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Reading Lists
& Digitised Content at RGU:
Experiences and Expectations
Dr Susan Copeland
April 2015
Brief History of RGU
• 1729: Merchant trader Robert Gordon founded ‘Robert Gordon's Hospital’
• 1881: Transformed into Rob...
Ongoing Themes
• Entrepreneurship
• Founder’s view of the need for education & skills to
succeed internationally
• Vocatio...
Student Profile 2013 – 2014
• Over 17,000 students
• 59% full-time and 41% part-time
• 64% studied on campus / 36% studied...
Library Staffing Structure in 2013
Management of Reading Lists
& Creation of Reading Lists
• Considered in 2010 – introduction / pilot led by 2 Liaison Libra...
Advantages
of RGU Approach
• Liaison Librarians’ good understanding of practical aspects of the service
– helpful backgrou...
Disadvantages
of RGU Approach
• For a short period before transfer to Bib Services, high grade
staff on routine tasks crea...
Management of the Lists 2014-15:
Staff Time
• 1 LA transferred into Bib Services to assist (statistical evidence kept to
m...
Management of the Lists 2014-15:
Retrospective Issues
• Numerous lists had been archived – now deleting many
• Lack of use...
Management of the Lists 2014-15:
Ongoing Projects
• Dealing with links to items withdrawn from supplier / publisher
packag...
Workload activity statistics:
new lists & significant updates
Year Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March April May June July ...
Workload activity pattern:
new lists & significant updates
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March April ...
Activity Trends / Significance
• 2011-12 & 2012-13 work on new /updated lists was consistent -
activity doubled in 2013-14...
Digitised Content
• Introduced TADC in 2014 -15
• It replaced an alternative digitisation system
• Benefit of integration ...
In Retrospect
• Good to have cross-dept. buy-in across the Library for Aspire lists - but
there are issues associated with...
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Reading Lists and Digitised Content at RGU: experiences and expectations

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Susan Copeland at Talis Insight 2015

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Reading Lists and Digitised Content at RGU: experiences and expectations

