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Volume 6, no. 2 January 2011

ISSN 17479258

ALISS Quarterly

Association of Librarians and Information professionals in the Social Sciences

Special issue: innovation in difficult times Websites Developing your web presence: the librarians’ guide Library Subject Guides at Middlesex University. Open source Implementing an open source integrated library management system The King’s Fund Flickr LSE Archives Building online portals and communities Socialsciencespace, Management & Business Studies (MBS) Portal Teaching and Learning The Open Dementia E-learning Programme, Social Care TV

ALISS Quarterly Volume 6 no. 2 January 2011

ALISS Quarterly Vol. 6 Number 2 January 2011 © The authors Each article is copyrighted to its author(s) and all rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or data retrieval system without prior written permission from the author(s) and full acknowledgement to ALISS. Editor: Heather Dawson Published by ALISS.

Special issue: Innovation in difficult times Editorial Heather Dawson

Using the Internet Introducing the new ALISS website. Developing your web presence: the librarians’ guide Jane Secker and Matt Lingard LSE Centre for Learning Technology Libguides: the implementation of new Library Subject Guides at Middlesex University. Lesley Curtis-Brown, Senior Liaison Librarian, Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy and Housing at Middlesex University.

Using open source products Koha: choosing and implementing an open source integrated library management system Julia Florin, Information Specialist (Data Management), The King’s Fund A history in pictures: LSE Archives on Flickr Victoria Carolan and Anna Towlson, Archives Division, Library of the London School of Economic and Political Science

Building online portals and communities Socialsciencespace: a collaborative space for social science debate Mithu Lucraft PR Manager, SAGE Publications Ltd Developing the Management & Business Studies (MBS) Portal Sally Halper, Social Science Content Development Manager, The British Library

Developing teaching and learning resources The Open Dementia E-learning Programme Colin Paton, Senior E-learning Project Manager (SCIE) New ‘Bill’ on the block Paul D S Ross, Information Specialist, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Dominic King, E-learning Project Manager (SCIE)

Editorial Welcome to the latest edition of ALISS Quarterly. It has been published by ALISS (Association of Librarians and Information Professionals in the Social Sciences). This special issue takes as its starting point the need to innovate in difficult times. Rather than despairing in the tough financial environment, it aims to spotlight examples of individuals and institutions that are refocusing to create new and forward looking services. The basis for the issue is the half-day conference on surviving in difficult times which was held by ALISS on 15th December 2010. It featured contributions from 3 presenters: Socialsciencespace: a space to explore, share and shape the big issues in social science Mithu Lucraft (SAGE) spoke about the new online social network that aims to bring social scientists together with the broader community engaged in or engaging with social science research. Libguides and Libanswers: the Middlesex University experience of using Web 2.0 Lesley Curtis-Brown, Senior Liaison Librarian for Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy and Housing Sheppard Library Middlesex University discussed the development of the Library’s subject guides The BL Management and Business Studies Portal Sally Halper from the British Library discussed and demonstrated this innovative new free resource, which showcases the collections and provides remote access to full text research reports, a blog, commissioned articles and a personalised alerting service. Papers from all the presenters are included in this issue. They can also be downloaded from our revamped website at Alongside them we have contributions from other innovators. The issue contains materials on using the Web as a promotion tool. Jane Secker and Matt Lingyard offer timely advice for librarians on enhancing their web presence and staff from the LSE Archives discuss how they used Flickr to make available some of their historic photographic collections. The issue also contains two articles which highlight innovation in creating teaching and learning materials. Both are associated with SCIE (the Social Care Institute for Excellence) and are offered on open access to the community as a whole. The Open Dementia learning materials aim to promote best practise for social welfare staff. Social Care TV uses online film to educate. We have just relaunched our website and its new features are described in the issue. We also have a new twitter channel where you can keep up to date with our latest activities. we are using it to highlight weekly listings of new social science websites and new UK government publications online. Remember that you can also keep up to date with ALISS news by subscribing to our free electronic mailing list LIS_SOCIAL SCIENCE at . Or consulting our website at: We hope you enjoy the issue! Heather Dawson ALISS Secretary. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

Introducing the new ALISS website

Over the last 6 months ALISS committee members have been working with web designers based at SCIE to create a new enhanced website. New features of the site include • a feed from twitter. Aliss_info. This links to weekly listings of social science websites of the week; weekly listings of new Uk government publications online; monthly listings of articles (free) about UK HE and students. • ALISS also has a new facebook site • The events section has an archive of PowerPoint slides from past events. • The Aliss Quarterly journal section offers free open access to articles from past issues. The current year is password protected. Contact Heather Dawson for details of access. We have redesigned it to make it more topical for our members. So do send suggestions of anything you would like to highlight or add.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

Developing your web presence: the librarians’ guide Jane Secker and Matt Lingard LSE Centre for Learning Technology LSE Centre for Learning Technology (CLT) have recently started running training on ‘developing your web presence’. The first course ran in summer 2010 and was aimed at academic staff. It was part of a series of knowledge transfer workshops which included sessions for staff on working with the media and presenting their research to nonacademic audiences. This session was a half day workshop delivered in conjunction with Marina Benjamin a freelance trainer, the former Royal Literary Fellow at LSE and a writer and journalist. Since then CLT have run a short lunchtime session as part of LSE’s digital literacy programme. These are an hour and a half sessions which take place in a computer room, so delegates can try out hands on activities. This course attracted a mixture of PhD students and academic staff. Most recently the trainers have run a day-long workshop for librarians on the topic of web presence. The course for librarians was organised by the CILIP CSG-Information Literacy Group and attracted delegates from higher education, further education and the NHS. This paper first explores why web presence is a topical issue, it then provides an overview of the training session for librarians and finally includes some advice for any others considering running courses in this area within their own institution. Why is web presence important? Your web presence put simply is the information that is freely available about you on the internet. Most information professionals will have a web presence as we are important ports of call for others in our institution. Librarians are often subject experts so will deal with specialist queries and it would be unusual (certainly outside of higher education) not to have some information and contact details somewhere on a website. Web presence is generally a positive term, although a slightly more sinister phrase also used is ‘digital footprint’. One of the easiest ways to examine your web presence is to search for yourself using an internet search engine. The results can vary depending on how unusual your name is, but in training sessions it is always interesting to get delegates in pairs to undertaken this activity. Some people are quite aware of their web presence, and for individuals who use a lot of social networking tools it may be easy to find quite a large amount of information about them. For other people, particularly those working outside education there may be less information available on the internet. Web presence is important and it is worth remembering that many potential employers will Google you even if they deny it! What is also clear is that people have several different types of web presence, including a professional web presence often on their institution’s web pages, a social web presence if they use tools such as Twitter, blogs or Facebook, and a personal web presence, which may include their professional interests and all sort of activities they undertake outside of work.

