Unless you’ve been living in your own little bubble on campus for the last few weeks, you’ll have spotted that our Library has been at the receiving end of a £4.8million refurbishment. If you’ve not been there since before the work began, now’s the time to have a look around. Quite the transformation.
The Library still offers some interesting researcher-specific training (in new training spaces). Unfortunately, finding them is harder than finding your way around the new Library. Feels like a Tolkein-esque quest first time you do it
So until the my.HR online setup improves, here’s a short guide on how to find your way to Library-run courses:
- on the Library Research Support pages, hit the Workshops link for a nice pic of Frank explaining something complicated;
- Now hit the Staff Development Booking System link – as SD have ownership of the process at this point, you go to the Staff Development home page (I wondered if it might take me to somewhere where I could book something relevant, but ok, that was a bit optimistic of me);
- There’s a bit ‘Book on a Course’ link, that sounds good, let’s hit that;
- Now we’re at a page called ‘Instructions on how to book on a course’ – getting closer, I suppose (did you know that you needed to follow links called ‘Learning Activities’? When did you ever tell a colleague you were going on a ‘Learning Activity’?) – by a process of elimination let’s hit the ‘Visit my.HR’ link, even though it feels like I’m going further away from my initial intention to book on a training session;
- Aha, we have to log in, let’s do that – hmm, that’s an odd favicon in the browser tab – all Lboro pages usually have the crest part of the logo, but this is a non-standard ‘i’;
- Another non-standard page, another favicon – actually, no favicon, this is just the standard default. Anyway, I guess I’m going to hit the ‘Learning’ button on the left;
- Aha! Main window, first column, third one down: ‘Book on a course/waiting list’. Hang on, do I want to book on a waiting list? I’d rather just book on a course. Moving on…
- OK, unexpected. Now this screen had me thinking for a while. It had me thinking, what do I do next? I’m told “This form lists the available learning activities and their current status”, but that’s the one thing it’s not doing. There are no lists to be seen. A blank field, a random dropdown menu, a dropdown to search by date and a check box label I’ve never seen before and for which there is no explanation or definition: ‘Fuzzy search’. Oh, and a 16px x 16px gif of a spoon. Silly me, it’s a magnifying glass. OK, I’m not getting a huge amount of help here, so I’ll explore. Let’s hit the spoon. Magnifying glass. Whatever.
- Spoon disappears, Windows 7 twirly thing twirls awhile. Whoa! We have an alphabetically-sorted list. Wonder if the columns are sortable – ah, experimentation (but no graphical affordance) shows they are. Great. Anything from the Library for library-related training? Let’s put Library in that blank search field, if that is what it is.
- Nothing. My long list has gone.What about that second dropdown – that’s got the word ‘Type’ in it let’s select that – what the?! The interface changed. That text field has changed to a, what, dropdown? Ah, of categories that don’t mention the Library. Nor research. I’m getting a theme here. OK, back to the ‘Learning activity’ dropdown choice. Let’s put ‘research’ in the search box. Hmm, nothing. Ooh, what about the ‘Fuzzy search’ checkbox? Aha! Some hits! Let’s do a fuzzy search on ‘Library’. Nothing. Hit the browser back button to go back to the previous search results. What? I’m not trying to leave the page, I’m just stepping back. Won’t let me. Hit the ‘Back’ button in the dashboard on screen, expecting something bad to happen. And yes, there it is, I’ve gone up a level in the system away from the search screen. Grr.
- Give up. Got grumpy. Life’s too short. I’ll read a book or talk to somebody instead.
So, what now?
If you’re on the lookout for training, it will pay to be patient and persistent.
Alternatively, make contact with your academic librarian because they’re brilliant people and good to get to know. And they’re in very modern surroundings now
The obvious technical solution would be allow departments who offer training courses/learning activities to deep link to where you can actually book onto the course. Until that is the case, well, this system must be a step up for someone, but only if you’re not looking to book on a course…