The meeting of the fellowship

I’m making a deliberate reference to Lord of Rings, as I think it does feel like a group of us have been on a quest, not to find a ring to rule all rings, but to explore the future of academic libraries in the digital age. The quest is no less exciting and we have all had adventures on the way, and for some fellows the journey is not quite over. But today and yesterday we came together at the Moller Centre, Churchill College to reflect on what we have achieved.
Over the past three year Cambridge has funded 19 Arcadia Fellows to work on 17 projects, all guided by Professor John Naughton. Four of us have worked on the New Curriculum for Information Literacy (does this make us the hobbits because personally I had always fancied being an elf?)

Yesterday some of us presented a short overview of our project (for five meetings) and it was followed by around 25 minutes of discussion per project. So we heard from: Ed Chamberlain, Huw Jones, Tony Hirst, Helle Porsdam, Lihua Zhu, Stefanie Hundsberger.

In addition Emma and I gave an overview of our project and were followed by Katy Wrathall and Helen Webster who are working on implementing ANCIL this term. I was really pleased with the reaction we got from the group. I had assumed people would have looked at our work, but it was nice to get a fresh and positive reaction.

Today we are hearing from the remaining fellows, Isla Kuhn, Yvonne Nobis and Esther Dingley. I’m writing more detailed notes on each talk which I’ll share later, but it’s great to be here and reflect on each project, explore common issues and discuss areas for future research. Last night a few of us went for a lovely meal with John who is a great believer in giving people time to think. Being back at Wolfson College last night made me realise how fantastic this opportunity was for me. Arcadia really was time to think, for all of us, and I think it had made us all better at our day jobs. Just being back here has started me thinking again, so watch this space!


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