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Web presence for librarians: an overview The course for librarians ran in November 2010 at the Learning Higher Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. It included hands-on computer work, small groups activities and presentations. It was held in a seminar room, but delegates had access to a computer room so they could carry out internet searches as required. An alternative would have been to have laptops available in the seminar room for delegates to share and in the session run for LSE academic staff they were asked to bring a laptop to use. The following topics were covered during the day: • • • • • • •

Real and perceived web presence Institutional web presence Personal web presence ‘Social network’ presence Tools for managing your web presence Tips on writing for the web Advice for running training on web presence

When running the web presence course for librarians (and academic staff) one of the first activities was to get individuals without using a computer to map their own current web presence. People drew a map of the websites where information about them was available. They were then asked to work in small groups to search the internet for details about another set of participants to find out as much information about them from the web. The groups then came back together to discuss what they had found about each person and how this compared to the individual’s perception of their web presence. Delegates were given an opportunity to consider how they appeared on their institution’s website and whether they could do anything to improve their profile. Tools such as institutional repositories were considered for promoting delegate’s teaching materials and / or publications. We also discussed subject guides and ensuring librarians were easily contactable when staff or students in their own institution needed help. The personal web presence element of the course highlighted a number of librarians who use personal web pages to promote their work. Some examples of good practice highlighted in the course included: • • • •

Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice-President Jo Alcock, UK Librarian at Birmingham City University Ned Potter UK librarian at Leeds University Brian Matthews, US Librarian at University of California Santa Barbara

Several of the good practice examples had created fairly sophisticated personal websites and three people had purchased their own domain name, Blogging software was considered a good option for people who wanted to create a personal web page outside of their institution but who don’t have web design skills. The WordPress blogging platform ( is increasingly being used to create a simple set of web pages. While it can be used to run a blog, the ‘pages’ feature allows you to create a personal web page with minimal technical skills. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

The social network element of the course inevitable led to some discussion about using Facebook. Most librarians have a number of personal / professional contacts on Facebook but most have modified their privacy settings and ensured they are not found on Facebook when you search for them on the internet. Interestingly quite a number of libraries are using Facebook pages and there was an interesting discussion about how valuable these could be for promoting events to fans. Several delegates including one of the trainers followed Manchester Public Library on Facebook and found their use exemplary. Other tools we highlighted that could be useful to enhance your social web presence included Twitter (for short timely updates to followers), LinkedIn for professional networking and tools such as SlideShare for sharing presentations and Delicious for sharing web resources. There was considerable interest in how different tools could work together to help us manage our web presence. We considered how a blog could form the hub of your web presence and by setting up RSS feeds the blog can feed various other tools, such as posting to Twitter, updating Facebook. Similarly bookmarked resources in Delicious can be fed onto a blog, along with a Twitter feed and links to other tools you might use such as SlideShare. There are some parts of our web presence we can’t control but for those pages that are under our control, ensuring they are well written and concise can make all the difference. The training for librarians and academic staff provided delegates with tips about how to improve their web presence through improving their writing skills. A key consideration when writing for the web is that people don’t read web pages in the way they read a book or printed document; they use rather than read websites. The most important information (to the user, not to the editor!) must be given priority. The top of the page, the area visible without scrolling, should be reserved for the most important information, with the less important stuff & the detail relegated down the page. Most web users scan rather than read. Web pages need to be structured to help with this. Long paragraphs of dense text are difficult to scan so web pages need headings, sub-headings, bullets, short paragraphs and space to make it easier for users to find the information they want. When emphasising text use bold or a colour (not colours!). Underlining & ALL CAPS should not be used and italics can be difficult to read. Links are another form of emphasis that draw the eye. They should state what they link to and never “Click here”. Emphasis within the main text should be limited as too much is distracting to users scanning the page. It’s also really important to be concise when writing for the web, so proof read your pages removing all non-essential words. Finally it’s important to keep language simple and unambiguous; use plain English, avoid jargon, slang & clichés.

academic staff or researchers worked well but attendance at the shorter lunchtime session was fairly low compared to the half day workshop, despite the shorter course being fully booked. Five members of academic staff attended a half day workshop and all gave positive evaluation about the day. Compare this to the 12 who signed up for the lunchtime session, but only 4 who actually attended. How you describe and promote your course is clearly important and timing is also key. We ran the longer half day course just before the summer vacation, which is a time when academic staff often have less teaching to do. The lunchtime session meanwhile ran during the busy autumn term which may account for a high no-show. Other advice we had for librarians running training on web presence was to talk to other training providers in your institution beforehand. There might be an interest in working collaboratively with colleagues in departments such as the careers service, teaching and learning centre and e-learning team. Its also important to talk to others to ensure you have a related programme of course in place. At LSE we have found after attending a web presence course some academics and PhD students wanted to set up a blog, so we have a separate course on blogging. We also found that web presence courses often lead to lots of questions about your institution’s policies on issues such as the use of web 2.0 tools, IPR issues and the repository. Some examples of questions we were asked were if PhD students were allowed to submit research papers to our institutional repository and the policy around the use of Facebook pages in our organisation. Finally, we’ve found training on web presence hard work but hugely rewarding and fun. The activity where people get a chance to search for another delegate’s ‘web presence’ causes a lot of amusement and some cringing! Running these courses has also made us both to consider our own web presence, to refine it and shape it. If you’d like further information and think your web presence could do with some development the presentation from the training event is available on Slideshare (www.slideshare. net/madrattling/developing-your-web-presence ) and we also have a set of resources bookmarked on Diigo (

Running training on web presence: advice and tips To date CLT have now run three different courses on improving your web presence. In our session for librarians we were aware that a number of delegates were interested in running a web presence course in their own institution. We therefore provided some advice for those running training on this topic. When planning any training event it is essential to consider your audience and their needs. We found running sessions for ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

Libguides: the implementation of new Library Subject Guides at Middlesex University. Lesley Curtis-Brown, Senior Liaison Librarian, Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy and Housing at Middlesex University. Rationale for evaluating our Subject webpages Middlesex University Learning Resources subject webpages began in early 2000 as an experimental project with few guidelines or regulations governing appearance or content. As a result, the pages had no identity as part of a unified service. At a later stage a template was created to allow some flexibility, but to create a corporate feel. These required librarians to be able to use software such as Dreamweaver, and upload the updated pages to the server. The pages were difficult to work with and librarians often required technical help with problems. This would involve staff travelling between campuses to solve software configuration issues or problems using the templates. Reliance on the timing of uploads to the university servers from the technical department lead to time delays in going live with updates to our library pages. Librarians were unable, because of limited technological knowledge and experience, to fully utilise the pages to take advantage of developments online, such as web 2.0, images and audio-visual material. Pages were inflexible, text heavy, old fashioned, static and non-interactive. Staff required regular training to adapt to webpage developments, or were reliant on an IT specialist’s assistance.

