LibCamp 2016 Programme is complete!

12 great pitches complete the programme for the afternoon with 4 happening at once!

Our amazing programme of pitches for #irelibcamp16 is now full and we are delighted with the variety and quality of the pitchers (see below)! We’ll continue to sell tickets until we’re sold out but  make sure to book your place soon to hear from all these great librarians and library advocates on how libraries can and do interact with teaching and learning in different settings!

LibCamp 2016 Programme

10 excellent reasons to drop what you’re doing and come to Library Camp

If you haven’t made up your mind yet whether to attend LibraryCamp this Saturday, read on for ten very good reasons why you should book your ticket and tell your friends to book theirs too. Apart from our crazy-bananas-good programme of pitchers talking about everything from social inclusion, tips and tools for teaching and how librarians can embrace their teaching role and gain professional recognition there’s a multitude of other good reasons to come…

#1. The venue!

#irelibcamp16 is taking place in The Student Common Room in Dublin Business School (on the 4th floor of Castle House building) on George Street. This central location is easy to get to and the Room is fitted out with with a grass floor, bean bags, sofas, various games (Jenga! darts!) and last but not least a big iPad type jukebox (5 songs for €1!)

Pitch - Katie Dickson#2. Find out how school librarians are coping with the challenges of classroom management and pedagogy in the library, as well as getting professional recognition

 

#3. A library-themed Quizz

Eh…who doesn’t love a good pub-quizz? this one will be a fun version based around the theme of libraries!

nerd

Pitch - Jack Hyland (1)#4. Try out a student-centred teaching tool called Peerwise that Jack Hyland is using in his classes with 3rd level students


Prosecco and cake#5. Cake and prosecco…need we say more?


 

 

#6. Hear about why Academic libraries are still a vital part of the infrastructure and support for teaching and learning in Higher Education in the age of Google with Siobhán Dunne

Pitch - Siobhan Dunne

#7. Discuss continuing professional development and pedagogy for librarians with Robert McKenna

Pitch - Rob McKenna

#8. Have your say on how libraries can fill gaps in the education system for those with special needs with Elaine Chapman

Pitch - Elaine Chapman

#9. Hear about teaching in Corporate and Legal libraries!Pitch - Niamh

 

Pitch - Gen#10. Catch up on what you missed or discuss what you learned at LILAC 2016 in UCD!

 

 

 

 

#11. Socialising/meeting peers/networking…the pub afterwards!

We will be following the day’s learning with a few drinks in a local bar on Georges St. (location TBA) where you can mix and mingle with the group.


Ok so that’s more than 10 – plus there’s more!

We still have a few excellent pitches up our sleeve – stay tuned to find out which brilliant librarians from public, academic and special libraries will be giving their take on the teaching role of libraries and librarians on the 21st May! Check out the pitches as they role in on our Pitches page and then head straight over to Eventbrite to book your tickets.

#irelibcamp16 FTW!

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Booking Live for #irelibcamp16

Booking has gone live! get your ticket for Lib Camp 2016 through Eventbrite

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We’ve worked hard at trying to make it as interesting as possible – we have some great pitches lined up (see them on the Pitches page!) as well as some fun activities (think quizzes! cake-eating! prosecco!) in the fantastic Dublin Business School. You’ll get to network with other librarians and students and if you decide to pitch get some great experience public speaking. If pitching isn’t for you come along on the day and join in the discussions!

As always you can tweet your thoughts throughout the day #irelibcamp16

Get your ticket now to avoid disappointment!

 

 

Call for Pitches

Call-for-pithces-LibCampAre all librarians teachers?

As you might have heard, Library Camp is back on the 21st May in Dublin Business School with a fun mix-up of discussions, pitches, and a library quiz! Are you new to speaking openly about your love of all things library-related and looking for a relaxed environment in which to cut your public-speaking teeth? Or perhaps you’ve been teaching for years in your library and are exasperated by the lack of recognition? Maybe you see new avenues and collaborations for librarians to exploit or have seen or heard of interesting new ways of engaging people in learning? Maybe you want to talk about how librarians can tackle a lack of formal teacher-training and still meet/exceed expectations? Maybe you just want to meet others in your field and eat cake? Now’s your chance! You have until the 16th May to be accepted but the slots are filling up so don’t miss out on this fun and valuable professional development opportunity!

You’ll have up to 25 mins, a flip-chart and some markers to lead a discussion or play a game or talk about how the worlds of teaching and librarianship combine. Maybe co-host a pitch if you’re feeling a bit lonely!

