August 12, 2010

Conference 2010 ‘Shaping the Future – Library Services in Changing Times’

at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Please note this event has now taken place. papers will be available for download shortly.

NAG Conference 2010 will be held on the 8th and 9th September.  Our venue will be the John Anderson Campus in the City Centre and all events will take place in the Graham Hills Building.


‘Uncertainty surrounds the funding of public and academic libraries for the foreseeable future, yet times of change are also times of opportunity. The 2010 NAG Conference will examine some of these opportunities and hear from speakers who have been through radical change in the recent past. Our influential speakers are drawn from a wide variety of libraries, and have a vast range of expertise in change management. Tony Durcan OBE,  will be giving the keynote speech reflecting on the changes he has been part of as Head of Culture, Libraries and Lifelong Learning for Newcastle City Council. Workshops will be led by practitioners who will share their own experiences of best practice in a variety of acquisitions areas, again often following periods of change. Share your own experiences and thoughts, and contribute to the furthering of best practice. As always, the plenary sessions and workshops will generate lots of thoughts and start many discussions,  and there will be plenty of opportunities to network with both colleagues, speakers, workshop leaders and library suppliers.’ Heather Sherman, Conference Organiser

Our keynote address will be given by Tony Durcan, Newcastle Libraries (Wednesday)

‘By September this year all UK public libraries should be fully aware of the implications re the next financial years’ budget reductions. Tony will look at how managing this situation is a challenge and an opportunity, rather than an inevitable tragedy. He will also explore how the new austerity could be a platform to re-engineer and re-position public library services. And most importantly, he will demonstrate how effective stakeholder involvement – especially with customers, colleagues and elected members – is crucial to the delivery of a successful change programme.’


We are proud to include Les Watson, talking about the Saltire Library, among our speakers this year (Thursday)

Les is now a self-employed educational consultant, was previously Pro Vice Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University where he led the development of the Saltire Centre. In his talk at the 2010 NAG conference he will present some of his views on the ideas informing the development of the building and the importance of the environments created as part of the project.  The Saltire Centre is a 21st century library that is focused on the activities of its users and their learning. There is an emphasis in the building on the use of interior design to create a range of environments that stimulate and support learners. Loris Malaguzzi, a pioneering Italian teacher, said that children develop through interactions, first with the adults in their lives, then with their peers and ultimately with the environment around them. Malaguzzi described the environment as the ‘third teacher’ – Les Watson’s presentation will consider the importance of peer learning, the part technology has to play and the potential of the environment in stimulating learning and learner success.

Ben Taplin will be giving an update on Digital Library Licensing Service.(Thursday)

‘The Digital Library Licensing Service is a project funded by MLA and managed by JISC Collections which aims to provide public libraries with high quality digital content, discounted prices, and generous licensing terms. DCMS’ recent Modernisation Review of Public Libraries recommends that they “grasp the opportunities presented by digitisation”, in order to make their services more accessible and cost effective, attract new users, and offer a broader range of content. Ben’s presentation will explain how the DLLS is building on the work of MLA’s Reference Online initiative to provide public libraries with the broader range of digital content that their users want, at prices they can afford.’

Malcolm Pendreigh will be talking about Legal Deposit in Edinburgh (Wednesday)

Relocation, Relocation, Trial and Turbulation   –  (An overviewof  the Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries (ALDL) Relocation Project)

This session will look at the decision to relocate the ALDL, the scope of the project, the approach taken and how the project was delivered on time, within budget and fit for purpose.The approach of the session will be to take a look at the control areas that all project must address and invite delegates to appreciate how the application of  good communications, planning and risk management processes can deliver major change with manageable disruption.

We will present a general standards update to include: RFID, E4L, RDA, Servicing Guidelines, ISO 258650 etc. (Paul Dalton, Paul Dibble, Sarah Armitage and Alyson Hogarth)  (Thursday)

Liz McGettigan (Edinburgh Libraries) will be talking about managing change (Wednesday)

‘In Edinburgh we have a vision for a 21st century library service whichcombines, attractive spaces and the love of reading, with opportunitiesfor learning and digital information provision – a service that reflectsthe future and the communities we serve. We have made major changes over the last year enabling our staff to be freed up to interact more with our customers. We have rolled out self service, Wi-Fi and made major progress in Web 2.0. We have established a Virtual Library team to take forward our exciting city wide electronic community Information project. However change initiatives only succeed when the foundation elements of leadership, project management and change management are in place.’

David Lindley will be talking about promoting libraries in changing times. (Wednesday)

‘There’s never been a more critical time for libraries to get smart at identifying and communicating the value of their services. Libraries are just too unassertive about themselves, and simply not rigorous enough in identifying, analysing and articulating their value – and sending clear messages to their audiences. David Linley, director of the Libraries Agency (, will outline the basics of a value communications strategy. What really are our core products and services? How do we move away from broad categories such as ‘books’ and ‘information’ to really understand the value and uniqueness of what we do? How does that value change for different audiences? Stock and acquisitions librarians have an important role to play in developing a wider understanding of the changing shape of library services, the diversity of materials that libraries offer and new ways of discovering and accessing information.’

