Panlibus Blog

Panlibus 29 – now available online

I am pleased to announce the autumn issue – and what will be my last edition as Editor – of Panlibus is now available online.

This issue has a public library focus, but as always includes something for university and college libraries. We have recently reported on both the future of public and academic libraries, so this issue we continue the series by looking at the future of librarians and preparing librarians for the future (p.14).

The Welsh Information Literacy Project is entering its fourth phase following the successful initial three phases. The honour of progressing the fourth phase has been awarded to the North Wales Library Partnership and Coleg Llandrillo. Siona Murray gives us the inside track on phase four.

The Reading Agency has been leading on many incredible projects over the years all borne from a series of ‘what if’ questions. Miranda McKearney, in her last Panlibus article before her well-earned retirement, provides an overview of some of those innovative projects.

Edinburgh Libraries has long been a beacon of success for public libraries, but it wasn’t always thus. We look at what changes Edinburgh have undertaken over the past few years to now fly the flag for public libraries.

We also have articles demystifying cloud computing libraries, exploring Bradford College’s plans for their new library and a case study from lorensbergs.

It has been an honour and a privilege to have been the editor of Panlibus for nearly four years, and thank you all for your support of Panlibus throughout its existence.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, I encourage you to get in touch with your thoughts on any of the articles. If you have any topics you would like to share with the library world, our new editor would be extremely pleased to hear them. Please contact them on

Panlibus 28 – now available online

libraries-panlibusI am pleased to announce the summer issue of Panlibus is now available online.

The further and higher education landscape is changing. An increase in tuition fees in higher education and changes to further education funding are contributing to an uncertain future. In this issue we focus on the academic library agenda.

Planning for the future in these uncertain times is key to growing the library. Andrew Simpson from the University of Portsmouth  shares his thoughts on what university libraries can do to continue improving.

The ever increasing use of mobile smart devices is prompting yet more change in universities. The University of Northampton realised it needed to proactively embrace these changes and provide students with an native app and adapt their web services. MOOCs are currently a hot topic for universities. Prominent learning technologist Gerry McKiernan gives us an overview of MOOCs and strategies for promoting them in libraries.

The library management system must also adapt, whether for public or academic libraries. Capita’s Paula Keogh provides us with insight into were the LMS will go in the next few years. We also have an extract from Capita’s recent white paper ‘Protecting library services’, focussed on technology in public libraries.

Capita’s Additions Partners provide a wide range of solutions designed to improve the library service. In this issue we feature articles from Bibliotheca, 2CQR and 3M.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, I encourage you to get in touch with your thoughts on any of the articles. If you have any topics you would like to share with the library world, I would be extremely pleased to hear them. Please contact me on

Strategies for Promoting Open Educational Resources for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

This  is an article from the recent Panlibus Magagine (issue 28) by Gerry McKiernan, Associate Professor and Science and Technology Librarian, Iowa State University Library. This includes all the links that we weren’t able to include in the print version.

As defined by Wikipedia, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is “… an online course aiming at large-scale participation and open access via the web”.

In late autumn 2012, the New York Times declared 2012 as the “Year of the MOOC”. Earlier, the MIT Review, claimed that they were “the most important education technology in 200 years”, and in a cover story, Time, characterized MOOCs as a major factor that was “reinventing college”. The MOOC phenomenon has also been covered by The Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement, among numerous other educational and news media.

In mid-March 2013, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, hosted a two-day conference titled “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?“. Co-sponsored by OCLC® Research, the event included a session on Copyright, Licensing, Open Access and one on New Opportunities for Librarians: What Happens When You Go Behind the Lines in a MOOC?

Participants in the former session members discussed “the challenges for licensing and clearing copyright for materials” used in MOOCs, and explored the potential “opportunities for advancing the conversation on open access with faculty,” while members of the latter reported and speculated on the roles of libraries and librarians in the MOOC environment. Among those noted were: serving as an advocate for different resource licensing models, identifying and organizing public domain images, as well as encouraging Open Access publishing, and the use of institutional repository content, among other initiatives

Compared to discussion of copyright and licensing negotiations and fair use of proprietary content, however, consideration of Open Educational Resources and their use in MOOCs was not as extensive and implementation strategies were not discussed in detail.

