Following the whistlestop recruitment process announced in our post on 19 November, I’d like to introduce Darren Smart who joined us on 4 January to work full-time as the latest member of the team of secondees focussing on digital issues.
As you’ll have read in other posts, there is a lot of opportunity for progress in the digital agenda. Darren will be looking at areas including digital skills in the library workforce and local communities; establishing, supporting and evaluating digital pilots and looking for opportunities for wider rollout; supporting the Unifying Digital Presence project; and identifying how we can continue to improve the digital offer in public libraries.
He comes to us from West Sussex County Council, where he is Lead Manager Libraries. This means he has a county-wide remit for all specialist services. He is based in Chichester. I spoke to him about the secondment and he said:
“Having now joined the Taskforce, I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to help shape the Universal Digital Offer, building on the skills I learnt during SCL’s Digital Leadership programme.”
“I am a former scientist and viking*, turned librarian, with a track record of championing both the digital future of public libraries and digital inclusion.”
[*Spent many years as a viking re-enactor including TV and film work.]
Darren was a member of the original cohort for SCL’s Digital Leadership programme, and gave a presentation on one of his projects to the Taskforce’s 4th meeting in September 2015.
As mentioned, he started his secondment with us on Monday 4 January and will blog here in future as he gets to work.
Follow him on twitter for more frequent updates.
Comment by Trevor Craig posted on
Now that the task force has been given funding for extra years, will there be any representation from users on the group? After all, we are the ones that pay for the service, its perverse if users have no say in what your doing. Ask The Library Campaign if they want to nominate someone from within their ranks of library users.
Comment by juliachandler1 posted on
The Taskforce comprises representatives from organisations who have a major role in delivering solutions to priorities already identified in the Sieghart report. This report was compiled following a period of intensive consultation and feedback from a range of people, including library staff and patrons.
We talk with a wide variety of users and non users via many different channels: individual meetings, visits to libraries, online, etc. We are also soon to launch a phase of national conversations about the new Ambition document referenced in our last six month progress report and this will be a further opportunity for everyone to make a contribution.
Comment by Dr Malcolm Rigler posted on
As an NHS GP for over 3 decades I came to realize a long time ago that Community Libraries could and should , through the use of ICT , help patients to understand their conditions and truly give "informed consent" to the treatments and procedures on offer from their GP or the Hospital Doctors. If this aspect of the Library was given proper attention £millions could be saved from the NHS budget. As yet the Library Taskforce has not yet begun to address this issue which is of particular interest to the NHS Litigation Authority who shed £ many millions each year from the NHS budget as a result of successful litigation against the NHS.