Category Archives: Event reviews
Laura Williams was the winner of our bursary to attend the ARLG Conference 2016. She is currently Reading List and Collection Development Librarian at the University of Huddersfield.
The conference theme was “Are you being served? Serving our learners in a changing climate” and was held at Aston University, Birmingham from 27-29 June. Here Laura reports on her experiences at the conference.
I was able to attend the ARLG16 Conference thanks to a bursary from ARLG North West, my first ARLG Conference and first ever ARLG event too. The three day event was packed with excellent sessions. It would be a long read if I wrote about everything, so this conference report will pick out some of the key themes and main highlights. I have created a Storify of tweets, featuring mainly my own tweets but also some from others, which provides an overview of the whole conference.
The conference was structured with morning and afternoon keynotes and then a variety of workshop sessions. There was a wide range of sessions to choose from in each time slot, meaning everyone had lots of choice about what to attend. I went to 9 different workshops, covering a range of topics from UX research, library spaces, customer engagement, and accessibility. Plus let’s not forget to mention the brilliant introduction to book folding from Cara Clarke and Fran Heap. Most of the sessions had a practical element to them which definitely enriched the learning experience. Practical workshops are not always easy in short 45 minute conference sessions however each group task or discussion was well planned and suitable for the timeframe. Getting to try a new technique or engage in a discussion in most sessions rather than watch a lengthy presentation was one of the best aspects of ARLG16.
Seven Deadly Sins of Librarianship: Jo Webb – Presentation Slides
Jo delivered a plenary talk focused our worst traits as a profession, the things that possibly hold us back from delivering the best services and achieving our full potential. Jo used the seven deadly sins as a framework for this talk, and explored the ways we are guilty of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath and envy. Jo balanced her talk by looking at the seven heavenly virtues and we use these to underpin our professional practice. This was an excellent talk because it held no qualms about admitting that we aren’t always the best we can be (demonstrating a virtue rather than a sin there!). At library conferences we often focus on celebrating positive achievements, talks are often an example of a ‘let’s all pat ourselves on the back’ attitude, rather than look an honest look at the problems we face. Jo presented a balanced view of what we do well and where we need to remember to not fall down, offering a refreshing look at the profession.
Customer Service Excellence: Neil Potentier – Presentation Slides
This keynote is one of my conference highlights; it was a fantastic insight into customer service excellence from a real life CSE assessor! I’ve not been involved in a CSE assessment myself so it was interesting to hear about working towards excellence from the other point of view. Neil works with many different organisations, not just libraries, so brought an excellent external perspective to the conference. Every point Neil made was backed up by a story, illustrating the good and the bad when it comes to delivering customer service. The talk emphasised how much we can learn from the customer service examples of other organisations.
UX: Engaging and Involving Students through User Experience to inform library space design: Sandra Reid and Tania Olsson – Presentation Slides
Quite a lot of the sessions I attended focused on using UX research methods to inform the design of library space. Sandra Reid and Tania Olsson gave us an introduction to UX techniques, explaining some of the main methods and how these have been used at University of the Arts London. Methods shared included mapping, touchstone tours, love letters and reflective logs. The practical element involved us working in groups to redesign the silent study area of the library, using data collected from focus groups and mapping to inform choices in space design.
“New Look?” Ensuring Leaner Needs are Met in Library Spaces: David Clover – Presentation Slides
Another enjoyable session about designing library spaces. First task was sharing ideas about methods for gathering user feedback before starting a library refurbishment project. Then we worked in groups to turn the feedback data into decisions. Ideas for addressing the concerns of library users identified in feedback, and categorise as “how, now or wow”; How ideas are the big ideas which could be difficult to implement, now ideas are easy to implement, and the wow ideas are original but easy to implement small fixes. Categorising our ideas in this way was a great method for organising initial ideas and thinking about how feasible a solution was.
