Saturday, 26 June 2010


Flickr is one of those sites I knew about but never really used.  I can see its usefulness for sharing your own photos and for sourcing creative commons images, but as with everywhere on the web you can never be 100% certain that the people that posted the images were entitled to.  For example, I know that Trinity College are very careful about images of the Book of Kells, charge per use and would never allow them to be posted to the internet under a creative commons license, and yet here it is.  I have huge problems with the idea of restricting access to images of documents that are hundreds of years old, and I believe if the user was based in the US he would be allowed to reuse it although Irish people (to whom the book really belongs!) are not.  The joys of copyright and the internet! Of course, if someone claims rights of an image on this site I'll just take it down.

One of the interesting things about Flickr is the fact that people use different images to create new ones.  The image above, for example, which I used in this post, was created by sammydavisdog using three other images.  Very artistic, I think, and a nice way to add a personal touch rather than just reusing generic images.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Going mobile

I love free wifi and can't wait for the day when it will be available everywhere I go. I get quite upset with service providers that expect me to pay for access, for example in hotels or at train stations.  Every Friday I head in early to do some study before working in the medical library, I connect to libair and happily access all the journals I need.  [Libair can be a bit annoying though, knocking me off-line even though I've left the 'log out' browser window open.  I don't know if that's the same for everyone or just because I'm working in Ubuntu.]

I have been known to whip out the laptop while in the hospital canteen so I can check my emails then rather eating into my study time.  I have used wifi connections at a conference to tweet the event and when travelling to make sure that I really am going to the right place and there really is a train/plane/bus/meeting at the time I think it's at (anyone else get paranoid like this sometimes?)  Even at home I access the internet through a router rather than hooking up the old way.

I used the wifi on my Irish mobile, but to be honest I haven't tried on my UK phone and haven't missed it.  Besides, I was always afraid I'd discover I had connected through the far more expensive 3G connection instead of a free service.  I'm not surprised that the M-Libraries report found that people prefer to use their phone for text and voice services rather than web services (so far!), but I like the idea of being able to take out a phone to check a street map instead of having to take out my laptop.

Now I sound like I'm permanently online!  I'm not, and I do think there are times when an escape from the internet is needed.  If I'm away (as I will be next week) the phone gets left beside the bed each day and the internet is used only for planning excursions, if at all.

So mobile technologies in the library?  I know that the JISC Cambridge Library Widgets project is looking at this area and have been following their blog for developments.  On an ongoing basis, the most basic issue is obviously making sure that the system is working, or if it's down, getting it back up as soon as possible.  We need to make sure that our OPAC and book renewal functionality display well on a very small screen, and if not, we need to create mobile versions of them.  Other libraries have developed audio tours of the library, provided reference services via instant messaging, signed visitors up on the spot to library programmes and used them when "roving" to check the catalogue on behalf of the students (sorry, can't remember where I read about that one.)  If anyone has any more examples of interesting uses of mobile technology in the library, please let me know!

In the M-Library report, Keren Mills makes the excellent point that developing these services costs money. We have to balance the value of each of these services with the costs of developing them, bearing in mind that not all of our students will want to use them anyway.

Image above taken from Flickr, with thanks to shapeshift.

Working with Wikis

This is pretty new to me because I had never actually edited a wiki before starting 23 Things. I like the idea for collaborative working, and as Anne suggests it's a great option internally for staff/web manuals and other information that needs to be shared.  Since I have now registered with PBWorks, I have added my blog to the UK Library Blogs wiki - maybe others would like to as well.
Wikis have also been used in educational settings, for example I know of Irish language courses that set assignments involving translating articles into Irish and adding them to Vicipéid.  I'm not sure how useful it would be as a teaching resource for training students and other library users though, I think I'll need to think about that a bit more.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Some thoughts from Cambridge

Thanks very much to all who came to CB2 yesterday to discuss the future of libraries and feed into the CILIP discussion.  We had strong representation from academic and medical libraries and it was great to get some perspective from corporate and school librarians as well.  Since other posts have already given a really good overview of what was discussed, I think I'll stick to my own thoughts from the evening.

The future of libraries and information professionals
I thought the Futures Thinking report was very interesting and relevant outside of academic libraries as well.  I think we're moving towards an even greater emphasis on providing one-to-one support and training to users.  Online services will be ever more important, but I agree with Libby Tilley's suggestion that the face-to-face contact will remain essential.  I think that people will engage more with the service through online channels if they know who they're talking to.

