Inspiration in Oxford for the start of the new term

My running around is on hold for a few weeks as we gear up to the start of term at LSE. I was out the office for two days last week, at Oxford University Library Services, exchange of experience day and then at the University of Warwick. The Oxford event was billed as an ‘exchange of experience’ day, with participants from Oxford, Cambridge, Oxford Brookes, and Reading. There were some great speakers, including a group from Cambridge led by Yvonne Norbis, who have developed a science portal for students using lots of web 2.0 technologies and tools. This is going to be great for students at the start of term to help them find their way round the library resources. I love the way they are using RSS feeds to bring in all sorts of relevant content for students to the portal. They are using a LibraryThing account to bring in new book titles and also to present reading lists. Meebo is being used for online help via a chat tool and the medical resources are in delicious. This really is a great way of providing tailored, subject specific library information for students.

Induction and information literacy was really the theme for the day and it was really timely. The numbers of students Oxford reach in induction and training at the Radcliffe Science Library were really impressive and they are opening a new training room in the library this year. Hazel Rothera from Oxford Brookes gave a useful overview of the development of their audio tour and emphasised the importance of giving these things a go! I was also particularly impressed with the work Kate Williams at the Education Library at Oxford is doing to integrate information skills into the curriculum.

The day was rounded off by Jane Rawson from OULS, who gave an overview of Web 2.0 developments in Oxford. I was struck by how many pockets of enthusiasm and experimentation there are at Oxford. The Web 2.0 working group at Oxford have created a Social OULS wiki which documents all the work in this area. They held a study day in March and there are loads of examples on the wiki of developments from Facebook to delicious, LibraryThing to Meebo. The group are also working on guidelines for staff which I’ll be really interested to see. I’ve bookmarked their wiki immediately!

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