A Personal Reflection
I wanted to attend ARLG16 to broaden my perspective on academic libraries, and learn more about what happens in other organisations. I’ve been working in HE for less than a year, after over 5 years working in the very niche world of media archives, as a result my knowledge and experience of the sector has many gaps. I’m also currently working on a very specific project so it was great to step away from all things reading list related and find out about other aspects of academic library work. I felt that for me personally at the moment, a conference like ARLG would offer a good solid academic library focus but still offer a wide range of insights. As funds and time for staff development are limited (and bursaries are scarce) I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend a conference. If you can only attend one conference, it needs to be the right one for your professional development. I learnt a lot at ARLG16 and came away with lots of ideas to follow up on. Smaller focused conferences can deliver excellent value in the content of their programme, and that is exactly what ARLG16 delivered. I came back raving about how brilliant the conference was to everyone in the office, and I definitely feel like I learnt lots of genuinely useful and practical things.
We’re really pleased that Laura enjoyed the conference and took away so much from her time there. She’s already disseminated her new skills by showing our committee member Michelle how to fold a book hedgehog! Watch this space for more bursary offers and announcements about the next ARLG Conference.
Alison attended the first LISDIS (Library and Information Science Dissertations) Conference in Huddersfield on Saturday 14th November 2015. She’s kindly reported on her experiences for us. Alison is a new school librarian at Bolton School, known locally as “Hogwarts.”. She previously worked as a library assistant in the public sector, and prior to that in marketing. She’s on Twitter as @alisoncaller and blogs (mostly about chartership) at www.unchainedschoollibrarian.wordpress.com
On Saturday 14th November I attended the first LISDIS – this included a variety of presentations by LIS graduates of their unpublished MA dissertations. I also had the opportunity to network with enthusiastic, intelligent, mostly new Librarians (and a couple of tutors). The tutor from UCL was surprised that I was neither doing a LIS degree nor a recent LIS graduate and said that he was impressed that I was attending as part of the Chartership process.
Actually I found the presentations very interesting and whilst I’m unsure that I can apply them all specifically to my work as a School Librarian, they did solidify some of my feelings about the profession.
There were several presentations about cataloguing and classification. The significant findings were to do with equality of access. Sarah Hume’s presentation ‘Wine, Witchcraft, Women, Wool:Classifying Women’s studies collections’ was about how Dewey/Library of Congress classifies women’s studies (primarily that it doesn’t have numbers to do so). The second presentation by Lizzie Sparrow was about ‘The Provision of Lesbian Fiction in Public Libraries in Scotland.’
On both occasions their findings demonstrated that not being recognised (either with a classification number or with a tag of Lesbian fiction) left the customers feeling less valued and was ‘extremely dis-spiriting’ (Lizzie Sparrow). Specifically, the latter thesis found being given an identity on the catalogue helped with ‘a sense of identity, validation, connection and learning about themselves and others’. It was particularly helpful for women/girls in the process of ‘coming out.’
I found a connection between these two presentations and a third about “La Femme Bibliophile”: women as book collectors in an age of bibliomania. This presentation by Lucy Saint-Smith gave a fascinating glimpse into the 18th century world of aristocratic ‘Lady’ book collectors. They were primarily ignored by male bibliophiles – indeed one dismissed his female counterpart as basing their collections upon ‘the decorative and sentimental.’
I felt that there was a correlation between the women’s studies’ lack of classification and the lesbians non-inclusion in the catalogues. These female bibliophiles were elusive but interesting figures now and excluded in their own lifetime.
Ian Clark’s presentation ‘To what extent do community libraries address the concerns of the digital divide’ was a very powerful and spirited session about the use of volunteers in community run libraries. Whilst I ‘know’ that volunteers are only helping because the see no other alternative to their local library shutting, Ian demonstrated exactly how pushed into a corner these people can be. It begged the question ‘Is it better to close than to provide a partial service?’
