Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Editorial Introduction to Issue 73

The Editor introduces Issue 73 and provides an update on the future of Ariadne.

The requirement to make a business case to maintain or establish a service or a project is a familiar process for many of us working in Libraries.  Many libraries are asked to justify their very existence on a regular basis.  Some succeed, others unfortunately do not.

We all seem to be doing more with less, and 'lean' is how we normally describe our staffing level. 14 months ago we made a case to top level University administration for an initiative around citations improvement, seeking funds for investment in a service to improve publication performance and citations analysis.  This aligned perfectly with University strategy on league table movement and research assessment.   It was exceptionally well-received and is proving a popular and valued service. Conversely our case for resource to support an internationally reknowned magazine specialising in innovative and yet practical information management was not successful. Advancing our case outside the University was not successful either.

So as some of our readers will be aware, this is the final issue of Ariadne to be produced by the University of Bath Library. Pressures on time and resources have resulted in a long wait between issues and the sensible option is to step back from production. That said, Issue 73 of Ariadne continues to report on practical experiences, innovative methods and horizon scanning to forecast how future information services can be delivered.

Henshaw, Thompson and Baleia build on their earlier article [1] discussing work on the UK-MHL project to digitise medical history texts using high levels of automation to the acquisition and processing of content. They outline the principal systems used for each workflow task, from the Internet Archive digitisation process, to de-duplication of material, to the creation of a Medical Heritage Library Mirror at the Wellcome Library.

Running with the collections theme, Celia Jenkins of EDINA looks at SUNCAT (Serials UNion CATalogue) as the service has developed and matured over the last ten years. In addition to looking back at the launch and growth of the service, Jenkins takes us through some of the plans and challenges facing SUNCAT, including mobile-friendly interface, geolocation of contributing libraries, and linkage to other services such as JUSP and the Keepers Registry.

Martin White takes us on a retrospective through Ariadne’s archives looking at the development of metadata over the last 20 or so years. In doing so, he highlights the contribution made by UKOLN to this field in both developing, implementing and fine-tuning metadata schemas. In no small way, this work has been responsible for bringing some semblance of order to the Internet and the names will be familiar to anyone that has worked on information management.

Measuring Library building usage is crucial to many organisations today, providing data and testimony to demonstrate footfall into Library space. Gary Brewerton and Jason Cooper report on Visualising Building Access Data, giving their experience with the introduction of access controls for purposes of safe occupancy levels, and how the resulting log data has offered many more clues to the patterns of use and users entering and leaving the building. Those of you planning to optimise your Library space, or responding to pressures over buildings and infrastructure will find this article invaluable as it reflects on sources of evidence for such a purpose.

Looking at user uptake of mobile devices and key requirements for Higher Education libraries is the focus of Lizzie Caperon's article Developing Adaptable, Efficient Mobile Library Services: Librarians as Enablers which is based on a questionnaire from Leeds University Library. Reducing barriers, empowering users to access information autonomously, and building in forward-compatible flexibility for the interfaces we use are shown to be key when considering the delivery of information and services to our current users.

Aiofe Lawton and Eimear Flynn use the results from two recent surveys to explore how open access publishing may add value to a number of health and social care professionals and their work in the Irish health system. As they note in their article The Value of Open Access Publishing to Health and Social Care Professionals in Ireland, the value of Open Access to readers, authors, teachers, students, libraries, funders of research, governments and citizens has been well documented. But what about patients and health professionals?

Zoe Hurley and Garth Bradshaw share their views on the venue, content and takeaway messages from the Internet Librarian International Conference, held in London in October 2014. Also keeping you up to date, Fiona MacLellan reviews Peggy Johnson’s text on the Fundamentals of Library Collection Development and recommends readers will find the text useful as a reference, dipping into relevant sections as necessary.

As noted in the introduction, this is the final issue to be produced by the University of Bath Library. That is not to say this is necessarily the final issue completely - should the resources and effort to continue production be available elsewhere (please do get in touch) then you'll see her again. Ariadne has a very passionate and active community who would be happy to see her re-awakened from her rest.


  1. Christy Henshaw, Robert Kiley. "The Wellcome Library, Digital". July 2013, Ariadne Issue 71 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue71/henshaw-kiley

Author Details

Kara Jones
Ariadne Editor

Email: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/contact/webform
Web site: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/