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ISSN 0048-1904



The Association of Schools, Children and Education Librarians meetings in the West Midlands are a vocal forum of brilliant Use Them Or Lose 1 ideas, exceptional good practice, endless Them: Dawn Woods enthusiasm and shared help. But after March it will be missing two important A New Name for 1 members as Birmingham and Solihull Open Access? SLSs will cease loans in their current Changes Afoot: 2 formats. Roger Fairman Solihull, although it has been working in partnership with the public library, cannot Where In The 2 support the SLS anymore in the current World? : Mike economy. Birmingham came as a shock to Freeman most of us who thought the support of their Swift Makeover at 3 Educational Improvement Advisors would Aston: Angela Brady help pull it through. But Advisors in most authorities are receiving at risk notices. PenFriends at 4 So where does that leave the rest of us? Bridgnorth Library: Rawden What can we do to help? Parslow SLSs, since the Government delegated Members Day and 5 services out to schools to ‗give them AGM greater choice‘ have adapted to the Committee 5 business market, assessing their services, continually evaluating, wooing customers Profile: Roger and generally providing a service which Fairman ticks all boxes on customer care and News from West Mids 6 delivery of product. INSIDE THIS ISSUE:


promote a love of reading.

Worcestershire’s SLS mobile library – a valuable asset to rural primary schools

The recent Reading for Pleasure Conference was a great success, attended by teachers, school librarians, authors and other education and library professionals. Everyone understood that to embed a Reading for Pleasure Policy in every school means allowing time for reading free choice material and a good school library with a respected school librarian. SLSs provide vital advocacy for reading and literacy. If they close, valuable expertise will be lost and not always available when children‘s specialisms in the public library are disappearing. Teachers will have nowhere to go for advice and help at a time when National Curriculum changes will create even more demand for curriculum support.

If you would like to

However, unlike prisons, schools are not legally bound to provide a library service. SLSs do not just offer a specialist book loan scheme to support teaching of the curriculum but also training, and advice on organising and managing library and teaching resources in schools and

suggest an article for Open Access please



email the editor, Katharine Widdows at:

Please let teachers, parents, governors know that they do need to use their SLS or lose it.

We are considering changing the name of the branch newsletter as the phrase “Open Access” has now come to mean something quite specific in the world of publishing. It even caused confusion for one open access group who contacted us recently asking if we could publicise their events because they assumed we were writing a newsletter about open access publishing. An understandable mistake! If you have any ideas for what we should call the newsletter, or if you feel strongly that it should not change, please email or send comments by post to Katharine Widdows, Main Library, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL —we will put the best 5 suggestions (as judged by the WM committee) to the vote later in the year.

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CHANGES AFOOT : ROGER FAIRMAN As I hope you have noticed there are some changes afoot, small in some respects but

You don‘t need to be a graphics whizkid to do this, just create your design in whatever

hopefully indicative of a will to look to the future of both the Branch and CILIP as a

medium you wish, anything from pencil to Photoshop, and send it to the Branch

whole. One of these was the Branch

Chair either electronically or by snail mail.

adding an ‗S‘ to its title so we are now the West Midlands branch.

We will then review all the ideas we get and (if we get enough) ask members to choose between the best of them, as selected by the committee. Please send

This means that we will have to revamp our logo, but rather than just ―add the S‖ we would like to completely redesign it and here is where you come in. We are looking

suggestions to: Roger Fairman

for ideas from the membership, and invite


anyone who has an idea to let us know.

University of Worcester Henwick Grove

The current branch logo:


Find out more about Roger, our new branch Chair on page 5

Worcester, WR2 6AJ

“You don’t

Suggestions can also be posted on the branch blog

need to be a


whizkid to do

As you will have seen from the front page, we are also looking into whether or not to change the name of Open Access newsletter. Suggestions for this are also encouraged, see front page.




Mike Freeman, our intrepid International Relations Officer has been off on his travels again and has brought back these intriguing photos. There is a £10 Waterstones voucher for the first person who can tell us where in world this is.

The winner (and the answer) will be revealed in the next issue of Open Access, and posted on the branch blog. Send entries to: Email: Post: Katharine Widdows, Main Library, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL.

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SWIFT MAKEOVER AT ASTON: ANGELA BRADY Aston University Library has been working towards a refurbishment of its 1970‘s Basil Spence building for a number of years. The building, typical of many of its contemporaries, lacked natural light and the décor and lighting were period pieces. For students it was a taste of what life was like for their parents‘ generation, and would have made a perfect backdrop to a play about the three day week.

The go ahead was given for the project to start in 2010, and the University decided that it had to be completed within 14 weeks (largely over the summer vacation) and that the Library would stay open throughout the work. This was challenging but achievable! The brief was to fully refurbish the ground and first floors, creating a social learning space on the ground floor and bringing more natural light in. This was done by adding a 4 storey glass atrium at one end of the building, and moving the entrance into this zone, transforming the old cramped entrance into a high, light, airy space which has received universal acclaim and will have a terrific view once the landscaping is complete.

