Adding books to your RefWorks account from the UoL Library Catalogue


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in E-resources, Library, Uncategorized | Posted on May 3, 2012

RefWorks has a handy feature where you could import the book record to your RefWorks account without manually putting it in which can be time consuming. My colleague wrote a blog post and recorded a short video about how to do it a while ago however, since then the interface has changed and we have been getting enquiries asking if there is a less time consuming way to import book records from our library catalogue. Steps and screenshots below explain how to do this.

1. Log on to RefWorks via Portal and go to the Search menu and select Online Catalog or Database.

2. A new window will appear. Click on the drop down list of catalogues marked Search: and pick the University of Lincoln Library Catalogue from towards the top of the list.



3. Enter your search term(s) in the Quick Search box and hit Search.


This can take quite a while, even for only a few references, so it’s a good idea to be as specific as possible in your search.

4. Select the book(s) that you are interested in by ticking the Ref ID box next to each record and choose the folder from the Import to folder drop down box at the top then hit the Import button at the bottom right-hand corner.

5. RefWorks will ask “Are you sure…?” – select OK.

6. RefWorks will tell you when the import is completed and how many references it has imported. You can see the references when you click on View Last Imported Folder. If you choose a specific folder for importing your references on step 4, the references will be in that particular folder as well as in the Last Imported folder.

The EDGE Conference


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in Library, Uncategorized | Posted on May 3, 2012

I was delighted to find out that I won a place at the EDGE conference at the beginning of March.

The programme was very interesting with speakers from diverse backgrounds including experts from technology and partner organisations as well as politicians. It was refreshing that there were speakers from non-library backgrounds who allowed me to look at our sector from a different angle.

I was very pleased to hear that despite severe budget cuts across the UK, public libraries in Edinburgh are going from strength to strength. Mark Turley– Director of Services for Communities, City of Edinburgh Council stated that libraries play huge part in economic growth and change the dynamic of the neighbourhood that they are in. This statement fitted in perfectly with the talk given by Amy Eshleman– Assistant Commissioner from Chicago Public Library. She explained that they use social capital as a way of developing communities. Amy mentioned a couple of projects that they have been developed at Chicago, one of which is YOUmedia that involves middle and high school students. It supports the idea that learning can happen anywhere. With this in mind, they went out of the library to art and music festivals and even to beach volley tournaments. In these events, one of the interesting ways to get young people interested in libraries was to allow them to ride a bike which powered a computer and gave them library cards in return.

YOUmedia promotes 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, skill building and civil engagement. The activities were purposeful and in curriculum so that young people would do what appeal to them, such as designing games or blogging. This allowed them not only to be the consumer of the information but also to create it at the same time. Some other activities that were part of YOUmedia were to design and recreate a book jacket and to write music or a poem about a particular book. The project became such a success that young people were asked to design Lady Gaga’s Tour Bus for her foundation Born This Way.

Amy mentioned that they developed an online toolkit to measure the impact of the library services which is not just about circulation statistics. The toolkit will be available online soon.

One of the talks that I found very interesting was by Riccardo Marini-Urbanist which was about design, creativity, planning, and places. Riccardo concentrated on libraries as place making anchors. He strongly believes that we need to have places that we like to successfully engage the interest of people. How we present our service determines how people think about it therefore it is very important that we need to present it in a creative way which will enhance the experience of our service users. Riccardo mentioned Taylorism and Efficiency Movement which moved the focus away from happiness on to efficiency. This movement influenced our focus on financial equations in terms of efficiency rather than the creativity.

Judith St John talked about Idea Store, Tower Hamlets which was developed following public’s opinion about wanting to have more books and IT services. The Council wanted to move away from the negative opinion of their services as well as reaching people that were not usually library users. As a result of this, they went through a re-branding process where Idea Store was born. Their aim was to create an environment where people would “hang around with purpose”. Idea Store adopted a retail model which created a lot of resistance initially from the staff, who thought the traditional library concept of learning and reading would be destroyed. However the number of visitors going in to the library quadrupled and the level of criminality disappeared within 2 months of Idea Store opening.

The highlight of the conference was a demonstration of augmented reality by Lester Madden from Augmented Planet. This was my first experience of seeing a live demo of augmented reality- combining computer generated graphics with real world. I was, and I still am, fascinated by it. Lester mentioned that there are a number of services freely available that can help non-programmers develop applications. One of these is Junaio. I certainly want to investigate augmented reality further.

From the hospitality of the organising committee to the interesting and diverse talks, as well as networking opportunities, the conference has been a great experience. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such an event.

