Top Trumps Triumphs on Copyright Training Day

Kate Parr’s report on the Copyright Officer Training Day delivered by Naomi Korn Associates on 17th September proves learning about Intellectual Property can be fun!

“As part of my chartership PKSB I identified copyright as an area that I needed to improve in, both from a CPD angle but also as a professional. My role as Local Studies Librarian with the South West Heritage Trust involves regular discussions of ownership of archival documents but fewer around intellectual property and classic copyright. I was fortunate to secure funding from the CILIP South West Professional Development Grant towards training, and the Copyright Officer day being piloted by Naomi Korn & Associates seemed like exactly what I needed.

The training was held at the Imperial War Museum in London, which was a wonderful opportunity. We were welcomed with the traditional refreshments and introductions, and while I had a sense that my knowledge might not be as good as necessary, I was soon put at my ease.

The day was separated into sections, first playing Naomi’s own version of Top Trumps, where each team had to come up with five obscure copyright facts that would trump other teams. A fact would be trumped if another team came up with the same fact…it was harder than it sounds! Our team went with the fact that no posted disclaimer on social media can circumvent that platform being tacitly licenced to use an image you post, and that copyright can pass through multiple generations, sometimes over hundreds of years. Surprisingly only one fact got trumped!

We moved on to some reflection about what our role as an Intellectual Property officer might involve, which ended up running into a very long list, highlighting Naomi’s point that copyright work isn’t a silo: it can affect almost everything we do and everyone we work with.

After lunch we took a canter through the implications of the new EU directive on copyright and what that might mean in the event of Brexit. The biggest implication seems to be losing the Orphan Works Exception, and with it an element of copyright law that many cultural heritage institutions rely heavily on in order to actually use their collections. There was an almost audible group gulp at this point.

The rest of the afternoon was spent looking at different types of licences and contracts and working through some tricky scenarios around use of film, music and images. For example, if someone wants to charge you £5k for a clip of music for your installation, what do you do? Answer: you haggle them down!

Despite copyright being, for me at least, a pretty daunting topic, the whole day was fascinating and at no point did I feel left behind or that I was asking a daft question. The opportunity to work with like-minded and skilled colleagues from across the country, and to be instructed by someone as engaging, knowledgeable and passionate on her subject as Naomi, was a real pleasure, and I feel I have the confidence to go back to my colleagues and inform and signpost them from a much stronger position.”


A Day in the Life of…Hélène Russell, TheKnowledgeBusiness

Hélène Russell is a self-employed knowledge management and learning consultant working primarily with law firms, based in Bristol and a member of the South West CILIP committee with responsibility for co-ordinating events. Hélène describes a typical day…

How did I end up in this job?

It was a happy accident!

Many years ago, I worked as a lawyer in Bristol in clinical negligence litigation. When a patient suffered a medical mishap of some sort and sued a medical practitioner who worked for the NHS, I would be asked by the NHS to advise whether they should defend or settle the claim and represent them in the legal proceedings. After my son was born, I wanted to work part time. My team’s Professional Support Lawyer (PSL) left the firm while I was on maternity leave and my boss asked if I fancied taking over. PSLs are specialists in particular fields and usually work embedded in a department running training, knowledge precedents/practice notes/databases and any knowledge-based marketing the firm does, such as newsletters, client training and social media. I remained a PSL for 3 years before leaving that law firm to start my own business.

I’ve been working for myself now for 10+ years and I now

  • run open training events and in-house awaydays,
  • run knowledge sharing and learning community groups,
  • write textbooks,
  • film webinars and create online courses,
  • mentor Knowledge Managers and
  • give advice.

I’m particularly interested in how knowledge, learning and innovation intersect within businesses and how to improve profitability through strategic Knowledge Management.

What do I do, day-to-day?

My days are pretty varied, but this will give a flavour of what I do. This is based on what I did on Monday 15th July.

I’m running two training sessions this week: one on Wednesday in Birmingham on design thinking for knowledge managers and one on Thursday in London about the foundations of knowledge management in legal services. I research latest thinking and update my slides. I also do a bit of admin, checking that everyone who is coming to the events knows where to go and has told me about any food allergies. I check the venues know who is expected, what teaching aids I’ll need and that they have sorted out the catering for me.

