Thursday, May 26, 2016

#QQML2016 : Designing Services for a Federated University - and some Shakespeare

Another talk from the QQML conference, where I am today. Jackie Marfleet, Senate House Librarian, University of London (the venue for conference) talked about Collaboration and Co-operation: Designing Services for a Federated University. She explained the special position of Senate House library, which acts as a "second library" to the various universities which make up the federated University of London (which consists of University College London, King's College London, London Business School etc.). Primarily it serves researchers (rather than undergraduate students). Being in that position, the library very much has to demonstrate its value. One way of doing this is collecting statistics, e.g. there are 7.5 million individual accesses of electronic resources per annum, but it also has to demonstrate impact.
Marfleet talked about the difference between cost, value and quality, and how quality had to be defined by the target population. Strengths of the library included unique colection, helpfulness of staff, physical location: although it isn't open 24/7 a large majority also are happy with opening hours (since, again, it is used mainly by faculty and research students - who I suppose are less likely to want to be in the library in the middle of the night completing assignments - they will be up in the middle of the night writing in their own homes/offices). Feedback has been that people like the library because it is somewhere quiet and studious (as an alternative to noisier collaborative spaces): highlighting again that people do not have standard, uniform wants and needs. Marfleet also talked about public engagement e.g. the major Shakespeare exhibition currently on (which has its own microwebsite): and here's a nice video shot in the library

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