Northern Collaboration Conference – Liverpool Hilton – 15 September 2016

Collaboration: delivering innovation, engagement and impact

Attended by Josh Sendall, Callum Pownall and Liz Hartley

There’s information about the conference and a link to the presentations on the Northern Collaboration website .

Photo of Josh and Callum outside the Hilton Hotel

The conference theme drew upon key issues for us in delivering support for teaching, learning and research in the current HE climate. How can collaboration aid us in delivering innovation, impact and engagement?

How do we nurture innovation and deliver new and exciting initiatives and services?

How do we encourage psychological engagement with different stakeholder groups to plan and deliver a successful library experience?

Do we need libraries? What difference do we make to the experience of our users? How do we demonstrate impact?


Three of us attended the conference to present a paper ‘Coffee, Cake and Biscuits: cultivating engagement and inspiring cultural change through innovation.  Rebekah Constable who had done a lot of preparatory work on the paper unfortunately couldn’t attend on the day.

tweet aabout using people and talents of an existing workforce -not all about new technology

We gave some background on why and how we set up the Lancaster University Library Innovation Group.  Our overriding aim is to improve the experience of our users by unlocking our own creativity.  We discussed how we came up with ideas, our achievements to date and the effect of the Group on stimulating innovative working in the library. We finished by reflecting on what comes next.

We didn’t exactly trend on Twitter but our presentation generated a fair bit of interest and received good feedback on the day.

Tweets - lots to follow up back in the office, including staff from all levels makes the innovation group a force for change,Lanc Uni Library has a tree, love non-hierarchical groups

We all enjoyed the keynote addresses, especially Richard Watson’s, the author of Digital vs Human.

Liz’s highlights were Nadine Sunderland’s talk on the University of Cumbria’s great work with their Head Start programme (providing online information skills, academic writing and referencing training to pre-entry students) and Bob Frost talking about the University of Central Lancashire’s pop-up library service – taking the library out of the library. Loved the travel case with the pop-up screen.

Pop-up library transit case and screen

Josh went to a talk by Karen Crinnion and Susan Millican from Newcastle University. They shared the success they’d had in Using games to introduce postgraduate researchers to the Library. In one task they gamified evaluating the quality of resources. Another game involved using large foam jigsaw pieces with bibliographic details on (Title, date of publication, publisher etc. all jumbled up); the aim of the game was to piece them together in the correct order to create a complete Harvard reference. Novel ways of making the mundane more interesting!

As well as seeing the pop-up library presentation from the University of Central Lancashire, Callum enjoyed the talk from Michael Fake and Liz Waller about the White Rose Libraries plan to develop a shared collection to free up study space.

The conference really highlighted the interesting and innovative work going on in northern university libraries.

And there was cake!

Cream cake

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