured pens, post-it notes and a collection of owl related stationary which help inspire me.
10. Having less fear and becoming more comfortable being me. There are going to be some big changes for me in 2017 and I am actually really excited about the future and starting to feel more happier knowing who I am, what I stand for, what I value and what I want to do in my life. It’s been a difficult year in some ways, with some disappointments at work too, but overall the future is looking really positive. I’m excited about 2017, the travel opportunities, the new people I will meet and the fantastic people I hope to carry on working with, so here’s to the New Year and everything it brings! I am ready for it!!
I was speaking to a colleague recently who was delighted to hear about the increase in the extent limits from 5% to 10% in the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) recently revised Licence for the higher education sector and she asked how this had come about. In a rather flippant way I said, ‘I did that’ and she laughed thinking I was joking. And then I thought about it for a moment, and then said ‘no in fact I did do that, through my work on the Universities UK / Guild HE Copyright Working Group. Of course it was not all my work, there is a team of us, and I am just one of the group, but collectively this is something our group did achieve for the higher education sector this year, through our hard work and negotiations over the past three years with the CLA. One of the meetings was with publishers where we strongly argued the case for increasing the extent limits along with a wider ‘wishlist’ of requests from the HE sector. The requests had been gathered during a workshop in July 2015 which was attended by over 40 university copyright officers and I helped to organise.
My colleagues know I disappear about four times a year up to Woburn House where UUK is based and I usually report back that we had a meeting with the CLA or another collecting society – we do also meet the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) and respond to various consultations on copyright matters from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Most recently I was one of four members of the group who attended a meeting at the IPO about Brexit and the copyright implications for universities. However, in the run up to August this year, when the new CLA Licence was finally launched, the UUK / Guild HE Copyright Working Group meetings became more frequent and I did help with quite a number of pieces of work, such as reviewing the user guidelines for the sector and being on a group reviewing the set up of a new optional service for universities called the Digital Content Store.
A chance comment from my colleague made me realise that it was important to write more about why I am on this group, what we do, and why it’s so important to LSE and the HE sector as a whole. It’s also one of the most rewarding external committees that I am part of, and one that over the years has really tested my abilities to negotiate, stay calm under pressure and deal with people and organisations who sometimes have polar opposite opinions on matters relating to copyright, educational exceptions and licensing for the sector. But it’s also an example of what can be achieved through setting those differences aside and trying to work for the common good.
What is the UUK / Guild HE Copyright Working Group
The CWG was established by the then Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principles and the Standing Committee of Principles (now Universities UK and Guild HE) in anticipation of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. The act provided for the copying of strictly limited extracts of copyright material for teaching purposes. THE CLA developed a licence to permit educational establishments to produce multiple copies under this provision in return for a payment based on the number of full time equivalent students at each higher education institution. Initially, the CWG that negotiated the terms of the licence was chaired by the then Vice Chancellor of York University and subsequently by David a former senior policy advisor at UUK. In the early years of the operation of the licence the production of multiple course packs was not permitted. To do so required separate permission and payment under a transactional arrangement. This and other unsatisfactory aspects of the licence eventually led the group to advise UUK/ Guild HE in 2001 to refer the terms of the licence to the Copyright Tribunal as permitted by the 1988 Act. Its ruling favoured the case of the HE sector and the terms of the licence was modified and greatly improved along with its cost. In 1999 the CWG collaborated with JISC and the CLA in the development of a licence permitting photocopying, scanning and digitisation of copyright material. Further background and the history of the CLA Licence is outlined in a paper by Sol Picciotto.
Why did I join the group?
it was into this world that I was introduced in 2000 when I joined University College London working on developing a trial electronic course pack service as part of the Access to Core Course Materials project. For 18 months I lived and breathed all things related to copyright, digitising course materials (both published and lecturer produced content) and became extremely familiar with the controversy surrounding digitisation and course pack copying. My developing interest and experience in this subject led me in 2002 to move to LSE to manage their fledgling electronic course pack service, provide copyright advice for staff using learning technologies and over the next 6 years I developed this service which went from strength to strength, promoting it to academic staff at LSE until we could barely cope with the demand for it. I became the Chair of the Heron User group in 2002, because of my interest in the field and the use of the Heron services at LSE, to help us scale up our scanned reading service. Heron were offering copyright clearance and digitisation services to the HE sector and I worked with the Technical Manager, George Pitcher to develop what started out as an in-house tool to manage our scanning and clearance services. That tool became Packtracker and it was subsequently launched for use in other universities to help them manage their copyright permissions and scanning. But I remember vividly trying to explain what I wanted a system to do to George and him saying in a matter of fact way to me, I can build you that. It is worth noting that it was in part that tool that has inspired the CLA to develop the Digital Content Store, which was launched this year for the HE sector.