Our experience of using Libguides – pros and cons. Many of us found the Libguides software easy to use. There are online support pages but most of us didn’t need to use these. Little training or sharing of expertise has been required. We did experience problems with image sizes, Slideshare embedding and column widths. Once we had established how to use Photoshop to avoid these problems, an in-house helpsheet was created. Minimal instructional documentation has been required to support staff using the guides. Online help is available on the Springshare pages but staff have not needed to refer to this often. The group acted as mentors to assist the rest of the staff where necessary. The ability of the software to allow users to copy and adapt pages to their own needs enabled staff to create pages quickly. The subject guides went live for the start of the academic year in September 2009. A link to the Library Subject Guides from the Learning Resources Homepage takes the user to the Library Subject Guides homepage. The information is organised in boxes. The left one allows the user to choose a subject. The School links take the user to a Campus Guides page with links to the subjects within the chosen school of the university. There is a tab to the Ask a Librarian Service from the homepage.

We had an awareness of Wikis and blogs and web 2.0. Some librarians were already experimenting with free services that incorporated more functionality than our traditional webpages. It was decided that a group could explore whether using another method of delivering our subject guides could remove the barriers that were preventing staff from communicating and engaging with their students using this medium. Subject Webpages and Blog Group A working group was set up in March 2009. We established what our problems were with current provision and what criteria we should use when looking at the possible solutions. The group looked at a variety of packages, some of which were freely available. None seemed to offer the ease of use and functionality of the Springshare software. A further trial for this was set up. The group used the trial to create subject guides to test the software. Staff found Libguides intuitive to use. The user did not need high level technical skills to incorporate images, videos, and quizzes. We found Springshare were receptive to our suggestions and questions and often implemented improvements and enhancements as a result. The trial enabled us to gauge what level of support might be needed and how long it might take for staff to create guides and go live.

The Subject Guides allow the librarian to organise pages of information in Tabs and Subtabs (these appear when the user moves their mouse over a tab). A profile box allows the user to see who the subject specialist is and how to contact them. Features such as Slideshare slides and videos are easily embedded into a Subject Guide box by copying and pasting the HTML code. This code is available on sites such as Slideshare and You Tube.

Once a decision was made to purchase Springshare Libguides, a member of staff within Learning Resources with design and technical experience was asked to create a banner with the Middlesex University logo. Libguides costs $1,758 per year (including custom domain and Add-on modules). We decided to purchase Campus Guides, which includes Libguides, at $2,958 per year. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

Librarians have found it simple to attach PDFs and Word files to their pages.

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There are feedback options allowing the user to rate the pages and options to allow the user the opportunity to suggest useful resources they feel should be included.

Logging into the admin area allows you to create your profile information and navigate between all your guides quickly.

Logging into the Subject Guides to Edit them

Librarians need to log into the system to edit their pages. Once logged in there is a yellow command bar at the top of the screen. Options to edit the boxes and content of boxes are also visible. A bar chart symbol by links allows you to see how many times a link has been used in total and in the last month. The layout is flexible. You can choose whether to have one, two or three columns. If you choose to rearrange your pages you can move them from Tab and Subtab status easily using the Command Bar. You may choose easy URLs for your guides and profile so students may remember them easily. One feature of the guides is the ability to copy and use content, layout and structure from other guides to prevent duplication of time and effort. This allows users to copy where appropriate and edit the content, rather than being required to create everything from scratch. This enables users to share best practice in a practical setting.

There are different levels of guide creators and collaborators. This allows staff more experienced with the guides to work on the Campus Guides parts of the site and others can focus on developing their subject guides. Guides may have more than one author and staff may work collaboratively on them. You may create guides that are not visible to the public. We have such a guide called Libguides for Librarians, which is where we put documentation on using the guides for staff. Staff may view these once they are logged in. All guides begin as unpublished, which provides the safety of developing them and getting rid of any gremlins in private, before going live. One of the other useful features is the generation of usage statistics for the guides. These can be exported into Excel. The statistics below give an indication of the content of our pages and the types of boxes used.

A book box enables you to feature new or useful resources, with an image of the cover. This is how you add a book using the intuitive interface.

A later development was the Campus guides pages which we use for Departmental pages. These are less flexible than the Subject pages, require logging into an administrative area and going to systems settings. It could be argued that this is adding another layer to the pages that is not necessary. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

The statistics below give a snapshot of use of my subject guides. My subjects were originally grouped together in one guide, but I created separate guides for each subject in July 2010. The expenditure of time and effort in doing this was minimised by being able to copy content and structure across where appropriate. There are fewer students studying social policy as a single subject, which seems to be reflected in the figures. The number of students on Housing programmes is small but the statistics for that guide indicate that users are visiting their guide. There are also peaks and troughs in usage, which seem to correspond with the busy and quieter periods of the year (e.g term times and holiday periods). ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



Koha: choosing and implementing an open source integrated library management system Julia Florin, Information Specialist (Data Management), The King’s Fund

Promotion of the guides takes place at the enquiry desk, training sessions, and bookmarks were distributed at induction. In addition, we use Google Analytics to get a more complete and comprehensive breakdown of use of the pages. Our experience of communicating with the Springshare company has been good. The team at Springshare have a total of 30 years experience working in libraries and with libraries. They understand the business of libraries which explains why the LibGuides are so adaptable and flexible. More information about the company is at http://www. The Springshare service has been good and we have experienced few problems with downtime or connectivity. Our updates on the Libguides go live automatically. As our pages are not connected to the Middlesex University servers, our guides have provided users with reliable links to databases and resources when the Learning Resources pages have been offline. Conclusions Informal feedback at the enquiry desk and during training sessions has been positive. Marketing staff conducted four focus groups at different campuses of the university. The findings showed that the guides have been well received. Students gave constructive feedback which enabled us to identify areas for development or change. They recognised the need for a balance between basic and advanced levels of content on the pages. The need for page content to reflect the different subjects was also mentioned. The development of the guides is ongoing. All potential uses of the software have not yet been fully explored. The implementation of the guides has been successful. It has allowed librarians with minimal technical skills to have ownership and control over content creation and maintenance, and use Web 2.0 features to engage users. Middlesex University Library Subject Guides are available at

Introduction In September to December 2009, The King’s Fund Information and Library Service migrated its bibliographic data to Koha, an open source Integrated Library System. It went live in January 2010. The King’s Fund was one of the first libraries in the UK to migrate its data from a proprietary system. The previous system used was SirsiDynix’s Unicorn system with The King’s Fund being Sirsi’s first UK customer back in 1989. What is open source? Open source software is free to download, use and share, and in the case of Koha is available under the GNU General Public License1. The original source code is available for developers to access, unlike in a proprietary system, where it is kept confidential2. Proprietary firms rely on revenue from licensing fees whereas the business model for the open source community relies on paying support companies to host, migrate data and provide ongoing support and development. An advantage of open source, apart from it being a cheaper solution in many cases, is that all users run the same core system and any developer across the globe can have access to the code, and fix bugs and errors and work on enhancements without waiting for the permission of the software owners. This enables the system to grow according to the wishes, skills and dedication of those who use it. Background to Koha Koha, developed initially in New Zealand by Katipo Communications Ltd., was first deployed in 2000 for Horowhenua Library Trust, and it has developed into a mature library system3. Koha has become the most widely used of several open source library systems available for download and use. It has a wide range of functionality across all modules and is built on Library standards such as MARC and Z39.50. Koha is web-based and is compliant with web standards such as XHTML and CSS. Koha generally runs on Linux distributions, using the Apache web server, and the scripts are all written in Perl. It currently uses the Zebra search engine. Reports are written in MySQL and can be shared amongst Koha users worldwide. Documentation is written by the Koha community itself and can be found online4. Rationale for switching to open source The King’s Fund’s decision to switch to open source was based on responding to financial pressures by seeing the opportunity to save money by only having to pay for support and not for the software itself. In addition, it presented the opportunity to take control of the system rather than being locked into a proprietary system with no access to the source code. Two members of The King’s Fund Online Services Team had attended the Breaking the Barriers conference in May 2009, organised by Open Libraries, to gather information to inform the decision5. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model was chosen with PTFS Europe, who host the system, and provide installation, configuration and ongoing maintenance. PTFS Europe was chosen because it is run by ex-SirsiDynix staff who had an intimate

