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Information Scotland

The Journal of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

ISSN 1743-5471

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October 2008 Volume 6(5)

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

Aiming Higher

Three welcomes and two farewells

Jill Evans pays tribute to colleagues coming and going in the academic field.

The ‘welcome’ aspect is centred on the other contributor to this article, Eric Dickson of the National Library of Scotland, and also to the new colleagues with whom I have been working recently on different initiatives. A Scottish regional library co-operative groups’ meeting was held recently where I worked with colleagues from different sectors who shared their knowledge and expertise. The Libraries in Central Scotland (LICS) representative impressed others with their ‘Book Prescribing Service’ which is a cross-sectoral library partnership involving Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk Councils, Forth Valley College, NHS Forth Valley, Scottish Police College, Stirling University, Stirling Royal Infirmary and Falkirk District Infirmary. The National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Library and Information Council also support the venture. GPs select books from the Primary Care Book Prescription Scheme on issues such as depression, eating disorders, anger, self-esteem and stress, and the titles are made available in libraries to help patients to become involved in their own treatments.

Two Affiliated Groups to the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) have been working collaboratively for the past year with a colleague whose business acumen has not been honed in librarianship but in the competitive world of procurement. The many meetings have often resulted in misunderstandings, bewilderment (on my part!) and impatience but, in retrospect, it has been exciting to be challenged on our given methods, empirical attitudes and the ‘AyeBin’* methodology. One group, the Scotland Northern Ireland PEriodicals Supply (SNIPES), through the Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC), has recently let a contract for the supply and delivery of periodical content to the SCURL institutions and to some of the participating FE libraries. The other group, the Scottish Consortium of Academic Books Supply (SCABS), continues to grapple with the complexities of a Framework Agreement for each of the print book, electronic book, and standing order tenders. Throughout these protracted discussions we have been lead by a Procurement Specialist from APUC with formidable and impressive procurement skills, who has learned the intricacies of making material available to library users on an equal basis. Our colleague, at the beginning of the working relationship, acknowledged that procuring supplies did not differ significantly according to type of commodity. However, a new world of knowledge sharing, ethical behaviour, supportive collaborative business relationships, and career development opportunities have become evident to our colleague through the trusted world of librarianship. I wish to congratulate my colleagues in these groups who have shared their knowledge on the importance of ensuring that material is fit for purpose, and the attention to detail to ensure best value for money. Our colleague, Karen, is beginning a new career with the Scottish Government and it is testament to her dedication to her SCURL colleagues that in such a short time she has gained an in-depth understanding of our business and our collaborative practices. I sincerely wish her well with new opportunities. I am sure her time working with librarians will stand her in good stead.

Another farewell goes to SCURL Minutes Secretary, Chris Taylor, who has diligently recorded the discussions of the SCURL plenary and Business Committee meetings for the past three years. Chris’s ‘reward’ for accepting the job was to travel around Scotland by train to take minutes of discussions in many HEIs, with a brief/flying visit to Queen’s University in Belfast, and to work with the Directors of library services on the many innovative services, projects and plans which have been developed. I thank Chris, on behalf of the SCURL members, for his diplomacy and his expediency converting discussion to drafts of minutes. 

Jill Evans

“It has always been done that way”: a NE Scotland phrase.

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Information Scotland Vol. 6(5) October 2008

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Last updated: 16-Jan-2009