LAICDG AGM 2014

The Committee of the LAICDG are delighted to announce our forthcoming AGM. Once again, we are hoping to offer a little more than the average AGM with a special guest, an opportunity for you to get involved in a library-related committee and the chance to meet with your peers and library professionals!

The AGM will be held in Rathmines Public Library on Monday, October 6th from 6pm to 8pm. The LAICDG chairperson and treasurer will present on the activities of the Committee since our last AGM. The secretary’s report will also be delivered.

Following these presentations, we are pleased to announce that Roy Murray will run session “Creating a Social Media ‘Content Bible’ for your organisation”. Roy’s session was very well-received at our LibCamp event earlier in the summer, and as we know social media is a very ‘hot topic’ at the moment. We will then engage in some ‘social networking’ in Mother Reilly’s, which is just a short walk from the Library.

If you’re interested in joining the Committee of the LAICDG, we are requesting submissions for a number of positions. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience in a young and vibrant Committee which is part of the Library Association of Ireland. Keep in mind that the closing date for submissions of interest will be the 22nd of September. The LAICDG’s email is laicareerdevelopment [at] gmail.com

Tickets for this event will be available from the 22nd of September, so keep an eye on this blog for the link to Eventbrite.

 

Library Camp Ireland 2014

Libcamp Logo Orig1Library Camp Ireland was organised for the second year in conjunction with the Academic and Special Libraries Group of the LAI. It was an honour to work with such an established LAI group, popular for its successful workshops and seminars. The selected meeting place, Wood Quay Venue, was astonishing with its historical remains from medieval Dublin, made us all feel like we were the ‘cutting-edge Vikings’ of the information profession.

Pitches

Pitches

It was my first time at a Library Camp. I had some idea of what to expect after reading last year’s blog from the Career Development Group. And my foretaste was met well beyond my initial expectations. Since joining the Master’s course at DBS in 2011, I have been to several events organised by various LAI groups for different reasons: learning about the new profession I was entering, meeting and talking to like-minded people and apprehending latest ways of operating within different fields of the profession. However, I must admit that the focal point about Library Camp – is that it is an event where not knowing each delegate does not make you feel like ‘a fish out of water’. It turned out to be a social/profession meeting-day with a lot more overflowing knowledge than in any other convention I have been to. In fact, embracing and sharing current or past work experience in every field was the theme of the day! Some of the attendees have had years of experience within the information profession and seeing them actively participating in the initial interaction of ‘speed-dating for info pros’ amongst people just entering the profession was pretty gratifying.

Despite being occupied with taking as many photographs as possible on the day, I was still able to contribute to a couple of the discussions (pitches) and absorb some encouraging tips from other participants. I found particularly interesting Roy Murray’s pitch about creating a social media content ‘bible’, which was run at the end of the day and maybe for too short a time. What I liked most was the practical group work. Social Media is spreading like a virus in the information profession and it’s evolving on a daily basis. Hence, I think more LAI groups should dedicate some of their workshops to this area. Thank you Roy, for contributing with such an outstanding topic.

Social Media Content Bible

Final pitch – Social Media Content Bible

My first thought about the day was that everyone who has a drift toward the information profession should be made aware about the ethos of the Library Camp, and get involved in it. Therefore, as part of the LAI Career Development Group’s committee, I look forward to organising Library Camp Ireland 2015 alongside the Academic and Special Libraries Section of the LAI.

Post by Lara Musto, Treasurer of the LAI Career Development Group.

MAXIM e-learning course

The HSLG and the AS&L have announced that the MAXIM course (maximising the impact of your library) will take place at the end of June. This is a wonderful opportunity to further your career development. You may remember that this course was postponed earlier in the year, but is scheduled to run from June to September.

What is the Maxim course? It is an e-learning course, managed and certified by the University of Sheffield, a university with many years of relevant experience in delivering similar courses. It is also highly relevant for anyone working in the library field.

The HSLG and the AS&L are also offering part-bursaries of €145 to members who wish to participate. These are dependent on completion of the course. Please register with Eva at hornunge@tcd.ie if you are interested in one of the bursaries.

Relevant details:

Start date: 30th June 2014

Course break: 28th July – 1st August

Course finishes: 12th September (including one week at the end to prepare and submit your work portfolio).