He also passionately illustrated the differences (primarily socio-economic) between a volunteer library being run in a rural area and an urban one. He found that in the rural area the community group were expected to provide a business plan, they also received donations and money from their parish council and even had cash reserves. As a contrast, the urban library was in a deprived area where volunteers actually came from a distance to help. The lack of home computer access meant there were queues out the door at weekends by schoolchildren wanting to do their homework. They were completely unsupported by their local council who removed part of the computer suite and had told them that they had to find £70k a year in order to continue to run. Indeed, it was likely that they would have to charge for computer access in the future.
I found it easy to relate to both of these types of libraries as I worked in a partially volunteer run semi rural (and affluent) library and an urban library in a deprived area. Ian explained that his research showed that although the volunteers were doing their best, neither set were actually given training on using the computers and simply had to do their best with the skills that the volunteers already had. This mean that customers were left to muddle through when they did get to access the computers.
In all honesty, this both depressed and enraged me. The LISDIS conference was on the same day as the Speak up for Libraries conference in London and my twitter feed displayed similar tales of the dire straits that public libraries find themselves in. What interested me from the SUFL conference was that Kathy Settle CEO of the Libraries Taskforce (according to Twitter) stated “I have publically said it’s unacceptable to cut volunteers adrift with libraries”. It sounds as if this is what has happened.
The dissertation’s main topic was actually about how these community run libraries perpetuate the digital divide, particularly in areas of deprivation where fewer households than the national average have internet access. I believe this subject is extremely important to our role as librarians. Helping people access and use computers in order to make use of the wealth of information online (at a basic level to be able to fill in official documents such as benefits forms as well as for the economics benefits) is a key part our remit. Of course, the web offers far more than just economic savings; the opportunity for using it for education and socially is just as important and excluding parts of the population feels very wrong to me.
Having attended this conference I now know more about why having collection policies and why how subjects are classified is important. This understanding will be beneficial to me as a professional as I wanted to learn about our ethics and how I can be more ethical in the way that I work. I am going to discuss with my manager whether we should keyword LGBT books on our catalogue separately, although this may happen more naturally when we change LMS in the Spring.
I am also going to keep up to date with the information relating to library advocacy as it is a subject close to my heart as I disagree strongly with the way that so many public libraries are being shut or run by community groups.
Thanks to Alison for her thoughts on LISDIS, sounds like it was a very interesting and useful day! All presentation from the conference, along with Storify stories from the day, are available on the LISDIS website.
Photo credits: Laura Williams
ARLG NW and CILIP NW offered 2 free student places for our October event, Making your message stick, with Ned Potter. We’re pleased to present write-ups from both students. We published the first yesterday, by Christine Tate. Today is Katie Nicholas’ turn. Katie’s a student at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Prior to this training I had a basic understanding of how to create a PowerPoint but Ned’s training introduced me to so many features I had never made proper use of, including picture formatting options and textbox features. Tips about using minimal space on the slide and the importance of fonts have already been incredibly useful for presentations I am delivering at university and for work.
Ned introduced us to a plethora of great websites where one can source images to create backgrounds without breaching any copyright laws or licenses. The time provided in the session to try each resource and experiment with PowerPoint meant I could ask questions whilst using the new tools. This meant I felt more equipped to use them on my own after the session. The training also gave advice on using these techniques in real-world situations such as working with organisational templates and branding.
The training offered advice on lowering the risk of technical issues by describing the anatomy of a slide and issues with projector alignment – for example not placing vital points near the top or bottom of a slide where they may be lost or obstructed by members of the audience or the projector screen. It is easy to forget about delivering a presentation for real when you are immersed in creating content, making the presentation aesthetically pleasing and remembering what to say so this was a welcome reminder.
