Thursday, 26 June 2008

Same old, same old

Research and Development had a bit of a spring clean recently and found some notes for a library user group meeting held back in March 2001. Much has changed since then - not least the library user group closing - but much has stayed the same.

The notes show that 24 hour access was the top of the agenda. The situation now is the same as it was then - we're housed in an old building that is a little off site, and is vulnerable to break in and vandalism. There is therefore no out of hours access. Eventually there will be a new library, and rooms offering 24 hour access are right at the top of the wish list. They will probably be study rooms or computer rooms, rather than access too books and journals. Some books and journals are, of course, available 24 hours online with Athens.

In 2001 we proudly announced 12 (yes - twelve) online full text journals. Now we have over 1000 to offer you. In 2001 there were concerns over lack of databases for literature searching, now we offer you seven different databases through NLH.

In those days databases were bought on CD and copied onto the library servers for use on the library network. Eventually a select few pilot sites were granted access outside the library! The user group was busy discussing pay as you surf internet access. Now, of course, the library is on the Trust next work and everyone can access intranet and internet for free, and all the databases you need are internet-based. What progress!

In 2001 we were just finding our feet with offering training for you on literature searching. We started advertising courses in the Trust Training Prospectus and and handing out certificates to people who completed training. Now we offer very little training, as a team restructure left us without the relevant team members to train.

The issue of quiet study space over a space where people can chat still rumbles on. Again, we still lack the space to offer separate areas for different uses. Keep your fingers crossed for that new library where break out rooms are heading the wish list.

Finally, the user group asked about bibliographic software including Reference Manager or Endnote. We declined to buy it then, and don't buy it now, simply because demand is very low.

We no longer have a user group - sadly, it died young. However, its ghost lives on as we are always happy to have feedback, suggestions, compliment and complaints from you through any of our contact channels. You could even leave a comment on the blog!

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