Communication Skills for Effective Advocacy


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in Library, Uncategorized | Posted on September 7, 2011

I was at the Repositories Support Project workshop called Communications Skills for Effective Advocacy on 15 June in Manchester at the venue called The Studio.

I absolutely loved the venue! This contemporary venue with innovative design was a great place to host an event which, in my opinion, helped each of us to enjoy the event even more.

I have enjoyed all of the events organised by RSP however, this one was exceptional. One of the reasons was due to the fact that Deborah Dalley was  the facilitator. She was certainly one of the best trainers I have ever come across.

The workshop consisted of various sessions ranging from Effective Influencing, Sources of Power, Understanding and Managing Resistance and Identifying & Handling Objections.

This was one of the rare occasions where I found it hard to choose which session I liked as each of them were very good and mind stimulating. I felt that I was able to contribute as much as everyone else which is not always the case in some of the events I have been to.

I picked up number of useful tips for example, identifying what power one has in order to develop an effective influencing strategy accordingly.

Another useful tip was about using different communication channels. The University is planning to have two staff rooms for academics where they would have an opportunity to meet another members of the staff from different departments during their breaks. I thought it would be a good idea if we could put few leaflets on the tables to promote the Institutional Repository. It’s a relatively cheap way of raising the awareness across the University which hopefully will encourage academics to deposit their work more.

User-Centred Design and Balsamiq


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in E-resources, Library, seminar, software, Uncategorized, workshop | Posted on June 10, 2011

A few weeks ago, I went to an event in Edinburgh where user-centred design, usability in digital libraries and faceted search user interface had been introduced.

Case studies and research evidence arising from the JISC funded UX2 project had also been presented.

Usability has become an increasingly important issue in terms of reaching the users as well as keeping them on your website. I remember a basic “3-click rule” from my postgraduate studies which basically means if the users can’t find what they are looking for within 3 clicks,they would leave that website.

Most websites have some little usability problems and it is impossible to have a perfect website without flaws however, it is essential not to have major usability issues.  The best practice is to make an effort, even a small one, to provide “usable” and “useful” websites to enhanced the user experience.

Usability goes hand in hand with “usefulness” and one of the ways to improve usability is user testing which needs to be done at the early stages. Additionally, it is better to perform testing as often as possible. There maybe some concerns around testing such as cost and time however, it can be done in an inexpensive way. Guerrilla (informal) testing is ideal when you don’t have enough resources and time especially when it is difficult to recruit representative users.

It was a very useful event, afternoon session in particular where we get to experiment prototyping tool called Balsamiq. I have to admit that it is user friendly and intuitive piece of software. At present, University of Edinburgh is running a pilot in collaboration with JISC and it’s available to UK Higher and Further Education institutions however it is for a limited time only and you need to sign up with University of Edinburgh’s EASE system in order to be able to use it.

The image below is the screenshot of a prototype website I created.  It is really easy and enjoyable to use it to the extend that I didn’t need to look at my notes or the manual I was given in the session.

It’s a really good opportunity to try it out before making a purchase. By the way, the pricing for license for this versatile tool starts from $79.

Balsamiq MockUp

Overall, I enjoyed this event but I wish we had more time spent on the Prototyping session which was in the afternoon. In my opinion, it would have been better if we had the presentations in the afternoon or having a prototyping session in between the presentations however, that is not say I am not grateful to the organisers of this such useful event.

First Thought Cloud


Posted by Elif Varol | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 21, 2011

Welcome to the my long overdue blog. I have never been keen on writing even in my own native language so the idea of having a blog had not been appealing for a while however, I was aware that I had to change this attitude towards writing.  I have lots of thoughts flying around in my head all the time, just like the ones in a thought cloud. These thoughts are rather disorganised and they sometimes come and go quickly before I put them in to good use.  I am hoping this blog will help me to achieve that as well as reaching out others particularly Information Management professionals.

A brief description for those who do not know me…

I am originally Turkish and have been living in this country for almost 13 years and before you ask, I like being here very much. I have been working in the University Library for over 7 years where I currently hold 2 posts- Library Assistant and E-resources Assistant. I have various qualifications, none of which are in the Library or Information Management field as I had planned to become something else when I grew up other than a Librarian. I came in to the profession by chance and at first, it was a temporary career step however over the years, I have grown into loving anything related to information and information management and become so passionate about it and now I really do not want to work in another field.

In this blog, I will be writing about conferences and events I have been to as well as sharing thoughts, ideas and problems I (we) face in the field of Library and Information Management.