Getting strategic insight from the HE library community: an update on the new Library Services Advisory Group

Our new strategic advisory group held its second meeting last month and is now fully up and running and in position to provide advice and guidance to Jisc on key developments that we are working on and engaging with on behalf of libraries.

Our chair is Mark Toole, Head of Libraries and Learning Resources at Nottingham Trent University and formerly the chair of the Knowledge Base+ Advisory Board. This was one of the groups from which this new group has emerged, the other being the Bibliographic Data Oversight Group (BIBDOG). To ensure that we had the most representative group we sought new members to ensure a variety of different institution types were represented, including Scotland and Wales. The group also includes representatives from our key sector partners and stakeholders: the British Library, RLUK and SCONUL. There are also members from Jisc whose responsibility is to update the group on Jisc activities and coordinate with other parts of Jisc, in particular our Open Access team. There is also coordination with other strategic groups such as the Jisc Collections Content Strategy Group (JCCSG) and the Collection Management Community Advisory Board ensuring we avoid operating in isolation and benefit from an open and shared, strategic approach. A full list of the group’s members is available on our Members page.

Among the key areas now recurring on the agenda are the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) project and the Transformation of Library Support Services (TLSS) programme, including the redevelopment of the Jisc Collections website. The latest meeting was an opportunity to present our progress and get a steer on next steps. This is especially important where we will need libraries to actively work with us to achieve project goals, for example, supplying catalogue data to the NBK and working together to ensure that the data is as comprehensive, accurate and consistent as possible. We also presented a draft for comment of Jisc’s priority development goals for 2018 – 2022. This included a number of challenges for libraries and how Jisc could develop its services to assist in resolving those challenges. We have clear aims for this academic year so we sought feedback on new areas for 2018-19 such as use of analytics to improve student learning experiences and a potential role for Jisc to play in training around data literacy. On the data and analytics side, feedback was that libraries have useful data to contribute, for example, reading lists, and that this is an area that we should pursue. In fact, our Learning Analytics project is already exploring this and other library data. For training, partnering with SCONUL was a welcome suggestion and to develop communities of practice rather than Jisc developing and delivering training itself.

The terms of reference for the group are now available and you can also read the minutes from the first meeting in March 2017. The minutes for the December meeting will become available following approval at the next meeting later this year. Presentations from the meeting are available on the TLSS programme and NBK.

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