Cost: €245 per person

If you are interested, please contact Eva: hornunge@tcd.ie

Library Camp Ireland Returns

It’s back!
 Libcamp Logo Orig1
The LAI Career Development Group, along with the Academic & Special Libraries section of the LAI, are delighted to announce the details of Library Camp Ireland 2014.
Library camps emphasise the informal, and that’s where we need your input.  If you have a burning desire to talk about a particular aspect of libraries or the information world, then you can pitch your idea here.
We will be hosting the event in the Wood Quay Venue on Saturday, the 28th of June, from 1pm to 5pm.  You can get your tickets now by clicking here.  Remember: last year the tickets were snapped up very fast, so make sure you get yours early!  And just like last year, we are asking you to bring something sweet and/or savoury to the event.  We had a wonderful response at the last one!
You can keep up to date with all the information (including what a library camp is, if you’re new to all of this!) by clicking here.
 
Spread the word. If you’re online, don’t forget the hashtag for the event: #irelibcamp14.

The librarian as researcher – new roles for the information professional

Following a highly informative and really interesting day of talks at “The Librarian as Researcher” seminar organised by the ANLTC on the 8th of May, there was a short discussion forum on the question “what can we do to advance research among librarians?

Suggestions included having bursaries towards research. It was noted though that where there is such funding, applications are few. It was suggested that people need to be braver and bolder about putting themselves in for such awards. Also noted were the opportunities for early career professionals to get bursaries to attend UKSG.

One of the presenters received funding from the Franciscans towards her research, another received funding from Trócaire towards publishing a book. Think creatively!

The issue of the Irish Research Council not recognising librarians as principal investigators for research funding was raised. It was suggested that in many areas a large amount of funding is not needed. Librarians could begin by working on a small project, speak about it at conferences, write a blog post. The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) offers mobility grants, towards the cost of carrying out research abroad.

It was suggested that librarians need to look at and speak at non-library conferences; we need to be much more aware of looking outside of our own profession – attending, for example, an education conference and talking to an audience outside librarianship. It was noted how important networking and meeting people both at conferences and in daily work is.

The perception of librarians in a service-type role rather than partners was raised. We need to do more to strengthen our role in this area and need to market/promote what we do. Suggestions included presenting posters, papers etc. at a wide range of events.

The question of research on the national agenda was raised. It was noted that while medical doctors do not necessarily have the training in research methods they are expected to write and publish. They will be remunerated at some stage, perhaps through promotion or consultancy. However librarians are generally not remunerated in the same way though, perhaps, we are better qualified at doing research. It was suggested that librarians may make the assumption that others have training or are good researchers but this is not always the case. We need to question our assumptions and raise awareness of librarians as researchers.

One way to get started is to write for professional journals then progress to peer-reviewed journals. Remember that you don’t need to put in much emphasis on research. Don’t overestimate what you need – you don’t need massive amounts of data to get started – just do it!

Being passionate about what you do help you keep going, develop your passion and keep going with it!

Laura Connaughton.

NUI Maynooth request expressions of interest

Expressions of interest, from fully qualified librarians, in short-term part-time Assistant Librarian contract posts in the Library at NUI Maynooth should be sent to Helen.b.fallon [at] nuim.ie by Tuesday 13th May.

Applicants should include a covering letter and a curriculum vitae.  Payment will be on the first point of the Assistant Librarian scale (€35,043 pro-rata).

This could be a wonderful opportunity to showcase your library and information skills while gaining some valuable academic library experience.

 

 

DBS Library Annual Seminar

Are you interested in becoming an academic librarian? Do you want to know more about how academic libraries are operating in Ireland right now? 

 

DBS Library have announced an exciting seminar to take place on Friday, 13 June in their premises on Aungier Street in Dublin. The lineup of speakers looks brilliant, and includes talks on different types of software that are in use in academic libraries, librarians and research, new developments in technology that can impact on the modern academic library, as well as how different academic libraries can work together for their own (and their students’) benefit.