I think that there will be a greater emphasis on the teaching role of the librarian, hopefully working more closely with teachers/lecturers to embed information literacy training into the curriculum.  This is already happening but not across the board.  I like Anne's suggestion that it should be part of the librarianship qualification, although perhaps as an option rather than a core requirement.

The greater emphasis on electronic resources will continue but will not replace printed books.  Even with a reduction in the number of printed books in the library, physical spaces will still be required for private study, group work and informal learning.

I thought the idea that researchers need more practical advice on copyright, referencing and how to get published was interesting, and it struck a chord with my past experience as Music Information Officer at the Contemporary Music Centre.  There, promotion and advisory services to composers were part and parcel of what we did.

I am concerned about the deprofessionalisation of the public library sector, which reinforces the idea that all librarians do is stamp books - a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If we're trying to tell people that librarians can help them with their research, but there are no actual librarians in the public libraries, how is that going to look?  As Anna pointed out last night, things will tick on nicely for a few years before the effects will really be seen.

Regarding suggestions of a name change for libraries and librarians, I don't think that's necessary.  What we need to do is to promote ourselves more as we are, demonstrate the different things we do and counteract the stereotypes in our daily work.

CILIP - now and in the future
I have to say that as a student member I feel I have benefited hugely from CILIP to date.  In the few months since I moved to the UK I have attended courses on chartership, disability awareness, Librarians as Teachers, 'Working Smarter' and 'A cut above the rest'.  Looking at that list, all were organised by special interest groups.  If the special interest groups can deliver these excellent training opportunities so affordably, why can't CILIP centrally do it for less than a few hundred pounds?  I really like the suggestion of transmitting events electronically so that members who can't travel/get childcare/afford the cost of the events can still benefit from the content.  There's only so much you can get by following on Twitter.

At £38 for the publications and training course discounts alone you can't go far wrong.  Will I remain a member when I'm no longer a student?  I'm not sure.  I really do want to charter, but if I don't feel I get anything from CILIP after that will I be happy to pay an annual fee just to write MCLIP after my name?  If the subscriptions were lower I wouldn't have to think twice about it, but at the current rates I would need to have a much better idea of where my fees are going.

I'm willing to accept that the Newsnight debacle was a once-off down to very short notice, but I agree that I wouldn't be too happy if it were to happen again.  Hopefully the one-minute messages and comprehensive training for staff and sector representatives will address this in the very near future, especially since CILIP constantly talks about its advocacy role.

Do we need two publications?  Could they be merged?  I have to say I do like Update Digital for the multimedia that can be added, but the content needs to be available on the website at the very least as a normal pdf and ideally through an RSS feed.  It's not enough to have the pdf download within the flash file - if you don't have flash you still can't access it!  I also don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the professional body for library and information professionals would have a decent website that is easily navigable and works as it's supposed to (for example, I've given up trying to get through to the journals I should be able to access).

The Conversation 
Great use has been made of the internet and social media in this consultation, but I feel that every branch should have organised face-to-face discussions to feed into it.  I know that some in Wales, for example, are feeling neglected.  I'm also unsure how well information professionals outside the more traditional library sector have been consulted, and felt that the questionnaire was only a tool for producing stats to pad out the end report, not really interested in our views.  I don't want to sound like I'm being over-critical here (I know some members of the project board have felt under attack) - I just want to voice my concerns and hope that the final report will show that they are unfounded.

This has been a bit of an essay, I'm sorry!  I'd love if people could continue the discussion through the comments and the other blog posts arising from this:

Monday, 21 June 2010

Office 2.0

I have used Google Docs before, mostly in a personal capacity (e.g. sharing spreadsheets with family contact info) but also on various projects (e.g. tracking progress of technical projects).  For this task, I decided to create a document with starting points for tomorrow's discussion.

I set the document so that it can be read without logging in, but you must log in to edit it.  Almost as soon as I sent the invitation to collaborate, a colleague logged in and started editing too (thanks Anna!)

Unfortunately I can't see what my colleague is doing while she's doing it, so it's still possible for us to be editing the same section at once.  Makes me wonder what ever happened with Google Wave, and when they'll integrate that real-time collaborative functionality with docs?  I do find Google Docs handy, but unfortunately it doesn't handle other word formats very well.  I use it as emergency back-up, but wouldn't keep rely on it for final versions of work.

