Wednesday, 4 March 2009

First IUISC session

First session finished - began with an excellent speaker (me!), talking about an award winning building (the IC). But seriously folks - think my talk went down OK. Managed to fill the time, all technology worked, lots of questions, and lots of interest afterwards.

Second presentation was Jeff Haywood from the University of Edinburgh talking about Bridges and chasms: Successfully managing the Relationships between IT, Library and eLearning. Very entertaining and thought provoking talk as ever from Jeff.

He looked at the opportunities and problems of bringing library, IT and eLearning together, and why you would do it, pointing out the huge amount of change affecting all of our services at the moment. Internationalisation, mobile students, the Google generation, web 2.0, BYOTechnology, eResearch, pressures to do more with less, 24*7*365 services and self help. He postulated that all of these are unsustainable with the traditional silo-ised model.

There are questions which need answering which require an interdisciplinary approach:-
How do we curate and preserve big science/digital humanities data sets?
What tools and and expertise are needed to support learning and teaching?
How do we give mobile access to digital resources?
How do we define and support essential information and digital literacies?

He covered the different cultures of the areas of Library, IT and eLearning, and how sometimes we all have different view of the big picture and a lack of awareness of the work of others.

Jeff used the organisational structure at Edinburgh to illustrate how the above areas can work together - I don't personally think that you need to physically or organisationally restructure to achieve this, but I do agree that what is needed is good leadership, explicit strategies with alignments between professional domains, shared staff development, common terminologies and methodologies, joint projects and services and multi-professional teams.

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