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Multimedia, Information & Technology Group

MmITS is a Special Interest Group of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). MmITS aims to unite those members of CILIP Multimedia Information and Technology Group who are living and working in Scotland. Its members are engaged or interested in multimedia information and technology developments. MmITS enables communication and promotes professional interests across Scotland and across the library and information sectors.

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News and Events - Latest

Library Camp 2014 – Winner of MmITS Sponsored Kindle Fire

Congratulations go to Anabel Marsh for organising the 2nd Library Camp Glasgow, which took place on Saturday 8th of November at the Mitchell Library.

MmITS had the honour of sponsoring the ‘MmITS Minute of Madness’, giving attendees the chance to rant eloquently and passionately on a library topic of their choice for a full 60 seconds!

The prize of a Kindle Fire went to Jennifer Higgins for her rant “Covering Gender Bias In Representations Of The Female Librarian – A Poetic Quip About The Perils (Or Should That Be Pearls?) Of Image Stereotypes”. Well done to Jennifer!

Images by Lynn Corrigan

That was just part of the day, though, so please have a look at the links below for the full story:

Library Camp 2014 on Storify

Library Camp 2014 on GLTU

Event Write-Ups

We’re already looking forward to Library Camp 3!


MmITS Bursary Feedback - Clare Harrison

Clare Harrison, winner of the MmITS bursary to attend the Internet Librarian International Conference that took place in October, has kindly written the following article about her experience of the conference and what she gained from it.

'This year, thanks to MmITS, I was lucky enough to attend the Internet Librarian International Conference at Olympia in London. This was a fantastic opportunity both for my own personal development and for the continued development of the services we offer at the library of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow where I currently work as a librarian.

Our library is quite unique in that our patrons are based throughout the world. To ensure that we are able to offer the same level of service to these members as we do to those based more locally we are having to look more and more to technology and the internet. This is by no means a chore – it’s actually quite exciting to find out what is possible and we’re huge fans of open source and anything you can get for free!

We make use of social media (do follow us on twitter @RCPSGlibrary and our blog!) and have online exhibitions, interactive exhibitions, a digitisation programme, and are also starting to investigate ways of offering our information literacy courses online as part of the College’s new VLE platform.

Online resources are becoming a much larger part of my job, and whilst I have quite a good knowledge of this area, keeping abreast of the latest developments and ensuring we are getting the most out of the resources we use isn’t always easy.

I’ve been looking for some time for an appropriate course to attend but it can be difficult to find relevant/affordable personal development opportunities in this particular area (most seem to be aimed at beginners or are based outside of Scotland) and a 2 day conference down in London would not normally be something I could even consider, so I was delighted when I saw that MmITS were offering a bursary to attend the Internet Librarian International Conference. The programme for the conference looked really interesting and particularly relevant to the work I do here at the College, so I gave it a go and applied for the bursary – And I’m really glad I did!

The conference began with a keynote lecture from Michael Edson from the Smithsonian Institute, discussing the ‘Dark matter of the internet’ and how we are only just beginning to understand and take advantage of the full capabilities of the web. This was very much the theme for the conference – unlocking the whole potential of the web to engage more with new and existing users and open up access to information and, in particular, big data.

On day 2, Rachel Neaman from Go On UK, spoke about “Digital inclusion – the big mission” and how digital skills can empower people. Her keynote talk focused on the need to improve digital literacy skills (1 in 5 UK adults still lack basic digital skills) and how lifelong learning is becoming ever more important – It’s great having all this “stuff” online but we need to be able to use it AND find it.

The conference programme was split into 6 separate tracks over the two days and dealt with the themes of new blueprints for libraries, technology innovation and impact, content innovation, marketing and impact, search and discovery, and closer to communities and customers. It was really difficult to choose which talk to go along to (I could quite happily have gone to most of them) but I did have some particular ideas before I went of what would be most valuable and would fit in best with my personal objectives. I wanted to use this opportunity to explore ways of enhancing our outreach programme and developing ideas for online learning – Of particular interest were the talks on Meaningful social media, Co-creation, co-operation and communities which focused on two projects where the institution had worked closely with the local community, Innovative content (particularly useful as it looked specifically at two medical resources), and Driving digital destinies which looked at collaboration across the heritage sector.

I came back from the conference full of ideas and I think we’ll definitely be implementing some changes (probably only small ones, but ones which I think will help to improve our engagement with our users). It was also an invaluable opportunity to speak to and exchange ideas with fellow professionals – it’s good to hear that you often experience the same problems but also good to hear success stories, pinch a few ideas and even offer some advice.

