Creating Future Proof Graduates

Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University

Last week I dropped in on the ‘Creating Future Proof Graduates’ exhibition which was showcasing the 8 resources created to help students identify and prepare for problems when in the ‘real world’. Birmingham City University  was awarded  the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) project in 2007, which includes funding from HEFCE, and this exhibition is the first of the projects to reach the dissemination stage.

Who, What Where

Who, What Where

The resources include a board game, an animation, online course material etc. One of the resources was created by some of the library’s Learning & Teaching team –  Who, What, Where.

This is a short course which can be accessed independently providing information to help students fully prepare for job interviews.

During the exhibition John, Carol and Christiana were at hand to talk to delegates and demonstrate the course. There was a lot of interest in the course including discussion of possible additional resources, linking with other communities etc. Personally I think this is a really good reference resource and it also highlights the value libraries provide in supporting students both in study and personal development .

The delegates all recieved a ‘compendium’ of resources and they are  available online.




middlemash_wordleWe were pleased to host the third mashed library event on Monday 30th November, Middlemash. Details about the day and presentations are on the event blog.

The elibrary team have been busy organising the event and it was great to recieve such positive feedback, we wanted to say a huge thank you to all the speakers & delegates for making it such an succesful day. Thank you also to the sponsors, especially Ex Libris who provided the refreshements (including plenty of cake)

Middlemash cakes

The morning was filled with talks from a variety of people. Tamar Sedeh from Ex Libris started the day talking about how Ex Libris have been working with customers and the El Commons platform allowing people to share code and work collaboratively.

This was followed by a talk by Mark van Harmelen who highlighted the importance of user feedback and testing in all design. He illustrated the importance of paper prototyping – sketching out the idea on paper – which is always a great starting point.

We then had 3 case studies from librarians in HE about projects they have worked on having attended the previous 2 mashed library events. It was great to hear how they have developed their ideas and the tools they used to achieve this.

In the afternoon fortified by lunch and more cake the delegates had the opportunity to attend workshops on Yahoo Pipes, adding JUICE extensions to the catalogue (this could be adding book jackets, maps etc) and looking at the possibilities of using google maps to create library floor plans.

It was an enjoyable day and I was really pleased to meet so many enthusiastic & talented librarians from across the UK.  I came away from the day with a number of ideas to explore and it’s been really interesting hearing about some of the ideas that delegates have been working on since the event.  We have also been thinking about holding a smaller regional event to colloborate with colleagues further.

ebook roadshow @ De Montfort Leicester

We were kindly invited to participate in an ebook roadshow organised by Mitchell Dunkley at De Montfort Leicester. The roadshow gave library staff & academics the opportunity to meet with vendors/publishers and discover more about the available content, pricing models, search features etc. Chris and I also pitched up, armed with statistics and photos from the ebook world tour, to provide information on Birmingham City University library experience with ebooks.


We had a very enjoyable and informative day, it was great to share our experience with the library staff and discuss the common issues. It gave me the opportunity to get a better picture of our ebook collection and identify the challenges we face.Mindmap of ebooks at Birmingham City University

As well as share our experience I also had the opportunity to talk to some of the publishers, find out more about De Montfort’s  institutional repository, DORA and chat to the systems librarian who showed us a page  providing direct search to other library catalogues and maps of their location.

This roadshow also inspired me to think about providing a similar event for our library staff to meet some of the publishers who provide our electronic resources.