And it was due to my experience of chairing the Heron User Group meeting that David first asked me to attend a UUK Copyright Working Group meeting in 2004. I have a suspicion it was on the recommendation of Charles Oppenheim (at the time a CWG member along with Sol Piccitto and Toby Bainton) whom I knew through LIS-Copyseek events. David was looking for more on the ground experience of the impact of some of the decisions that the new, enhanced blanket scanning licence might have. One of those requirements was full reporting of all the scans undertaken by a university on an annual basis. After attending a meeting I realised fairly quickly that the CWG had not entirely appreciated the administrative burden to which they had committed librarians in the collection of this data. I first attended the pre-meetings held at UUK, where I was conscious not only of the seniority of the rest of the group, but also their expertise in copyright matters. It was an amazing learning experience and I hope I demonstrated in those early days that practical on the ground experience was at least as important as detailed knowledge of copyright law. After one pre-meeting in around 2005 I recall David said to me, ‘I think you need to become a member of the CWG’ and that was when I really felt like I had made it! One of the first things I did was to suggest another academic librarian might join our ranks, and Lyn Parker who was then managing the scanned readings service at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Heron Committee, joined the group. Lyn and I served together on this group for many years until her retirement in 2012 and we were also joined by Linda Purdy from Sheffield Hallam. Steve Bowman was a lively member of the group for several years while working at the Director of Library Services at Ravensbourne College. And in latter years, the late Lawrence Bebbington was an important member of our group, who was always robust in pre-meetings and in negotiations with CLA.
What does the CWG do?
Our group has two main purposes which is to negotiate blanket licences for the HE sector with organisations such as CLA and ERA and to respond to UK and European consultations on copyright matters on behalf of Universities UK. In these latter activities we often liaise with other groups in the library sector, such as SCONUL and the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA), of which I am also a member, to collaborate on our responses. When negotiating licences we need to represent a diverse range of universities which are either UUK or Guild HE members (or both). The alternative would be each university would need to negotiate the terms and the price separately and while the deal is seen as high for some institutions, overall through negotiating for the sector as a whole we believe that we get a better deal. Our challenge is to represent the diverse needs of the sector and we are increasingly trying to be more visible as a group and to encourage individuals to get in touch with us with feedback. We periodically ask for feedback and carry out surveys or small pieces of research to understand what universities need or how a licence might be meeting they needs. Our current CWG comprises Chris Morrison, Kate Vasili, Monique Ritchie, Ralph Weedon, David Farley, Sam Roseveare, Neil Sprunt, Ruth Macmillan and Cat Turhan, myself and David. Sol Picciotto and Toby Bainton continue as corresponding members.
Why does it matter to LSE and the sector?
Access to copyright material is essential for teaching, learning and research. Universities couldn’t teach effectively without a CLA Licence if they want to deliver multiple copies of paper or digital copyright resources to students in a timely and cost efficient manner. While we might like to think all readings are now available in electronic format, that simply isn’t the case. There are also times when purchasing an electronic journal title for one article that is needed for one course, is also not cost effective or practical and here the CLA Licence can be used. Over the years we have tried to streamline the process, and cut down on the reporting that needs to be done. The most recent negotiations involved working with CLA over the development of a reporting tool for the sector, called the Digital Content Store, which allows us to share readings and hopefully reduces the burden of administration to HEIs.
As a whole the CLA collect over £14 million from the HE sector, but the vast majority of that money is distributed back to authors, to publishers and to artists and designers to compensate them for the copying that is done of their work. I encourage academics to sign up to the Authors Licensing Collecting Society (ALCS), which is the way they will receive their share of these payments for the copying of their work. And if they really don’t agree with this model, then it is all the more reason to make their publications available on open access so they can be used freely. My work on the UUK Copyright Working Group means that the needs of LSE are taken into account when licences are negotiated and the members have important role to play working for the sector as a whole. Being on this group has developed my knowledge of copyright matters enormously and allowed me to establish LSE’s reputation for a high quality copyright and digitisation service. We also got to be part of the pilot to test out the CLA’s Digital Content Store. I also have access to a fantastic networks of colleagues, several of whom more recently I recommended were invited to join the group! I appreciate the time LSE gives me to work on this group, and I know that we benefit and are contributing to improving copyright and licensing matters for the education sector as a whole.
