Thank you Vladimir Agafonkin!

I’ve been using LeafletJS to create online maps since 2013:

None of this would have been possible without Vladimir Agafonkin. LeafletJS enables easy creation of online maps. An ecosystem of plugins enables use of different background maps and images, lines and shapes, different markers, overlays, clusters, heat maps, data visualisation, events and so much more! Much of this free and open-source. There is also a free WordPress plug-in, but you’ll need a paid WordPress instance to use plugins. Hence this map is elsewhere:

Click the image to get to the actual map!

Anyway, thank you Vladimir. I hope you and yours are safe, and that Mr Putin just stops!

From despair to where? Some lessons from lockdown

This was originally written as a ‘reserve’ presentation for RIVAL event 3‘s ‘sharing our skills’ section. Fortunately enough people who are good at presenting volunteered, so Hazel Hall suggested I turn it into a blog-post. 

So here it is. The first part is a whistle-stop tour through my current ‘life under lockdown’; the second part is some lessons from recent online conferences I’ve attended, and from many community council online meetings. It’s meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but with some genuine lessons and realisations.

I should admit that the title of this post is a deliberate misnomer. I’ve despaired over many things, but turning RIVAL events virtual is not one of them. (It has been a lot of work though.) 

Click any image to see it full-size in a new tab or window.

Thanks to Marina Milosheva for advice on an early draft. Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to during lockdown?

It appears I’ve been relatively quiet during the past 5 months, at least on this blog. There have been personal reasons for this, as covered in my personal blog. Continue reading

Register now for RIVAL event 1: Thursday 11th July, Edinburgh

Text shamelessly copied from Hazel’s post
Registration is now open for the first RIVAL event on Thursday 11th July 2019 in the Horizon Suite at at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus. Participation is free of charge for Scotland-based members of the library and information science practitioner and research communities interested in maximising the impact and value of library and information science research.

Thanks to project funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, we are able to subsidise costs of participation. We can contribute up to £25 towards the travel costs of those based in the Central Belt not local to Edinburgh. As well as travel, we can also contribute to accommodation costs for those from the rest of Scotland (up to £130 total for those on the mainland, and up to £280 total for those from the islands).

We are looking forward to welcoming a mix of information professionals from across Scotland to this event, including practising library and information scientists, and library and information science researchers (academic staff, research staff, and PhD students).

Speakers at this first RIVAL event include Hazel Hall (Edinburgh Napier University), Sarah Morton (Matter of Focus), and Louise Graham (Edinburgh Libraries). The programme also includes time for networking and unconference presentations, and for delegates to determine future elements of the RIVAL project.

To find out more about the other networking events in November 2019, March 2020, and July 2020, and the RIVAL event contributors, please see the RIVAL web site at https://lisrival.com or contact the RIVAL administrator: Dr Bruce Ryan by email at b.ryan@napier.ac.uk.

Research Impact and Value in LIS: introducing the RIVAL network

Copied from Hazel Hall’s blog

This afternoon I’m speaking at the Edge conference in Edinburgh about a new project, as summarised in the slide below.

RIVAL launch posterWe started work on Research Impact and Value and LIS (RIVAL) on 1st February 2019. The Royal Society of Edinburgh has awarded us a grant to create a collaborative network of Scotland-based library and information science (LIS) researchers and library and information professionals interested in maximising the value of LIS research. This work builds on the pilot RIVAL event that we hosted at Edinburgh Napier University on 11th July last year.

We’re using the funding to organise four one-day network events between July 2019 and July 2020.  A proportion of this will be used to cover expenses of network members to participate at the events: travel for all members as required; travel and accommodation for those travelling long distances, e.g. from the Highlands and Islands. An extensive online presence for RIVAL will allow others to benefit from the project.

The main goal of the project is to develop and strengthen relationships between LIS researchers within Scottish universities, and between these LIS researchers and practitioners in Scotland. We hope that in doing so the practitioner participants will increase their confidence and self-efficacy as research users and partners.

