Helen Michaels with  Audrey Marshall and Prof Miltos Petridis.

Helen Michaels with Audrey Marshall and Prof Miltos Petridis.













Monday was celebration day. In the morning, we had the School prize-giving, where Helen Michael was awarded CILIP’s Henrik Jones prize. This is awarded annually to a student who has excelled in information retrieval. Helen conducted a search for Richard, a colleague in Computing, on a very complex and specialised subject. It was fitting that Richard was also at the prize-giving and he was delighted at Helen’s success.

Antony Groves and Julia Worley

Antony Groves and Julia Worley


In the afternoon, we had the Graduation ceremony at The Dome. Pictured here are Antony and Julia just after the ceremony, both looking delighted.






Congratulations all!

It’s a while since I managed to get to Umbrella but I made it this year and I enjoyed it immensely. I found the quality of the sessions to be really high and I thought the format of the Focus and Spotlight sessions was really good. The plenary sessions I went to, which included keynote addresses and debates, were broad-ranging and stimulating. I was there as a speaker in one of the Spotlight sessions on Future Skills and Future Roles. Abi Luthmann and I were presenting an overview of the Public Library Skills programme we developed and ran last year and are continuing this year. Abi is Equal Access Manager with East Sussex Library and Information Service and she talks very eloquently about the success of the programme in East Sussex. Abi is also a former student, an added bonus! It was great to see former and current students at Umbrella, as delegates and speakers, and although I managed to catch only the tail-end (train delay!) of Ka -Ming Pang’s presentation on #uklibchat, I could see that it went down very well. If you want to follow up the Public Library Skills work we’ve been doing check out the July issue of Update (p40-41).

Open eveningWe’re holding an Open Day on 1st May in the afternoon and early evening. If you’re interested in an information or library related MA course then come along.  If you can’t make that day then check out the webinar option – details on the poster.  Alternatively, get in touch with me:


Celebrating the end of term (well almost, for some students) in the Prince George in Trafalger St.

A jolly time!

Ceris Howard, Debbie Perera and James Currington

Erin Gow and Ngozi Odili

The snow threatened to disrupt today’s Graduation ceremony but thankfully it didn’t. I love Graduation Days, with their emphasis on celebration and achievement. Today the University’s honorary graduate was Michael Rosen, which was fitting for us as he’s such a supporter of libraries. He gave a brilliant and personal speech, full of delight along with sound advice.  
I didn’t manage to get a photo of everyone but well done all of you.

One of the highlights of the summer for me was attending ISHIMR 2011 in Zurich. The acronym stands for International Symposium on Health Information Management Research and the conference covers a wide range of topics, from the quite technical to the very practical via the frankly esoteric. What I enjoyed particularly was the opportunity to meet people from lots of different coutries. The Middle East was well represented, as was Eastern Europe and there is some fascinating work going on. Also refreshing was meeting several bright young people, some having just graduated with nursing degrees and others studying PhDs. My own contribution was a paper which looked at aspects of the Net.Weight project, the study I was involved in a couple of years ago with colleagues from Brighton University and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.  In the paper, we explored some of the results using the concept of involvement and a 3-stage model devised by Alice Wilson and Richard Casey, who at that time were doing work with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. Their model has proved to be a useful way to think about our results and to highlight gaps in health information provision.  I hope to be able to develop the thinking further but in the meantime the paper is in the Conference Proceedings.  The photo shows me in earnest conversation at the conference dinner with a Swedish participant (we were probably discussing Wallander!).

I officially took over as Chair of the CILIP SE Branch at the AGM on Thursday 26th May. I took over from my colleague Juliet Eve, so we’re keeping things in the University of Brighton family. The next year is going to be one of change, with CILIP’s review of Branches and Groups currently under way – but we’re up for the challenge. The speaker at the AGM was Phil Bradley, CILIP vice-President, but speaking to us more as future-watcher. He sees the future as one of opportunity for information professionals – if we’re prepared to grasp it and adopt the role of thought leaders. See more of Phil at

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