Newsletter February 2013 Volume 1 Issue 1 The Magazine of the Scottish Branch of the CILIP Local Studies Group
Welcome to our new look newsletter By Fiona Myles, editor INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1
Our Town Stories
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At our Spring Gathering at the A.K.Bell Library in Perth, there was a clear consensus that members of LocScot would prefer an electronic newsletter to the printed one. We’d love to hear what you think about this, our first issue. We’d also like to hear from you – what you’re doing in your local area, what has worked and also what hasn’t. If you have any articles you’d like included then please get in touch.
Glasgow’s “one-stop shop Family History Centre
Fiona Myles, Edinburgh Central Library,
0131 242 8059 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask Scotland: the national virtual reference service CILIPS Autumn Gathering Clydebank Library Centenary Banner News Updates
(Social media) provides a huge opportunity to engage and inform and we should not shy away from investigating the possibilities, even if the medium is unfamiliar “.”
Chair’s Update By Eleanor McKay I met up with an old acquaintance of mine last year who berated me for not being on Facebook. Apparently there is a former pupil network that I am ‘missing out on’, loads of people have been asking after me (really?), and there is a whole gallery of photographs (including some of me?). Intriguing though this may seem I am still not on Facebook. I’m not LinkedIn, I neither follow blogs nor tweets, and my friends will tell you that I am useless to text to as my phone is often switched off. Frankly, I don’t get it – I cannot see any way in which my personal life can be enhanced by the plethora of social media available. BUT, clearly millions of people can – many of whom are our customers (or potential customers). And so, whether we embrace this culture or not, we certainly cannot ignore it. It provides a huge opportunity to engage and inform and we should not shy away from investigating the possibilities, even if the medium is unfamiliar. So, if you have a blog or you tweet about local studies matters, do let us know. If you share your experiences, some of us might even give it a go!
Our Town Stories By Alison Stoddart, Edinburgh City Libraries
“We hope Our Town Stories will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Edinburgh.”
Our Town Stories www.ourtownstories.co.uk is a new website from Edinburgh Libraries that explores the history of Edinburgh through images, maps and stories from 1700 to the present day. It allows users to access heritage material from our own collections but also the online resources we offer for local and family historians, including SCRAN and the Scotsman Digital Archive. Our Town Stories builds on our current online services - Capital Collections www.capitalcollections.org.uk and Whose Town? Edinburgh Past and Present, which is an interactive resource for learning www.edinburgh.gov.uk/whosetown We hope Our Town Stories will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Edinburgh by allowing the user to access information in a range of engaging ways as they can View images of Edinburgh through a map interface
Our Town home page.
Discover how familiar places have changed through then and now images
Explore historical maps tracing Edinburgh's development since 1700
Read Stories of Edinburgh's people, places and city life, which include Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh, Greyfriar’s Bobby Trail and Women of Achievement
We will be adding more stories using material from the City’s collections but hope to develop our digital collection by encouraging individuals and groups to contribute their own stories of Edinburgh. Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, The Museum of Fire and Edinburgh City Archives have already donated stories. We hope community groups will add stories about their local area so the site will reflect Edinburgh’s past but also record history in the making. Contact email@example.com for more information
Glasgow’s “one-stop shop” Family History Centre
By Susan Taylor, Librarian - Special Collections, Glasgow Libraries
The introduction of a Local Family History Centre in The Mitchell Library In March 2011 marked a significant change in the way Glasgow delivers services. As part of a national framework to promote the availability of genealogical information, the City Council’s Registrars’ moved to The Mitchell alongside Archives and the Library’s own Family History Centre to create a “one-stop shop”. We work together to deliver cohesive, comprehensive and high-quality family history services. Each of us operates its own conditions of use and opening hours but we work together to ensure a seamless service. Registrars, archivists and librarians provide joint training to make staff aware of the nature and variety of each other’s resources, which means that customers can make an informed choice about where to carry out their research. Each partner retains their distinct identity and role. The Registrars provide genealogical records, indexes and images relating to births, marriages and deaths. Archives hold official records relating to local authorities - poor relief, education - as well as churches, businesses and property ownership. The library’s Family History area provides access to Old Parish Registers, census returns, burial records and trades directories, while local history resources illustrate the life and growth of the city and its people. Our Digital Learning Team’s ‘Introduction to Family History’ is supplemented by free tours and advice sessions. Customers are directed to online resources such as Scotland’s People and Ancestry. Returning visitors can be introduced to The Mitchell’s rich and nationally significant collections. Each partner contributes but gains too - improved access to family history records sustains momentum for individuals carrying out prolonged research. Staff have built a good working relationship and their combined experience and skill play a vital part in the general increase both in visitors to the building and family history enquiries. This success provides a platform for further co-operation. Our shared location has improved accessibility to resources but our aim is to make services even more convenient for the customer. Major upgrading work in 2013 will have an impact on physical access to parts of the library, which, combined with public sector cuts, presents us with challenges for the future. This does present us with an opportunity to review our digital information which will be a priority as we approach the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI. We have plans for a family history microsite, including a blog and case studies, branded to reflect the nature of the partnership and help make Glasgow a recognised destination on the “ancestral tourism” trail.
“Each partner contributes but gains too - improved access to family history records sustains momentum for individuals carrying out prolonged research”.