The afternoon sessions gave an introduction to Prezi and an overview of presentation and communication skills. I was aware of Prezi but had never used it and was unsure how it worked. Ned effectively used a Prezi to explain the features, pros and cons and most importantly when not to use it. The main message I took away was that Prezi is great for specific kinds of presentations but should be used with caution. Practice is also a necessity! The interactivity and zoom in and out features are fantastic for dipping in and out of material or if you want a more holistic approach as the user sees the whole presentation from the start. Ned advised us to map out our Prezi before adding text and images in the online templates to create more cohesive end results – this was helpful as it is quite a different way of approaching presentations compared to PowerPoint where you can input a structure into slides and amend the visual features later.
By outlining the pitfalls and strengths of Prezi I felt more comfortable experimenting with the templates available and armed with enough knowledge to know when it may be appropriate to use.
The final session gave concise and cohesive advice about planning and preparing any presentation. The importance of researching, structuring and practicing your presentation was highlighted and tips like using the 3:3:3 approach will help organise my ideas in future. Tips on timing information on slides, rehearsing and familiarising yourself with the material and not just memorising will all help me deliver better presentations.
The day has given me lots of resources, tips and real-world advice that I am already venturing to use and has reminded me of the effectiveness and potential of PowerPoint when used in different ways.
Thanks to both Christine and Katie for their thoughts, and to Ned for hosting the workshop.
ARLG NW and CILIP NW offered 2 free student places for our October event, Making your message stick, with Ned Potter. We’re pleased to present write-ups from both students. The first is from Christine Tate, a current student studying the MA in Library and Information Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I was pleased to receive a student place on the ‘making your message stick’ event by CILIP NW Member Network and ARLG NW. I am a full time student on the MA in library and information management course and I thought that this event would be a valuable opportunity to develop my presentation skills.
The workshop was led by Ned Potter and we started the day with a presentation on how to create Powerpoint presentations that would engage your audience and leave them thinking about your key message. Ned explained that your presentation should address the overlap between what you know and what your audience wants or needs to know. It is too easy to fall into the trap of using a presentation to express everything you know about a subject and therefore providing more information than the audience needs. Ned demonstrated how this could be done by formatting and presenting your slides in a way that helps people to learn, avoiding common pitfalls such as an over-reliance on bullet points and putting too much content on each slide. We were then given an opportunity to put this into practice when Ned provided us with three different methods to create effective presentations depending on how much time we had or what type of presentation we had to give. I thought the workshop was a good balance of theory and practice, we were given time to explore the resources and try out the new techniques.
After lunch we moved on to look at Prezi. Ned gave us a presentation on how to make the most of Prezi by utilising the useful features that it contains that Powerpoint doesn’t. Ned warned us that due to Prezi’s tendency to make some people feel seasick it is often best to only use it when there is a specific reason to justify its use. Through the presentation I learnt that Prezi does indeed have some unique content that distinguishes it from traditional presentations, the example that stood out the most was the ability to use Prezi to create an interactive map which could be used in a library setting to allow the user to explore the collection and seamlessly access tools and information on how to use resources. The day drew to a close by examining the practical aspects of giving a presentation. Ned gave us advice on how to deliver presentations and work with any nerves we might be experiencing.
It was encouraging to see the progress in the presentations I was able to create by the end of workshop compared to the basic Powerpoint and Prezi presentations I could make at the start. I am sure that the skills and techniques I developed at the workshop will be of assistance in my academic work this year and in any professional post I am able to gain after completing the course. I am giving a presentation in a few weeks time on special libraries in Manchester and I am excited to put my new presentation skills into use.
Thanks to Christine for her thoughts; tomorrow we’ll hear from the other student place winner, Katie Nicholas.
ARLG NW offered a bursary to attend CILIP Conference 2015, held in Liverpool. Michelle Bond, Faculty Librarian at Liverpool Hope University, was the winner of our bursary. Her report on the conference appears in 2 parts, with the first part found here.
In my second post, I’ll cover a couple of sessions I attended that really stood out – one from each day of the conference.