I never knew about the survey options in Google Docs though, so that was new, thanks Isla!  I just set up a basic question to see how it works:
I'll be exploring this option more in future, it could be very useful!  I'll also take a look at that powerpoint option later on.

Who's been visiting MY blog?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets curious about how many people actually read my blog or whether I'm just talking to myself.  I'm amazed that Blogger doesn't have any stats available automatically (or does it?), so I thought a post about setting up Google Analytics might be in order.

[Creative Commons image found via Flickr, with thanks to sammydavisdog]

I have to say, I love Analytics.  It's free (woohoo!) and yet it gives really in-depth information about your site - who's visiting? Where are they from? How long do they stay?  How do they find their way around? What possessed them to come here in the first place? This screenshot shows the overview page - not very impressive stats, some might think, but I think it's amazing that I got a grand total of 35 hits last Friday for this very new blog.

In fact, it gives far more information than I'd ever need about this little blog, but has been really interesting for some of the more complicated websites I've worked with.  I recommend checking out the Site Overlay feature as demonstrated here on the Ask About Ireland website. (Click on the image to see the larger version.)

Looking at the site as it appears to the user, you can immediately see whether people are using the links or images to navigate around the site, or whether they prefer to use that convenient search box in the top right hand corner.  Hours of fun to be had following user paths through the site, and I'd imagine very useful for the library websites.

So how do we get all of this wonderful information about our incredibly popular blogs?

Step 1: Set up an Analytics account.
This part is easy, since we've all been playing with Google products already as part of 23 Things.  Visit, log in and click 'Sign Up'.  Follow the instructions to enter your website url and do the user agreement process.

Step 2: Copy the tracking code
Copy the code from the box

Step 3: Paste the code into your site
This is the fun part!   Luckily, because our blogs are based on a template we only have to paste the code into one page.

[Don't worry if you've never used HTML, you don't actually need to know any for this.  If you're worried about making mistakes you could always copy the existing html and save it in Notepad or similar text editor so you can retrieve it easily.]

  1. From the Blogger dashboard, select the 'Design' tab.
  2. Click on 'Edit HTML'
  3. Look through the HTML to find where the header ends (it says  /head in < and > brackets - blogger's driving me crazy not letting me put this in properly here!)
  4. Paste the tracking code just before where it says /head in < and > brackets
You should end up with something like this in the code:

This won't change how your site looks, it'll just collect statistics to be sent to Google Analytics.

Have fun!  And if you have any questions just ask and I'll try to help, but be warned, I'm no expert...

P.S. Hello to my readers in USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa (and of course my loyal followers here in the UK)!

P.P.S. If you like changing your templates, don't forget that you may need to reinsert your tracking code (as I just did, oops!)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Developing librarians as teachers

Laura Bewick and Sheila Corrall have just published an article that's very similar to what I'm hoping to look at in my Masters dissertation.

The authors looked specifically at academic sector to identify the pedagogical needs of subject librarians.  The article includes some useful information on how the selected librarians have gained their teaching skills and which theories and concepts have been of use to them. It was interesting to see that the librarians surveyed were mostly confident in their ability to deliver training - I wonder if this is partly because only one subject librarian was selected per academic institution? The process seems to have been sufficiently random though... Perhaps it's because a lot of experience was built up prior to becoming Subject Librarian, and that this is why they were appointed to these positions in the first place?

As I would have expected, there were some calls for optional teaching modules to be included in LIS courses, as well as a demand for short courses and on-the-job training.  Sheffield have now established an MA  in Information Literacy, which would be of interest to many of those who find themselves doing a large amount of teaching within their library jobs.  I'd love to see Aberystwyth developing a distance learning module on the educational role of the librarian and make it available as a CPD course for practising librarians as well as optionally on their ILS courses.

A really interesting article that has also pointed me to lots of other relevant research.  Here's hoping there'll still be interesting work for me to do in the area by the time I've finished my other assignments!

Bewick, L. and Corrall, S. (2010) "Developing librarians as teachers: a study of their pedagogical knowledge", Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 42 (2), 97-110.

