Come for the owl postcards, stay for the range of services
By Nick Forbes, on 3 May 2022
Ever asked yourself the question, “How can I make my course readings accessible”?
Well, this is exactly the question the TLS team set out to answer at the lunchtime marketplace session at the recent 2022 UCL Education Conference.
We were thrilled to be able to attend the event, as this was a fantastic opportunity for us to get out there and talk to people about our services, whether it’s ReadingLists@UCL, course readings digitisation, or our copyright support services. As a user-focused team it’s essential that we engage with the academic community to understand how we can best support their teaching and learning activities. So this was also a brilliant opportunity to hear from lots of different staff and students, and learn more about how we can support them in getting the most out of their teaching.
A particularly pleasant surprise was the sheer range of people who came to speak to us – and the range of topics they were interested in! We had queries from UCL academics and PhD students about setting up reading lists, many of whom wanted to know more about how to replace document-based reading lists with online lists. As well as talking them through it, we ran a couple of demos of the ReadingLists@UCL service on our laptop. This is something we’re always happy to do, so get in touch if you want to arrange a virtual session!
We also had lots of queries about copyright issues. These mostly came either from academics teaching PhD research skills, or from PhD students interested in the copyright rules affecting their theses (e.g. the copyright status of photographs they wanted to include). We explained the tailored support and advice we could offer in this area, and our Copyright for PHD Students leaflets went like hotcakes!
Someone asked us whether films held on DVD can be converted to streams for inclusion on online reading lists (answer: they usually can!). And lots of people just wanted to know more about what TLS did in general – so we were happy to tell them. We also had a really interesting discussion with a couple of students about accessibility, and the many ways TLS services support this important area.
So in all this was a brilliant opportunity to get out and about and speak to people, promote awareness of TLS and our services, and learn more about what’s on people’s minds when it comes to things like course readings and copyright. The pandemic has made it harder to engage with the academic community – while at the same time increasing the need for support for remote learning. So being able go to an in-person event again was brilliant. Looking forward to the next one!