Twitter being used by West Midlands Forensic Science Investigators to highlight their working day

Forensic Science Investigators in the West Midlands are using the social media tool Twitter to highlight their working day. This project is aimed to give the public a wider understanding of their duties. You can find more on this at

Have you also seen our Forensic resources? You can access them via the Forensics Subject Wiki

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Save Our Libraries day

Save Our Libraries day – TODAY- #savelibraries If you value the future of public libraries please make your feelings known! As Neil Gaiman said “Libraries are our future – to close them would be a terrible, terrible mistake – it would be stealing from the future to pay for today which is what got us into the mess we’re in now.”

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Staffordshire University chooses Koha for its new Library system

Staffordshire University chooses the Koha open source library management system (LMS), implemented and hosted by PTFS Europe

Staffordshire University has always been a leader in providing innovative and leading technical solutions for its students and researchers.

Continuing this approach the University has become the first UK Higher Education institution to choose an open source library management system (LMS- also known as an Integrated Library System ILS) Koha, to replace its existing SirsiDynix Horizon solution. Koha is distributed under the free/open source General Public Licence (GPL).

Although this is the first UK University implementation, Koha is widely used around the world by a growing community of libraries collaborating together to achieve technology and service goals.

This means that there is no vendor lock-in, or annual licence fees. Libraries are free to use the software and – if required to contract hosting and support from established service providers.

In partnership with PTFS Europe, the Koha LMS/ILS, provides an entirely web based system for the University, a flexible solution offering many of the benefits associated with the integration of other web based services including social media functionality.

PTFS Europe have won the contract to provide the data migration, implementation, support and training on a hosted version of the Koha system. They are also contracted to support development of Koha and enhance certain areas of functionality. The aim of the partnership is to enjoy the benefit of an open source solution whilst ensuring a stable and well maintained solution within a professional support contract.

Dave Parkes, Associate Director Learning, Technology and Information Services said “Koha and the services provided by PTFS Europe offers our students an excellent next generation learning tool, an enhanced solution for locating information from whatever source with all the benefits of new social media technology and integration with existing systems. The solution provides an excellent support infrastructure, full standards compliance and importantly great value for money.”

Nick Dimant, Managing Director at PTFS Europe said: “We would like to thank the team at Staffordshire University for their vision in recognising the benefits that an open source solution can bring.  We are looking forward to further collaboration and partnership with them on more projects to come. “

About Staffordshire University

Established in 1992, Staffordshire University has evolved into one of the country’s most dynamic, progressive and forward-thinking learning institutions. Always quick to adapt as student requirements change, we have become renowned for our groundbreaking new courses and first-class learning opportunities

About PTFS Europe

PTFS Europe implements and supports the Koha and Evergreen open source library management systems as well as distributing and supporting the software products of PTFS, Inc., the leading provider of digital archiving solutions in North America.  PTFS Europe is able to provide the full range of services needed to implement a library or digital archival solution, ranging from project installation, configuration, data conversion, software development and training through to ongoing customer support.

More information on PTFS Europe:

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A new champion for libraries?

According to a report on the BBC News site today public libraries have an unlikely hero waiting in the wings – Keith Richards legendary guitarist of the Rolling Stones! While most of his new memoirs focus on his musical genius and his wild public persona the BBC report also refers to a less known love of antique books and public libraries:

While the “Keef” of Redlands and other hellraising tales might be the one regularly represented in the media, less well-discussed is Keith Richards the antique book collector – a man who, in unguarded moments, has spoken fondly of his childhood love of public libraries, and who attempted to catalogue the thousands of volumes in his home according to the Dewey Decimal system.

Taken from “Who, What, Why: How is Keith Richards still alive?” – BBC News Magazine 28th October 2010

Come on CILIP – sign Keef up for a campaign against cuts to the library provision, he knows a thing or two about surviving!

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PsycBOOKS now available at Staffs

PsycBooks – a new eBook collection provided by the library, which gives access to over 2,000 full text books from the American Psychological Association. This new resource is available both on and off campus using your University student or staff logon details. The collection is available from the Library’s web page (  simply select the eBooks icon and follow the link through to PsycBooks.

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SCONUL response to the Browne Review of Higher Education funding

Ann Rossiter, Executive Director of SCONUL said today in response to the Browne Review:

“Libraries play a vital role in teaching and supporting students. Research by HEFCE has shown that the quality of library facilities is a key factor for students when choosing which university to attend. And as Browne recognises, student satisfaction is higher where universities fund and value their library services.”

“The importance of libraries must be reflected in the new funding system for HE. Similarly, given the likely higher education funding cuts in next week’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Vice Chancellors must carefully consider where they wield the axe, ensuring they keep the services that students value most highly.”

Lord Browne’s review identifies library facilities as one of the key determinants of student satisfaction.

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IDEO imagine the future of the Book

IDEO introduce 3 concepts for the future of ebooks incorporating interactive debate, current awareness, social sharing and narrative enhancement. Some interesting concepts appealing to different audiences. I quite like the first concept (called Nelson) and can imagine the benefits of the other two ideas (Coupland and Alice respectively), although the interaction would need to be almost as quick and smooth as in the video due to our ever increasing expectations on the speed of delivery and decreasing attention span… that’s not just me is it?

Thanks to Roy Tennant for pointing this one out over at:

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Here we go!

Ok, we’ve started this blog, updated our Facebook page and linked it up to our new twitter feed with TwitterFeed (good name that!). This first post will hopefully show us how it all works together and then I can try really hard to think of some interesting posts!

Please comment otherwise it’s going to be a very short conversation!

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