Ask Scotland: the national virtual reference service By Gillian Hanlon, CILIPS Ask Scotland is a national virtual reference service that aims to offer access to Scotland’s rich library collections, and the expertise of library staff, through the Ask Scotland website, which features an email form and instant chat service. Ask Scotland is coordinated by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and there are currently 20 local authorities taking part , along with several specialist libraries and one Further Education library service . We hope to build the Ask Scotland network to include even more services, representing the breadth and diversity of Scotland’s library and information network. Ask Scotland operates on the QuestionPoint virtual reference platform from OCLC; however, we have heavily customised the site to provide a unique identity.
Answerbase also demonstrates what libraries can do – showcasing how far beyond Google our resources go, and highlighting the added value professional library staff can bring “.”
Our librarians are assigned specific time slots and agree to answer any questions that are received during this time. They can refer specific queries across the Ask Scotland network, making the most of local subject specialisms. The email part of the service is available 24/7 and a team of SLIC volunteers covers the service at evenings and weekends to keep the wait time to a minimum. We aim to answer all email queries within 48 hours but we usually get back to the user within a couple of hours. At present the chat service operates between 9am and 5pm, when we can guarantee staff availability, but we hope to increase this. Another crucial part of the service is the Answerbase, which stores previously answered questions, making them available, and searchable, via the website. QuestionPoint’s Knowledgebase allows users to browse the bank of questions, or use a keyword search, to find information on a specific topic. The website Answerbase is also increasingly popular with users and we have now added an RSS feed of answered questions to allow people to keep track of the diverse range of questions that pass through Ask Scotland. Reusing answers in this way allows us to avoid the duplication of the same questions being researched by different librarians. Answerbase also demonstrates what libraries can do – showcasing how far beyond Google our resources go, and highlighting the added value professional library staff can bring. Over the coming months, our goal at SLIC will be to continue adding new libraries to the Ask Scotland network and strengthening the links with the other services in the Scotland’s Information landscape, such as Find a Book and Scotland’s Information.
CILIPS Autumn Gathering By Michelle O’Hara, Library Adviser, Information and Digital Team, Edinburgh Central Library Being the fortunate recipient of a place, sponsored by LOCSCOT, to the CILIPS Autumn Gathering, I headed down to the train station on the cold Edinburgh morning of the 4th October and headed on the train for the frozen wasteland that is Dunfermline. “The Autumn Gathering proved to be a wonderful day there was a lot to think about and a number of inspiring ideas to try and use at work in my own library.”
It was well worth looking out the thermals and the furry winter boots. The Autumn Gathering was an excellent event. Presided over by CILIPS Scotland’s president Dr Peter Reid we had a range of knowledgeable speakers on a number of different areas; from information and digital literacy and the necessity of improving them through libraries to the use of games, photo stories and social media to reach out to library patrons and soon-to-be library patrons. There was an introduction to the fabulous work of the John Gray Centre in East Lothian and an introduction to the dangers of revealing a little too much about yourself and how you present your public image, on Social Media platforms. The Autumn Gathering proved to be a wonderful day there was a lot to think about and a number of inspiring ideas to try and use at work in my own library. I am really grateful to LOCSCOT for giving me the opportunity to go; I would happily go back again, even to Dunfermline in the freezing cold. LocScot sponsored a place at the Gathering for any member of library staff who works in Local Studies in Scotland.
Clydebank Library Centenary Banner Clydebank Library, a Carnegie funded building, was officially opened on 1st October 1913. To celebrate its Centenary next year, West Dunbartonshire Libraries and Cultural Services heritage team have set up a volunteer project to sew a commemorative banner, to be hung in the library, ready for the 100th birthday celebrations. A spot in the lending library has been chosen for its display, with the option for the banner to be moved and hung elsewhere for future events. Funding for the project came through a grant from Museums Galleries Scotland for the Festival of Museums, which enabled us to buy two sewing machines, and to pay an experienced textile artist to manage the project. Using images from the local history collection as inspiration, ten very enthusiastic volunteers have signed up, and the heritage centre is buzzing every Tuesday afternoon to the sounds of sewing machines and chat!
News Updates Local and Family History Day at Edinburgh Central Library 17th November. Take a look at this short video to see how it went. http://tinyurl.com/cm7bkd8 Local History Week 2nd-9th March With this being 2013, the theme is "Superstition" which could include local folk tales, customs and traditions, witchcraft etc. Why not use this as an opportunity to organise activities and exhibitions to promote your Local Studies collections to your readers and Councillors. Please forward information about planned events to LocScot Secretary David Catto.
Unlocking the past in the 21st Century Free seminar, Edinburgh, 8th March Take a look at some of the recent digital innovations at Edinburgh City Libraries, and discuss commemoration of World War 1. For more details, phone Fiona Myles, 0131 242 8059
LocScot Committee Members Chair – Eleanor Mckay - Eleanor.McKay@argyll-bute.gov.uk Secretary – David Catto - firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer – Jo Sherington - Jo.Sherington@west-dunbarton.gov.uk Fiona Myles – email@example.com Roana Mourad - firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Connelly - email@example.com Craig Statham - firstname.lastname@example.org David Main - DaMain@aberdeencity.gov.uk