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ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



knowledge of Unicorn, as well as a long-standing relationship with The King’s Fund, which made them ideal to manage the migration of twenty years of bibliographic data. Configuration and migration and beyond Once we had decided on Koha, detailed preparation for the migration took three months, starting with writing a specification for the configuration of the new system to our requirements. This involved mapping the MARC tags from Unicorn to MARC fields in Koha, correcting any obsolete MARC tags and deciding which fields were required for each bibliographic framework. We settled on five frameworks, which were Monograph (for books, reports, web publications), Abstract (for journal articles with abstracts), Periodical (for journal titles), Multimedia (for recordings, webcasts, podcasts, films, videos, CD-ROMs and DVDs), and Archival (a new format for use with King’s Fund archive material). You can use the default frameworks which are already in Koha, however we decided it would suit our purposes to tailor the system to the type of material that we include in our database and the level of cataloguing we perform. We also mapped the subject authority data over to MARC fields.

Libraries with Koha in the UK CAMLIS The King’s Fund Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Koha demo sites Catalog (Demo Site for Library Catalog powered by the Koha ILS): Staff interface (Demo site for the Staff interface of the Koha ILS. Username = bywater Password = bywater):

After this the data was migrated and the system went live in January 2010. The data structure used was MARC21, with new bibliographic frameworks implemented to suit the content which the database holds. Nearly 90,000 bibliographic records were migrated. After the migration, attention was given to data cleaning after local cataloguing anomalies were exposed, giving us the opportunity of tidying up the data and tightening up the standards. There was no downtime as a result of transferring to Koha. PTFS Europe provided training to all staff and documentation on each of the modules we use: cataloguing, circulation, OPAC, acquisitions and serials, as well as system administration. Future plans include integrating the system with our enquiry database and implementing greater web 2.0 functionality in the OPAC. The King’s Fund and the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Library and Information Service (CAMLIS) hosted its second joint Open Day on 10th September 2010 inviting people from the library community with an interest in finding out more about open source solutions. The high level of interest in attending this event, and the range in size and type of organisations represented, indicates that Koha, and the open source model, is increasingly being seen as a viable option for libraries. References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

GNU General Public License. Breeding, M. (2008), Open source integrated library systems by Marshall Breeding, Library Technology Reports, 44. Koha community site. Koha documentation. Breaking the Barriers conference May 2009.

Further reading Koha mailing list. Library 2.0 Gang discussion on open source: The Open Source Library System Market (mp3). http://www. Open source systems paid support list.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


A history in pictures: LSE Archives on Flickr Victoria Carolan and Anna Towlson, Archives Division, Library of the London School of Economic and Political Science In November 2010 LSE Library became the 30th institution to join Flickr Commons, with a selection of images from the Archive collections: this article explains the launch, what we were hoping to achieve with the site and the extent to which we were successful with it. LSE Archives has successfully completed a number of digitisation projects in the last ten years: we have digitised selected notebooks from the working papers of Charles Booth’s famous survey of London life and Labour, over 1,000 photographs taken in the field by the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski and some early minute books of the Ionian Bank. In late 2008 we decided that the photographs relating to the history of the LSE should be digitised. The images mainly date from the 1900s through to the 1980s, and include formal portraits of famous names associated with LSE as well as photos of behind the scenes support and administrative staff. There is also a wide range of more informal images that document social events and activities around the school; there are dances, rags, regattas and sports days from the 1920s and 1930s, images of LSE’s war-time exile in Cambridge, the opening of the Lionel Robbins Building in 1978 and student marches for ‘grants not fees’ in 2000. Many of the photos were originally taken for internal and external press publicity purposes, and have come to us from LSE’s Press Office. The last few years had seen a growing interest in images of LSE’s history, both within the School and beyond; academic and administrative departments and student societies regularly requested images for promotional materials, and we also received regular enquiries from authors, the press and TV producers. In addition, the last five years had seen increasing numbers of family historians contacting us about relatives who worked or studied at the School. But in their original state, spread across a variety of different archive collections, the photographs were hard to access and use; they could only be viewed by visiting the Archives reading room in person. In the past, we had always published digital images on our online catalogue, linked to the relevant descriptive records. This made the images easy to preserve as part of our digital management programme, but with the LSE history photographs we felt we needed to try and provide easy searching and browsing for non-academic users and those not familiar with traditional archive catalogues. We were also interested in the interactive facilities offered by social software applications, and felt that these would offer a good opportunity for LSE staff, students and alumni to share memories and reflections relating to the photographs; thus users could actively contribute to the information contained in the School’s ‘official’ paper archives. We chose Flickr as a well-known photo-sharing website that offered good user functionality; we also felt it was likely to be a stable and reliable host site. We decided to join Flickr Commons rather than just setting up a standard Flickr site, as being part of a ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


community of heritage institutions on Flickr seemed likely to give us a higher profile. In particular, we were inspired by the example of the National Maritime Museum and its positive experience of publishing collections on the Commons. Initially, we explored the logistics by publishing a small selection of British and Soviet political posters from the early 1900s and late 1920s respectively. These had been digitised and published on our online catalogue a few years ago, but they were so distinctive that we felt they had the potential to appeal to a wider audience. The information from this pilot project enabled us to work out how long it would take to upload the LSE photos, add captions and other basic metadata, and then arrange them into ‘sets’. The project was funded by LSE alumni through the LSE Annual Fund. We launched our Flickr site in November 2009 with an initial set of 500 photos, then added images daily as they were digitised rather than waiting and launching them in batches; regular publication of new material proved an effective way of encouraging visits to the site. By the end of the project in May 2010 there were over 1,300 pictures on the site, virtually all the photos from our collections. Initially, we intended to curate the images, choosing those that we thought were useful, interesting or that represented something unique about the School. But comments, tags and the choice of images that users made a ‘favourite’ quickly showed that our assumptions were often completely unfounded; we have discovered that photographs find their own level as objects viewed randomly in a way that simply wouldn’t happen in the archive. In terms of generating a response from the LSE community, the project has not gone quite as planned. We had hoped that LSE staff would add comments and reflections to enhance the site as a resource, but despite efforts to promote engagement it has been hard to generate much momentum. We did get some excellent comments, but not in sufficient volume. However, interest in the images has been high, with many people informally commenting and sending emails direct to Archives rather than making comments on the site. Perhaps older staff and alumni are not as familiar – or comfortable – with Flickr as our current students. We found that the most effective method of generating comments was to gather together small groups of people who knew each other, and show them images relating to their department or to the period they spent at LSE; this shared experience seems to have created much more interest and enthusiasm than viewing the images alone. As we had hoped, the project has been successful in opening up the images for general use. Images from the site have been used to decorate the student bar and as backdrops to celebration events. Publishers seeking images have continued to contact us, but it is now much easier to answer enquiries by simply referring people to the site where they can choose suitable images. It is also clear that the site has delivered the photographs to more diverse audiences who have come to the images via searches on Google or Flickr. We have had requests for images for publication from the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs, while individuals have sought images for more personal reasons, some having discovered pictures of family members in the course of genealogical research. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