The 14 week time frame meant that we had to decide which term-time weeks to include in the project period. It was agreed that the lesser of the two evils was to continue the work into the start of the new academic year, as new students would be more forgiving than postgraduates revising for exams at the end of the summer term!

“For students it

Alternative study space was arranged elsewhere on campus for students who needed to get away from the building noise, although ubiquitous headphones seemed to protect many students against even heavy drilling.

would have

Staff and students were consulted about the colour scheme and a mixture of strong, warm colours was selected for the furniture and accent walls, against a backdrop of white and a selection of greys. Happily this choice coincided with the Vice Chancellor‘s preferences!

was a taste of what life was like for their parents’ generation, and made a perfect backdrop to a play about the three day week.”

Angela Brady is the Assistant Director (Academic Liaison/ Public Services) at Aston

The social learning space and integral café were an immediate success and, as colleagues elsewhere have recorded, students soon lost their inhibitions and began moving the furniture around to suit their needs. We will be surveying their experiences later in the year, but feedback so far has been very positive.

“The social learning space and integral café were an When it came to appointing a builder, the shortlisted firms‘ plans for working in this sort of ―live‖ environment was key. The firm chosen had experience of something similar and was, as far as possible, sensitive to the needs of our users.

immediate success” We look forward to hearing when the second half of the project (top two floors) can be accomplished.

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PENFRIENDS AT BRIDGNORTH LIBRARY: RAWDEN PARSLOW Question: How can a blind or partially sighted person be helped to browse the talking book stock in a library? Answer: With the help of a PenFriend.

difficult it was to record information without tripping over any words. On reflection, a full day of this was probably too much and better suited to a couple of hours at a time, so we now work on this basis. Obviously we could only include stock that was on the shelves that particular day, so as other stock is returned from loan we have been keeping it to one side and the volunteers have been in again to add them to the PenFriend devices. This work will continue to tick over as more stock is returned, and we can also pick up new stock coming in to the branch.

This will soon be an option at Bridgnorth library in Shropshire, where we are trialling an audio labelling device developed by RNIB. Anything at all can be labelled, from tins of food, to medicines, or household paperwork. RNIB were keen to see how their device could be used in a library, so we are running a pilot project in Bridgnorth library using our spoken word CD stock. The PenFriend is activated by small labels, which can be stuck to the spine of the talking book. Pointing the PenFriend at the label then triggers playback of the audio description. The audio information for each talking book needs to be recorded on to the device, and we decided to include the title, author, name of the narrator, plus the blurb from the back cover. With staff time being limited, using volunteers to do this work seemed like a logical solution. We have been working closely with the Shropshire Council Sensory Impairment Team, and they advised that we should use two PenFriends, one using a male voice, and one with a female voice. We therefore chose two appropriate volunteers, then set a date to do the work. We are lucky to have two small offices, which acted as ‗sound booths‘ where volunteers could make their recordings. There was some discussion around pronunciation, particularly with some of the more unusual author names, and certain characters from Scandanavian crime fiction. Making the recordings was challenging, and our volunteers were surprised at how

The next stage of our project is to gather a small user group to try the devices. Bridgnorth library was chosen for the trial, because the town has an active visually impaired group who were keen to be involved. Once we have some feedback from them, we will publicise the PenFriend to the general public, and to specific groups and audiences in the area. The plan is to keep the two PenFriends at the counter, so they can be handed out on request.

“RNIB were keen to see how their device could be used in a library, so we are running a pilot project in Bridgnorth”

Rawden is the Principal Librarian, South Area Shropshire Council

“As far as we are aware, we are the first library in the Plans to extend the project across the county will need to be carefully thought out, due to the large volume of spoken word stock moving between branches on rotas and exchanges. One option would be to make the recordings centrally, they could then be downloaded to PenFriends across library branches. As far as we are aware, we are the first library in the country to try this, it is exciting to be trying something new, particularly as it could have such positive outcomes for our users.

country to try this, it is exciting to be trying something new”

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CILIP West Midlands branch invite you to join us at Staffordshire Univer-

presentations from a number of exciting projects across the region.

Following the 2011 elections we welcome new members and would like to thank David Viner and Margaret Fuller, who stood down at the elections, for all their work and support.

There will also be a tour of Staffordshire University's current library. The

2011 Branch committee members:

sity Thompson Library (Stoke Campus) on Wednesday 30th March, the theme of the day is "New libraries: new challenges", featuring

afternoon session will be opened by CILIP Vice President, Phil Bradley. In addition to the CILIP West Midlands branch AGM and presentation of certificates, we will be joined by the West Midlands division of CILIP Career Development Group for their AGM and the West Midlands division of CILIP Colleges of Further and Higher Education for their BGM. There will also be plenty of opportunities to share your views on what you would like the branch to do over the coming year. For more details, our flyer and programme is available at and you can book a place using the booking form at We look forward to welcoming you to join us for this annual celebration hosted by CILIP West Midlands. £5 for members, £10 for non members, refreshments will be provided both morning and afternoon, but lunch will not be included. We invite you to bring along a packed lunch or use the University catering facilities and network with us over lunch.

