Networkflows: a couple of pointers

One of the phrases I have been using quite a bit over the last while is ‘in the flow’. Libraries are exploring how to build services around the ‘networkflow’ of their users, and not always expecting people to build their workflows around the library. A couple of things related to new environments ….
1. I have been talking to some colleagues in the library at the Open University recently. They have a service environment where students are widely distributed. (One interesting side-effect is that the library building is not the anchor it is for many others.) Their service needs lead naturally into the themes of the First International M-Libraries conference which they are jointly organizing with Athabasca University.

This conference, hosted by The Open University in partnership with Athabasca University, aims to explore and share work carried out in libraries around the world to deliver services and resources to users ‘on the move,’ via a growing plethora of mobile and hand-held devices. The conference will bring together researchers, technical developers, managers and library practitioners to exchange experience and expertise and generate ideas for future developments. [m-libraries Information on the move..]

On the move and in the flow.
2. The Eduserv foundation has released July 2007 snapshot of UK HE and FE developments in SL [pdf] by John Kirriemuir. The focus here is on general takeup within education, and it reports much exploratory use and some organizational support for initiatives. It will be interesting to track this if the Foundation decides to repeat the survey. I noted that libraries hardly featured at all in the initiatives reported. Why this should be so, I do not know.
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2 thoughts on “Networkflows: a couple of pointers”

  1. Lorcan,
    There is some library interest in several UK universities, and involvement in a smaller number (this came out post-education survey), such as the OU. We’re still getting responses and overall situation is changing rapidly.
    Plenty of SL library activity in the US and Australia, as have had a whole day of it in conference track. Will point to mine and other presenters slides on this when they go up.
    Staff from at least two UK library schools (Sheffield and Loughborough – possibly more) are also developing on the grid.

  2. There is some overlap between the UK HE and FE survey, and another one looking at libraries (of which there are many active in SL).

    We are still receiving responses for the education one, and collecting data for the library one (which is not restricted to the UK). The presentation from today has bits from both, including a bunch of quotes from librarians and academics who responded. Slides here:

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