On 11 - 12 September Ben Catt from our Serials & E-Resources team attended the CILIP MmIT 2014 Conference in Sheffield. Here’s his round-up of the event.
MmIT (Multimedia Information and Technology) is a special interest group of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) which aims to unite forward-thinking members in exploring the role of new technology in information services. The group hosts an annual conference in which a key topic is explored by speakers and delegates from a range of library and information sectors. This year the two-day event was held at The Edge, University of Sheffield, and the topic was Sound & Vision in Librarianship: Going Beyond Words and Pictures. Here are a few highlights of some of the sessions attended:
- Penny Andrews presented the LibraryBox, a modified wireless router which can be used as a portable, inexpensive and secure digital distribution tool. Penny demonstrated how LibraryBox, funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, can make open access materials easily available to users ‘off the grid’. Delegates were invited to connect their devices and help themselves to a wealth of free e-books, PDFs, music and video content. Practical applications for LibraryBox include promoting open advocacy and providing reading materials in locations without web access such as hospitals and rural areas. Here is a map of currently known LibraryBox locations around the world.
|Photo: LibraryBox by Jason Griffey, reused under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC license.|
- Valerie Stevenson’s session ‘Archiving British Culture’ provided an overview of the Special Collections and Archives at Liverpool John Moores, including Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming Archive, with numerous punk fanzines, posters and demo tapes of Liverpool bands, and 30,000 photographs of everyday Liverpool life in the mid-20th century from the Keith Medley collection. Materials from the LJMU collections have been used in an array of public exhibitions including Punk: Chaos to Couture at the New York Met and the Liverpool Biennial James McNeill Whistler exhibition at the Bluecoat.
Anarchy in the U.K. Sex Pistols, No.1, 1976, published by Glitterbest. Photo: Ray Stevenson. Taken from England’s Dreaming: The Jon Savage Archive at Liverpool John Moores University Special Collections and Archives
- Richard Ranft, Head of Sound and Vision at the British Library Sound Archive discussed the challenges involved in providing access and discoverability to their collection of five million tracks from 150 years of recording history. Ranft described Sound Archive users as “time travellers” navigating their collections ranging from field recordings of street ambience on Stonegate to the lunchtime news broadcasts from earlier that afternoon. 50,000 tracks can be streamed via BL Sounds and external platforms like Soundcloud are used to encourage listeners to tag and annotate content (‘human-led data enrichment’). Other resources for those interested in exploring the Sound Archive include the Sound & Vision blog and an intriguing found-sound playlist by producer Matthew Herbert.
- For the day’s final session Iain Logie Baird (grandson of John Logie Baird) introduced the Science Museum Group’s wonderful sound and vision collection. A selection of 230,000 objects, some dating back to the 1700s, can be explored via Collections Online. Highlights included the 27ft-long exponential horn loudspeaker (recently rebuilt, having been accidentally destroyed in 1949) and a 1924 BBC recording of cellist Beatrice Harrison performing a duet with nightingales in her back garden. There was also mention of York’s own National Railway Museum, part of the Science Museum Group and home to over one million objects from three hundred years of railway history (including their library collections, which can also be searched on YorSearch).
MmIT 2014 provided a valuable opportunity to share new ideas on multimedia and technology in library and information services. It was great to be offered an insight into work being done at other institutions and to chat with library professionals dedicated to making their collections more accessible and open to the public.
|MmIT logo, used with permission.|