From Day 1, the highlight was Phil Bradley’s session on ‘Developments in Internet search’. Phil is always good value, as proved by the fact I had a front row seat due to the room being packed out! The last time I encountered Phil was when I was a graduate trainee way back in 2011 I think – at CILIP’s New Professionals Day, where I remember him exhorting us to be militant librarians and feeling mildly terrified at the end. This time, as a much more grown up new professional, I was really pleased to be able to update my knowledge of search (with Phil speaking much more quietly).
Phil started out talking about Google and how it’s dismantling its search engine, and starting to lose credibility. He mentioned the loss of synonym and reading level options as well as the limited advanced search options as reasons. In addition, he reminded us that Google are an advertising firm who just use search to make money. They want to give us information without us having to think, but this isn’t good – Phil used the example of searching “what happened to dinosaurs?”
Phil moved on to discussing the pressures on Google search, of which there are many! These mainly come in the form of social media – Google is focussed on websites when the world has moved on to social, with the importance of the individual going up and the website going down. Social media provides a more personalised search, and allows users to turn to “experts” among their network rather than asking Google and having to scroll through lists of results. Google has failed at social media (Google+ anyone?) and so cannot compete in this area.
Other Google problems include increasing competition from other search engines, competition from other sites (Twitter, for example is better at prediction and more up to date), and political issues such as the right to be forgotten and potentially contradictory laws from different countries that they will need to abide by. Google is attempting to fight back by giving us information before we know we need it in the form of Google Now, with Phil saying that search in future will be increasingly embedded into what we’re doing.
A few alternative search engines Phil recommended trying:
Social media search:
There are many more suggestions on Phil’s slides – http://cilipconference2015.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Information-Literacy-2-July-15.05-1.-Bradley-Phil.pdf
Moving on to Day 2, my session highlight was Naomi Korn’s “master class in copyright compliance, management and strategy for your organisation”. Whilst I don’t have any responsibility for copyright in my organisation, it is one of my chartership areas so thought I might learn something new.
Naomi’s masterclass was, in a word, brilliant. She made a very dry sounding topic come alive and seem totally relevant. She started off by saying that copyright is now an intrinsic part of digital literacy – for people to be able to create, share, reuse, repurpose, etc. they need to understand copyright. There has been a huge cultural change since the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act was introduced – teens have a different attitude to materials, and feel they can do what they want with anything they like. Unfortunately, copyright law has not kept up with the pace of change.
Naomi stated that we need to be strategic with copyright, and manage risk, particularly with regards to the new introductions to law as no one is yet sure how far the boundaries can be pushed. Risk management involves confidence – and there is correlation between organisations having a copyright officer and their confidence in risk management. Naomi then spent time explaining why copyright is an essential issue for every organisation:
An information management issue – need to be sure you have somewhere to store licenses
A knowledge management issue – need to know what is in the licenses
A people management issue – making sure all staff know their roles and responsibilities
A policy issue – not abiding by copyright should be a disciplinary offence
A strategic issue
Essentially, copyright needs to be embedded into practice, and stopped treating as “other”. Core to this is staff engagement through policies and tools they can use (forms, summaries of key licenses, etc.). Copyright needs to be built into procedures and policy should be a living breathing thing.
The final thing I learned from Naomi was that being incredibly passionate about your topic makes a huge difference! Her half an hour talk was very engaging and she really made copyright come alive for me, fully convincing me to march out of the room and start making changes. A genuinely excellent talk.
Thanks to ARLG NW for supporting me to attend the conference. It was so valuable and I now have plenty to write up for chartership. All of the slides from the conference can be found from the conference programme at http://cilipconference2015.org.uk/programme/
ARLG NW offered a bursary to attend CILIP Conference 2015, held in Liverpool. Michelle Bond, Faculty Librarian at Liverpool Hope University, was the winner of our bursary. Her report on the conference appears in 2 parts, today and Friday.