In fact, the number of hits on the images has exceeded our expectations with a greater interest from the general public than was anticipated; we had thought that the photos would mainly be of interest to those with a specific LSE connection, so the wide range of enquirers surprised us. The most viewed images relate to the School’s founders and their associates, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells; these are often generated by Google searches. The everyday images, however, are not far behind, and, to judge from the tags and comments left by viewers, are appreciated for other reasons: the notes and comments which have accrued to certain images are richly suggestive of their inherent aesthetic qualities; in effect, these remarks have given the pictures a life outside their LSE context. There has been a particular interest in fashions and people’s faces, and a fascination with old computers and other out-of-date technology. Some users have added factual information about people’s post-LSE careers, while in the case of the Soviet posters our Russian translations have been corrected. To date, we have had over 390,000 views, with daily visits usually standing at around the 300–400 mark. People have used over 400 images as favourites, added tags to over 350 and comments to over 150. In addition, many of the images have been used in blogs and on Wiki Commons, and this has further increased traffic as users link back to the site. We did a lot of our own promotion within the School and made good use of the inherent advantage in being part of a well-established community of heritage institutions with a keen set of followers. However, we also benefited from publicity generated by Flickr Commons that enabled us to reach a wider audience, and these responses are a testament to people’s curiosity and their interest in all sorts of small details and unexpected subjects.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



Socialsciencespace: a collaborative space for social science debate Mithu Lucraft PR Manager SAGE Publications Ltd Socialsciencespace ( is a new online community that brings together social scientists and policy-makers to explore, share and shape the big issues in social science and public policy. Aimed at everyone with an interest in social science, the community space is not just for researchers and scholarly associations, but also for funders, think-tanks and policy-makers who engage with social science. In a time of major uncertainty for research funding, by bringing these groups together, promoting the work they are doing and highlighting their shared interests, we aim to facilitate discussion about the value of social sciences within a wide community. In the physical world (at conferences and events), we see passionate dialogue about the value social science brings to human life and social interactions. This venture enables the community to continue those same conversations online, and to widen access to those discussions globally. The use of social networks and blogs is growing. A 2009 Nielsen survey of users’ habits showed that 67% of all those going online were spending time at social network and blogging sites1. It also showed that the average UK web user spends one in every six minutes at a social network or blog. And these communities are not just for social activities: professional time on social networks is also on the rise. More recent research2 from CIBER at UCL showed that there is a large percentage of scholars who view social media tools, including blogging, as useful to their research. In 2009 SAGE launched Methodspace (, which in just one year has grown to 7000+ members. More recently we launched similar networks in criminology ( and media/communication studies (www., which are both attracting high numbers of members. Other professional sites exist for Scientists (Nature Networks) and Teachers (TES Connect). We believe that such spaces help to support these communities share and connect. The aim for socialsciencespace is to do the same for the broader community engaged with social science, creating the online hub for the latest news, views and events. Socialsciencespace brings together blogs with the most current thinking on hot topics such as funding, impact and ethics; a forum for discussions around these topics; a resource centre with free videos, reports and slides that support these discussions, as well as funding, events, training and job opportunity notices. Contributors to the blog represent the elite of the social science community: those with a passion for their subject and the desire to communicate the challenges and opportunities they face. By big issues, they are writing on topics beyond discipline-level concerns, on issues that unite all social scientists: • Academic funding ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

• • • • • • • • •

Social science as a science Role of social science in shaping public debate Social science communication Interdisciplinarity Research ethics Impact Paradigm shifts Research methods Capacity building

Some initial posts include a thought-provoking look at the challenges posed by ethics committees for social research (Irena Grugulis, Professor of Employment Studies, Bradford University School of Management); the role of education research in policy (Professor Geoff Whitty, Director of the Institute of Education); and the need for life scientists to work with social scientists (James Crabbe, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Creative Arts, Technologies and Science and Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Bedfordshire). There are more than 70 individuals who have written or have committed to write for the site so far, from across all areas of the social and behavioural sciences. We are keen to hear from other potential contributors: if you are interested in getting involved, or would like to recommend someone else who might be interested, do get in touch. The network is also supported by a number of partner organizations from across the social sciences. These partners are contributing information about the work they do, including upcoming events and training, and access to outputs such as conference slides, videos and reports from previous events. They are also contributors to the blog, forum, and rest of the site. We are very pleased to be working with ALISS as a partner for Socialsciencespace. Other partners include: The Social Research Association; Manchester e-Research Centre; The Academy of Social Sciences; the British Sociological Association. We are grateful for their support in this initiative. In addition to regular contributors and partners, there will also be contributions from others engaging with social science more broadly. We’re delighted to have an interview with Chief Government Social Scientist Richard Bartholomew, for example. As the site develops, it will offer visitors a comprehensive outlook on the major issues facing social scientists. It will aim to capture the viewpoints of the various stakeholders engaged in social science, for example by acting as a source for the latest responses to new initiatives or policies. The forum will also support this by allowing further discussion around the blog and resource content. Why do this, and why now? Social science plays a crucial role in contributing to a better quality of life. It underpins many successful public policies from poverty alleviation, macroeconomics to crime prevention. Yet the contributions made by social scientists remain under-recognized. There is an urgent need for social scientists to demonstrate the value of their research and the power of their expertise in addressing the national and international challenges of our age. These are important issues for SAGE. Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



independent social science publisher. We were founded by philanthropist Sara Miller McCune, who established SAGE with the firm belief that publishing engaged scholarship could change the way we look at the world. Today we publish some 600 journals and more than 800 books each year, the majority of these across all major social science disciplines. We’re extremely proud to be associated with the very best authors, editors and societies in these fields, and to disseminate important research across the social science disciplines around the world.

Developing the Management & Business Studies (MBS) Portal

Launching Socialsciencespace is part of a series of activities and events that we have held in 2010 as a tribute to the enormous contribution these disciplines make to our understanding of society, individuals, groups and cultures.

This article is a report of the presentation given by Sally Halper at the ALISS Xmas event 15th December 2010.