 

Not surprisingly, we have heard that places are being taken up fast, so book your tickets

Interview Skills Workshop

On Saturday 22 March, we held our first event of 2014. The Interview Skills Workshop was intended as a follow-up to our CV Workshop of last year and we were very excited by the speakers who had so nicely agreed to give up their Saturday to help information professionals on their first (or next) step on the career ladder. Of course, we should mention that the LAICDG have become quite accustomed to the plush surroundings and wonderful staff at the Pearse Street Library & Archives, and Saturday was no different.

First up was Holly Fawcett, digital marketing manager at Social Talent with some helpful hints for ‘pimping’ your LinkedIn profile.

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Many of us have LinkedIn accounts, but some of the points that Holly addressed, even with regards to the basic aspects of LinkedIn, showed that some people don’t utilise it to its best benefit. Holly reminded us to choose a professional-looking photo (no photos of us on a night out, no ‘selfies’, no photos of your pet), write a keyword-driven headline and include your Twitter handle (if your Twitter account is somewhat respectable, of course).

Holly also reminded us to include examples of continuous professional development or any volunteer work that you do. You can include this in a specific section of your LinkedIn profile (similar to your ‘education’ and ‘employment’ experience). Another area of LinkedIn that we may have neglected (or just never noticed that it existed) was sections such as projects, publications, organisations, and honors & awards. Are you a member of (any) organisation? Were you awarded a prize in college, work or in your community? Were you involved in patents or publications? Did you participate in professional projects? Did you get a great result in college or do you have professional certifications? This isn’t a place for modesty!

Holly’s talk was a revelation to many at the event, as she went beyond these ‘basics’ and explored areas such as adding multimedia to your profile page (such as professional talks that you may have given), creating your own one-click invite link, customising your URL, the importance of your summary, and how to attain the desireable ‘all star’ profile status (hint: you need at least three different jobs listed on your LinkedIn page and over 50 connections). Holly also talked about adding nice little touches to make your page a little bit more appealing to any potential employers who may be looking. One that stood out was linking to the logos of companies that you have worked for in the past. Holly was also adamant about the importance of linking to everyone you know. This is important not just for the networking options (six degrees and all that) but because of that ‘all star’ clause.

Another aspect that struck a chord with many of us was utilising aspects of LinkedIn that many don’t, perhaps because we are unsure whether they are viewed positively by potential employers. Holly stressed the importance of utilising your LinkedIn Recommendations. These can be particularly beneficial if you ask previous employers or colleagues to recommend you in specific aspects that they can be confident you possess. Overall, Holly’s message was to focus on keywords that will show your dedication to a particular area that you are interested in. From talking to the attendees after Holly’s talk, many admitted that they had neglected their LinkedIn profile page. I have a feeling that a lot of us have some homework to do over the next few weeks.

Marie O’Neill, head librarian at Dublin Business School was up next with her talk on ‘Interview tips for the newly qualified or out-of-work librarian’.

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Marie admitted that it was a tough economic climate out there, and that it was specifically tough for the newly qualified librarian or the librarian looking for a new opportunity. Marie’s central point in approaching interviews was to maintain a positive attitude. Of course there are the core problems with many librarians not having the requisite experience and the severe lack of jobs, but Marie was insistant that we should try and look at the posities. Some recruiters want to hire newly-qualified librarians. Newly-qualified librarians might be more enthusiastic, more knowledgeable about exciting and new developments in the information professional field and yes, sad to say, far cheaper than experienced librarians with years of experience. Focusing on this will at least give you a positive attitude in interviews, making yourself far more attractive to your potential employers and potentially meaning a better interview.

Another important point that Marie raised was to take advantage of the free-time that you might have as a newly-qualified librarian, or one that is between jobs, by closing the gap between you and potential competitors for jobs. Take advantage of training opportunities that may arise from being on the dole, build up your CV with voluntary work experience (but the right kind: one that offers valuable experience in a field you are interested in, not simply one that you can put on your CV but teaches you nothing), establish a social media presence (especially on Twitter and LinkedIn), investigate if you can publish in a suitable journal, and participate in professional activities.

A very interesting point that Marie raised was the range of (free!) online courses that you can do towards up-skilling. Marie talking about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Learning Courses). You can find MOOCs on academic writing or management. There are even some specifically related towards those in the information field.

