In-Person Training: Testimonial from SLA Europe Conference Workshop

“At the SLA Europe Conference held at Cambridge University in 2019, Anne’s workshop was chosen from proposals and was featured on an important part of our conference programme. The workshop was entitled – ‘“RDA? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Any RDA”: Back to the Future in Cataloguing in Special Libraries Outside the International Standards’ – which was very well-prepared, insightful and engaging as Anne arranged teams and used interesting shaped and colour dices. Her training technique and style demonstrated the theory, as well as the practical learning aspects of the workshop. I came away understanding information practices and standards better…even though I have experience in the library and information field! The use of the dices made the conference workshop remarkable, very memorable and fun for the group.”

Many thanks to Seema for her kind words, to the SLA Europe Conference Committee for selecting the workshop, and to Newnham College for its excellent hosting.

Bookings for in-person training is brisk – so far we have both paid and pro bono workshops booked in through to April 2022, and we are open to more. You can book a discovery meeting at https://calendly.com/annew-discoverymeeting or contact info@beginningcataloguing.com if you want to start a discussion.

Seema’s testimonial is available on linkedin (scroll down to “Recommendations”).

In-Person Training: Testimonial from CILIP SW

As the UK has a roadmap to ease lockdown, so in-person training can resume, I’m grateful to have received this testimonial from Catherine Chorley for some RDA training for CILIP SW in 2019.

“Anne led a training workshop on cataloguing using RDA standards for members of the CILIP South West Member Network in April 2019. As Chair of the Member Network’s Committee, I specifically sought Anne’s service …

The interest in this event was vast, and there were many email enquiries both preceding and following the event about the possibility of a repeat event, or for Anne to provide her training other regional member networks. This was largely due to Anne’s accessible and approachable teaching style, together with the comprehensive programme she put together to give attendees an introduction to cataloguing and the use of MARC/RDA.

What was evident was the great deal of care and forethought that had gone into the preparation for the event, with different cataloguing examples and exercises having been chosen to address a diversity of cataloguing quandaries and challenges.

From feedback gathered after the event, it was evident that attendees appreciated the opportunity to learn from Anne’s expertise … Comments mentioned being able to understand RDA as a direct result of the training, and the value of training in a frequently-neglected area of librarianship in many practitioners’ workplaces. Attendees also valued the depth of Anne’s teaching – they valued the knowledge about the rationale underpinning cataloguing and classification protocols and found this helped them in applying the theory in practice. This was further aided by the blend of theory teaching and practical application that Anne provided throughout the day …

In answer to the feedback question on what was enjoyable about the event, one attendee succinctly remarked, ‘All of it!’.”

Many thanks to Catherine for her kind words, and to the CILIP SW participants for a really fun day in Bristol. I hope to be able to get back to the South West when the world opens up again!

Catherine’s full testimonial is available on linkedin (scroll down to “Recommendations”).

Event Report: Exploring Digital Classification Games

At the end of 2020 I ran a workshop focused on creating digital classification games as part of Beginning Cataloguing’s online course offer. During the session I showed the participants how they could create a prototype classification game on their Android devices from a template game I had created. I had intended showing iphone users how they could do the same, but I discovered quite close to running the workshop that the app I was using on my Android device wasn’t fully compatible with the iphone version of the same app. However, I’m now looking at converting the app so that iphone users can run it too.

I used Pocket Code for the session. This is a block-based coding tool for Android devices and iphones, that allows you to create games and other mobile apps for free, without having to type in lines of programming text. I designed the prototype game loosely around the retro style video game, Pong. In this instance the player is presented with an image on the screen, and they have to tap on the corresponding Dewey Classification number bouncing around the screen to score a point. I find that interactive activities make learning easier for me. I also like things to be fun. So, that’s why I created the prototype game.

Through the session I showed the participants:

  • How to use Pocket Code.
  • How to run and play the prototype game I created in Pocket Code.
  • How the game programme is structured.
  • How different coloured code blocks allow you to do different things. eg move an image around a screen; test if the phone screen was tapped; add points to a players score, etc.
  • How to adapt the programme to their own library classification scheme and needs.

I highlighted some of the behind-the-scenes coding. But I tried to avoid going into a lot of detail, as I wanted to focus on the key areas they could adapt to create a game that would support classification training within their own library services.

The idea isn’t to replace classification training with simple games, but to help users get to know classification identifiers or numbers in a scheme for a library they use, in a playful way.

At the end of the session I wanted the participants to be able to go away with a few key thoughts:

  • That games are useful in this context.
  • It’s possible to make a prototype game cheaply & quickly. It isn’t overly complicated to create a game like this in Pocket Code, or to develop ideas around using technology as a way to make something interactive that will enable others to develop their understanding of your classification system.
  • You can use a tool like Pocket Code to develop simple games for other parts of your library service training too. eg stock management.

It was fun running the session online. I enjoyed both introducing the concept of a digital library game to the participants, and the discussions it generated during the session. Thanks to everyone who attended, and Anne for her support before and during the session.

Ash Green

SLA Europe 2019