The project team members Hazel Hall and Bruce Ryan are based within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, and supported by a Project Board that includes Ines Byrne of the National Library of Scotland, Martina McChrystal of the University of Glasgow, Paul McCloskey of the City of Edinburgh Council, Emily Prince of Westerhailes Education Centre, and Andy Taylor of the University of Edinburgh.

The first RIVAL event takes place on Thursday 11th July 2019 in the Horizon Suite at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus. Full details will be made available soon. In the meantime, if you wish to register your interest in the event, please email Bruce Ryan at b.ryan@napier.ac.uk.

To find out more about RIVAL, please check the project web site, follow the @LisRival Twitter feed, and/or join us on Facebook.

Write Now! (Again.)

(copied, with sincere thanks, from Frances Ryan’s blog post, then edited slightly)

Three years after Write Now! was launched, it’s back! This time around I’m the project lead, because I benefited from many of the sessions during the first year and so I was keen to get it going again. My colleague Frances Ryan has joined in on the project bit to add her expertise and experience, and to assist in setting up the writing sessions each week.

Write Now! is a series of writing sessions supported by Edinburgh Napier University’s Research and Innovation Office. The sessions are held at our Merchiston campus in the Triangle Café to re-create the experience of writing in a coffee shop.

The sessions are held on Wednesdays from 2.30-4.30 pm. There is no obligation to join us every Wednesday. However the sessions are held at the same time each week so that participants can add the on-going events to their calendars. This will essentially block time out in advance so that they can protect this valuable time slot from being taken over by other meetings. It’s a great way to prioritise writing time.

Write Now! is for research students and academic staff who want time for concentrated writing. This time can be used to work on thesis chapters, journal or conference submissions, research grants, or other academic writing.

The sessions are self-led and participants manage their own writing processes. On arrival, participants are given a voucher for a drink and snack before they start writing. At the end of the session, they are asked to fill out brief (anonymous) progress cards noting what their writing goal was (and whether they met that goal) and the approximate number of words they wrote during the session.

Join us every Wednesday through May (and maybe into June)!
Triangle Café (downstairs at Merchiston)
2.30-4.30 pm
Free drinks and snacks
And don’t forget your laptop (or pen and paper if you’re Old Skool like that!)

So what has Bruce been up to recently?

Part of an occasional series of posts to try to show that I don’t lie around all day! This post covers the time since we got back from honeymoon in early September.  

At Napier

  • Working with my colleague Wegene Demeke on the initiation of a project to investigate some aspects of participatory budgeting (PB) in São Paulo [Wikipedia], Brazil. We’re particularly interested in whether and how PB benefits the very poor. This is going to be fun, not least because neither Wegene nor I speak Portuguese, but we have some excellent partners at the University of São Paulo.
  • Working with the Prof on a funding bid for some networking events. That’s ‘networking’ in the sense of connecting humans, not ‘plumbing‘! The bid has been submitted but we won’t know whether we’ve been successful for a while, so watch this space!
  • Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) on community councils.
  • Marking courseworks for an undergraduate course.
  • Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work. Again, watch this space!

Elsewhere

Continue reading

Some thoughts on a seminar by Professor Brian Detlor

I had the privilege of attending two seminars by Professor Brian Detlor last week. The first of these, at iDocQ 2018, recounted Brian’s work on Digital Storytelling. However, this post is about my reaction to his seminar to the School of Computing on Promoting Digital Literacy: A Social Lab Approach.

This post is the first of two – the second will be an attempt to crystallise my thoughts about e-voting that bubbled up after Brian’s seminar. However, for now, this post is an attempt to show why Brian’s seminar was such a positive experience for me, but it is not an attempt to record all that Brian said. My reactions are in blockquotes. Continue reading

DREaM paper accepted

In 2015, I enjoyed working with Professor Hazel Hall on an assessment of the lasting effects of the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project. Hazel’s posts about this project are here.

A paper written by Hazel, Peter Cruickshank and me, addressing the question of network sustainability within a community of library and information science (LIS) researchers and practitioner researchers has now been accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation. Please read more about it in Hazel’s blog post, or, if you would like to learn more about the results of this study, please email Hazel at: h.hall@napier.ac.uk.