June 06, 2018

Embedding UX and Ethnography at York

By Ned Potter, Academic Liaison Librarian

Michelle Blake and I presented at the amazing UXLibs IV Conference today, about our approach to trying to move into a more mature phase of UX - something truly embedded in the culture, rather than a bolt-on, a silo, or a fad.

I've adapted the slides below slightly to include more text on screen - hopefully this gives you some idea of how we've gone about things. Any questions, we're very happy to talk about it more...



March 15, 2018

RLUK presentation: Understanding Academics

Today I'm presenting at RLUK about our 18 month UX project, Understanding Academics. We're really proud of this project and what we've achieved with it. This speed presentation aims to provide an overview of the project and what it achieved.




We've already written about our UX activities a lot including this project. If you're interested you could look at some of our previous posts including our first post on the project, Understanding Academics UX project, and one detailing how we actually dealt with all the data the project created, Processing and ACTING ON 100+ hours of ethnography: a 5 stage approach.

There are also lots of other posts about our UX activities and we are in the process of writing an article which, when published, will be linked to from here.

And as always if you want to know more please get in touch with us.

Our article has now been published and you can view it for free via the White Rose Repository.

January 30, 2018

Running library induction like a marketing campaign

By Ned Potter, Academic Liaison Librarian 


Running Academic Library induction as a marketing campaign from Ned Potter

We won an award! York just received a Bronze Marketing Award from CILIP's Publicity and Public Relations Group at the annual PPRG Conference, held in Birmingham in January.

It was in relation to the work we'd done on our Induction project - in 2016 (and then this year as well) we got rid of the big orientation games, and ran it like a marketing campaign. It worked really well and we got a great response - some elements weren't successful and we improved on them this year.

The slides from my talk are above, or alternatively you can view a video below. This is the audio from my talk, with a version of the slides designed for the video instead of for face-to-face presenting - there's videos-with-the-video, and other things to make it a bit more interesting to watch...




It was a great conference. The other award winners had all done really good campaign marketing too, and this supports an idea I bang on about all the time, which is that it's campaign marketing that really works. The same message, tailored across multiple platforms, for a concerted period of time: that's what is required for marketing to be effective.

Thanks to the (soon to be renamed!) PPRG group for the award and the excellent event. 

January 25, 2018

Digital Literacy Programme

By Michelle Blake, Head of Relationship Management

At York we have recently set up a Digital Literacy Programme to improve the digital capabilities and confidence of all our staff and students. Over the last few years we’ve concentrated on student digital literacy, working in partnership with other professional support services and academics on enhancing programmes through the York Pedagogy project. This project involved us commenting on every undergraduate and postgraduate programme and we’ll write something on it soon. It also saw the development of our Skills Guides and Digital Wednesdays initiative.


Over the last year we have begun to focus on staff and our first stage, information gathering, has now completed. It sought to:
  • Identify the issues and challenges when developing staff digital capabilities across the University;
  • Identify priorities for digital skills development for Library staff and any gaps in confidence; 
  • Learn lessons about staff digital literacy that can be applied to the wider University staff. 

We have been able to condense the detailed findings into these key issues to be addressed:
  • Gaps in foundational level understanding and skills that lead to longer term problems with confidence, attitude and skill 
  • Lack of understanding of collaborative and organisational tools
  • Staff expectations (their own and their managers)
  • Support for new staff 
  • How to support and change practice amongst existing staff 
  • Lack of awareness of what support is available and how to access it
  • Commitment to ongoing staff development
  • Sharing of good practice, inspiring staff and maximising impact
  • Attitudinal barriers and varying levels of confidence
  • Sustainability and scalability

The main outcome of our first project is the establishment of three new projects under the Digital Literacy Programme:


Library & Archives: building digital skills

Timescale: November 2017 -  Summer 2019 (anticipated)
This project will take forward many of the findings of this initial scoping project. It will include the analysis of the pilot group data and alignment of individual team recommendations to develop, implement and evaluate a programme of digital skills support for Library & Archives staff. Project components to be taken forward:
  • Three level training and development programme:
  • IT Essentials: How IT works
  • Working practices: How we work
  • Aspirational: How do I make it work better
  • Creation of role descriptors
  • Exploration of scalability and sustainability
  • Support for existing staff
  • Support for new staff
(It is anticipated that this project will be used for the basis for staff across the University)


Digital leaders

Timescale: October 2017 - December 2019
This project partners with the University’s Leadership and Development Team to embed digital skills within the Leadership in Action programme by the:
  • Creation of a new session on digital leadership
  • Creation and embedding of a self-diagnostic resource for participants 
  • Links to sources of further support for developing personal digital skills
  • Embedding digital tools and tasks throughout the course to model some best practice use of collaborative tools in particular

The first cohort commences in January 2018 and the second cohort finishes in September 2018. We expect to trial out approaches during 2018 and refine these for 2019 and beyond.


Training pathways

Timescale: January 2018 - December 2020 (anticipated)
The Digital Literacy Training Pathways project seeks to understand the digital literacy linked to core working practices from across a range of staff stakeholder groups, to ensure that we are providing adequate support and training to new and existing staff. The project proposes the development of generic and bespoke support and training materials tailored to the requirements of staff undertaking a range of roles at the University at different stages in their career.


Some of the expected outputs of the training pathways project include:
  • Surfacing of existing content under the banner of staff digital literacy and identified practices;
  • Identification of digital literacy training requirements of academic staff, professional staff and administrative staff based on work undertaken with pilot groups;
  • Development of new training and support materials based on stakeholder requirements and core digital competencies, including:
  • Online support materials
  • Face to face workshops/activities to be embedded in existing programmes
  • Awareness raising and marketing of digital tools/practices;
  • Creation of a collection of case studies from pilot groups to encourage digital literacy development more widely across the University;
  • Development of online platform and access routes to training materials. 



We expect this to be the first post to introduce the programme of work that we’re undertaking and hope to provide regular updates about the projects here.