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London’s Turn for a Liberty Training and User Group Meeting

The 2018 calendar of the Liberty Training and User Group Meetings (UGMs) ended with the long anticipated events in the UK. The first of the events kicked off in London on the 9th of October – and it was over in a blink. Full of information sharing and interaction, it was enjoyed by all.

The day began with a welcome and introductory talk by Softlink Information Centres (IC) General Manager John Crook, on how using 5 human superpowers, librarians saved the world. His message was that Softlink IC believes in the importance of librarians. It is why development resources are channelled into providing features that will help them to promote themselves – their skills and services, within their organisations.

It was then Maida Rubin, Softlink’s Customer Community Manager’s turn to lead the day’s training and user group meeting. She was gratified to see the number of Liberty users who attended and were totally committed to learning as much as they could.  Maida appreciated the time and effort everyone made including two new managers, commenting,

“It was really good to know that two of the attendees who recently took on manger roles found time to attend the day as well. Getting a handle on a new role can put a strain on anyone’s time management skills as we all know.”

Maida ensured the training sessions included a good mix of demonstrations, training and practical help. A librarian herself, Maida has always maintained librarians are always happy to help not just their library’s users but each other, and that was much in evidence.

“Those who attended were happy to share their current practices with each other and explain why certain options were chosen.”

Training on the OPAC seemed to be a high priority for most. Maida noted that it was evident that many of those who attended were very interested in gearing up their OPAC and making more use of Liberty.

Attendance at Liberty Training and UGM

The attendees were happy with the demonstration of the new features now available in Liberty v5 as well as the depth of topics covered in the training that included a many helpful hints. As Ken Garner from Reed Smith commented,

“Good coverage of the new features and very useful shortcuts.”

Neroli Harris from the Alzheimers Society agreed, noting that the training sessions were,

“Extremely well presented and very informative.”

The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Ezekiel Peters-Ugoine agreed,

“Brillliant! The new knowledge we gained was great. The session was important and without doubtenhanced my ability to manage my job effectively.”

The greatest value of face-to-face training and user group meetings is the way it provides a forum for those attending to meet other Liberty users and Softlink IC staff. It proved to be so for many at the London meeting and was a particularly common feedback theme. Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Samantha Roberts said it all!

“Although I regularly view the virtual meetings, today’s face-to-face meeting was invaluable and through discussion, other issues and hints were covered. Great to ask questions in person and hear how other people use Liberty.”

We leave the last words to Amy Pankiewicz from Reed Smith, our host for the day who commented that,

“The training sessions were really useful. It was great to meet the Softlink team and I picked up some good tips.”

Everyone made a point of mentioning how terrific the facilities and the catering were. Judging by what everyone had to say about the day (and the catering), all of the Softlink staff languishing at their offices were very sorry not to be there!

Softlink IC cannot thank Amy enough for her offer to host the day and her help with arranging everything. It was greatly appreciated.