21 June 2010
By Ross English
Event report - Bridging the Skills Gap: developing innovative library support for researchers
On June 8, 80 library and library related staff representing 41 institutions from across the UK and beyond gathered at the University of Sussex for a conference. “Bridging the skills gap: developing innovative library support for researchers” was an event jointly organised by the University of Sussex Library and Vitae South East Hub.
The day was opened by Sussex's Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Bob Allison who extolled the role that libraries play in academic scholarship. Stéphane Goldstein from the Research Information Network called for a joined up national approach to researcher training and information handling support in the UK and the plenary session was completed by Alison Mitchell, Deputy Director of Vitae, who outlined the role of Vitae in promoting researcher development and outlined the new Researcher Development Framework tool.
The rest of the day was devoted to a series of workshops highlighting innovative approaches libraries across the South East and London have been taking to support their researchers. Participants had the opportunity to hear about the University of Southampton’s approach to e-theses, the LSE’s information literacy support module for researchers, the work of the Research Liaison Team at the University of Sussex, how the University of Brighton supports the REF, the University of Surrey’s work on information skills training and the University for the Creative Arts’ support for researchers in a ‘Google world’. The conference was rounded up by Kitty Inglis from the University of Sussex.
The feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. One of the key messages from the day was that successful models have the library as one element of a more holistic approach to offering researchers support and, additionally, that there are dedicated research support staff within the library.
Thanks must go to all the speakers and workshop facilitators who made the day a great success. The slides from each presentation and workshop are available at: www.vitae.ac.uk/sehub.
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