SAGE aren’t driving the debate here, but facilitating it. We have appointed a site editor, Catriona Moore, a writer and policy analyst who has worked in health and social care policy development for fifteen years, in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Catriona will support the community of partners, contributors, and members to develop the conversations and materials on the site. But, primarily, content will come from contributors and our partners only. That means we are keen to hear from you about what sort of content you want to see on the site, and how we should develop it on an ongoing basis. This is an exciting venture for SAGE and everyone we’re working with on socialsciencespace. As it is still early days, we want to see what users of the site will find most useful. We’re keen to develop it continuously, so that it provides users with the information, infrastructure and functionality they need. Above all, we hope it will be a space that people enjoy using, where conversations develop, connections are made and a broader understanding of social science grows.


Sally Halper Social Science Content Development Manager The British Library

What is the Management & Business Studies (MBS) Portal? Website for subject-area Management & Business Studies • New secure website (register online to use it, free) containing downloadable full text research reports, working papers, book chapters videos and articles from high-quality publishers of management research.(UK based) These bring together British Library print and digital collections, in one powerful search interface and in addition add some original content. • They include articles written for the portal by subject experts (researchers, consultants, journalists). • There are 12 key subject areas which include human resource management, organisational psychology. • Does not contain journal articles in Phase 1. We will be working with publishers as part of the Library’s wider strategy on access to electronic journal content to provide you with remote access to journal articles in full text in Phase 2 of this project. • It can be content tailored to individual subject interests • Offers a Joined-up service (single sign on) • Created in partnership with BAM and Chartered Management Institute who are promoting it to their members • Currently free to use although in the future document delivery services may be offered for a fee • Users do not need to register to search; downloading of full text requires free registration. Purpose of the Project • DUAL audience: working managers AND management researchers/consultants i.e. producers and consumers of management research information • DUAL aim: increase use of British Library collections AND increase impact of research • It also builds the (digital) collections: PDFs and editorial articles • It requires all users to register online to get 90% of the content. Registering means the British Library get useful information about our customers and Sitestat records usage data for Portal pages and PDFs. Users get to tailor the site to reflect their subject interests and receive alerts about new content matching.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



• Pathfinder project for the British Library: it delivers remote access for the first time, a subject cut of Aleph data (Library catalogue) and a bespoke Primo view that makes for a better user experience of Search. These elements and techniques can be re-used to create more Portals in future (by subject or theme). So far Social Welfare and Environment Science portals are in the planning process • 840 registered users as at 13 December 2010, not counting staff users. Target was 1,000 within 12 months of launch, revised to 2,000 within 12 months. Benefits to users • Free content is particularly important in a time of cuts to Library budgets, or if you’re from a smaller University or an independent research institute. • High quality content - research reports from organisations like the Institute of Directors, the CBI, and all the end-of-award reports for MBS from ESRC. • Delivery routes include 2-hour secure electronic delivery of PDF articles, printon-demand digital books; borrow from your local library via World cat, and buying books on Amazon or the publisher’s website as well as the traditional routes of document supply, inter-library loan or using our reading rooms. You might decide to use your University’s electronic journals at this point, if they subscribe to the title you need. • Users (recognised researchers) can send a digital copy of their research and - if copyright allows - we will add it to the Portal, and to the British Library’s Digital Library Store for long-term preservation. The management of the project Prior to the submission of a 20 page business case over 90 persons were consulted in focus groups. Partners: include the main professional bodies for management research and practice. The project is overseen by a user panel of 13 senior researchers and managers:

Features of the service. Users may search the database without logging in. To download content they are prompted to register. Once registered they can access and tailor a personalised homepage.

Ken Starkey, Jane Broadbent, Liz Daniel, Jason Cope, Richard Slack, David Slattery, Gillian Symon, Mohan Sodhi, Scott Taylor, Emma Bell, Hanna Gajewska-DeMattos plus Dominic Broadhurst (Head of MUBS Library) and Piers Cain (Head of KM at CMI) all of whom give feedback and engage in usability testing.

How does it work – the theory Joins up: WebCMS CRM/CMI Aleph (library catalogue) Primo

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011




The Open Dementia E-learning Programme Colin Paton, Senior E-learning Project Manager (SCIE)

Sustainability: both of staffing, content and technology Portal was only ever supposed to be a temporary solution, with a 5-year lifespan. It’s not ‘the answer’ to remote access Funding for next phase Re-use: is possible but other organisations may need to redesign it for local needs Managing expectations: internal and external. A great many papers were sent for deposit as soon as the project opened making the process of copyright clearance slower Maintaining and building relationships with key partners.

Lessons learned 1. Know your use-cases/user scenarios well, particularly for procurements e.g. web design directions. Involve real users in testing 2. Don’t ‘solutionise’ or over-specify when creating your use-cases, be open to new ways of fulfilling them. It’s the end goal that counts, not necessarily how you get there (bearing in mind cost and time) 3. Resource planning is always helpful even if only at a basic level, just so the BIG risks can be highlighted and managed/mitigated against. Important to have good contingency plans 4. It’s easy to underestimate the time it takes to get up to speed with new processes/technology, get decisions etc 5. Document your critical success factors and always keep them in mind throughout delivery 6. It’s easier to deliver successfully in phases, with shorter time frames (e.g. 3 months per phase) - that way if requirements change, you can deal with it when you review the scope and requirements of a later phase. Video on Youtube and ‘About’ page of Portal

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

Many people are touched by dementia either professionally or through a relative. It is a disease which has come increasingly under the media and political spotlight in recent times in recognition of its prevalence and its growing impact on an ageing society. Despite the National Dementia Strategy and prominent figures such as Terry Pratchett speaking publicly about their own experiences of the condition, the UK still faces considerable challenges in coming to terms with dementia. Recent research has shown that there is a general lack of awareness of the disease, a widespread belief that ‘nothing can be done’ for people with dementia and a lack of adequate dementia care and support services. It was to help address these factors that the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) decided to develop the Open Dementia E-learning Programme (and later the Dementia Gateway – The project was developed in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Society (the leading research body for dementia) and a number of leading national experts in dementia. We chose e-learning because we felt the internet was the most efficient and effective means of reaching the large numbers of geographically dispersed professionals and families who come into contact daily with a person with dementia. But when we surveyed the e-learning landscape in this area, we were disappointed with the quality of most programmes and the facts-based, medical approach they took to dementia (as well as the fact these programmes were often very expensive and so inaccessible to many small organisations). We felt there was a real gap for an engaging, interactive and person-centred national e-learning programme that could meet the basic dementia training needs for a wide range of organisations. And ultimately, we hoped of course, that the resources would contribute to better outcomes for people with dementia and their families by helping to create a more informed and aware workforce. Through a consultative phase, where we talked to sample end-users and key stakeholders, we identified key learning outcomes for the resources. We felt it important to: • address common misconceptions about dementia, such as ‘dementia is just a result of getting old’ or that ‘everyone gets dementia eventually’ • provide users with a basic understanding of what causes dementia, the principal types and symptoms and how the disease progresses • demystify the diagnostic process for dementia • make users aware of the human dimension of dementia (what is the emotional impact of dementia? what do people with dementia say they want and need?) • give users the opportunity to ‘experience’ the difficulties faced by people with dementia through activities that simulate the problems they face • address the negative stigma of dementia and paint the experience of dementia in a more positive light through the voices of people with dementia

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• make users aware of the range of support services available and how each of these professionals and services can help • show carers simple and practical ways they can support and communicate with people with dementia more effectively. The resources needed to be aimed at a wide range of people in both the health and social care fields and so a key design challenge was to make them as accessible as possible, to: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Home care assistants, senior staff/managers Registered general nurses Domestic staff in care homes and sheltered housing General and acute hospital staff District Nurses Police Family carers Care Home assistants, senior staff/managers Registered mental health nurses Administrative staff in organisations that support people with a dementia Social workers Ambulance service staff Community support workers (meals on wheels, transport services) People with early symptoms of dementia.