Sometimes it’s nice to travel to conferences; I’ve been to a few both in the UK and overseas. For a change though, it was nice to have a major conference on my doorstep, meaning I could stay at home and take the bus to work. Thus on the morning of Thursday 2nd July I rocked up to the gorgeous St George’s Hall, fresh and ready to engage with CILIP Conference 2015.
Rather than writing a chronological account of the conference, in this post I’ll write about a couple of my conference highlights – in the next I’ll write about a couple of really useful sessions I attended. You can view all of the conference presentations at the CILIP Conference website.
Quite simply, the keynotes were fabulous and my number 1 highlight of the conference. From R. David Lankes to Erwin James, each speaker was thought-provoking and explored issues at the heart of what it means to work in our profession. One thing that really shone through all the talks, however, was the reminder that our work is all about people. Cory Doctorow reminded us that the Internet improves every outcome we value, from literacy to voting turnout; Stuart Hamilton talked about library involvement in sustainable development; Erwin James reminded us of the power of a book. Libraries serve people and make their lives better. Librarians serve people and, in the words of R. David Lankes, are “change agents”. For me this was most apparent in the presentation about the Ideas Box from Bibliothèques Sans Frontières.
Barbara from Bibliothèques Sans Frontières told us that a refugee spends approximately 17 years in a refugee camp; humanitarian organisations provide the basics like water and tents but not the things that make us human – like culture. The Ideas Box can be deployed anywhere – it doesn’t need electricity or internet. It has a strong focus on creativity and aims to create space for a vibrant community. The challenge for Ideas Box is the quality of content – they need help from librarians all around the world to curate the content of the Box and ensure it’s locally relevant. It was another great reminder that libraries, in whatever form they appear, make a huge difference to their communities.
One of the many things I’ve learned from SLA (and specifically the awesome Library Sherpa) is that vendors are not our enemies! They really are people too (honest). So I made sure to spend some quality time getting my sticker sheet filled and having a chat with all the exhibitors. From saying hello to companies my university already do business with to finding out about exciting new developments (SeeSearch was one that particularly interested me) to picking up a stash of my favourite pens from Cambridge University Press, the exhibition hall was well worth the time spent.
The conference was really fantastic for networking – I got to catch up with some familiar faces and meet some new people too. My one small gripe about the conference was that it was so packed that sometimes catch-ups were too brief as I had to rush off to another session, but the sessions were also good so I can’t complain really! The reception at the Museum of Liverpool was fantastic, with delicious food, free drinks and the opportunity to explore the museum. I also got roundly beaten at giant Connect 4 by my colleagues!
As you can tell, my impression of CILIP Conference was very favourable! In my post on Friday I’ll discuss in more depth a couple of particularly valuable sessions I attended.
ARLG NW offered two free chartership places to our Spring event, An Introduction to Copyright. Both chartership candidates wrote for us their thoughts on the event. Our second post is by Lynn Roberts-Maloney, Digital Resources and Collections Assistant, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
I attended my first ARLG event on Friday 27th March 2015 – ‘An Introduction to Copyright’. Copyright is a subject that I personally find quite challenging so it was a perfect opportunity to increase my awareness of this tricky subject. I have recently enrolled for Chartership and on reading through the PKSB I had identified point 5.3 Copyright, intellectual property and licensing under section 5. Information Governance and Compliance as one of the areas I would like work on. Therefore I was delighted to see this event advertised and I was very fortunate to gain one of the free Chartership places kindly offered by ARLG.
The speakers – John Kelly from Jisc, Neil Sprunt from University of Manchester, Louise Koch from Manchester Met, and Gordon Sandison from University of Liverpool – were engaging and very informative providing details of copyright in practice. John Kelly provided a background to copyright legislation and explained the new updates to the policy that were introduced in 2014. Neil, Louise and Gordon’s presentations about copyright in their respective Universities, particularly in relation to managing digital content, gave valuable insight to the complexities and challenges of complying with copyright in an educational setting. As I work in an institution that has recently been granted Higher Education Status I particularly found this part of the afternoon very interesting. I came away from the event feeling more informed about copyright in general but also with ideas to look at how things are done within my own institution and what, if any, changes we can implement to make copyright compliance a priority and in turn easier to manage and achieve.