Friday, 18 June 2010

The people have spoken

Thanks for all the interest in getting together next week to discuss #cilipfuture.  The results are in from the Doodle poll and Tuesday at 6pm seems to be the most popular time.  Apologies to those who weren't able to come at that time.  The venue is CB2 Restaurant Café, which, I'm reliably informed, has wifi so we'll be able to tweet (thanks Isla!) and I intend to blog about it once I've thought the issues through.

According to Doodle we have 11 attendees - if anyone on the list can no longer make it or if anybody extra would like to attend, please let me know by adding yourself to the Doodle poll, by commenting on my blog or by email at  Looking forward to seeing you all then.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

User-generated content

What an appropriate item for Thing 8 - I've been putting off doing an article on user-generated tags for my course, working on other modules while I let that one rumble around in my mind for a while.  I'm not sure yet what angle I'll take on it, but Emma's post and Tom's response are certainly helping with that.  I fully agree that although user tagging can't replace an authoritative catalogue, it does facilitate browsing using everyday language and we should be looking at ways to integrate them with the catalogue.

Tag clouds can be a nice way to browse blogs especially, so I thought I'd share what the one on my blog looks like so far.  It does look much more interesting now that I've added extra tags to all my #cam23 posts.

I recommend checking out Isla's tagging system and resulting #regionaltagging discussion on Twitter.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

On the importance of libraries, or, why the internet is not enough

I've just been reading an article by Inskip et al. on the information needs of the folk music library user and just had to share these particular quotes from their interviews:

‘you sort of go to the internet when you’re stuck I suppose to see what you can find but its because it’s so unstructured it’s much much more sensible in a way to come to an organised library as a first resort for pursuing things’.


‘there’s always sort of things that [the librarian] will say or people will say that sort of point me in directions that you’d never pick up entirely on your own’

I couldn't have put it better myself!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Using Twitter - without using Twitter interface!

Miss Crail has put up a fabulous post giving her reasons for hating Twitter, and even a month ago I would have agreed with her.  Although it's uncluttered to look at, Twitter's interface makes it near impossible to follow discussions.  Besides, there's a problem (for me) with its entire foundation - the question "What's happening?"  (Hmmm, wasn't it "what are you doing?" They must have changed it to make it vaguely useful-sounding.) I'm going to cheat a bit here and just edit what I wrote in a comment on Miss Crail's blog.

That's exactly how I felt about Twitter first time round, and how I still felt until I started using JournoTwit. Now my feeds are displayed in nice, sensible columns with the hashtags I'm following separated nicely, with a column just for where I'm mentioned, and with a pretty feed cloud that I don't actually use much. I unfollow anyone who tells me too much about their mealtimes and transport arrangements, and use it mostly for following CPD-related topics. I have been converted.

I hate Twitter as it's set out on its own site - but with a decent reader it's actually very useful!

Re: Tom's comment - JournoTwit even has a handy "in reply to..." link that you can click on to see what a message was in response to.  Doesn't work all the time, but it usually does - see screenshot above.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Conversation on the future of information services

As we all know by now (I hope!), CILIP is currently looking at the future of our profession and what CILIP's role could / should be in this.  I have been following the discussion through Twitter and the Netvibes dashboard and filled out the online survey.  Some interesting angles have come up, including arguments that CILIP is public-library-centric (not something I've noticed!), discussion of the skills we now need and whether librarianship training adequately addresses our needs.

I have to say though, that this is the kind of discussion I like to have in real life, face-to-face, so that new ideas can be sparked off in a much more immediate way.  I know that some of the branches and special interest groups organised events around it, but if any were near me I didn't hear about them.  The conversation was touched upon at the Librarians as Teachers event in Warwick, but not at any of the other CILIP events I've attended in the past few months, and I'm feeling that I still haven't had a chance to think this through properly.

I am hereby rising to Katie Fraser's challenge and asking if other library staff in the Cambridge area (or further afield), professional/para-professional, CILIP members and non-members, would be interested in getting together to discuss some of these issues?

Update: Even though it's Saturday a few people have already shown interest.  Please visit this poll to let me know when would suit you to meet up for this discussion.  I'm still pretty new to the area so all venue suggestions welcome!

Friday, 11 June 2010

The Future of Music... and libraries?

This morning I've been following a conference organised by the Contemporary Music Centre on The Future of Music in the Digital World.  A common theme is coming through the Twitter feed that online dissemination is essential.  Good news for performers who can persuade people to pay directly for content, bad news for the ones who are not yet established and have to give lots away for free in a bid to gain recognition, bad news for the middle-men, but what are the implications for the library and archive sector?

