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Introducing the RLUK Digital Shift Forum #RLUKDSF

RLUK’s Digital Shift Forum brings together colleagues from across the information, research, cultural and heritage communities, and third and commercial sectors, to discuss the future of the digital shift in collections, services, and audiences. 

These monthly seminars include high-profile international speakers, from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions, who are at the forefront of current thinking around the digital shift. They provide time and space for wide-ranging, inter-disciplinary discussions regarding the future of the digital shift, and provide a springboard for cross-sector collaboration. The Digital Shift Forum is open to all, and you do not need to belong to an RLUK member institution to attend or participate.

The series aims to promote cross-sector discussion and debate, to enable knowledge exchange, and inspire collaborative endeavour across sectors and communities, for the benefit of RLUK members and the wider research and information management communities. 


We will be announcing new Digital Shift Forum events soon. Please keep checking back on this page or follow #RLUKDSF.

Why are we convening this series?

In May 2020, RLUK launched its manifesto for the digital shift in research libraries. The manifesto provides a future vision for the digital shift occurring within research library collections, services, operations, and audience interactions. The manifesto explores what is required in terms of skills and leadership, stakeholder engagement, collections and scholarship, and library spaces to enable this digital shift to continue, diversity, and deepen.

The time is now

Since the launch of the manifesto, members of RLUK’s digital shift working group have worked to implement the manifesto’s delivery plan in light of the Covid-19 crisis. The coronavirus crisis has enabled information, research, cultural and heritage organisation to hold a mirror to their experiences of the digital shift in their collections, operations, services, and audience interactions. The experiences of RLUK member libraries have been presented in RLUK’s research report, Covid-19 and the digital shift in action (July 2020) and in a co-authored chapter ‘Covid-19 and the Future of the Digital Shift amongst Research Libraries: An RLUK Perspective in Context‘, New Review of Academic Librarianship (November 2021).

RLUKDSF mailing list

Sign up to the RLUKDSF mailing list to be kept informed about upcoming events.

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RLUKDSF on demand

You can view recordings of previous RLUKDSF events at the link below.

RLUKDSF on Demand

JUNE 2022

Building Digital Confidence Through Action Research

8 June 2022, 14.00-15.00 BST

This seminar will share the approaches of an international consortium (funded by the UK’s AHRC and the US’s National Endowment for the Arts) of university partners, cultural organisations and professional bodies who over the last five years have been leveraging action research to help build the digital confidence of cultural and heritage institutions.

The ‘One by One’ initiative (starting in the UK, then the US, and now on-going now in Canada, funded by the Canadian Council for the Arts) has not only influenced government policy and standards around digital literacy within the sector, but has helped to frame new ways of reflecting upon (and acting upon) digital work in cultural institutions.

The session will also share early sight of how this distinctive approach to partnership, practice-led research, and activity centred on sector strategic priorities will, later this year, form the basis for a major new research institute of digital culture.

Ross Parry, Professor of Museum Technology, University of Leicester

A Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, former Tate Research Fellow and previously chair of the UK’s national Museums Computer Group, Ross is also one of the founding Trustees of the Jodi Mattes Trust – for accessible digital culture. In 2018 he was listed in the Education Foundation’s ‘EdTech50’ – the fifty most influential people in the UK education and technology sectors.

From 2017 to 2021 he served on the International Advisory Board for the €6mn ‘Our Museum’ project. Today he is Steering Committee member for UKRI’s £18mn digital cultural heritage initiative ‘Towards a National Collection’.

Ross’ recent books include: ‘Museum Thresholds’, edited with Ruth Page and Alex Moseley (Routledge, 2018); and ‘The Routledge Handbook of Media and Museums’ (2019), edited with Kirsten Drotner, Vince Dziekan, and Kim Schrøder. Ross is also co-editor of a new book series, ‘Critical Perspectives on Museums and Digital Technology’ (also with Routledge).

Ross Parry, Professor of Museum Technology, University of Leicester

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Members of RLUK’s Digital Shift working groups – past and present

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Realising a vision for the digital shift: RLUK’s Digital Shift Manifesto 2 years on

22 June 2022, 14.00-16.00 BST

In May 2020, RLUK launched its digital shift manifesto. The manifesto provided an ambitious vision for the research library community regarding the ongoing digital shift in its collections, spaces, stakeholder relations, and skills.

Although envisaged and developed before Covid-19, the launch and implementation of the manifesto coincided with the pandemic. We’ve experienced and learnt a lot during this time.

In this interactive and discursive symposium, the current members of RLUK’s digital shift working group will reflect on the ambitions of the manifesto and the future challenges and opportunities facing the community around the digital shift. How can we build on the manifesto’s vision, its success over the last two years, and seize our collective learning from the Covid-19 pandemic? The symposium will also include contributions from those colleagues who originally contributed to manifesto’s creation, and colleagues who have used the manifesto in their work.

A full list of speakers will be announced shortly.