I have been a part of the Scottish Working Forum on Official Publications for many years and have found being a member of the group of great benefit to my work at the National Library. I was secretary of the group from 2009 to 2013 when I replaced Fiona McParland as Chair.
Being part of this group has given me an invaluable network of colleagues to learn from, share experiences and challenges with, and hopefully find some solutions that benefit us all.
The SWOP Business Committee is the driving force of the Group. It takes forward issues that members have raised at the meetings, plans training and outreach events.
The more people and expertise we have on the Business Committee the lighter the load. A huge amount of knowledge in official publications is not essential. We need people to assist with social media and planning events. An enthusiasm for sharing information and helping others goes a long way.
Government information should be accessible to all. Unfortunately we are all overloaded with the amount of information that is out there. Anything that can improve access to this material should be applauded and supported. SWOP is free to join and can also provide excellent CPD opportunities.
In my role as Official Publications Curator at the National Library of Scotland I have responsibility for ensuring that the Library is collecting government publications, in print and digital, from the UK and Ireland, the Commonwealth countries and also Intergovernmental Organisations such as the United Nations and the OECD. I suggest subsets of the collection for in-house digitisation, explore funding opportunities for external digitisation projects and I actively promote the collection, of around 2 million items, at every opportunity. I work closely with the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, its Agencies and NDPB’s to ensure that best practice in publishing is followed and their material is deposited with the National Library of Scotland and made accessible to everyone that needs to consult it.