In May we ran a Digital Skills Day in Liverpool Central Library (pictured above) to help library services build and develop digital skills in an evolving marketplace. It was the first in a series of regional workshops and training days we will be running to to cascade the learning and sharing of the case studies and educational resources. The event provided a fantastic platform for publishers to build on their support for the public library network through the Digital Skills Sharing project.
We founded the project in April 2012 with the Publishers Association using funding from Arts Council England through the Libraries Development Initiative. In March 2013 when it won an EDGE 2013 Virtual/Digital Award in March 2013. (Emma House, Sandy Mahal, Susan Mooney and Bill Thompson pictured at the awards ceremony).
Simon Appleby, our Interim Digital Strategist, made the journey up to the impressively refurbished library, the perfect setting to inspire the audience of forty-five librarians to look forward to a digital future while reminding them of everything a library can and should be. Despite a few technical issues (surely inevitable in such a new venue!), Simon talked the delegates through social media fundamentals, examining the scale of the social media landscape and the array of social networks that are available. This led into a series of case studies showing how libraries, sometimes in conjunction with publishers and reading groups, have been making effective use of social media. From Orkney Library Service on Twitter to the Birmingham Big City Read, there were some inspiring examples to take in.
The Digital Skills Day showed just how much libraries are up for new ways of working to achieve their mission. There is a lot of enthusiasm among librarians to become content creators, to advance their social networking skills and to use these skills for marketing and communication purpose to support the library service. Most respondents found the day useful with one tweeter saying: " @readwithsandy has just given us a whirlwind (and very good) guide to putting forward a case for social media #digiskills."
Sandy Mahal, who leads on our work with publishers, talked about the need to make a compelling business case in order to seek approval for a social media presence.
Libraries are free to use the template, as created by Alyson Tyler, but if you do use it and you get your social media presence, please let her know by email (email@example.com), twitter (@libalyson) or via her blog.
You can find case studies of digital work, videos from the Masterclass, inspirational talks from leading digital experts from the BBC, Guardian and other leading organisations on the digital skills page.
For more information and to enquire about hosting this training in your authority or region, please contact Sandy.Mahal@readingagency.org.uk.