I proofread my typeset chapter for Ark’s multi-author book on Innovation and KM. I’ve written a chapter all about what Innovation is and how businesses can improve innovation levels and creativity inside their business by creating diverse groups to make use of “creative abrasion”. I suggest a couple of grammatical changes to improve readability, but I’m fairly happy with it. (Since I wrote this article, the book has been published and you can see the details for it here )

I run a book club for knowledge and learning professionals and send out packages of books to members once a quarter. They are due a book before the end of July so I do some research and have a think about what book would be of interest to everyone. So far this year we’ve read “Critical Knowledge Transfer” by Dr Dorothy Leonard and “Smart Collaboration” by Dr Heidi Gardner. I decide that this time it’d be interesting to read a practical handbook as a contrast and I decide to buy “The Knowledge Manager’s Handbook” by Nick Milton. I research which seller has the best prices, then buy a big box of them!

I tend to have quite quiet summers, as most clients and their employees are on holiday, but I’ve a couple of clients who have engaged me to work with them but haven’t decided when we should start work together yet. I don’t anticipate that either will want me to start in the next two weeks, but I get in touch with both of them and make sure they know that I’ll be away and that it won’t be a problem.

I write a monthly newsletter which goes out on the first Friday of each month in which I discuss current issues in law firm KM. As we’re now over halfway through the year, I decide it’d be interesting to look at which KM articles on my blog have been most popular so far and write the newsletter on that theme. I schedule it to send while I’m away on the first Friday of the month. I also schedule a few posts and tweets, so my social media accounts don’t go entirely quiet.

I finish work at 4.30 so I can take my son to his cycling coaching session but I take my laptop with me and carry on working on my talks while I’m waiting for him to finish. Eventually I’m happy with my slides and I send them off to the venues to be loaded onto their systems, so they’ll be waiting for me when I arrive to do my talks.

And that’s it. It was a fairly typical day of writing and editing, researching and preparing talks, and some client care and business admin. I imagine those who work in KM inside a business have a quite different time.

If you want to follow what I write about KM and hear about my events, you can follow my blog here ( or sign up for the newsletter here (

And if you ever want a coffee and a chat, just get in touch (


CILIP South West AGM and Members Day: Facing and Embracing Change in the Workplace

Sue Lee, Acting Secretary of CILIP SWMN Committee, describes the AGM and Members Day which was held in April:

Thirty library and information professionals from across the region attended the day held at The Glass Box, Taunton Library. The Chair, Catherine Chorley, welcomed everyone to the day and welcomed the 8 new committee members voted onto the committee. She gave the Chair’s Report highlighting the CILIP SW activities over the year including running 10 social and training events. She also gave the Treasurer’s Report which summarised that the accounts are in a good position and show a healthy balance at year end. Catherine then awarded the Harry Galloway prize to Rob Giles for outstanding achievement on the MSc in Information Management at the University of the West of England. You can read more about Rob here:

The Keynote Speaker was CILIP President David Stewart, who gave a very interesting presentation on ‘Presidential themes: research, impact and telling the story – how they underpin change’. He talked about the Knowledge for Healthcare development framework ( and how it is being used to evidence library impact. David compared healthcare information services’ use of this framework to demonstrate impact using a strong research basis with CILIP’s need to underpin its future development with research.

Information professionals are very good at helping customers with research but do not do enough of their own research into their impact. There are three parts to the story: statistics, feedback and impact to show the difference your service makes in supporting the organisation’s objectives. He continued this theme by talking about the next steps for the CILIP Research & Evidence Base in its fundamental role in CILIP’s future. David emphasised that CILIP is committed to securing the future of the information profession by ‘future-proofing’ skills. He finished by saying, “CILIP is not about a building or committee, it is about all of us and all of us making our voices heard.”

The second speaker was Kate Turner, Service Manager at LibrariesWest & Bibliographic Services, with her informative presentation on ‘Public Library Consortium Working: Delivering innovation through collaboration’.