To become more engaged in Massive Open Online Courses and Open Educational Resources, librarians should become more knowledgeable about each.

Open Educational Resources

Professional Development

Librarians can begin to become more knowledgeable about OERs by reading major reviews and white papers such as the Guide on the Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 and Postsecondary Education, Open Educational Resources as Learning Materials: Prospects and Strategies for University Libraries, and The Roles of Libraries and Information Professionals In Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiatives. Librarians should also become knowledgeable about significant Open Resources projects and sites, as well as other significant work, through such site as the

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, “to develop and use open educational resources, open textbooks, and open courseware to expand access to higher education and improve teaching and learning,” Jorum, a collaboratively-created database that provides access to thousands of OERs that can be searched or browsed; MERLOT, “ … a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy”; OER Commons that provides access to OER sources, training, and support; the Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) whose site provides information about OER events, resources; and other services; the OpenCourseWare Consortium, “ … a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials for colleges and universities”; and the OpenOR Hub, a ‘hub for research data and OER excellence in practice.”

Librarians can also become knowledgeable about ORs by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops, either in-person or virtually. Of particular note are the OpenEd Conference held in the United States, the Open Educational Resources conference held in the United Kingdom and the World Open Educational Resources Congress held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

A most appropriate opportunity to learn about OERs and massive Open Online Courses is to take the Locating, Creating, Licensing and Utilizing OERs (OER-101 MOOC, “an open, self-paced online community course that has been built to demonstrate how to find, adapt, and develop OERs step-by-step”).

Current Awareness

To remain informed about ongoing developments, librarians should read or subscribe to OER blogs, such as the Open Resources: Influence on Learning & Educators (ORIOLE), and the OER blogs of the University of Bath and the University of Leeds.

Librarians should also consider subscribing to appropriate electronic discussion lists, such as the Library 2.0 Open Educational Resources group; the IL-OERS listserv, the electronic discussion list of the Information Literacy Group and Community Services Group; and the OPENED@JISCMAIL.AC.UK mailing list.

Librarians should also consider following relevant ongoing OER developments via Twitter hashtags (e.g., #oer, #opened, #ukoer).


To increase an understanding of OERs within their communities, librarians should actively become involved in promoting each.

Librarians can promote awareness of Open Resources in general by preparing appropriate guides as have the Houston Community College, Renton Technical College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Librarians can further promote OERs among their colleagues by engaging in relevant research and scholarship such as Open Education and Libraries, Reaching the Heart of the University: Libraries and the Future of OER, and What Do Academic Libraries Have To Do With Open Educational Resources?


Professional Development

Librarians can begin to become more knowledgeable about MOOCs by reading major reviews and white papers, such as MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs and Open Education: Implications for Higher Education, and MOOCs Are On The Move: A Snapshot of the Rapid Growth of MOOCs.

Librarians should explore the offerings of MOOC providers by searching or browsing the contents of a variety of directories, for example Class Central; the MOOC List and

They should schedule time to take a MOOC individually or as a library group. An ideal MOOC may be the MOOC MOOC (http://www. ), a MOOC intended as an “examination of the MOOC phenomenon.”

Librarians should attend conferences, seminars, and webinars, in person or virtually. Notable recent events include Digital Literacies Conference 2013: The Online Leaner and MOOCs held at the University of Southampton (UK), Leveraging Innovations in Online Education to Improve Cost Effectiveness and Increase Quality, and Understanding the Implications of Open Education: MOOCs and More, the SPARC-ACRL Forum to be held during the 2013 American Library Association Annual Conference,

Librarians should also review available recordings or slides such as Embracing OER & MOOCs to Transform Education…, Massive Open Online Courses as Drivers for Change and MOOCs & Librarians. Of particular note is the 2013 ELI Online Spring Focus Session: Learn and MOOCs a two-day program held in early April 2013 that addressed several major issues relating to MOOCs, notably their accreditation; design and implementation; faculty perspectives; student demographics and motivation; and their potential benefits to a campus.