Submit a pitch (a paragraph or two) outlining your topic to laicareerdevelopment@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you within a few days – your pitch will be added to our Pitches for 2016 page shortly after. Want examples? See our What to Pitch and How Library Camp works pages.

 

Library Camp is back in May – pitches at the ready!

We have great news – LAICDG Library Camp is back in May! in collaboration with the wonderful Dublin Business School  and our friends in A&SL, who’ve pitched in on the last three LibCamps (haha geddit??)  we’re bringing you hot topics, discussion, peer-to-peer learning and (of course) edible treats* !

Pencil it into your diaries – we’ll be announcing a range of exciting pitches soon. Following on from the brilliant LILAC 2016 conference in UCD (which many couldn’t make it to), this year we’re posing an open-ended (and provocative) question to get you all thinking about what you’d like to talk about: are all librarians teachers? See why you should attend and even consider pitching on our Library Camp 2016 page.

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  • When: Saturday May 21st 2016, 12 noon – 4pm
  • Where: Dublin Business School
  • Booking: BOOK HERE!

This is an “unconference”, a gathering without set speakers where people come together to discuss what is most important to them about libraries. You might like to pitch about how librarians contribute to education, literacy, community engagement etc. Or you might have a strong opinion on the challenges of teaching in any number of library settings…perhaps you think there’s too much emphasis on teaching in librarianship and we should concentrate on our core librarian skills…or is teaching a core librarian skill? It’s up to you to pick your angle!

We need you to send us your pitches on the topic – for lots of ideas see our What to Pitch page. And if you need a bit of convincing that pitching at Library Camp is something you could do, or just want more info then see our How Library Camp works page.
Send us an email (laicareerdevelopment@gmail.com) and let us know your thoughts. We’ll be adding pitches to the site (see our Pitches page) as we receive them so check back here over the next few weeks to get a taste of what you can look forward to on the 21st May!
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Mmmm…cake

*It is acceptable to come just for the treats.

Publish to Flourish: An Leabharlann and beyond!… event recap

NGI prosecco colourSparkling prosecco and old master paintings provided the lavish setting for last week’s highly successful CDG event. Held in the National Gallery of Ireland’s Lavery Room, usually the gallery’s luxurious venue for corporate launches and weddings, the evening consisted of a series of talks by established and up-and-coming authors working in the library profession. Entitled “Publish to Flourish: An Leabharlann and Beyond”, about 40 attendees listened to a series of speakers who gave important advice including pitching ideas for articles and books, as well as writing techniques, tips, as well as the vital “do’s and don’ts”. Chair, Marta Bustillo, welcomed the attendees and first up was Marjory Sliney, who as editor of An Leabharlann, gave handy hints on writing for the LAI, recommending the need to keep book reviews and conference reports concise (<500 words), and emphasised the importance of reviewing past issues of the publication to get a feel for format and style. Back-issues can be consulted either in print or online (LAI/CILIP Ireland members have immediate access by logging into the site; non-members can access up to six months ago) through the LAI website/CILIP Ireland website via eDeposit Ireland. The CDG committee is now involved in the Open Access management of An Leabharlann and were delighted to celebrate this at the event.

speakers

Speakers at #cdgp2f included (left to right) Aoife Lawton, Alex Kouker, Senan Healy, Colm O’Connor, Marjory Sliney, Amye Quigley and Laura Zaliene

Aoife Lawton, Systems Librarian at the HSE, then provided a presentation on general advice for novice writers, specifically on publishing and then gave some information on how she wrote her book “The Invisible Librarian”. I asked a question in the Q&A about how it was possible to manage the writing of a book, and Aoife explained that it meant sacrificing a lot of free time, but that the pay-off was more than worth it in terms of career progression, and making your mark. Crowd at talkColm O’Connor, Information Resources Librarian at the RCSI then gave a presentation on articles he has had published in medical journals, and the triumphs (and pit-falls) of collaboration with co-authors. Next up, Senan Healy, Head Librarian and Information Systems Manager in the RDS, gave insight into how as a librarian he had once pitched an article to colleagues using “librarian jargon”, and his text was rejected. He then explained the vital importance of writing for your audience and tailoring your texts to meet the reading and comprehension levels of readers from different disciplines. Two members of the CDG committee then gave talks on their writing for An Leabharlann; Laura Zaliene, Library assistant at UCD, and Amye Quigley, Librarian at Wicklow Co. Public Libraries. Both Laura and Amye stressed the importance of venturing into the world of writing and publishing as an important step in library career development and progression. Last but not least, Alex Kouker, Research Librarian at Dublin Business School, gave an interesting insight into a new journal which he manages with an editorial team; “Studies in Art and Humanities”.Alex  Alex focused on articles from the point of view of commissioning editors and stressed the importance of adhering to style guides, and gave some salutatory advice to rejected contributors: if you can’t beat ‘em, then blog your own articles (write for LibFocus or for the CDG blog!), and better still, start up your own journal! Alex also considered the perspective of the author and the idea of self-regulated learning when writing for publication.

