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June 26, 2015 / playforth

Moving on and looking back

Card catalogueAfter six and a half years at my current workplace, I’m making a change and moving into health librarianship/knowledge management for the local NHS hospitals trust. Although this was my choice and I’m excited about the new challenge, the move was also driven by major changes to library services at the institute. The current plan is to pretty much remove dedicated library provision for students and staff (though students will still have access to the main university library), while pursuing external funding for selected international/online projects and digitisation. The fate of most of the unique collection is still unknown.

This makes me angry and sad* but I hope that the achievements of the library team will be recognised and built on, whatever the future brings. On a personal level (and please forgive the vanity) I’m using this post to remember some of my own achievements and highlights of the past few years: the projects I’ve worked on, and the presentations and papers that have come out of them:

  • The Robert Chambers Archive – the first digital repository project I oversaw from start to finish. It contains over 400 items, which have been downloaded over 150,000 times to date.
  • The BLDS Digital Library – a collaboration with 20+ research institutes in Africa and Asia, who have contributed over 4000 publications for digitisation and online access under a Creative Commons license. I’ve delivered 3 conference papers and written 1 journal article about this project:

Unhiding African collections at the British Library for Development Studies – for SCOLMA 2013

Grey literature, green open access: the BLDS Digital Library – for Open Repositories 2014

The BLDS Digital Library: open access to African research – for ASAUK 2014

Unhiding African collections at the British Library for Development Studies – for African Research and Documentation no.121 (2013)


I think it’s been an amazing few years, for BLDS, for repositories and open access generally, and for me. I don’t know if I’ll carry on blogging or not once I start my new job, but I’ve enjoyed being the toast in the machine and I’m sure I’ll continue making crumbs somewhere, whatever happens 🙂


* this is the short and diplomatic version of how I actually feel after 2 years of reviews, consultancies, cuts and conflict, but that’s maybe for a different blog post…



One Comment

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  1. Tom Roper / Jul 2 2015 7:05 am

    I rather hope you will carry on blogging in the NHS. While there are a number of excellent blogs, there’s no one writing from a LKS KM perspective, as far as I know

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