The Open Dementia e-learning Programme

The Open Dementia e-learning Programme was launched in November 2009 and made available on the SCIE website and a number of national repositories. The programme consists of seven modules and covers the areas below: Module 1 What it is and what it isn’t Module 2 Living with dementia

Module 3 What causes dementia

Module 4 Diagnosis and who can help Module 5 Common difficulties and how to help

Module 6 The emotional impact of dementia Module 7 Positive communication

Views of dementia in the media, facts and common misconceptions about dementia, common symptoms, clinical terminology and causes of symptoms. The person with dementia as a unique individual, their background and life history, abilities people with a dementia retain in spite of the difficulties they face and how dementia impacts on families, friends and community and the support that is needed. The different types of dementia and the key characteristics of each, the different areas of the brain and how dementia affects these areas and factors that are known to increase or lessen the risk of dementia. The process/impact of diagnosis, help and support available, anti-dementia drugs and non-pharmacological treatments. How dementia affects each individual differently, four common areas of difficulty faced by people with dementia, practical strategies to assist with difficulties and difficulties faced by people with dementia not caused by damage to the brain, but by other factors. The emotional dimension of dementia, the importance of effective strategies to help people experiencing difficult emotions. Helping a person with dementia understand our message/ make themselves understood, communicating with people experiencing a different reality and nonverbal communication.

The programme is completely free for all users. They can choose between the default version (in Flash), a text only version for use with screenreaders and a SCORM version for download into repositories and learning management systems. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011


Initial reactions from the sector “These are exactly the type of resources the social care sector needs because they are flexible and user-friendly. They are needed to improve the quality of care for people with dementia.”  Martin Green, Chief Executive of the English Community Care Association (ECCA) “The SCIE open learning course has had a huge impact on the way we provide training. I can’t praise it highly enough – particularly as it avoids the trap that much of the dementia e-learning I have seen falls into – which is to focus on the science of dementia, the burden to carers, and the symptoms of dementia – it’s focus is firmly on valuing people and seeing the world from the perspective of people with dementia– which alone makes it unique.”  Steve Milton, Director, Innovations in Dementia (CIC) Reactions to the programme from the sector have been extremely positive. We now get approximately 2-3,000 downloads every month from the SCIE website, but usage is actually far higher as many organisations run the resources locally. As we hoped, our statistics show that the resources are being used by a wide range of end-users: universities, NHS trusts, local authorities, voluntary organisations, care homes and individuals. In 2010 the resources have been recognised by two awards: Second place in the Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition and runner up in the E-learning Age awards in the category ‘Excellence in the production of e-learning content – not for profit’. Accessing the resources The Open Dementia e-learning Programme can be accessed free of charge at: http:// In addition the resources can be found in a number of national repositories, such as JORUM (, Learning Exchange ( and The NHS National Learning Management System (


New ‘Bill’ on the block Paul D S Ross, Information Specialist, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Dominic King, E-learning Project Manager (SCIE) This article explores the impact of the Equalities Act 2010 upon the social care sector, and describes the process of providing evidence-based online resources to support training on Social Care TV’s ‘Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’ films. The challenges in delivering freely available online resources will be discussed using evidence gained from service users and professionals within the films, coupled with wider evidence obtained from systematic searching. Social Care TV provides a web-based tool, which aims to involve those in receipt of care by raising awareness through training social workers and providers at all levels of knowledge. The additional content of ‘other organisations resources’ link from Social Care TV provided challenges to the Information Professional with relation to selection, quality and the intended audience while highlighting the importance of including information specialists in the construction of new and emerging forms of web-based technologies. Disseminating evidence based good practice to a wide and diverse workforce in a way that can effect change can often be a difficult task. This task can be made even harder when that workforce totals 1.6 million people, spread across many areas of the social care and social work sectors. Equality Act 2010 Harriet Harman’s ‘Equality Bill’ was one of the last bills passed by the Labour Government, but many of those working within the field worried that the bill might never make it to implementation. However, in June, the new Coalition government stated:; “The Coalition’s ‘Programme for Government’ made clear our determination to take concerted action to tear down barriers to equal opportunities and to build a fairer society. The UK is a world leader for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) equality, but we must not be complacent.” 1 On 1 October the Equality Bill was enacted and the new ‘streamlined’ Equality Act came into force. The Equality Duty, which legislates and regulates public bodies, is currently under consultation and will be implemented with ‘consulted changes’ in April 2011. The ambition of this is to make public bodies more accountable to citizens via standardised equality reports and to regulate some public and private bodies.2 SCIE & Social Care TV Wanting to increase the reach and application of good practice research, SCIE launched Social Care TV in October 2009. This free online service brings to life the work and lives of people involved in all aspects of the social care sector through a series of short films supported by both SCIE resources and signposting to those of other relevant organisations.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011



Each film can be tailored for individual use, with the ability to download various formats for presentations and training. The audience also has the opportunity to access specific points within the films by using the innovative chaptering technology, which gives much more flexibility and ease of use. These chapters can be linked to and emailed individually to help with the dissemination and access for a wider audience. Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people In 2009, SCIE commissioned five films on the topic; ‘Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people’, following the report by the previous Commission for Social Care Inspection3, which explored how LGBT people experienced social care and the impact on providers through equalities legislation. The report highlighted the importance of equality training in health and social care. As LGBT recognition in law was relatively new, the evidence suggested that discrimination was ‘alive and well’ in both society and providers, indicating a need to tackle institutional discrimination at its roots. This task includes communicating with all types of people whilst seeking to challenge the myths and stereotypes we all use to interpret the world in relation to straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities. “All the kind of usual prejudicial behaviour can be just as apparent among social care workers as anybody else.” (Alison’s story) Community involvement At the heart of SCIE ethos - is the importance of service user involvement, coupled with communicating evidenced-based best practice within social care. However, little had been written by SCIE in relation to the topic, which mirrored the lack of visibility across the social care sector and highlighted the need to support the workforce in relation to equalities training. Evidence suggested that to fully engage with the LGBT community, public bodies would need to ‘involve’ LGBT people in the planning and commissioning of services such as the Anchor Housing Trust’s ‘LGBT tenant group’ 4 and AgeUK’s ‘Open Doors’ project5 and residential guidance ‘The whole of me’ 6. As LGBT people are not represented in the census and therefore will not appear in results from 2011 census, the recent Integrated Household Survey (IHS) said that 1.5 per cent of people identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual in the UK based on interviews of 450,000 respondents7. Service user evidence The real lived experience of discrimination tells a different story, one which is littered with a variety of both good and bad practice, at the ‘sharp end’ of social care, from a service user perspective. Five LGT service users from SCIE’s; Partners’ Council were asked to discuss their own experiences of care provision and what they felt needed to be done to ensure a fairer and more equal service for the future. • Training “I had to consider very carefully how and when to come out when I moved into residential care.” (Doug’s story)

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Training was mentioned by all five as key to ensuring a non-discriminatory response to any declaration of sexual orientation and the ability to feel confident to ‘come out’ in dominantly heterosexual environments such as nursing and residential care.

