SCONUL Access Contacts Conferences

Proceedings from previous conferences


The annual meeting took place at University of Edinburgh with 45 delegates. Delegates were welcomed to Edinburgh by Jacky MacBeath, Head of Museums and Deputy Head of the Centre for Research Collections at University of Edinburgh; and by Mark Toole, the new SCONUL Chair. 

The aim of this year's conference was to give SCONUL Access Contacts the opportunity to explore policies that will have an impact on their own work. Our first keynote speaker was Steve Kennett (Head of operational services & SIRO at Jisc), who took us through some of the challenges for higher education in relation to the government's 'Prevent' strategy. You can view his presentation here, and download a list of relevant resources here. You can find out more about Jisc's web filtering and monitoring system here on the Jisc website. Delegates were given the opportunity to think about these issues, as well as other issues facing the SCONUL Access scheme, in more detail during a break-out session lead by Alison Harding and Sally Wilkinson of the SCONUL Access Steering Group (notes to follow). 

Our second keynote speaker was Elaine Shillcock (Head of the Disability Advisory and Support Service, University of Manchester), who looked at opportunities and challenges associated with changes in the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). Her presentation is available here. Delegates looked at good practice for supporting students taking place at specific institutions in a Pecha Kucha session. Yvette Dickerson (Deputy Customer Services Manager, SOAS Library, University of London) talked about the one-to-one 'Library Contact Person Scheme'; Derek Mackenzie (Head of User Services, Library Services, City University London) spoke on their online chat service; and Debbi Boden-Angell (Director of ICT and Library Services) gave an overview of the DSA changes and the challenges for York St John

Delegates also looked at a practice way for engaging with schools. Rebecca Jones ran a break-out session on the TeenTech Awards. You can view her presentation here


The annual meeting took place at The Hive, Worcester, and over 80 delegates attended. 

Liz Jolly, Chair of SCONUL, welcomed delegates and thanked them for their contribution to the organisation's success over the past year. Then Lori Bailey (Head of Policy and Member Engagement) and Maria Hiscoe (SCONUL Administrator) hosted a Q&A session, giving delegates the opportunity to discuss in more detail the content of the SCONUL Access Annual Report. Delegates heard from Jisc's Head of Resource Deliver, Neil Grindley, spoke about Collaboration and access to resoruce: the National Monograph Strategy. Ciara EAstell (Head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage, Devon County Council & President, Society of Chief Librarians) provided a presenting on the Changing Face of Public Libraries. Throughout her presentation, Ciara referred to the Independent Library Report for England which was published in December 2014. 

Delegates chose between two workshops. The first, 'Enabling Walk-in Access to E-resources: where are we now?' was facilitated by Alison Bernard, Birkbeck, University of London; and Regina Everitt, SOAS, University of London. This interactive session provided an opportunity to share best practice and provide some insight for those planning to implement Walk-in Access to E-resources. The second workshop was facilitated by Janine Downes (The Hive Library Services Manager), and allowed delegates the opportunity to think creatively about opportunities to partner with public libraries. 


The 2014 annual meeting of contacts was hosted this year by Birkbeck, University of London and attended by 70 delegates.

Mark Toole, Chair of the SCONUL Shared and Collaborative Services Strategy Group gave the opening address, and acknowledged that for many people, SCONUL Access was the public face of SCONUL.  Anne Hannaford, Director of Information and Library services at the University of Worcester gave a very interesting presentation on Europe's first joint university and public library. The Hive, the result of the vision of the university of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council, is working well and attracting new readers (up 320%) into the city's library.

Alison Harding, University of Wales, Trinity saint David, presented a Case Study on Walk-in Access in Wales.  One of the key messages of this presentation was that concern over licences should be considered a non-issue, as all main providers define WIA as authorised users.

The conference also included a report on the website, an administrative update, break-out groups to gather feedback from delegates and a demonstration of Occupeye, which is being used at Birkbeck to manage pressure on study space.  Tours to Senate House, Birkbeck and SOAS libraries were offered; colleagues have reported that these visits were both interesting and enjoyable.


The 2013 Annual Meeting for Contacts was held at the Chelmsford Campus of Anglia Ruskin University.

Sara Marsh, Chair of SCONUL’s Executive Board, gave an overview of SCONUL and the role of Access in Higher Education libraries. Sara was engaged with access schemes early in her career and has helped to develop SCONUL Access through the merger of two foundation schemes.

The keynote presentation on Walk-in Access was given by Matthew Brooke, Associate Director at Royal Holloway, University of London. Matthew was the M25 Consortium representative on the SCONUL Task and Finish Group on Access Issues and project manager for the WATER (Walk-in Access To E-Resources) project.

The programme also featured an update on the SCONUL website, highlighting the latest developments and encouraging discussion on future developments for the Access scheme.

This year delegates were able to sign up for tours to Anglia Ruskin University Library, Chelmsford Public Library and the Essex Records Office.

SCONUL Access report by Maria Hiscoe

Website report by Wayne Connolly

Feedback on website reports

Walk-in access report by Matthew Brooke

Breakout groups


The 2012 SCONUL Access annual meeting for contacts was held at the University of Bristol on Tuesday 26th June.

Simon Pearson gave a presentation on the project to replace the SCONUL websites and Helen Workman stood in for Philip Payne and presented his thoughts on Reflections on SCONUL Access. Catherine Downes and Cathy Walsh provided a double act considering the changing face of Higher Education and Maria Hiscoe gave an update on the SCONUL Access scheme.

There was also an opportunity to take one of three tours: The Wills Library (original Bristol University Library), Special Collection, and the Arts and Social Sciences library.

Access Group update Simon Pearson

Reflections on SCONUL Access Philip Payne

SCONUL Access progress report Maria Hiscoe

Breakout groups


The 2011 SCONUL Access annual meeting for contacts was held at the All Saints Campus of Manchester Metropolitan University on Tuesday 28th June. We are grateful to MMU Library Services and the Department of Information and Communications for hosting the meeting. We are are grateful to the Research Information Network for their support.

The keynote presentations were 'Collaboration in a new academic era: future challenges for SCONUL Access' given by Margaret Weaver, Head of Learning, Information and Student Services, University of Cumbria, and 'E-access: is the digital environment a barrier to access?' given by Phil Sykes, University Librarian, University of Liverpool.

There was an opportunity for participates to take one of three tours: The University of Manchester Library, including their revamped foyer/counter area, Manchester Metropolitan University Library Special Collections or the Royal Northern College of Music, including the library, the various performance spaces and the collection of historic musical instruments.

SCONUL Access report Maria Hiscoe and Susan Baker

Keynote presentation Margaret Weaver, University of Cumbria

Keynote presentation Phil Sykes, University of Liverpool

Break out group notes