Sunday, 17 July 2011


From the name, HUG sounds as though it should be some sort of love-in session, but no; it is the infamous Heritage User Group. HUG is independent of Heritage and is a platform for users to work with developers IS Oxford to provide feedback and share experiences.

Image taken by Jo-h
As part of my new job I am required to be a superuser of Heritage, a LMS I am completely new to. I am discovering it is a huge piece of software and I find the reports functionality to be quite intimidating, but I must - and will! - get to grips with it.

Yesterday was the bi-annual meeting of HUG so I went along. It was held in a conference centre at Aston University which is quite local to where I live (= nice morning lie-in). There were approximately 35 Heritage users present spanning a variety of library sectors. It was a chance to meet others and I'm really glad I went.

The day consisted of a number of presentations from other users describing innovative uses of the software, plus a detailed session from IS Oxford outlining Cirqa (which will eventually replace Heritage). During the afternoon we separated into smaller focus groups to discuss what we like/dislike about Heritage, and I was comforted to realise I am not alone in my failure to immediately gel with the reports module. Hurrah! Unfortunately, it was disappointing to be told that my suggestion of making Heritage Online smartphone/tablet friendly is not on IS Oxford's actin plan for the forseeable future. If they don't embrace non-windows based technology they may start to falter.

The next HUG meeting is during the winter and I think I'd find attendance there to be equally as valuable. I believe it's usually held in London rather than Brum, so I'll have to see how healthy the staff development budget is looking nearer the time...

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