  1. 1. Reading Lists & Digitised Content at RGU: Experiences and Expectations Dr Susan Copeland April 2015
  2. 2. Brief History of RGU • 1729: Merchant trader Robert Gordon founded ‘Robert Gordon's Hospital’ • 1881: Transformed into Robert Gordon's College - secondary school and adult ed. college • 1884: Educational work of the Aberdeen Mechanics' Institute transferred to the College • 1898: Aberdeen Pharmaceutical Society transfers training for apprentices to the College • 1903: Designated a ‘Central Institution for Specialised Instruction‘ by Scottish Education Dept. • 1910: Robert Gordon's Technical College formed • 1965: Becomes known as Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology (RGIT) • 1992: Awarded university status – Robert Gordon University • Recent years: new facilities / consolidation at Garthdee Campus on banks of the River Dee
  3. 3. Ongoing Themes • Entrepreneurship • Founder’s view of the need for education & skills to succeed internationally • Vocational focus – high graduate employment • Specific courses targeted at specific outcomes • Constant change and development • New facilities and high expectations of services
  4. 4. Student Profile 2013 – 2014 • Over 17,000 students • 59% full-time and 41% part-time • 64% studied on campus / 36% studied off campus • 63% Undergraduate: – 40% Health & Social Care courses – 33% Aberdeen Business School courses – 27% Design and Technology courses • Numerous taught postgraduate courses http://www.rgu.ac.uk/about/about-robert-gordon-university/facts-and-figures/facts-and-figures
  5. 5. Library Staffing Structure in 2013
  6. 6. Management of Reading Lists & Creation of Reading Lists • Considered in 2010 – introduction / pilot led by 2 Liaison Librarians • Continuity of leadership / operational activity in 2011-12 and 2012-13 • Once established, Liaison Librarians focus needed to be on advocacy • Limited delegation options within Client Services (Liaison) section • 2013-14 responsibility transferred to Bib Services section – where structure allowed separation of service management / list creation • 2014-15 introduced TALIS Aspire Digitised Content service • Aiming for academic staff / E-Learning Advisers / Distance Learning Co- ordinators to undertake increased role in list creation in 2015-16
  7. 7. Advantages of RGU Approach • Liaison Librarians’ good understanding of practical aspects of the service – helpful background for advocacy work – helpful for inter-departmental appreciation of workloads / timescales • Initial publicity to academics about Aspire - from known library staff • Transfer of operations to Bib Services – Bib Services inherited corpus of lists as exemplars – Efficiency gains – ‘Aspire’ work assigned to appropriate grades of staff – Efficiency gains – enabled streamlined book buying aligned to Aspire lists – Link with digitisation services undertaken in Bib Services • Effectiveness – re-aligned book budget allocation to meet needs better
  8. 8. Disadvantages of RGU Approach • For a short period before transfer to Bib Services, high grade staff on routine tasks creating lists • Lack of involvement in the introduction of Aspire lists, led to gaps in some background knowledge amongst Bib Services staff • Speed / timing of transfer of responsibility between Library depts. did not allow ‘tidying’ of lists / data prior to the handover • Initially Bib Services were overwhelmed by the additional work
  9. 9. Management of the Lists 2014-15: Staff Time • 1 LA transferred into Bib Services to assist (statistical evidence kept to make case for need / previous temp. post proved need) • Team-working enhanced • Workflow analysed and revised for improved efficiency (sequence of activity / who does what) • Purchase of e-books & heavy use of TADC reduced queries re. access • Digitisation work integrated with the reading list service • Streamlined book purchasing method • Placement student for 6 months in 2014-15 created time for housekeeping tasks / tidying backlogs
  10. 10. Management of the Lists 2014-15: Retrospective Issues • Numerous lists had been archived – now deleting many • Lack of use of time periods – now identifying / assigning • Backlog of ‘books not linked to catalogue’ – periodic checking now • Introduction of ‘Review’ in 2013-14 created large backlog – Cleared backlog in 2014 (procedures needed for one-off project) – high spending on e-books & new editions – Now use Optional Review / have staff rota to deal with ‘Reviews’
  11. 11. Management of the Lists 2014-15: Ongoing Projects • Dealing with links to items withdrawn from supplier / publisher packages • Planning for first ‘Rollover’ in line with Campus Moodle • Implications of upgrades to related Library systems • Identifying advocacy targets • Identifying further digitisation opportunities • Monitoring annual workflow cycle to judge when projects can fit into the ongoing tasks of dealing with requests for list creation
  12. 12. Workload activity statistics: new lists & significant updates Year Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March April May June July Total 2011-12 43 44 9 9 8 31 11 1 8 29 14 4 211 2012-13 26 52 17 14 13 30 18 9 1 4 10 11 205 2013-14 43 41 13 11 27 41 32 30 16 20 65 57 396 2014-15 77 109 46 66 47 65 55 25 490
  13. 13. Workload activity pattern: new lists & significant updates 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March April May June July 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
  14. 14. Activity Trends / Significance • 2011-12 & 2012-13 work on new /updated lists was consistent - activity doubled in 2013-14 – affect of advocacy? Word of mouth / critical mass? – needed the workflow streamlining in order to cope with this • First 3 years annual pattern broadly similar but in 2014-15 lost the November ‘dip’ (lost opportunity for project work then) • June / July 2013 -14 big increase in lists – useful to get ahead for the next session
  15. 15. Digitised Content • Introduced TADC in 2014 -15 • It replaced an alternative digitisation system • Benefit of integration with Reading List software • Easy to use – though more to learn • Benefits appreciated across the university • Over 1300 digitised readings made available so far (3 times the number dealt with the previous year)
  16. 16. In Retrospect • Good to have cross-dept. buy-in across the Library for Aspire lists - but there are issues associated with the transfer of responsibility • Consider it beneficial to have management of Reading Lists and Digitised Content within Bib Services • Earlier understanding of implications of not applying time periods, not deleting items, not using ‘optional’ review process would have been useful • Should have taken more / earlier advantage of the offer of regular TALIS customer support calls • Would like to have more time to read and take advantage of the advice on TALIS web pages

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