Web Magazine for Information Professionals


Kay Flatten outlines the aims of the TAPin project, which is now approaching the publication of its "Impact Study".

TAPin is now in the final stages of a wide dissemination process, culminating in the publication of The Impact Study. The main aim of the project was to enhance the expertise of academic staff in the exploitation of networked information resources while also underpinning the network competencies of library and academic staff. The IT cultures within specific disciplines were researched, and the extent and nature of IT resources in the collaborating institutions were then established as a means of facilitating the development and delivery of materials.

TAPin logo

The TAPin model has a Development Side and a Delivery Side. In the former, the major elements were training and marketing. The latter emphasised one - to - one support with librarians and academics working together to provide subject specific information at the academic’s place of work on his/her own machine. The crucial areas to be investigated during the project were the impact the TAPin model had on academic staff; the growth in awareness and use of network information; IT infrastructures supporting the designated disciplines; the perceptions of networked information, library services and librarians’ roles on networked campuses. A number of changes in the use of computer networks and library services by academic staff were mapped. Between 1995 and 1997 the use of books, BUBL, data hosts and CD-ROMS fell while the use of email and the web rose. There was a greater acceptance that the use of IT offered a more efficient means of access to wider and more diverse sources of information. Acceptance of document delivery and global communication also increased. At the same time, changes in the interaction with the library were also identified as libraries were increasingly seen as part of the networked information revolution occurring on campus. This was part of the development side of the model and was set against a backgound of changing institutional strategies.

The exit strategies now being implemented all involve the continued use of the model for in-house training. There will also be a Strategic Audit which applies the theory of learning organisations to all sectors in the Project. http://www.uce.ac.uk/tapin


Flatten, Kay et al: TAPin:Training and awareness programme in networks: the impact study. Centre for Information Research and Training, faculty of Computing and Information Studies University of Central England in Birmingham, 1998. isbn 090435413x

Author Details

Kay Flatten
University of Central England