Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Editorial: Open Access, organising workshops and different perspectives.

In Issue 76 we have articles looking at how Open Access could be used by large funding bodies to make academics' lives easier, experience driven ideas for organising library workshops and conferences, and a different perspective on library customer services from New Zealand. Plus our usual event and book reviews, and some sad news from Bath.

In this issue of Ariadne, we have article covering a range of topics. Lidu Gong starts us off with a description of the "heart centred" approach to customer service in a Māori oriented academic library service in New Zealand. To help deal with cultural differences between Māori users and traditional "Western" library services, the library staff at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa college adopt an approach based on knowledge of the Māori people, their customs, beliefs and standards of interaction. It demonstrates how an institution can alter its approach based on the cultural norms of its users to the benefit of both the users and the institution.

Over in the USA, Joshua Pearce is based in a scientific research lab at Michigan Technological University. His article suggests a potential way that Open Access journals could be used by large scale funding bodies such as the US National Science Foundation to reduce some of the workload of researchers like him.. His idea is to restructure part of the grant application process to make the proposals more like the introduction and methods sections of a paper, which could be subsequently used as the basis for future papers. Then, if a grant is given, reporting on progress would be via articles in an OA journal funded by the grant giving organisation.

Bouncing back to the UK, Gary Brewerton has been involved with organising many library related conferences. He has collected together his experiences and some handy hints and tips in an article on how to go about organising a conference or workshop. Whilst the experiences here are from academic libraries, the processes and suggestions are generally applicable to more or less any type of conference or workshop. Hopefully this will be useful to people who suddenly find themselves tasked with such organisation for the first time!

One of the workshops Gary organised was the Meeting the Reading List Challenge in April 2016 at Loughborough University library. We have a report on that event provided by one of the attendees, Laura Williams. We also have a report by John Kirriemuir on a British Library/University of Nottingham event held in February asking people to suggest novel ways of using or manipulating the BL's extensive digital data collections.

John also kindly reviewed Lorcan Dempsey's book, "The Network Reshapes the Library". This is collection of selected postings from Lorcan's blog covering many of the issues in digital libraries from the last 10-15 years. As John rightly points out, many of the points raised in the book are still hot topics as we approach the second decade of the 21st century.

Stella Thebridge has contributed a book review of "The innovative school librarian" edited by Sharon Markless and published by Facet. The book is aimed at school librarians and library managers, and Stella uses her experience in that field to question whether this book is providing the right information in the right format for those library workers.

Our final book review of this issue is by Elizabeth Gadd. She has read "Altmetrics: a practical guide for librarians, researchers and academics" edited by Andy Tattersall and again published by Facet. Altmetrics is an ongoing "hot topic" in Universities and funding bodies who both have a desire to work out the relative impact and importance of different researchers, where simple publication numbers might not give the whole story.

Lastly, some sad news has arrived from the University of Bath as I write this editorial. Philip Bryant, best known in the Library world as the founding Director of UKOLN, passed away peacefully at home on the 15th November at the age of 84. Philip was instrumental in the establishment of UKOLN in 1992, as well as some of the library related centres that went before it at Bath. It was within the nuturing home of UKOLN that this journal was born 20 years ago, so we owe Philip a debt of gratitude. After he stepped down as director of UKOLN two years after its formation, he went on to perform work of international importance on the need for, and implication of, catalogue conversions as a result of recommendations in the Follet Report. Philip eventually retired in 1997, but continued to help conserve the antiquarian collection of the Royal Bath and West of England Society. Four years ago Philip received an Honorary Fellowship from the Senate of University of Bath in recognition of his contribution to both the University and the wider library world. Phlip will be much missed by the many people who knew him.