Kate gave a brief history of LibrariesWest’s journey from being an early adopter of consortium working, with four authorities and 65 libraries, to its current seven authorities and 148 libraries. She then explained how LibrariesWest works, the team structure chart, and the benefits and challenges of consortium working, before providing a case study and describing what is next for LibrariesWest. The benefits included: saving money, improving the customer offer and sharing back office services, resources and staff expertise. The challenges included: geography, reaching agreement, conflicting priorities and communication. Kate informed us that LibrariesWest is all about change, collaboration and innovation. There is a spirit of compromise and the bottom line is financial.

Review of Development Opportunity – CILIP Conference 2019

Sharon Wright successfully applied for funding from the CILIP South West Professional Development Grant Scheme which allowed her to attend the CILIP Conference in Manchester this year. Here is her report:

“Earlier this year I began work in a public health library, alongside my existing roles as a library assistant in a public library and a final year student studying for a BSc in Information and library studies. I felt that this was an ideal point to focus on my career development and was lucky enough to be awarded a student bursary by the CILIP Community, Diversity and Equality Group to attend the CILIP annual conference in Manchester. The bursary, however, did not include my travel costs. I, therefore, applied for a grant from the CILIP SW Professional Development Grant Scheme to cover these and was very grateful to receive this as, without this help, I would have been unable to attend.

The conference brings together people from across all library and information sectors for two days of collaboration, debate, inspiration and networking. It covers a broad range of topics with a variety of different workshops and lectures which you can attend depending on your own interests and included four keynote speakers. I have outlined below information about some of the sessions which I attended and really enjoyed.

Kriti Sharma

Kriti was the first speaker, opening the conference with her keynote speech exploring how the lack of diversity in technology and the creation of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to human bias influencing this technology. She spoke about the need for data ethics and ethical algorithms, sharing her vision of how AI might be used to create better, fairer societies if applied to solving the right problems.  Her speech was both engaging and thought provoking – an ideal start to the conference!!

Hong-Anh Nguyen

The second day began with another inspiring key-note speech, questioning diversity in the library and information sector. The theme of diversity and inclusion was a common thread running through many of the conference sessions and Hong-Anh spoke about the need to move beyond good intentions and strategies, towards individual and collective action to enable change, asking ‘what power do you have to change things?’. I learnt about the idea of ‘reverse mentoring’ – when a leader or manager is paired with a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) colleague enabling them to see things from a different perspective and blinded recruitment panels, where details are removed from applications to remove unconscious bias.  Both are ideas which I would like to consider further to ensure the library and information profession accurately reflects the needs of the communities that we serve.

Leaders Network career tips Panel.

This was a session which I chose to attend, with members of the CILIP leaders network sharing their experiences regarding one aspect of leadership. The panel came from a wide range of backgrounds with different job roles and I found the session inspiring. Some common tips included say yes and take opportunities when they occur, adapt to change and build your resilience, do things you are passionate about and retain a work life balance.

I would say to anyone considering applying for future bursaries or getting involved in future development opportunities to go for it! Everyone that I met was so friendly, willing to share their ideas and experiences and passionate about library services. I learnt so much, met so many new people and am extremely grateful to CILIP SW and their Professional Development Grant Scheme for enabling me to take advantage of this opportunity.”


A Training Day with Nicola Morgan

By Gareth Evans, School Librarian based in Chippenham.

On Friday 29 March the CILIP Youth Libraries Group South West of England hosted a one-day training event run by internationally acclaimed author Nicola Morgan, author of around 100 books. In 2005 Nicola wrote her award-winning book, Blame My Brain, which explains to teenagers, teachers and parents what goes on inside a teenager’s head during adolescence. Since then Nicola has written several wellbeing books for teenagers, covering a range of topics like stress, friendships, bullying, social media and life online. The theme for the day was young people, mental health and reading. The event was attended by 80 professionals from school, university, health and public libraries.

The day was divided into three sessions. In the first session, Nicola discussed the development of a teenager’s brain, how this explains the behaviour and emotional problems teenagers have during adolescence. Nicola then went on to explain how we as adults get stressed and how this can relate to teenagers as well. Finally, she discussed the side effects of over-using screens & social media, and the impact on our concentration, self-esteem, mental health and lifestyle.