The event was a wonderful evening, meeting new people working in librarianship, and hearing from a range of enterprising and motivated colleagues – see the Storify here. Marta wrapped up the evening by letting everyone know that the CDG’s next networking event will be at the annual LibCamp, which this year will be held at Dublin Business School on the 21st May 2016. Tickets (and more details) will be available online soon, so mark this date in your diary. See you there!

Pub networking 1

Andrew Moore

Library assistant, National Gallery of Ireland

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Spring Event: Publish to flourish: An Leabharlann and beyond!

 

Publish to flourish-Banner-TwitterWe are beyond excited to announce our next event, the first of 2016: “Publish to flourish: An Leabharlann and beyond”. This is to mark a new role for the CDG: we’re uploading articles from An Leabharlann: The Irish Library to eDeposit Ireland, TCD’s home for Ireland’s electronic publications. As many of you already know, An Leabharlann is jointly published by The Library Association of Ireland and CILIP Ireland twice a year in March and October, and is always packed full of interesting articles, conference and book reviews, mostly from practising Irish librarians. Only members of CILIP and the LAI can access the current issue but all back issues are now Open Access and can be accessed via eDeposit Ireland through the LAI website.

publish to flourish cartoonThe second reason we chose the theme of getting published is because it is increasingly becoming the norm for go-getting librarians in academic, special, public, health, and other libraries. While some Irish information professionals are busy gathering healthy portfolios of publications on their work, projects they’ve managed, or one of the many strands of LIS literature, many (including some of us!) have yet to break into this important area of reflective practice. Not only is getting published a career-booster, it also documents and reflects emerging issues that many of us as practitioners will face someday or are already facing in our workplaces, and sharing our experiences is therefore good practice and helps get the word out about all the great work happening in Irish libraries.

In 2009 Helen Fallon wrote:

Writing for publication is an accepted and expected part of the role of lecturing staff in Irish universities. No such recognition of the librarian as an academic writer exists. Many Irish librarians are actively involved in local and national working groups dealing with the major library issues of the day. They regularly present at national and international conferences, conduct local and national surveys and engage in a range of interesting and innovative practice and research-related activities. Despite this wealth of knowledge, skills and experience, very few Irish academic librarians publish in the peer-reviewed literature. There may be a certain paradox in that while librarians support and promote scholarship across all disciplines, they are generally not actively encouraged to see writing and creating the literature of these disciplines as part of their role within the University (Fallon, 2009).

Building on the excellent and pioneering work of Helen Fallon (NUIM) and others such as Marjory Sliney (editor of An Leabharlann) and Jane Burns (RCSI), who have in recent years done amazing work encouraging Irish librarians to contribute to the academic and professional literature, we decided we’d like to hear a series of lightning talks where authors shared their experiences and practical tips in an informal and friendly setting. To that end, we’ve asked a range of illustrious library and information professionals from no.5 Clare street, NGIdifferent sectors (Alex Kouker, DBS; Colm O’Connor, RCSI; Senan Healy, RDS; Aoife Lawton, HSE, and many more!*) to come to No. 5 South Leinster Street (the Lavery Room), to the right of the National Gallery of Ireland on the eve of Thurs 7th April to speak for either 10 or 5 minutes each on a number of different topics (for example turning thesis topics into articles, writing conference and book reviews, and collaborating on articles remotely, as well as how getting published has enhanced their own careers). For the very low price of €11.43 (for the waged) or €6.13 (for students/unwaged), you can hear their advice and ask them questions in the beautiful surrounds of the NGI, with discussions and socialising before, during and after!

We know you have articles and reports lurking inside you waiting to get out so join us in the NGI on the 7th April and learn how to set them free! It promises to be a fun and informative night – get your ticket on Eventbrite ASAP so you don’t miss out.

*see the full programme below (may be subject to minor changes):

Programme

5:30 – 6pm: Registration

6pm – 6:05 Marta Bustillo, Chair of CDG: Introduction

6.05 – 6:15 Marjory Sliney, Editor, An Leabharlann: “How to start writing for An Leabharlann”

6:15 – 6:25 Aoife Lawton, Systems Librarian at Health Service Executive & