Reduced budgets? Increased impact!

At the MMIT conference, delegates heard about the range of web tools and other technologies that can help deliver high impact services.

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Convenience and quality

Workshop sessions and five-minute fixes were held at the conference to showcase good practice and to highlight the achievements of libraries in implementing multimedia technologies.  Presentations covered QR codes, web toolkits, library management systems and mobile devices.  Dave Pattern from the University of Huddersfield shared experiences of implementing Summon in the University library. His session started with an amusing look at the challenges many libraries face with electronic resources and Dave then proceeded to explain the stages of implementation involved in taking on a discovery source.  'Convenience trumps quality every time' with students and discovery source software such as Summon provides both!

Hand-held librarians

Jon Fletcher's workshop session looked at the 'Future for the Hand-Held Librarian', discussing the future of e-book readers, tablet computers, QR codes and smart phones. With an estimated 89% of UK adults owning a mobile phone, and 70% of 18-24 year olds owning smart phones, our libraries need to look at how they can adapt to an increasingly mobile world and improve our use of applications and web tools. This was an underlying theme throughout the conference and other workshops including Rene Meijer's presentation on 'designing space and services to support digital literacies', and Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecrofts session on ‘free web toolkits for the modern library'.  

It is challenging to implement change in a landscape with reducing budgets; however these sessions highlighted the potential for learning and communication using the technologies that are out there. The free web tools now available eliminate excuses for not having a go and getting involved, and why not, with an ever-increasing selection of options available each library is bound to find something that suits its needs.

Would you like to share good practice? Pick up some tips on future technologies? And, enjoy the opportunity to network with like-minded peers? Then register next year for the MMIT Conference 2013 in Manchester, and get involved!  You can read more about MMIT on the MMIT Cilip webpage and on the MMIT blog.

Olivia Greenstreet is an Information Projects Assistant at the building services association BSRIA. She is also currently completing an MA in Library and Information Studies at UCL and is due to complete in September this year. Her experience to date has included library services, web-based work and development, and involvement in information related projects.  Her LinkedIn profile is here.

Photo courtesy of 401k via Flickr.

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