New publication “Heritage Quay: what will you discover? Transforming the archives of the University of Huddersfield, UK”

I’ve published an initial article at the half-way point of the 5 year, £2million Heritage Quay project.  Not a full evaluation, but an examination of how the Staff/Space/Collections dependency model (developed by Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan in The Benefits of Capital Investment for Archives) could be applied in practice for planning rather than retrospectively, and how we’ve used the Customer Service Excellence framework.  I look at what lessons can be drawn for other archives in the HE sector.  It’s a case study, so limited word count – but can be read at

I don’t think Elizabeth’s Capital Investment report got the publicity and sharing it deserved: it’s a good piece of work with some important evaluation of the capital funding for UK archives.


Developing archives – Northern Collaboration Learning Exchange

The day is summarised at

Although chairing/hosting/speaking (and so close to the event), I found the key themes of the day were

  • the importance of clear priorities and plans/strategies for implementing these – preferably aligned to those of the parent institution!
  • Getting the balance between the imaginative use of opportunities, taking calculated risks whilst still keeping sight of the needs of collections and users
  • Focussing on simple ways of doing things and not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good – closely linked to the previous one
  • using tools for service improvement – like accreditation, customer service excellence, and models like the SSC dependency model developed by Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan

And finally

  • the virtuous circle of ambition and courage to do things differently/say yes or no, based on unique and distinctive collections and a commitment by staff to have these used.

Not entirely sure how the obvious appetite for collaboration might be satisfied but for now, lots of goodwill is encouraging: I love working in the HE sector (even if it’s made me too busy to post for nearly a year…may do some catching up soon)

Metamorphosis: multi-purpose library – afternoon session

Well, I can recommend the tapas at Instituto Cervantes…

Marie-Françoise Bisbrouck took the first afternoon slot, speaking on “The evolution of library buildings in France from the 60s to the present”. Interestingly as part of the context to her talk, Bisbrouck described the HE landscape in France particularly the rapid growth from 16 universities in 1960 to 57 (1970) increasing to 92 (2000) and then down to 80 universities 2011 spread through 480 towns (!); the decrease being down to the Shanghai rankings revealing the disparate, dispersed and comparatively weak nature of research and the cull which followed. Continue reading

Metamorphosis: multi-purpose library – morning

The programme and speaker abstracts are available from

After a welcome by the Director and head Librarian of the Instituto Cervantes (the venue for the day) , and a brief introduction to Eurolis, Olaf Eigenbrodt began with a prezi on “Envisioning the fluid library: multifaceted community space for information, networking and communication” [I currently can’t find this to link to on the public prezi site].

Continue reading