Workshops will cover a wide range of topics

Supply Specification (Maggie Sumner) (Wednesday and Thursday)

‘With increasing use of supplier selection, on-line specification tools and stock performance management software, it’s time to take another look at NAG’s 2007 Supply Specification Guidelines. And we need your help. How can we streamline and simplify the Guidelines? What works for you? What doesn’t? What’s missing? What changes are needed to bring the Guidelines up to date and make them as relevant and useful as possible? Please come ready with your issues, ideas and experiences. Workshop leaders: Maggie Sumner (Consultant), Alyson Hogarth (Middlesbrough) and Elizabeth Neville (Derbyshire). Maggie is a past chair of NAG and author of the Guidelines; Alyson and Elizabeth are both stock managers currently wrestling with the complexities of supply specification.’

Other workshops include:

Benchmarking for Academic Libraries (Sue Hodges and Regina Ferguson, Salford) (Thursday)

Acquisitions benchmarking ; the road to cost benefits, the issues encountered along the way, and the need for standardization of statistics

Stock Disposal (Karen Carden, University of the Arts and Liz Neville, Derbyshire Libraries) (Wednesday and Thursday)

Reading List Management (Roz Howard, Salford, Vonny Bee LSE, and Fiona Greig, Plymouth) (Thursday)

Fiona Greig, Content and Development Manager, University of Plymouth will speak about their experience as an early adopter of Talis Aspire – from the initial stages of implementation involving mapping workflows for students, staff and library staff to the current service where academic departments create and maintain their own lists.

Since 2006 London School of Economics has been developing it’s own in-house reading list solution.  Vonny Bee, Teaching Support Manager, LSE will outline the reasons behind this, unexpected results and pros and cons of the DIY approach.

Roz Howard, Liaison Manager, University of Salford will give an overview of their development of the Loughborough reading list system, including how they worked to get academic staff on board.

Managing Supplier Relationships (Eileen Hiller, University of Huddersfield, and Dawson Books) (Wednesday)

Explores how the library supplier can assist libraries to maximise supplier services in order to manage library acquisitions in financially challenging times. Heather Sherman from Dawson Books and Eileen Hiller from University of Huddersfield outline some of the innovative services provided by library suppliers and how they can be used to reduce staff workloads and increase student satisfaction within reduced library budgets.

We will be offering a visit to the Saltire Library – Please ask for details (currently proposed for 9.15am – 10.15am on 8th)


In the time honoured tradition we will be offering accommodation in en-suite student rooms adjacent to our venue.  We will also be offering rooms in a nearby hotel, the Millennium on George Square, to give delegates the opportunity to sample something a little more luxurious, and this is also to be the setting for Conference Dinner.  In honour of our visit to Scotland we are replacing the quiz with a ceildih when we shall be dancing to ‘The Jiggers’ and our after dinner speaker will be Hugh McMillan.

Hugh McMillan’s latest collection is ‘The Lost Garden’ (Roncadora Press) He has had 5 full collections of poetry published and several pamphlets including ‘After a Storm’ (Prizewinner in the Smith/Doorstep Poetry Competition 2005), ‘Postcards from the Hedge’ (Roncadora ) winner of the Callum MacDonald  Award 2009, and ‘Devorgilla Bridge’ (Roncadora Press) shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award 2010. He has been a past winner of the Scottish Open Poetry Competition and in the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Competition.

McMillan is an excellent reader of his own work which is both accessible and highly entertaining.

“To hear Hugh McMillan read his poems is to be in the presence of a comedian of genius, as he delivers line after line of punching humour in a slightly surprised, smiling voice, so that we laugh and laugh but are left well aware that life isn’t funny.”         Tessa Ransford

“One of the best and funniest readers I’ve heard.”      Ali Smith

Glasgow is a vibrant and fascinating city with lots of sights, shopping and entertainment. When Conference finishes you may wish to stay on for the week-end and we shall be sending maps and tourist information with booking confirmation letters so that you can make arrangments to stay on if you wish. Look at for more information.

For those who need to make travel arrangements Conference will start with registration from 9.30 for an 11am start on 8th and close at approximately 15.30 on 9th

Prices held for third consecutive year!  Yes, there will be no increase in Conference fees in 2010. Prices are pegged at last year’s £325 for members and £375 for non-members (University) and £395 for members and £445 for non-members (Hotel) Prices for B&B in the Hotel or the University on the preceding night (7th) on request.  All early arrivals are invited to join us for a meal on the evening of the 7th, cost £20.  Please advise at time of booking.

As this is our first visit to Glasgow we are offering a special concession to Scottish non-members valid for the next few weeks only.  Any non-member organisation making a booking at the non-member price, University or Hotel accommodation, will receive one year’s complimentary membership of NAG (worth £120) Our concession to Scottish members is a reduction in the day delegate rate of £150 to £125 – this means you can come for either of the full day of papers and workshops for less than the price of our seminars. If you want to come to both days we’ll make a further reduction and we’ll charge you £200 for the two days. (all prices ex VAT)