Current Awareness

To remain informed about MOOC developments, librarians should subscribe or regularly visit websites that offer significant news, such as the Alt Ed, a blog “devoted to documenting significant initiatives relating to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), digital badges, and similar alternative educational projects,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, EDUCAUSE, and MOOC News and Reviews, “ … an online publication devoted to thoughtful critique of individual MOOC courses and to discussion of the evolving MOOC landscape.”

Librarians should consider subscribing to the EDUCAUSE Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Constituent Group Listserv, and join the Linkedin MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses group ( ) and the Facebook MOOC group (

Librarians should also consider following relevant ongoing MOOC developments via Twitter hashtags (e.g., #moocs, #onlinelearning, #coursera)


Librarians can promote MOOCs by compiling library guides about this learning environment, such as Nova Eastern University, University of California, San Diego, Washtenwa Community College.

Librarians can further promote MOOCs among their colleagues by engaging in relevant research and scholarship such as Are You MOOC-ing Yet? A Review for Academic Libraries, Run aMOOC?, Using Information Expertise to Enhance Massive Open Online Courses, and The MOOC and the Library: How Massive Online Only Courses Could Change the Future of Library Instruction.


While Open Educational Resources are among the most well-known of Open Resources, there are others that should also be investigated and considered for integration within the MOOC environment, namely institutional and subject repositories, Open Data sources, Open Access dissertations and theses, Open Access journals and monographs, and Open Textbooks.

Panlibus 27 – now available online

Welcome to the first issue of Panlibus Magazine for 2013.

libraries-panlibus27Just as libraries are requiring modern buildings and spaces to meet user needs, the library is also requiring new technology to support user needs, often with less resources. The use of technology in libraries is a topic explored throughout this issue.

Patron Driven Acquisition has been around since the 90s and has enabled universities to redefine acquisition models. Heather Dawson from Bertram Group takes a look at where PDA is now and why there has been rapid shift towards it in recent months (p 4-5).

Social media and its place in the library world has long been discussed. At Stockholm Public Libraries it is very much part of an ongoing broader digital strategy. Åke Nygren talks us through the how the library has extended its brand as a result of the strategy (p 14-15). Oslo Public Library is currently looking at flexible metadata formats to improve service and implementing semantic technologies to present their collections in new ways (p 8-9).

Closer to home, Warwickshire Libraries has extended its service to hospitals (p 12), and Stockton Libraries held the Northern Children’s Book Festival at the end of last year (p 6). We also have an exclusive extract from Capita’s recent white paper ‘What every university librarian needs to know about enhancing the student experience’ (p 12-13).

Capita’s Additions Partners provide a wide range of solutions designed to improve the library service. In this issue we feature an article from PTFS and a case study with lorensbergs and Bibliotheca.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, I encourage you to get in touch with your thoughts on any of the articles. If you have any topics you would like to share with the library world, I would be extremely pleased to hear them. Please contact me at with any ideas you may have.

New online viewer for Panlibus Magazine

Recently we have been working on ways to improve the ways to read Panlibus Magazine online and are pleased to announce our new online web viewer.

The new web version is available to view below (and on the Panlibus website) and provides an easy to read alternative to downloading the PDF version. It is also optimised for viewing on tablet and mobile devices.

[issuu width=550 height=362 showHtmlLink=false printButtonEnabled=false searchButtonEnabled=false backgroundColor=%231b1b1b documentId=121214115653-1ed320567ea54d33ad0287f9e6ba4b28 name=panlibus26 username=panlibus tag=academic unit=px v=2]

Panlibus 26 – now available online


The latest issue of Panlibus Magazine is available to read online today.

The theme for this issue is ‘libraries online’, focusing on tools and media that public and academic libraries can utilise.

Library websites are more than a marketing tool and should be viewed as an extension to the library itself. Amy York from Middle Tennessee State University is a prominent figure in the library
website world and offers us an insight into transforming the library website.

For public libraries, making the most of your online presence is imperative; it’s the third most popular reason for citizens to visit their local authority website. Socitm Insight share the findings from Better connected 2012 report, which looked at local
authority and library websites, and gives some examples of how to improve your online library service.

Could the use of video provide the additional value required to keep visitors coming back to your site? A team from the University of Sheffield has been looking into the ease of use of video in libraries and what can be achieved from “this dominant

We also look at products and services available to improve libraries’ online presence, from Capita’s Prism software to our Additions Partners EBSCO, SOLUS, Bretford and Talis Education.

