Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day at this year's London Dawson Day run by Dawson Books and, this year, held at the very impressive headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The theme of the day was Success through synergy and the presentations highlighted the successful collaboration between Dawson and Bertrams and academic institutions.
After the initial sign in, tea and coffee and networking, the day began with a presentation by Jason Cherrington, Sales Director for the Bertram Group. He gave us a business update outlining the benefits of Dawson joining with Bertrams and re-assured us of Dawson's strong performance in the market. Following Jason were Karen Carden, Bibliographic Services Manager at the University of the Arts, and Heather Sherman, Head of Technical Sales at Dawson. In their presentation Karen spoke about the reasons for and process of centralising their bibliographic services across the six Colleges that make up the University and, also, how they have developed the centres to be self-service orientated - they hit 90% self-service in November! Heather talked about how Dawson helped them with the centralisation and streamlining some of their processes further. She also highlighted how Dawson can work with other suppliers, for example 3M in this instance to collaborate with RFID.
Before lunch Hugh Ferguson, Former Deputy Director General of the Institution, gave an overview of the history of the Institution and its location at One Great George Street. Having a passion for social history I very much enjoyed his presentation. Little did I know as well that the Great Hall, where I began the day, had been used as the setting for the Law Council dinner in the film Bridget Jones 2: the edge of reason! Back in the Great Hall we had a very nice lunch - I had salmon - although there wasn't really enough places to sit or perch at! For the remainder of lunch I went round the exhibitions from publishers, and Heritage (the LMS), with a couple who work at The National Archives. In our programme was a 'treasure hunt' so we went round the stands finding out the answers to the questions. Sadly we didn't win the grand prize of an iPad 3!
At 1.30pm we were back in the Telford Theatre for the last two presentations. Chris Foreman, Collections Development Manager at the University of Roehampton, and Jude Norris, Marketing and Technology Director for Dawson, kicked off the afternoon. Chris and Jude told us about the collaboration between the University and Dawson to manage the implementation and development of patron-drive acquisitions (PDA) for e-books. I am interested in PDA so it was good to hear how it works and the pitfalls and successes they've had along the way. The second presentation was from Keynote Speaker Ed Fay. Ed is the Digital Library Manger at the London School of Economics and he spoke about the Digital Library there and its role in preserving digital material.
A 2.30pm we had a final opportunity to visit the exhibitions and do a bit of networking - with the help of some very nice cookies! - before the prize draw for the iPad3 and raffle. I came away with £20 of John Lewis vouchers! I would recommend attending. It's a great chance to network, establish links with publishers, learn about developments and what others are doing and meet the Dawson team who are both very friendly and enthusiastic about how they can help you. A very enjoyable day all round!