The ARLG NW committee are very pleased that both our chartership attendees found the event valuable and were able to write for us on their experiences. Thanks again to all of our speakers and attendees for making it such a successful afternoon.
ARLG NW offered two free chartership places to our Spring event, An Introduction to Copyright. Both chartership candidates wrote for us their thoughts on the event. Our first post is from Evelyn Webster, Library Officer at Pinsent Masons LLP (Leeds office).
I was extremely grateful to have gotten one of the chartership places offered for this event, so that I could find out how students and academics commonly use copyrighted material, and how libraries try to regulate that use.
I was not expecting to see so many parallels with my experience working in a commercial law firm library, because the assumption is that more copying is permitted for educational use than for commercial use. As John Kelly explained, that’s true if you’re relying on statutory exceptions, but in reality the CLA HE and law firm licences allow both types of organisation to do largely the same things – the law firm licence just costs more per person.
In addition, libraries face the same types of challenges (i.e. users assume that because they found something online, or because their library has a copy, that it’s okay to redistribute it), and the same complications (i.e. there are different licences and permissions for different materials, uses and users).
The three presentations from Manchester, MMU and Liverpool universities showed ways in which libraries are making it easy for users to comply with – and fully exploit – the licences available, without overburdening the library staff.
MMU and Liverpool libraries are aiming to provide the easiest way for lecturers to offer course materials to students electronically, by integrating a digitisation request and copyright check facility into their existing reading list software. Manchester library are aiming to provide the easiest way for academics and students to check whether they can do X with Y, via their copyright webpages, FAQs and upcoming click-through flowchart.
I came away with a lot of ideas (as well as confidence and motivation) to help refresh our firm’s copyright guidance – after all, no one wants to be the test case for copyright infringement!
ARLG NW offered two free student places to our Autumn/Winter event, Brand and Deliver with Kathy Ennis. Lucía Meijueiro is a library and information management student at Manchester Metropolitan University and kindly wrote this blog post for us with her thoughts on the afternoon. Thanks to Lucía, and to Kathy for such an interesting workshop.
Last November, I attended the event ‘Brand and Deliver with Kathy Ennis’ organised by the ARLG NW in the newly refurbished Manchester Central Library.
Kathy Ennis, a mentor, trainer and personal branding consultant with a background in library and information services, led this workshop. She provided an enjoyable and informative workshop where we learnt about brands, with a special focus on personal brands and their relevance for service provision and potential career development.
Theory and practice
Basic concepts and key ideas on brand theory and its importance in a professional context were presented and highlighted through the afternoon. The workshop worked really well thanks to interactive group tasks that helped to reflect on what pictures and personal image can tell as a first impression, what you can say of a brand just by looking at a logo or a shopping bag and the overall relevance of brands and logos for service recognition in a time when ‘visual literacy’ is becoming increasingly important.
Brands and its importance
Defining brand as ‘a collection of thoughts and feelings that customers have about a particular product or service’ goes further than just a logo and shows the importance of recognition of a service by the customer, of what they can expect and what they feel about it.
A brand is key to communicating with customers and to have a good one you have to reflect on what you really want to get users to identify with you and your service.
The 4 Vs Principle
Values, visuals, vocals and verbals are the four Vs in this principle. Following these Vs contributes to focus your message, your intended audience and to create a successful brand that communicates what you intend and defines your identity and services accurately. Consistency plays a key role to keep all the different components of your personal brand together.
I would like to thank the ARLG NW for the sponsored student free place and the opportunity to attend this interesting and useful event.