Finally, a huge thank you to MmITS for providing the bursary, I really did gain a lot from attending the conference.'

Clare Harrison

You can read more about the Internet Librarian International Conference on their website


MmITS Bursary Feedback - Lynsey Sampson

The winner of our recent training / conference bursary chose to use the funds for the ECDL Advanced course, a certificate often sought after by LIS employers. Here, Lynsey talks about why she has chosen this course and what she hopes to gain from it.

'I am about to begin the Advanced ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) through the University of Strathclyde which I have been given the opportunity to do through being the successful applicant of the 2nd MMITS bursary.

I chose the advanced ECDL because I believe it will enhance my current work practices and boost my personal development in the academic library environment. I opted for the advanced option as I consider myself to hold an understanding of the essentials within Microsoft Office.

Through the advanced ECDL, I will enhance my understanding which will in turn aid my competence and confidence in using Microsoft Office. I will share my new found knowledge with my colleagues. Lastly, I am looking forward to starting and hope I will discover new Microsoft Office functions that will enable me to carry out tasks and functions more efficiently within each package – Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint. I will update MmITS members on my progress after completing each module.'

Lynsey Sampson

We wish Lynsey every success with her course and look forward to hearing of her progress. Please keep an eye out on the website and blog for future MmITS sponsorships if you would like to benefit from similar opportunities.


13th Annual eBooks Conference - Happily Ever After?

Friday 5th September 2014 – Some reflections

For 12 years, a joint working group with members from SCURL/CILIPS/MmITS organised the popular Scottish annual eBooks Conference, normally held in October, and rotating alternately between the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.  However, due to an organisational change this responsibility was transferred to SLIC, SCURL and JISC for 2014.  A free delegate place was offered to MmITS Committee members to attend this year’s conference, as a kind gesture from the new organisers of MmITS’ involvement over the years.  Due to work and other commitments the majority of our committee were unable to attend so I jumped at the chance as I was available on the date!

Prior to the conference the full programme and a delegates’ list were emailed out to all attendees so this gave me a good idea of the flavour of the day, which looked to be both cross-sectoral and international in its appeal.  After a smooth and fast train journey from Edinburgh, I found the venue easily as it was located in central Glasgow, close to George Square, in the University of Strathclyde, Graham Hills building and received a warm welcome from the organising committee, was handed a delegate pack in free eco-bag, and shown where to go – lecture theatre, exhibition hall, comfort facilities etc., so all needs were catered to.  There was time to have coffee prior to the start of the proceedings and to network with fellow delegates, both well-kent, and new, which was very welcome.   

The programme was packed with eight presentations from twelve speakers, concluding with a panel discussion, but there was still ample opportunity for a question and answer session at the end of each session, and time to speak to the exhibitors, speakers, and fellow delegates, in the refreshment and lunch breaks.  With over a hundred attendees there was a buzz and lively atmosphere and plenty of interactivity!  I will just pick out some of the sessions that were highlights for me.  All the presentations can be found on the SLIC website at:  13th Annual e-books Conference presentations

The keynote opening presentation was on the Right to e-read Campaign, an excellent and interesting presentation given by Gerald Leitner, of  EBLIDA,  from Austria.  His aim was to look at the entire ecosystem of e-books and e-reading, not just for libraries, but for the entire reading, publishing and distribution chain.  The content of e-books is rapidly changing so that it includes images, videos, music and can be made available by streaming.  This poses challenges for libraries in terms of cataloguing and management, in an ever-changing format.  Other challenges to access posed included publishers who were struggling to find a cost-effective business model for both print and e-books, with some refusing to sell e-books to libraries.  Most work on a licensing model and there is a danger that publishers are developing a collection building policy rather than libraries, which is a threat to democracy.  IFLA and EBLIDA are deeply concerned about this issue and the general public is largely unaware of this, so he urged that libraries need to advocate for access to e-books.  There is a need for libraries to negotiate and collaborate with publishers, although this will probably never provide a complete solution. 

Christopher Gibson, a PhD student, from the University of Strathclyde gave a statistics-packed presentation on the survey he had conducted ,  from late 2011 to early 2012, on  e-book provision in public libraries for his thesis, covering 204 UK libraries, with 32 public libraries lending e-books in Scotland.  Some interesting facts emerged during this period, with a continuing increase in e-book provision, the main aggregator, Overdrive, being the clear market leader.  The majority of libraries at the start of the survey did not have e-book content integrated into their websites but now most of them do.  One library in England charged for e-book lending and 9 others were considering it, but most were against this.  Around 10% offered training at that time, including drop-ins.  At that period none of the libraries offered loans of e-book readers; some do now to special groups of readers.  Over 70% of the libraries lent e-books or audiobooks online.  Only very few public libraries had done impact assessments regarding equality and access issues.  Chris conducted some interviews with both librarians and assistants.  Common challenges included the lack of e-book titles, difficulties in accessing them, and encouraging staff ‘buy-in’.  Chris thinks that the delivery of e-book content should be more homogenous and there was a need for increased lobbying to publishers and authors and more contact with library users.  Wales has a consortium for e-books and Chris advocates  that there should be a national consortium.