A few quick questions come to mind:
  1. If artists release only in electronic form, will libraries be forced to subscribe to electronic packages such as those available for journals?  I can see this being very complicated for specialist libraries.
  2. Will they have to contact individual performers in an attempt to obtain good quality recordings or resort to burning lower quality content in order to have a copy at all - and what are the copyright implications of that?
  3. How can music be adequately collected and archived if published on individual websites - will we have to rely on what's on iTunes?
I'm sure this has been addressed before so I'll do some research (once I've finished the essay I'm working on), but I'd be interested in any thoughts people have to share on this.

Google Calendar...and a serious question...

Google Calendar is another one that I use all the time in a personal capacity.  The option of sharing calendars is handy - I have a calendar that's shared with my extended family so I have no excuses for not knowing whose big birthday celebration is coming up and when, and back when I was a Guide leader in Ireland I shared a calendar with other leaders so we all knew what was coming up locally, in Dublin and nationally within CGI.  I never thought of it as a tool that can be embedded within a website, but I see how that could be very useful.

A question that arises from all this use of Google products in a work environment: how comfortable are we with sharing organisational information with a global company?  If it becomes the norm to use email, documents sharing, calendars and other tools from a particular company, should there be limits on what types of documents are shared there?  Maybe it's not an issue in the university sector - what do other people think?


I have been invited to use Doodle for meetings in a previous job (slightly pointless since it was a meeting with a colleague in the next office) and as part of a book club that's starting in Cambridge (thanks @ange_fitzpatrick), but have never created one myself before.

The process is very easy - Doodle provides:
  • step-by-step instructions
  • useful tips such as 'On average, 5 options are sufficient to successfully find a common date and time.'
  • time zone support to accommodate people in other countries, useful if you wanted to schedule a conference call
  • time-saving options such as copying the times selected for one day for you, so you don't have to keep filling in boxes
  • option to get Doodle to email and chase up participants (but no requirement to do that!)
I like tools like this that don't require guests to subscribe in order to participate.  I also like that there's an option to create a 'hidden' poll, so that only the moderator can see who voted each way.  Not completely anonymous, but it could help if people are shy about making their suggestions.  You can even make your Doodle poll look more official by adding branding.

All in all, a nice little tool, although I have no need to use it at present.  Thanks also to Rachel Marsh for the Doodle facts, especially pointing out the app for Facebook.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

#cam23 Blogs Tool from Girl in the Moon

Girl in the Moon has kindly shared a blog folder of all #cam23 participants - well worth adding to your RSS reader!

Blogging for #cam23

As mentioned, this site was set up for the medical library version of 23 Things, but a few of us are doing the University Library one as well.  Rather than setting up a second blog, I'm going to continue using this blog for both and have now registered it with the #cam23 site.  I'm looking forward to discovering new resources and re-evaluating ones I've used before over the next few weeks as part of both programmes.

I have never had a blog before but do use Google Reader to follow other useful blogs, news feeds and journal TOCs.  I'm finding the comments option great for further developing my thoughts on a subject.  For example, I blogged about the Librarians as Teachers event at Warwick and within a day had a number of new interesting angles to follow on it.  I have used other social tools before, such as Delicious and Twitter, but gave up on them because they didn't do what I needed them to do at the time.  23 Things at the medical library has prompted me to look at these again and I've found that they have been further developed since I last looked at them and are now much more useful.

I have been looking through some of the other blogs and it's really interesting to see what people from other libraries are thinking.  I hope that more of the bloggers will add posts on other topics too, such as what they're doing in their own libraries or cpd events attended. The project will, I think, be a great way to build networks with other parts of Cambridge libraries and to learn from what other people are doing.

One suggestion - on the medical library blog, the participants list is sorted by latest post, which makes it much easier to see what people have blogged most recently without having to use a reader.  Would it be possible to do this for #cam23 too?

Bookmarking and social bookmarking

Week 5 of 23 Things, and we're looking at bookmarking.  When working full-time with a normal/big computer screen, I used browser-based bookmarking a lot, especially the bookmarks toolbar in Firefox.  This is great if you regularly need to access certain sites when using a particular purpose, for example when in work. I've added some bookmarks that I think we'll all use in the Medical Library, since I'm currently on a shared computer.

