Hi, can you tell us a little bit about your respective jobs at the University of Sheffield?
Beccy: I have 2 jobs at the University of Sheffield. I am part of the team that manages the e-resources and the Library website. This involves maintaining our ejournals, databases and ebooks, answering enquiries and updating the website. My other role is at the National Fairground Archive which is based here in the Library. There I can be found cataloguing fairground tickets, steam engine rally programmes and handbills from 19th Century variety shows amongst other things.
Lyn: I manage the team who support learning, teaching and research with online reading lists, digitisation of teaching materials, printed course packs, and information literacy tutorials. We also investigate and develop new library services, for example how to embed library services into the University’s new collaborative environment, uSpace, has blogs, wikis and social networking. This uses Clearspace from Jive and has just been launched.
What’s new and cool at your library?
Becky: We have a number of librarians using Twitter and blogs though don’t suppose that counts as new and cool anymore. We also have a current awareness service using netvibes.
Lyn: I use Twitter to follow conferences, participate in events, generally keep up to date. We have a review of our library blogs ongoing at present and are looking at how to integrate all the different library news into various environments – student/staff portal, library web, uSpace, our VLE – without reinventing the wheel each time. We are also looking at piloting QR codes as part of induction next session.
Can you both remember where and when you first used a web browser?
Beccy: I can’t remember exactly but probably at Glasgow Uni in the mid 1990s when I was a student there.
Lyn: I worked in the Geography Library when the University of Sheffield were setting up their first web site, using the Geography Department as part of the pilot, would have been 1995ish.
Do you think libraries and librarians should adopt a cautious approach to new technologies, or should they be rolling up their sleeves and embracing it fully?
Beccy: I think librarians should fully embrace new technologies but be slightly cautious about how to roll them out within libraries. There are so many new things coming out all the time that if we take them all on we could be in danger of overloading our users. The important thing to remember is will this technology offer something useful to our users.
Lyn: I agree with Beccy. Being in a development team, I am very ready to have a go with new technology but the key is to evaluate its potential use and not jump on the bandwagon for the sake of it. Given that Web 2.0 is as much about culture as technology and given the pace of change, I think it is very important that we do embrace it or face no longer having a central role to play.
Are you currently using any mash-ups at Sheffield?
Beccy and Lyn: No but we’d like to! Hoping to learn more about how to!
Have either of you got a favourite mash-up?
Beccy: Not really got a favourite but do like the Repository 66 map.
Lyn: Not sure that it is a favourite but one I have been following recently is the spread of swine flu at rhizalabs.com
Got a favourite beverage?
Lyn: Coffee, preferably latte