A key component of the University of Glasgow Library's mobile strategy is to increase the skills of our staff as we operate in an increasingly mobile environment. This is being achieved through an ongoing training programme introducing all library staff to the tools and trends of mobile technologies and how they are changing library services and working practices.
In this chapter, we present a case study of the impact of the training programme for staff. We will demonstrate how the interventions in relation to staff training for the mobile environment are contributing to the creation of a workforce that is increasingly confident and engaged with mobile technology, and how this was a significant driver in the decision to make a substantial financial investment in mobile devices for library staff in 2013. The combination of a confident workforce with widespread access to modern mobile devices presents a game-changing moment for the library service which could revolutionize the way we work, communicate and deliver services.
We have a plan!
The University of Glasgow Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Scotland, supporting over 23,000 students and 6000 staff. The Library has 200 members of staff (full-time and part-time).
We have a well established mobile strategy, which has a number of high-level aims across a range of activities: information gathering; device testing; mobile-friendly services; library infrastructure; communications; and digital skills. Development across all of these areas of activity is co-ordinated by the Library's Mobile Technologies Group (MTG) through a series of annual work-plans. Planning for mobile must be flexible enough to allow for constant review and change in response to the rapidly changing technological landscape along with our user needs and expectations. A cyclical approach to strategy implementation has been adopted, with each cycle spanning one academic year. Since 2010 there have been four phases of strategic activity. Initiatives have included the development of a mobile website; improved Wi-Fi infrastructure throughout the library building; and the development of our Live Lab concept.
The strategy includes very specific commitments to support the development of digital skills among our users and our staff, and the Live Lab concept was established to support this aim. The Live Lab provides Library staff with an environment in which future mobile services can be explored, developed and tested in a highly collaborative and innovative way.