There is plenty more besides. I hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, I encourage you to get in touch with your thoughts on any of the articles. If you have any topics you would like to share with the library world, I would be extremely pleased to hear them. Please contact the editor at with any ideas you may have.

Panlibus 25 – now available online

Panlibus 25 Draft6_Page_01The latest issue of Panlibus Magazine is available to read online today.

Having focused on academic libraries last issue, we now turn our attention to public libraries. With a lot of attention on the immediate perils of closing public libraries, their long term future can easily be overlooked. Our lead article from Ken Chad refocuses the mind on the need for strategic direction.

Councils up and down the land are using online services to take payments for a whole host of services. Academic libraries are using online services to take payments for fees and fines. Are public libraries missing a trick by not having online payments? In this issue we take a look at the feasibility of public libraries extending their range of payment methods to include online.

‘What does the LMS look like in the future?’ is a question we are often asked. Capita’s head of product development, Anthony Whitford, gives an overview of where he sees the LMS heading and the technology being used to deliver it.

We haven’t forgotten the academic librarians among our readers and hope you’ll find the article on the new library at Aberdeen University interesting. On opening the library, one of the students stated ‘if Apple built libraries they’d be like this: white and shiny and intuitive’. A fantastic quote and endorsement for all involved up at Aberdeen University.

Subscribe to receive your own hard-copy or online version.

There is plenty more beside these features for you. We hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, encourage you to get in touch with your thoughts on any of the articles. If you have any topics you would like to write about, we would be extremely pleased to hear them. Please contact the editor at

Innovative ways on enhancing services: EDGE 2012

I recently had the privilege of attending and exhibiting at the EDGE conference in Edinburgh and I have to say in the current climate of the austerity measures and other constraints facing the library sector in Scotland, how refreshing it was to be involved in a conference where there was so much optimism, innovative ideas and can do attitude. Liz McGettigan and the EDGE team certainly seem to understand the key issues facing the Scottish Library sector and were able to create a thought provoking conference agenda that gave some fantastic foresight into what other thought leaders are doing to survive the cuts and suggest innovative ways on enhancing services. With over 150 delegates attending and plenty of breakout sessions (not to mention Thursday night refreshments) it was great to have the opportunity to network with sector colleagues and gain a better understanding of the key issues they are focused on addressing.

The two days were packed with presentations covering key aspects of pushing the boundaries of the public sector delivery, some of my favourites were:

  • Neil Wishart from Solus UK Ltd and Eric Grosshans held an informal open session over drinks at to explore how mobile technology can be utilised to improve the experience of the virtual and physical library user, showcasing how the Smart Phone can be used to interface with other hardware to bring efficiencies to the library service
  • Christopher Platt came all the way from new York Public Library and presented on “The E-book Ecosystem: Where do Libraries Fit? As Libraries, publishers, and all parties in between are still feeling their way toward a happy e-book medium and with the library copy is just a click away from the retail version, Christopher asked the question “can the traditional model of sales to libraries hold”? He also discussed the new opportunities for promoting books through libraries and new ways to increase author visibility, making works more discoverable and available than ever before.
  • Lester Madden, presented on Augmented Reality and we had the opportunity to witness some ideas of the future, giving an insight into how we can possibly use digital technology in the future to enhance many aspects of the library service, including increasing the borrows experience.
  • And our own Karen Reece, delivered an insight into “Libraries and the Cloud”. With cloud computing transforming the way organisations operate, we looked at how will this affect libraries? Karen gave a thought provoking presentation on how cloud computing is the natural evolution of library technology, and not about throwing out the experience and rich data that has built up over time within the LMS.

All in all it was fantastic conference and one I look forward to attending again.

Libraries and the cloud: evolution not revolution

Karen ReecePost from Karen Reece, head of sales at Capita, from the recent issue of Panlibus Magazine (Issue 23).

From reading both the computing and the library press it seems that “cloud computing”, “software as a service” and “hosted services” have become the magic pixie dust that will solve all the library service’s IT problems, and make all of our lives easier. Needless to say, the realists amongst us know to take this with a pinch of salt however. Using the “cloud” does have some real advantages for libraries and like all ‘new’ inventions it’s not as ‘new’ as it portrays itself to be.

