It was a struggle getting out of bed – but it was worth it!
To Birmingham for a hearty breakfast and animated discussion with a range of invited information managers at the Burlington Hotel on the topic of IM, KM, RM in the West Midlands conurbation: Attracting the skills.
Given the early hour conversation flowed as did the coffee. It was interesting to hear from those at the forefront of recruiting in the West Midlands that many issues faced match those in London and other cities. Of particular concern was that three years on from the closure of the Information courses at UCE, local employers had noticed a difference in numbers of locally based skilled applicants. Several were now using distance learning courses at Aberystwyth and other universities to fill skills gaps and to train existing staff members.
The current hot topic of quiet vs noisy libraries unsurprisingly came up and one Learning Resources Manager explained that a new policy of zero tolerance on noise in the LRC had resulted in buy in and appreciation by all those studying. Trying to tie this policy to study success will be harder but is on the agenda.
Another topic that engendered lively discussion and food for thought was the importance of aligning your service offering to the overall strategy of the organisation. This struck a resonance with all sectors represented.
We were delighted that the meeting endorsed our view that cross sectoral discussion and networking has a very positive value and that breakfast meetings, whilst not good for the waistline, are certainly good for morale.