With all that achieved, you should be confident with regards to that forthcoming interview. But the preparation isn’t over yet! Marie noted that we should approach an interview with ‘forensic style research’. This means not just simply looking at the potential employer’s website, but checking out news articles, professional and academic literature, looking at reports that the institution has published, investigating the institution on LinkedIn and find out whether you have any contacts at the organisation. The basics are also important: turn up on time, dress appropriately, smile and be prepared to use a little (genuine) flattery with regards to why you applied for the post. And what about that old conundrum, what to ask when asked for any questions at the end of the interview? Marie was adamant that it is better not to ask anything rather than open up a potential can of worms. Even those examples that are usually offered as positives can be potentially problematic. The interviewee asking about potential employment opportunities might be assessed as somebody not particularly interested in the role for which they are applying. Asking about opportunities for CPD might be problematic if the library is small or under a tight-budget. A simple ‘you provided me with all the necessary information during the interview. Thank you’ can be far more positive.

After our break, Mark Cumiskey from the UCD Careers Office spoke about the myths and realities of interviews. Mark stressed the importance of remaining confident. Never think that they made a mistake in asking you to an interview or that they have a candidate already chosen. If you come prepared, you can impress your interviewers. But how can you achieve that?

Preparation is key. Mark suggested preparing ‘silver bullets': your key messages that you wish to convey to your interviewers. Know these so you don’t get flustered. In addition to this, conducting research on the organisation interviewing you is essential. And finally, know how an interview tends to be structured. There is usually an introduction and opening questions:

  • Why did you choose to study …. ?

  • What attracted you to this position?

  • What do you think that you would bring to this position?

  • Tell us something interesting?

there will probably be behavioural or situational questions

  • Give me an example of/tell me about a time when … ?

  • STAR: Situation (be specific), Tactic (your plan), Action (that you took), Result (outcome & learning).

  • You can talk about leadership experiences, a time that you may have dealt with a conflict situation, a time that things didn’t go according to plan, or examples of your problem solving style.

as well as work sample or technical questions and possibly hypothetical questions. For these questions, Mark stressed the importance of remaining cool, calm, collected, and reflective.

There is also usually the opportunity to ask your interviewers questions. Mark differed from Marie on this topic and suggested that this was an opportunity to show your ambition or understanding of the organisation that are interviewing you. However, it is important to remain focused. Don’t use this as a means to ‘show off’ or use a ‘clever’ question that you read somewhere will impress your interviewers. Mark suggested to keep these questions focused on the job that you are applying for. For example, you could ask about the organisation’s vision for the future development of the role or the influence of macro/micro factors on the organisation.

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Mark wrapped up with some essential basics. Be well-rested, eat beforehand, arrive on time, be clean and well-presented, be positive (smile!) and sit up straight. When answering questions, remember to listen, reflect, and answer and be clear, concise, and confident while doing so.

After Mark’s talk, we divided the attendees into groups for some group interaction on specific questions that they may have but also to facilitate further discussion about some of the points adressed by those giving the talks. Although I, personally, did not get to hear what Mark discussed with his group, Marie’s points about entrepreneurship within the library profession as well as the need for professional advocacy not simply amongst librarians, but towards different professions, sounded like the beginning of a fascinating debate.

All of us at the LAICDG thoroughly enjoyed the event and would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who attended. We got some feedback, but we will be sending out questionnaires soon to get some proper feedback. We would also like to thank everybody who participated in live-tweeting (whether they were in attendance or doing it remotely. You can check out our a selection of related tweets from the event here.

 

Interview Skills Workshop

 

 

The LAICDG is proud to announce our forthcoming Interview Skills Workshop.

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The interview can be a daunting experience even for the best of us, especially if we have little first-hand experience. Getting to this stage can seem like a victory in and of itself but it’s important to be prepared. So with that in mind, the LAICDG decided to build upon our CV Workshop of last year and help people with their interview skills.

We are returning to the wonderful Pearse Street Library and Archives on the March 22 from 11 am to 5pm with a fantastic lineup of guest speakers as well as that all-important workshop element where attendees can gain practical advice.

Speakers include Holly Fawcett who will be talking about LinkedIn, Marie O’Neill on interview tips and Mark Cumiskey on the myths and realities of interviews.

This will be a fantastic opportunity on preparing you for that vital stage of getting a job, so booking early is strongly advised .