“This is always the issue related to coming out, once you feel safe, then you deliver those heart rending words ‘I’m gay’ ”. (Roger’s story)

• Life Experience “The anxiety is really that, because people have usually experienced homophobia or trans phobia in their lives, they are concerned when you go into the care home, you are losing control over what people you’re with.” (Roger’s Story)

LGBT individuals from different generations have different experiences of discrimination, especially older people, who have lived through a variety of legal and social restrictions and penalties in relation to disclosing their sexual orientation. Many of whom will be reticent to come out until the provider shows signs of being openly aware through diversity commitment in residential literature and evidence of LGBT awareness training of staff.

“They were concerned about the ability of other residents to be able to cope with the fact I might be gay and asked me to keep quiet around other residents which felt a little wrong.” (Doug’s Story)

The reality is that many LGBT people didn’t feel it was ‘safe’ to ‘come out’ to general practitioners, professionals and care providers as they were expectant of being discriminated against and feared they would be treated differently and excluded even more than not being ‘out’.

• Person centred approaches Enabling dialogue between service user and provider that focuses on observation, building respect and defining needs appeared to be primary in providing a good quality service to LGBT people.

“ ‘They’re watching us you know.’ And I said ‘What do you mean?’ and he said ‘They know they’ve got to get it right.’ And I think that was the wisest thing that anyone could have said, and it was the best approach that any residential accommodation or any place could offer, they were watching us so that they could get it right. And they did get it right.” (Roger’s Story)

Specialist selection challenges “By assisting information creators and health care providers in understanding how materials are being used and what materials need to be developed, library staff can play an important role in promoting the development of culturally and linguistically appropriate health information.” 8sta The collection and subsequent selection of ‘other organisations resources’ posed a variety of challenges to the Information Specialist as these resources had to be;

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• • • •

based on Service user experience freely available online supportive of key messages or wider topic relevant to a diverse audience.

Web Platform restrictions: • approx 10 ‘other’ resources per film • approx 5 ‘other’ relevant websites per film • resources ideally should include best practice, guidance and training.

Local Government Improvement and development, Communities of Practice: “LGBT Sexuality in Health & Social Care” References 1 2

The major challenge for the Information Specialist concerned the quality of information provided by the data from online searching, as some of the key messages from the service user perspective were not represented in the freely available content. It was clear that a standardised approach was needed in the collection and identification of relevant resources and ways to link into traditional forms of literature collection, such as databases and community groups.


“By using the videos and additional resources to start debate and discussion and enable change, Social Care TV gives practitioners the opportunity to listen to these people directly and to learn from their experiences” 9


Searches on Social Care Online, NHS Evidence and Social Services Abstracts along with specific searching of LGBT journals enabled the Information Specialist to use the peer reviewed data to clarify the acquisition of the freely available online content gathered via Google online searching.


By adding a link into Social Care Online within the SCIE resources section enabled those wishing to know more about the subject to link in with peer reviewed evidence. This also included a Older LGBT section within Social Care Online’s ‘key resources’. Our primary aim was to identify freely available training resource to support the workforce to implement the Equality Bill in relation to LGBT community. However free available online content was limited to the ‘Core Training standards for Health and Social Care’ 10 but within the database searching ‘Creating a safe space’ 11 and ‘Moving Forward’ 12 were identified as a quality training resources. However, ‘Moving forward’ had never made it to print or public circulation. After discussion with the authors it was agreed that this resource could be updated to reflect new legislation and agreed to be provided free of charge via Social Care Online. Since the launch of the LGBT resources, ‘Different Strokes’ 13, a training resource for the health sector has also been launched. For more information on working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, including the resources mentioned in this article, visit: Social Care TV: and click on ‘key resources’ or Social Care Online: people ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

4 5




11 12


HM Government (2010). “Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality”, Accessed 11/11/2010, Government Equalities Office (2010). “Equality Act 2010: The public sector Equality Duty: Promoting equality through transparency. A consultation”, Accessed 11/11/2010, duties_consultation.aspx Commission for Social Care Inspection (2008). “Putting people first: equality and diversity matters 1”, Accessed 11/11/2010, matters_1.pdf Anchor Trust (2010). “Setting up an older people’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender group”, Accessed 11/11/2010, Age UK (2010). “Open doors evaluation: The story so far...”, Accessed 11/11/2010, http://www. Age UK (2006). “The whole of me...”, Accessed 11/11/2010, repository/fulltext/104375.pdf Office for National Statistics (2010). News Release: “Nearly three quarters of a million UK adults say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual”, Accessed 11/11/2010, Kristine M Alfie & Barbara M. Bibel (2004). “Meeting the health information needs of diverse populations”, Library Trends, Vol. 52, Accessed 11/11/2010, n10018103/ Paul D S Ross & Sarah Carr (2010). “It shouldn’t be down to luck: training for good practice with LGBT people - Social Care TV”, Diversity in Health and Care, Volume 7, Number 3, September 2010, pp. 211216(6), Accessed 11/11/2010, art00008?crawler=true W Cree & S O’Corra (2006). “Core Training Standards for Sexual Orientation: making National Health Services inclusive for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.” London: Department of Health. Accessed 11/11/2010, http:// Chris Gildersleeve & Hazel Platzer (2003). “Creating a safe space: good practice for mental health staff working with lesbians, gay men and bisexuals”, Brighton: Pavilion, 120p. Steve Pugh & Et al. (2010). “Moving forward: Working with older Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgendered people – Training and resource pack”, University Of Salford, Accessed 11/11/2010, http://www. Shout & Sheffield PCT (2010). “Different Strokes: a training tool for reducing health inequalities for Lesbian. Gay, Bisexual People.” NHS Sheffield, Accessed 11/11/2010, differentstrokes/home.htm

Paul D S Ross, Information Specialist Dominic King, E-learning Project Manager SCTV Disclaimer: This paper is written in a personal capacity and does not necessarily represent the views of the Social Care Institute for Excellence. The authors would like to thank all those involved in the films. ALISS Quarterly 6 (2) January 2011

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