Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Productivity for Academic Librarians and Researchers: Session 13 - Annotation Software

Reading this session's blog post on annotation software, I was struck by how much things
have changed since I was a student doing research. Even as a postgraduate three years ago, I was still making notes by hand, a laborious process but one which I was used to.

I've come across resources like EndNote before but Qiqqa is something I'd not heard of. Having looked through the manual I am very impressed and it's something I will keep in mind if I need to do research in the future.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Productivity for Academic Librarians and Researchers: Session 12 - Choosing Software for Academic Workflow

Session 12 of the Productivity programme looks at software for academic workflow. The websites and links given looked really handy, and I bookmarked them to check them out in more detail later.

I took a closer look at the writing and transcription services on the Bamboo DiRT website. These in particular seem particularly useful for researchers and writers, and I made a note of some. I also found the data conversion section particularly interesting, notably the PDF to Word converter which I think could come in very handy!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Productivity for Academic Librarians and Researchers: Session 11 - Academic Workflow

Session 11 of the Productivity for Academic Librarians and Researchers course dealt with academic workflow. I'm not currently an academic librarian as such, and I don't need to do a great deal of research in my job or life in general. However, I read through the resources listed and made a note of them for the future.

Workflow is important in my current role as I need to perform a number of tasks and keep on top of everything. All I do is, like the work of the rest of my team, recorded in process documents that are updated regularly as a record of what has been, and what needs to be, done.

I recently wrote an article and found Evernote very useful for recording my research and saving links. If I was to pursue any in-depth study in the future, I would probably use a specialist referencing app such as Zotero.

Monday, 3 June 2013

CILIP CDG Visit to the London Transport Museum Library

Since moving to London over two years ago I’ve developed something of an obsession with the Tube. In fact one of my more geeky pursuits involves trying to visit every single station on the Underground network. Therefore, when an opportunity arose to organise a trip to the London Transport Museum Library for the Career Development Group London and South East, I jumped at the chance.

We visited the Library in the afternoon on the 22nd of May, meeting in the Museum’s foyer and admiring the eclectic range of transport-inspired gifts in the process. Librarian Caroline Warhurst met us at the entrance and took us to up to the Library, a pleasant space at the back of the building.

The Library is primarily used by museum staff and Transport for London staff, but external enquiries come from students and researchers as well as the media and the general public. External users need to make an appointment, because of the size of the library and staffing levels. Enquiries have seen a boost this year because of the 150th anniversary London Underground celebrations.

Like many specialist libraries, the LTM collection has been catalogued using a unique classification system and has items covering public transport in general, though the bulk of the collection relates to transport in London. As the responsibilities of Transport for London (and its preceding bodies) have changed, so has the nature of the collection: it now holds material on taxis, river taxis and even the new cable car (the Emirates Air Line).

Caroline kindly got out a number of fascinating and often unique items to show us. As well as specialist transport-related periodicals (some of which I wouldn’t be surprised to see on Have I Got News for You one of these days), there were train timetables, staff registers and photographs of stations and vehicles. One of my favourite items was the personal scrapbook of Frank Pick, one of the most important individuals in the history of the London Underground, which showed him to have extremely eclectic interests.

After the visit I had a look round the museum, which has been refurbished since I last visited as a child. I found it really interesting and it was good to know that the Library’s collections have helped staff to research the exhibitions.