In the second session, Nicola went on to explaining her 6 strategies for supporting teens’ wellbeing. Some of these strategies we can adopt into our daily lives as well. Nicola’s first strategy touched on how to deal with stress management. She discussed the importance of understanding the biology of stress, and shared breathing tactics and empowering daily relaxation by doing activities that help you to relax or take your mind off your worries. The second strategy is building resilience, by being able to accept failure and setbacks, manage stress, to compartmentalise bad things and dare to try again. The third strategy was to support and value introverted people through understanding and discussions – giving introverts the time and place to be alone, but also encouraging them to practice extroverted skills and value their personality. The fourth strategy was about educating ourselves and teenagers about sleeping better. Nicola highlighted that sleep is important for our health, wellbeing and learning. She recommends that we improve our sleep hygiene by creating a routine every day that will wind down our heart rate and switch off any screen devices before going to bed. The fifth strategy is managing our screen time when using our computers, tablets or mobiles. She suggests that we switch off our phones or block social media messages when doing any major task. Removing the temptation of checking our phones means we can focus our energy into the task we are doing. In addition to this, for teenagers who feel bad about themselves, Nicola suggests switching off from using social media. Another great tip for teenagers is to remind them that not everything online is true. We should all balance our time on screen by spending more time on sleep, exercise, reading and doing other activities such as making friends and supporting each other.

The final strategy was covered in the last session of the day, which was to encourage people to read for pleasure (R4P). The Reading Agency has done loads of research looking at benefits of R4P. It has been highlighted that R4P involves people’s self-esteem, increase life expectancy, increases empathy, stress, academic results and much more. To encourage teenagers to enjoy R4P, let them choose their own books to read and not judge them for what they are reading. Create a positive reading culture in school, for example whole class reading (including adults), have book boxes in each class and share and discuss books as a class or in groups.

The three main things I have learned from the training day with Nicola:

  • I now have a better understanding of how the teenager’s mind works and the issues teenagers face with their well-being in their daily lives. I would highly recommend that all teenagers, parents, teacher, school support staff and health workers read Nicola’s book “Blame My Brain”.
  • How to introduce and develop a R4P culture in school and speak to your school senior team about the benefits of R4P.
  • How to promote and build a collection of reading materials around wellbeing for teenagers to have access to.

Finally, here are some websites and books with useful information about teenagers’ wellbeing and Reading for Pleasure:



  • Creating Readers: A Reflective Guide for School Librarians and Teachers by Prue Goodwin
  • Positively Teenage – A Positively Brilliant Guide To teenage Well-Being by Nicola Morgan
  • The Teenage Guide to Life Online by Nicola Morgan
  • The Teenage Guide to Stress by Nicola Morgan
  • Blame By Brain by Nicola Morgan
  • Read To Succeed – Strategies to Engage Children and Young People In Reading For Pleasure Edited By Joy Court
  • Reading by Right – Successful Strategies To Ensure Every Child Can Read To Succeed
  • Getting The Buggers To Read: 2nd Edition by Claire Senior




Robert Giles – winner of the Harry Galloway Award

CILIP SW are delighted to present this year’s Harry Galloway Prize to Robert Giles. Here are Robert’s reflections on his work and studies and on receiving the award:

“I began working at North Somerset Council as a library helper in 2013. The job changed a lot over the three and a half years I worked there. I started off working at the distribution centre, moving books from one crate to another and doing shelving at Clevedon library. By the time I left I was mostly a handyman and van driver. It was at that time I realised I had to either stick with libraries or I had to change career, so I applied for the MSc Information Management at UWE. I’ve been in a variety of different roles in North Somerset libraries since then, which has included visiting nurseries as Bookstart Bear, definitely a career highlight.

My dissertation has the pithy title of “An Investigation into the Digital Literacy and Inclusion Skills of Library Staff working at Libraries within LibrariesWest”.

The inspiration for this project came from my own experience as a brand-new library assistant. I found I was providing more help with ICT queries than any other aspect of the job. I was surprised at the variety of requests for help from library users and the apparent lack of support in terms of training.

The research took the form of a cross-sectional survey and employed a mixed methods approach. A questionnaire was sent to the seven library authorities who form LibrariesWest and semi-structured interviews were conducted at one Somerset library to collect information on the current digital literacy and digital inclusion skills of library staff.