One thing is for certain, library users are already taking advantage of the storage that ‘cloud applications’ provide. If you cast your mind back 20 years, storage on floppy discs was the way to safely transport data from one system to another. These were quickly replaced with CDs, then DVDs and finally flash drives as the need for greater amounts of storage and speed of access grew. Now, a number of applications are born in the cloud, services like Flickr, Dropbox and Google Docs, all hosted in the cloud, holding large amounts of data and being accessed by millions of people over the web, all with huge storage capacity compared to those floppy discs 20 years ago.

These new technologies mean that large amounts of data can be used in a library context and some of the social software like Library Thing (the social cataloguing web application) is an example of how apps can be used in a library context. However, I’d argue that Capita’s library business has been using cloud or cloud-like solutions for a number of years. Perhaps the oldest example is Base, the bibliographic database that holds some 30 million bibliographic records. Not only do these hold commercial datasets, but also a large number of records that have been catalogued by staff in libraries and contributed back for the benefit of the library community. It’s also always been a hosted service.

The second example is our resource discovery system – Prism – which is used by over 90 libraries in the UK and Ireland and was launched four years ago. It’s a cloud based system that benefits from regular releases of new features (currently about every six weeks) and libraries can take advantage of these releases immediately. It’s an application that allows library services to benefit from the rich data contained within the modern amazon-like interface as well as mobile phone enabled interfaces. All without the need for any additional hardware or overheads for libraries to manage, allowing the technology to provide your users with an intuitive interface to access resources.

The final piece in the jigsaw has been the release of Chorus, the Capita Library Management System (LMS) as a Service. This has all the benefits that you’d expect from a hosted service, including security, reliability, scaling to meet the requirements of the library service as it grows, and also reducing the overall total cost of ownership in providing the LMS that libraries need. It has removed the need for locally deployed hardware on premise and meets the needs of both individual and consortium based library services. At Capita we see this as the natural evolution of technology which we have been helping our customers with for in excess of 40 years. This isn’t about throwing out the experience and rich data that has built up over time within the LMS, but taking advantage of the way in which cloud services can be applied to the LMS for the benefit of those customers who choose to move to this environment. Cloud computing isn’t a paradigm shift, it’s about evolution and not revolution.

The latest issue of Panlibus Magazine is now online

The latest issue of Panlibus Magazine is available to read online today.image

Technology and libraries have always gone hand in hand and with the two becoming increasingly entwined, this issue offers an array of views and opinions from many prominent voices in the library technology community.

Brian Kelly from UKOLN (p6) notes that rapid technological developments, combined with the financial crisis, will transform the nature of the services provided. Brian gives his technological predictions for 2012 and describes approaches for planning for the future. Peter Kilbourn of Book Industry Communication (p4) believes that technology can be used to protect the best of the library tradition and exploit the existing network of buildings, but in a way that doesn’t put pressure on rapidly dwindling funds.

The emergence of mainstream cloud computing over the last couple of years has prompted libraries to ask how this will affect them and what benefits it will bring. Erik Mitchell, a prominent figure in the world of cloud computing in libraries, discusses its impact and offers some guidance on balancing the issues and implications when evaluating cloud for libraries (p14). We also take a look at some of the practical applications of cloud in use in libraries currently (p8).

Capita’s Additions Partners provide a wide range of technology designed to improve your library service. In this issue we have articles from 3M, introducing SIP 3.0; Edinburgh libraries and Solus, outlining how they together achieved significant growth for the virtual library; and PSP Security Protection, introducing themselves to the Panlibus readers.

Subscribe to receive your own hard-copy or online version.


Thank you to all who filled out our recent survey. The answers have all now been collated and are being analysed. One of the things that has come out so far is introducing a ‘letters to the editor’ page which I am very keen to introduce. If you would like to send a letter for publication please email me at

Finally, the winner of the survey prize draw is Helen Standish from Manchester Metropolitan University, who takes home a Kindle. Congratulation to Helen.

Mark Travis, Editor, Panlibus Magazine