It is also possible to use a bookmarks folder in the browser, but I find I tend to forget that I have bookmarked things there. I do like that when you look at recent bookmarks you get the option to open all recently bookmarked pages in tabs.

The bookmarks toolbar approach is actually less useful for me at the moment because I'm mostly working on my lovely 9" netbook, which, while handy (fits in my handbag!), doesn't have a whole lot of screen space to spare.  I find Delicious very useful for this reason.  When I first discovered Delicious, it was known as and wasn't nearly as nice to use as it is now.  I used it for a while as a personal bookmarking tool and gave up eventually because it was so awkward to change tags retrospectively if needed. Coming back to it years later, I (amazingly!) remembered the password, deleted bookmarks that are no longer relevant to what I'm doing, and started over.

The new version makes it much easier to tag bookmarks, add notes and share the bookmarks with other people.  This sharing functionality is not something I've ever used in Delicious, but I can imagine that it would be very useful for people working in a research group, for example.  I have never searched for tags using Delicious either - this could be good for sharing the work involved in finding useful information about a subject or for getting an overview of what people in general associate with a particular term.  The toolbar buttons are very useful for tagging things quickly while browsing, without having to keep the Delicious account open at the same time. Delicious could be used by libraries to highlight relevant resources, and the bookmarks could then be pulled via RSS feeds into a particular part of the library website.

NHS MyLibrary includes a links panel that can be used to bookmark relevant sites, with the option of tagging links as well.  The tagging functionality allows the user to label sites according to their relevance to particular project or area of research, facilitating the retrieval of these items at a later stage.  As with the MyLibrary RSS Reader, this would be very useful for medical staff and students if they wish to keep all work-related resources together in one space.

Working Smarter 4: Marketing and Professionalism

I'm only now getting around to finishing my posts on the Career Development Group conference, Working Smarter, which finished up with parallel sessions on marketing, time management, working with volunteers and professionalism.. I attended 'Marketing on a shoestring' and 'Professionalism for success'.

Andy Ryan from London Libraries facilitated the session on marketing.  The more interactive approach taken in this session was great, especially since it was straight after lunch.  Andy started by getting us to come up with some of the media we could use in marketing our libraries, highlighting that the internet provides lots of opportunities to promote events cheaply.  I also pointed out that local newspapers are often crying out for content, so writing an article for them to edit/include can be a great way to hit your own area.  Andy's example of how London Libraries promoted their Graphic Novel Network was really interesting.  Three tips from her experiences:
  1. Establish meaningful partnerships (find that niche of passionate people)
  2. Remember to use existing contacts to continue to build those relationships
  3. Use social networking!

Susie Kay then gave a presentation about professionalism, emphasising the importance of maintaining our employability.  She suggested that professionalism is about everything you are, everything you do, at work in your private life.  We should aim to have a positive effect on those around us, in every type of personal interaction, at every level.  Professionalism also involves getting organised, managing your time well and making sure to keep a healthy work/life balance.  It involves having standards for yourself and expecting the same standards of others around you.

Embracing professionalism is commitment to self belief, choosing excellence, making permanent improvements and knowing that you can have a positive effect.  I like to think that I aim for these things already, but it is always helpful to have them highlighted.  The session was very general though, and not quite what I expected.  I thought that it would include some mention of librarianship as a profession.  I feel that the terminology used is unfortunate, since it implies that the rest of us are somehow "unprofessional".  I like to think that I am professional, even though I don't (yet) hold that piece of paper.  I do see the value of having the qualification though and I'm getting ever nearer to completion.  One day, in the not too distant future, I will be "a professional librarian"!

Friday, 4 June 2010

MyLibrary RSS Reader

I'm back again to look at how RSS feeds are used in the NHS Athens resource, since it seems that MyAthens in the NHS section of the medical library website links to something other than NHS Athens. Thanks Isla for putting me straight and setting up an account for me to use!

I like the fact that this resource automatically gathers together information I might need based on my account information, from contact details for my "home" library, Cambridge University Medical Library, to RSS feeds from the NHS.  I added some feeds for journals found through Journal TOCS, which I recently discovered thanks to Roddy McLeod.

I think the most useful part of MyLibrary is that you can set up an e-shot with the new items from your feeds and specify how frequently you receive them.  I can imagine this would be particularly helpful for people who prefer to work with email rather than RSS readers, or who perhaps don't have time to check this external resource as frequently as they like.