The research discovered that most library staff already have the abilities and attitude to carry out digital inclusion. However, there are some gaps in staff knowledge and some members of staff who require additional support. One area that requires attention is the provision of e-books and e-audio books.

I’m now a Business Intelligence Analyst for North Somerset where I use the skills I learned during my MSc in a new context. However, I’m a librarian at heart and I’d like to think that one day I’ll be back in libraries in some form.

The MSc is challenging and rewarding. My experience of library and information work was narrow at the beginning of the course and it was an eye-opening experience to see not just how big the profession is but also the value that it brings to the services it supports.

I had applied for the course hoping to get through with a pass. I was completely stunned to hear that I won the Harry Galloway Prize. I’m incredible proud to be this year’s prize winner.”

Here is Robert with Catherine Chorley, Chair of the CILIP SW Members Network, who presented him with the award:

Cataloguing for Beginners: RDA and (a little bit of) MARC

Carol Price, Information Librarian at MIDIRS, reviews the training she attended on Friday, 5th April, led by Anne Welsh (UCL) and Kate Whaite (House of Lords):

“My work-related reason for attending this course was because at MIDIRS ( one of our main activities is compiling a subscription reference database. Making sure our digital records are findable is key for our customers. We also have a small collection of pamphlets filed by accession number and I was wondering whether subject classification might be feasible and, if so, how to go about it.

Cataloguers are cool

My non-work reason was my conviction that cataloguing, and cataloguers, are cool: ever since I picked up a set of fridge magnets ‘Metadata, the most dangerous weapon of the 21st century’ from a Cataloguing and Indexing Group stand, I’ve been intrigued.

I’m pleased to report that this training event only increased my general fandom. Course leaders Anne Welsh and Kate Whaite are star performers – excellent teachers, clearly filled with enthusiasm for their subject, super-qualified and, best of all, funny.

Practical cataloguing vs the aboutness of cataloguing

Before the course I was painfully conscious of MIDIRS’ lack of a respectable LMS – we use an embarrassingly old version of Lotus Notes – but my concerns were allayed. The focus of the course was core principles and key fields, irrespective of system, and that’s exactly what was covered. The ‘aboutness’ of cataloguing took second place to its practical application.

“You need to be comfortable with degrees of wrongness

The training focused on RDA within the MARC format but it was stressed that “There’s no such thing as the same as everyone else”. Local variations to cataloguing practice are standard – even if you are using the same system. And everyone has to make allowances for their own system depending, for instance, on what characters it recognises. Knowing your own system is key – so one of the first things I’ll be establishing back in the office is exactly what quirks lurk within our ancient Lotus Notes.

“Never panic about cataloguing – you can always go back again

I’ll be paying closer attention to past records too. Cataloguing is about interpretation not just blindly following a fixed set of rules:  it’s hard to be 100% right about any cataloguing decision – but if you make consistent cataloguing decisions it’s hard to be wrong. It’s important, not a sign of weakness, to check how similar items have been catalogued previously. And you can always return to a record with fresh insights.

Discovering ‘thinginess

Cataloguing is descriptive (what’s in front of you or “the thinginess of the thing”) and also enables access (how to find the thing). Think about what fields are important for your users: basically, if you get the author and title right your item will be discoverable.  In my work, access is all important for the reference database but ‘thinginess’ is also relevant for some of our historic pamphlets.

Go up a level

The down-to-earth definition of subject cataloguing offered was “the best you can do to describe something so as to decide where to put it on a shelf”.  Classification, assigning a number from an accepted system such as the Dewey Decimal, means picking the category that best represents what the item is about. There are lots of ways of doing this, and lots of information you can use to make a decision, including the cover and the publisher’s blurb. Doing the examples in class was fascinating!

An important point for anyone considering this course is that understanding the principles of classification is potentially useful for everyone. As a cataloguer, if something doesn’t fit neatly into one category you sometimes need to ‘go up a level’.  Similarly, someone on the front desk can use this principle to help a customer find something in the library catalogue.

Go if you get the chance!

As you can probably tell, I loved this course. As well as the useful workbook that accompanied it I’ve got lots of website links for expanding my future knowledge – and loads of ideas for reviewing our record fields and establishing a classification system. If you get the chance to go on this training make sure you take it!”