Maggie Boyd from Leicestershire Library Services gave an interesting presentation, Beyond vanity: Libraries, e-books and self-published author, about the processes they have developed in getting works from self-published authors into their libraries.   Due to declining library budgets and the pressure to maintain and increase loans of printed books, the e-books sector does not have a very high priority at the moment.  However, to encourage the self-published author,  the library produces hints and tips sheets for authors about publishing, and offers them the opportunity of talks, signing and low key launches, and an author enterprise day.  Maggie suggested several steps for an author to get their book into a library – relevance, quality, appeal, trust, respect, determination, local interest.   She envisaged the way forward as increasing community engagement, with libraries developing as community and digital hubs, and involved in social and creative enterprise.

Continuing on the theme of self-publishing, Rachel Gregory, the e-book Programming Manager from Troubador Publishing, gave a presentation on The rise of the self-publishing author.   The company produces quality self-published e-books and strives to assist authors.  This allows authors more freedom and creativity as the company is willing to take more risks on less mainstream titles; these include titles such as plumbing for women, engineering text books, children’s books.  Rachel does quality control assessments on work submitted and has to reject a considerable amount if the quality or format is not up to scratch, although sometimes the author is advised to publish the work as a printed book.  In-house facilities such as photoshop ensure that images are sharp and attractive book covers can be produced.  The books are available via retailers and libraries.  Although 1 in 4 of all books sold now are e-books the figures stocked by libraries are still very low as the majority use Gardners and Overdrive  which offer more mainstream titles.   A plea was made to libraries to be more open to self-published books.  The pricing for libraries is the same as for e-books as for print books.  Talks have been held at libraries and there is a need for an increase in negotiation and collaboration.  The company offer a net gallery which can be used as a reviewing tool.  The app can be downloaded and reviewers can give feedback.  This is important as there has been a massive increase in creative writing over the past few years.

Alistair McNaught, from Jisc Tech Dis gave a very practical and entertaining presentation on Accessible e-book platforms, using a metaphor of dietary needs and navigating his way via the ingredients.    Although there are various standards that cover digital text the e-book promise could be a good or not so good experience depending upon the tools used. Various free tools can be downloaded to assist in magnification, navigation, colour-changing, automatic scrolling. website has a useful section on accessibility.  Alistair’s final advice was to use standards with caution, know your users,  and investigate the tools and calculate costs carefully before installation.

The afternoon concluded with a lively panel discussion, chaired by Marion Sinclair from Publishing Scotland, on The changing face of reading, to which speakers and attendees contributed  fully.   The good news is that people are still reading but in a different way, such as in the daytime, maybe browsing for short periods and then moving on to other forms of interaction such as tweeting and emailing,  but then at quieter periods, or in the evening, in pursuing more concentrated reading.   It was noted that Florida had an e-books only library!  The quality of the words and text, images, and music used in e-books is very important and both readers and reviewers need to be critical to ensure standards are maintained.  Finally, all agreed that e-book pricing for libraries is still too high and that a fairer system needs to be implemented.

The theme of the 13th Annual  eBooks Conference was Happily ever after? and the presentations and discussions which took place demonstrated that there are still plenty of challenges to be met for libraries, staff, readers, reviewers, authors, publishers, distributors, and all involved in the e-books ecosystem, but I found the message overall to be positive and upbeat.   I wish to thank the organisers and speakers, attendees,  and all involved, who helped to make the conference such an interesting and enjoyable event, and shall look forward to hearing of any future e-book conferences.


Paulette M. Hill, Library Manager (CILIP, MmITS Treasurer)

Historic Scotland



News Items - Archive

MmITS 11th Annual General Meeting
7th May 2014 

Many thanks to all who joined us for our 11th AGM at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow. Particular thanks to Dr Nicky Imrie for her fascinating talk on the challenges she experienced in identifying Mackintosh architectural work and developing an online resource for the Mackintosh Architecture Project. The end result of the project will be a web–based resource due to be launched in July along with a major exhibition at the Hunterian 2014. This will provide a catalogue of all projects by or associated with Mackintosh and will include full project descriptions, related drawings and archived documents and information on associated contractors. The resource also includes interesting background information on Charles Rennie Mackintosh and will feature a series of essays.

