Sunday, 5 February 2012

UKCoRR Members Meeting

About a week ago, I attended the UKCorr 2012 Members meeting. I've been attending these meetings for the past 3 years now, and tend to get something useful out of them. The first meeting I attended back in 2010w as only a month or so after I started working with institutional repositories, so it was something of a baptism of fire. Since then, I've met a lot more Repository Managers and have learnt a lot more about open access and institutional repositories generally.

This meeting was no less useful than previous ones - although I was shattered by the end of it! It takes 2 1/2 hours to get from Bristol to Portsmouth (where the meeting was being held), so the 5 hours of travelling didn't make the day a short one. There was a lot here of interest to me though.

The day started off with a talk on the future direction of UKCoRR - with one of the questions being about whether UKCoRR should consider charging a membership fee in order to improve the services it can offer its members. It's currently free to join, but you have to work on a repository in some capacity.

I've had time to reflect on this a bit since the meeting, and I think that of the two professional bodies I'm a part of - CILIP and UKCoRR - UKCoRR is the one that is most relevant in my day-to-day job. The mailing list means I get answers to questions that are directly relevant to my work (sometimes before I even know I need an answer), and the meetings mean that I can always talk to other managers with similar ideas, thoughts and problems to me.

Being a member of CILIP means that I can officially call myself a Chartered Librarian, but I have to admit that I primarily use it to keep up-to-date on what is happening in the wider library world, particularly in other sectors. I do have other ways of finding this out - ex-colleagues, other people's library blogs, and Twitter are all good sources. And yet I pay CILIP a-not-unnoticeable amount of money every month.

So, in principle, I should be willing to pay UKCoRR some money every month for the benefit they give me in the workplace. In theory, I'd be willing to do so. In practice, I don't know if I could afford it. I don't want to let my CILIP membership lapse (having only Chartered last year, and putting in plenty of effort to do so), but I don't want to lose my UKCoRR membership either. So I probably would stump up the money if it came to it. But the point was made that this wouldn't be true for everybody - there are plenty of Repository Administrators out there for whom working on the repository is just a job, and why should they pay to be able to do their job? Which in turn might make UKCORR less useful for those members who were left... I don't have any answers, this is just where my thinking led me!

So onto the rest of the meeting... hearing from Repository Managers about the Kultur and Kultivate projects (both designed to improve repositories for art and design researchers), their marketing projects, and uploading etheses to their repository were all really interesting talks with some direct relevance to me. Whilst our repository is "Kulturised", I would love (and am planning) to improve the metadata elements for researchers in art and design. We're currently in the middle of a pilot phase for adding etheses to the repository, and marketing the repository is something that every Repository Manager is always thinking about!

The final talk of the day was on OERs, or open educational resources. This is something I have little experience in, and am unlikely to get involved in in any depth in the near future. I was pretty exhausted by this point and tempted to leave early, but decided to hang around for the talk. And I'm glad I did, because it was one of the most enjoyable ones of the day. I learnt a lot about what OERs are, what they hold and the (mass of) associated issues that go with this sort of repository. So if I ever do get involved with OERs, I'll at least have some knowledge about what I'm getting myself into!

1 comment:

  1. Good post, and I had similar thoughts (except that I'm a lapsed CILIP member because I can't afford it - but I probably would stump up for UKCoRR if it was that or lose access to a great resource!)