RIVAL network event 3: preview

RIVAL logoAfter two postponements and a decision to move to virtual delivery, we (myself, Dr Bruce Ryan and our Edinburgh Napier PhD student helpers Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen) will (finally) be hosting the third RIVAL network event next week on Thursday 19th November 2020.

Our combined recent experiences of virtual conferences, such as ISIC2020, ASIST2020 and Information science trends: health information behavior, has taught us that a requirement to be online for a full day of RIVAL-related activities would be rather exhausting. Therefore we have split the content of RIVAL event 3 into two parts: (1) in their own time before 19th November, the network members will watch recorded versions of four presentations; (2) on the afternoon of Thursday 19th November the network members will gather for the ‘live’ part of the event. (The recordings are publicly available, should anyone else like to view them.)

As part of our planning for next Thursday, Bruce and I have already enjoyed the recordings of the event keynote on public library services and citizenship by Dr Leo Appleton, and the two ‘research into practice’ case studies: the first on e-legal deposit by Dr Paul Gooding and Dr Frankie Wilson, and the second on Syrian new Scots’ information literacy by Dr Konstantina Martzoukou and Professor Simon Burnett. We are sure that the members of the RIVAL network will also take great interest in this work, and will come to the half hour panel session chaired by Martina McChrystal on 19th November with plenty of comments and questions for our five main speakers.

The second main element of RIVAL event 3 on the afternoon of Thursday 19th November is entitled ‘Network member news: sharing our skills’. In this slot four members of the RIVAL networkDr Diane Pennington, Lynne Robertson, Rachel Salzano and Andy Taylor –  will be presenting ‘live’ on topics related to skills development and the COVID19 pandemic. In addition, Hayley Lockerbie has created a short video to showcase her recent work in transforming her school library provision into a digital service. This is the fourth recording to be watched in advance of 19th November, as noted above. Hayley will join the other network news speakers to answer questions on her presentation at the end of the 35 minute ‘news’ session.

In our 2018 bid to the Royal Society of Edinburgh to support the RIVAL network we noted that the focus of the fourth and final funded RIVAL event would be determined by the network members themselves. Over the course of the project the network members have decided that they would like the project to generate some tangible outputs, and that event 4 should be dedicated to working on these. Taking into account discussions at RIVAL events 1 and 2, and at meetings of the RIVAL project board members and the Event 4 steering group, four RIVAL project outputs have been identified. These are:

  • Output A: a post-RIVAL event in late 2021 – team co-ordinated by Morag Higgison
  • Output B: an article targeted at a practitioner audience – team co-ordinated by Sean McNamara
  • Output C: a UKRI funding bid – team co-ordinated by Dr Diane Pennington
  • Output D: a paper for an international peer-reviewed academic journal – team co-ordinated by Sally Kerr

Over the past couple of weeks the network members have indicated their output team preferences, and work will start on planning the outputs in four breakout meetings at RIVAL event 3. This work will be continued at the two half day meetings of RIVAL event 4 on Thursday 28th January and Friday 12th February 2021. While it would be over-ambitious to expect that all these outputs will be complete by the end of our series of funded RIVAL meetings, we hope that sufficient groundwork will have been undertaken to ensure that the teams will see each output through to its completion.

Had we been meeting in person, staff from each of the Scottish universities that carry out library and information science research would have hosted a ‘stall’ at a research ‘market’ at RIVAL event 3. Since this is no longer possible, we have created a virtual research marketplace for the perusal of the universities’ ‘wares‘. (These ‘wares’ are also accessible to everyone – not just RIVAL network members.)

I will also have a chance to present at RIVAL event 3. In my introduction to the afternoon I will update the network members on work related to the project beyond the organisation of events 3 and 4. These include two RIVAL-related presentations:

Since the network members last met, Bruce and I have also developed the RIVAL network web site further, for example with the addition of the directory of all the network members, the directory of network members’ skills and interests, and the RIVAL network map.

A further piece of work was undertaken in summer 2020 by a team that comprises four of the RIVAL network members. Bruce and I worked with Ines Byrne, Dr Paul Gooding and other colleagues from the National Library of Scotland and the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University to develop an AHRC grant proposal. The bid is for the funding of a project on (broadly) equality of access to online cultural heritage resources and the impact of this access. We do not yet know the outcome of the bid. However, if it is successful, we think it reasonable to claim this as an output of RIVAL since the work would never have been initiated had it not been for the establishment of the network.

Bruce has also written a preview of RIVAL event 3 entitled Looking ahead to RIVAL event 3, which he has posted on his own blog at http://bruceryan.info.

Rachel Salzano, Bruce Ryan, Hazel Hall

Rachel Salzano and Hazel Hall practise ‘being Bruce’ on 11th March 2020: the last day that they were on campus together working on RIVAL event 3, originally scheduled for 19th March 2020

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