Don't forget to read our review of Dr Imrie's presentation on the MmITS blog and on Anabel Marsh's blog. Anabel has been inspired to take photographs of buildings in Dowanhill and Jordanhill based on their 'Mack Factor', so it's a highly recommended read.

MmITS Visit to the BFI Mediatheque at Bridgeton Library
26th February 2014

Many thanks to all who joined us for the CILIP MmITS visit to the fantastic new BFI Mediatheque at Bridgeton Library. This is a hidden gem, unique to Scotland, and housed within the newly renovated Olympia Cinema site. During the tour, we were able to access a specially commissioned collection of Scottish film and television, entitled ‘Scottish Reels’, covering more than a century of Scottish life and culture drawn from the BFI National Archive and the Scottish Screen Archive. The bespoke viewing stations also gave us the chance to search more than 2,000 clips ranging from home movies and adverts, to children’s television and documentaries, many of which have not been seen since they were first broadcast.

To find out more about our experience of the BFI Mediatheque and the extended tour of the wider library facilities provided by the excellent Bridgeton Library team, read Lynda Robertson’s article on the MmITS blog and Anabel Marsh’s account of the day on Anabel’s blog. Celia Jenkins has also written a post-visit blog post giving a really good insight into the facility.

Sincere thanks to the Bridgeton Library team for making this event possible and keep checking back for details of the next MmITS event!


MmITS @ Library Camp, October 2013

Following Anabel Marsh's announcement at our AGM in May that Scotland's first ever Library Camp would take place in October, the event proved to be a great success for all those in attendance at Glasgow's Mitchel Library on Saturday 26th of October. Two of our intrepid committee members, Louise Morrison and Lynda Robertson, took part in the day's activities by pitching a session on business information. To find out more about their experiences and what they had to say, go to the MmITS blog and read their post-Library Camp report. A range of topics were covered during these sessions, and the pitch put forward by Library Camp founder Anabel Marsh and CILIP's Policy and Digital Officer Sean McNamara focussed on ideas for the next National Libraries day. Go here to read further and get involved if you can!


10th Annual General Meeting, 9th May 2013

Many thanks to all who joined us at the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow for our 10th AGM on the 9th of May, and in particular to our wonderful speaker, Anabel Marsh, for her very insightful talk focussing on the development, success, challenges and future of the Glasgow Library Tweetups. Click here to learn more about the GLTU and to get involved. Look out also for the Scottish Library Camp, a fantastic new event that Anabel announced is being planning for October 2013 at the Mitchell Library.

Many thanks also to Marjory Stewart, Librarian at the Royal Faculty of Procurators, for allowing us to tour the library facilites.

UPDATE: Read an in-depth review of the AGM by Louise Morrison on the MmITS Blog.


12th Annual Scottish Ebooks Conference Reports

MmITS was proud to sponsor 2 delegates to attend the 12th Annual Scottish Ebooks Conference, which took place on the 25th of October 2012 at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, University of Edinburgh:

Jenny Ridout of Preston College is currently working towards her Chartership. Follow Jenny on Twitter @jennyridout and her blog at Jenny's Cabinet of Curiosities. Go here to read Jenny's first-hand experiences of the conference.


Penny Andrews, Graduate Trainee at Leeds Metropolitan University and one of the organisers of Library Camp. Follow Penny's blog at Penny Binary. Penny's conference report was printed in the November edition of Information Scotland.


MmITS Survey Results 

Many thanks to all who took the time to give us your thoughts for the MmITS Survey.

The findings of the survey can now be accessed here on the MmITS blog, so please feel free to read and comment on the results.

The feedback we received has been very useful and we intend to develop the ideas and comments received in order to ensure that the MmITS group offers the best value for its members.

Thank you for your interest and support. 


9th Annual General Meeting, 24th April 2012

Many thanks to all who joined us at Glasgow University Library for our 9th AGM on the 24th of April, and in particular to our wonderful speaker, Mr Stewart Bain, Library Assistant Extraordinaire and Twitter icon, for his very entertaining and insightful talk focussing on social media.

Click here to discover some of the tips we learned for the successful use of Twitter and Facebook to promote services based on the work done by Stewart at Orkney Library and Archive Services.


Twitter and Blog - Latest

Follow the latest Twitter and Blog discussions with our live feeds. Click to find out more and to join in!