Digital Library Management - Student Profiles

Kevin Cooper, Academic Subject Librarian, University of Lincoln

I have been employed as a subject librarian for a number of years. The rapid advance of on-line resources made me aware of a need to enhance my skills and knowledge in this area, so I chose to study the MSc Digital Library Management over three years as a part-time student.

Studying should always be a challenge, and this is certainly the case when one is also in full-time employment. The Information School at Sheffield is recognised as the best in the country, and support from not only the academic staff and my fellow students, but also the ICT team and admin staff, enabled me to ‘get the piece of paper’ but more importantly learn so much due to the diverse range of modules available through the course.

My studies have given me the confidence to embrace future developments in library provision and the skills set to manage change and ensure our students continue to enjoy a positive library experience.

Sonam Wangdi, Librarian, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, Bhutan

My responsibilities are to catalogue books, design a usable library website, evaluate source software packages and formulate a digitisation plan for the institute. Although being a “librarian" is an old profession, practically all the skills required of a librarian today have changed and most of the skills and knowledge required are in the field of Information technology. Therefore, the course is exactly what we require in the field. Today, without having a good knowledge of ICT (including the use of HTML and javascript/php, information literacy and digital asset policies) it would be a hard for any librarian to perform their professional responsibilities effectively.

I was recently awarded the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Award which has given me valuable ideas and skills to practice in my profession. I also founded the Bhutan Library Consortium with seven member libraries from different academic colleges of the Royal University of Bhutan, and we currently have 17 member libraries.

John Shawler, Manager of Information Literacy Division, Credo Reference

I work to improve Literati, an online research platform that allows students to conduct research with the ease of Wikipedia, but with the authoritative, citable content of a reference library.

Because of the Digital Library Management programme at Sheffield, I was able to gain experience in how to build and manage content management systems within the context of digital libraries. In addition, I was able to take courses in website and database design, which gave me the skills necessary to become an attractive candidate in today's evolving workspace.

Simon Wakeling, Research Associate, University of Sheffield Information School

As a newcomer to the field of Information Science I found the course provided an excellent and challenging introduction to the subject. In addition to offering a solid grounding in the technical aspects of digital librarianship, the course also dealt with non-technical areas such as project management and strategy, and research methodology. The use of innovative assessment methods (such as the production of a short film) provided a chance to learn valuable real-world skills. Most importantly there was also a strong sense that students had a contribution to make to the department's research output, both in terms of discussion and debate with faculty, and the pursuit of interesting and relevant dissertation topics.

I studied a PhD within the School, working on a project in collaboration with OCLC entitled "The user-centred design of a recommender system for a universal library catalogue. I now work as a research associate in the school.

Publications

Wakeling, S., Clough, P., Sen, B., & Connaway, L. (2012). ""Readers who borrowed this also borrowed...": Recommender Systems in UK libraries", Library Hi Tech, 30 (1).

Wakeling, S., Clough, P., Sen, B., & Connaway, L. (2011). "If we build it, will they come? Recommendations and WorldCat." Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 48 (1), 1–3.