Chair: Roger Fairman Vice Chair: Thomas Ranahan Hon. Treasurer: Margaret Rowley Hon Secretary: vacant Web Master: vacant Open Access Editor: Katharine Widdows International Relations Officer: Mike Freeman Marketing Officer: Jo Alcock Membership Secretary: Christine Hughes Committee Members: Hettie Jones, Val Scott, Andrea Adams, Sue Clayton Affiliate Member: Joanne Collett

COMMITTEE PROFILE: ROGER FAIRMAN—CHAIR What is your role in CILIP WM? Chair When did you join the committee? 2009 What do you do in your day job? My title is ‗Library Services Development‘ in the Department of Information and Learning Services at the University of Worcester. For the past three years I have worked full time on a joint project between the University and Worcestershire County Council to create a unique facility in the centre of Worcester. “The Hive”, will be a combined University & Public Library, in a building that also contains the Worcestershire Record Office, the County Archaeology Service and the Worcestershire Hub (local government information service). For details see: http:// What are your professional interests? My interest in the benefits and challenges to libraries of new technologies started at a time when fax machines were ―the next big thing‖ and ―electronic information‖ meant

dialup access to Dialog & Datastar; through the waxing & waning of CD-Rom, to the current era of the Internet and e-publishing. Each new technology brings dark prophesies about the demise of the book and the professional librarian, but equally, opportunities to take our skills to new heights and deliver quality services. My other main interest is in the change management process and has developed as I have been lucky, throughout my career, to work for forward thinking institutions, so my working environment has been consistently subject to change. Any interesting facts? It is possible that if any of you reading this have recently attended a Sealed Knot English Civil War Re-enactment, you will have seen me doing my bit to keep those Parliamentary Rebels in their place through service in Ffoxe‘s Company of The King‘s Lifeguard Regiment of Foote.

The committee welcomes Roger in as new chair for 2011

“I have been lucky, throughout my career, to work for forward thinking institutions”


UNIVERSITIES, COLLEG ES & RESEARCH (UC&R) WEST MIDLANDS: CHRIS BRADFORD UC&R West Midlands is an active and lively group and there is an opportunity to become more involved. We are currently looking for two ordinary committee members to serve until the AGM in 2013. For information contact the Section Honorary Secretary, Rachel Westwood, or attend our AGM, details below. Upcoming events: AGM 17th March 2011 Tour of Worcester Cathedral Library followed by lunch and AGM. We‘ll be meeting at the Cathedral at 10.30 having a tour of the Library and then adjourning for lunch and the AGM at the City Campus, University of Worcester. For further details contact or Cost: Non-UC&R members £5. UC&R Members free. Librarians as Teachers 2011 Following the successful Librarians as Teachers one day conference held in May 2010, a second event is currently being planned. Further details to follow. Past Event: Lean and Mean Library Machine, a half-day event, organised by CILIP UC&R Group West Midlands, took place on the afternoon of Thursday 9th December 2010 at the Lakeside Centre in Aston University, Birmingham. This event examined how University Libraries could do more, whilst resourcing was cut. It was a very topical and stimulating event which provided attendees with the opportunity to share perspectives and hear about some practical solutions. A full report and links to some of the presentations can be accessed via the CILIP Communities blog CAREER DEVELOPMENT GROUP (CDG) WEST MIDLANDS: ANNA BROWN The CDG West Midlands division kicked off 2011 with a ―Love Your Chartership‖ get-together on 12th January, followed by our annual, belated ―Christmas‖ meal on 27th. We‘re planning lots more interesting events this year, including visits to libraries in a range of sectors, courses to support Chartership, Certification and Revalidation candidates, our joint AGM with CILIP West Midlands Branch and more of the regular, informal ―Love Your Chartership‖ evenings. To keep up-to-date with CDG West Midlands activities, look out for the Spring edition of our newsletter Central Issues at the end of March. The Division is also sponsoring two members of CDG to attend Umbrella 2011. We will fund two full residential delegate places - which include accommodation, refreshments as well as return travel. This great opportunity is open to those who live in the West Midlands and are CDG members. To be in with a chance, all you have to do is: Tell us in 100 words or less : why you want to attend the conference and how this will be of professional benefit to you and, if successful, write an article for Central Issues. Please send your submission, name, contact details and CILIP membership number to Elaine Williams by Friday 25th March 2011.

COLLEGES OF FURTHER & HIGHER EDUCATION (COFHE) WEST MIDLANDS: JACQUIE DAVIES Recent Events: ‗Performance Management – A Managers view‘ Training was delivered at Henley College, Coventry by Dr Kevin Clements. Comments from the delegates could be summed up as ‘very good, well presented, thought provoking, I would gladly attend another session‘. Future Events: West Midlands CoFHE BGM March 30th at Staffordshire University in conjunction with CILIP West Midlands. E-Books: May 20th at RSC West Midlands University of Wolverhampton Science Park. The day will include a session lead by Ebrary on the use & promotion of Ebrary and a time for delegates to discuss the purchase, use & promotion of e-books. Details will be on COFHE & Lislink mailing or from Jacquie Davies or Sue Bird

Open Access - March 2011  

Newsletter of CILIP West Midlands

Open Access - March 2011  

Newsletter of CILIP West Midlands