The National Acquisitions Group Conference

The National Acquisitions Group Conference was held in York in glorious weather. It was quite low-key and perhaps for this reason not as well-attended by publishers as it might have been. Its title, Sharing Today, Securing Tomorrow, described the proceedings exactly.  Librarians often talk about change and are always talking about sharing, but, as became clear as this conference progressed, they are making some significant new changes in the way in which they operate, many of which are of great interest and significance to the publishing industry.

As well as talking about the effect of the recession on libraries, Annie Mauger, CEO of CILIP, talked about ‘scraping the chocolate off the iPad’ – a reference to the fact that iPad owners use them to access all kinds of information, including recipes. She said that this was symbolic of where librarians were heading: they constantly have to help people to find digital information, which is difficult, because if they do the job properly they are also invisible. Ruth Dale, of the University of Nottingham, gave an informative talk about the challenges of acquiring content for remote university campuses – Nottingham has two in the Far East – and Stuart Hunt of the University of Warwick talked about adopting RDA [Resource Description and Access].This is a web-based cataloguing toolkit consisting of a set of guidelines and instructions on how to formulate data which builds upon and replaces AACR2 cataloguing rules. Simon Edwards of BIC talked about the UK Standard Library Categories and the e4libraries accreditation scheme.

Like its recent predecessors, this NAG conference was not  high-profile, but it represented very good value for money and was full of useful information.