Today I was delighted to visit the University of Sussex to give a seminar in their Technology Enhanced Learning Seminar series. Dr David Walker is the head of TEL at Sussex and we first met in May when we both spoke at the UCISA Digital Capabilities event. This led me to invite David to speak at the ILG / MMiT joint event on Digital libraries and digital literacies one day event held in August.
Today I gave a similar talk to the one I had given at the UCISA event, reflecting on over 10 years of running a digital literacy programme at LSE, the lessons learnt and challenges, and the importance of collaboration, which in our case is between the librarians and learning technologists and working with students as partners. My slides are below, but it was great to meet staff at Sussex and some old friends from the library. I had a chance to talk about the importance to embed copyright literacy and the use innovative approaches to learning such as games. And of course I spoke about information literacy and the importance of using technologies in a critical way. After the session we recorded a short podcast and I look forward to hearing this and the recording of the event.
I’m really excited to be presenting at the European Conference on Information Literacy which this year is being held in Prague from 10th -14th October. This is the fourth conference and I’ve been lucky enough to attend every year since the conference started in 2013 in Istanbul. I went to Dubrovnik in 2014, Tallinn in 2015 and this year I am in Prague. The focus of the conference is information literacy, and many papers address issues related to digital literacy as well. It’s a European conference but in fact people come from all over the world, so it’s a fantastic place to get a global perspective on the work I do at LSE to support staff and students develop their digital literacy. The conference also has a strong link with the work I do to provide support and education in copyright matters. This year there are nearly 300 delegates from over 50 countries with just 19 from the UK. The conference theme is about information literacy in the inclusive society and we’ve had keynotes from Tara Brabazon and Jan Van Dijk.
I am presenting twice at the conference, firstly in a panel session that was held on Monday, based on outreach and advocacy work I do as Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG). My co-presenters were Sharon Wagg from the Tinder Foundation, who are a charity who work to promote digital inclusion, and Stephane Goldstein, who as well as being a freelance consultant, is the Advocacy and Outreach Officer for the ILG. In our panel we discussed some recent collaborations between librarians in academic sector with those in public libraries, to share their experiences of helping to develop digital literacies and promote digital inclusion. The TeachMeet events ILG and Tinder Foundation organised earlier in the year were a great way that academic and public librarians could share ideas and experience. I was delighted that two colleagues from LSE Library, Andra Fry and Sonia Gomes, attended one of these events in February to share our experiences from the Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy (SADL) programme we were running for three years, to support LSE undergraduates. The panel discussion encouraged participants to share any digital inclusion initiatives they were involved in around the world. We also discussed what made these collaborations successful and why there might be problems and challenges working in this space. Sharon highlighted the Tinder Foundation’s work with libraries through their digital inclusion fund and it was inspiring to hear about work to support the most vulnerable in society, such as the elderly, job seekers and refugees develop basic and more advanced digital skills.
ECIL is also the spiritual home of copyright literacy, as this was where I first heard about the work of Tania Todorova and her colleagues to survey librarians on a country basis about their knowledge of copyright and requirements for education in this field. This was back in 2014 in Dubrovnik and last year Chris and I presented the UK survey results in Tallinn. This year I’m returning to present our latest research, exploring the experiences of UK librarians of copyright, using a research method used in education and information literacy called phenomenography. It’s still early days – we carried out 3 focus groups in higher education and have been juggling work and some pretty intensive data analysis. As neither of us had used phenomenography before we are grateful to the help and advice we received from Emma Coonan and Lauren Smith, as well as several very useful articles they pointed us to. I’m sharing our slides from the ECIL presentation which I delivered on Tuesday morning. It has also been great to catch up with Tania, Serap, Joumana and several of the people who undertook the copyright literacy survey in their own country. Part of what motivated Chris and I to do this research was to understand the fear and anxiety that copyright can create, to look at why it’s a topic many in higher education shy away from learning more about, and use this data to better inform how we develop copyright education. I was struck once again by how important it is to get an international perspective on the work we do, and to see in many cases there are so many things we can learn from others experiences and so much that unites us in our work.
The research and collaboration with Chris has informed my thinking about the best way to provide support for others with copyright queries at LSE. For example, I now use a Copyright Card Game in my workshops, which are a fun and engaging way to learn about copyright. However, being seen as ‘the copyright expert’ can be quite a lonely place, and for me it is important that everyone learns a bit about copyright. This is partly what has motivated me to set up a Copyright Community of Practice at LSE (admittedly I did borrow this idea from Chris who set one up at Kent over the summer). The next session is going to be on the 4th November and it is open to any member of staff at LSE! Meanwhile I will enjoy a few more days in beautiful Prague and return to LSE full of more ideas and possibilities to enhance the support that we provide!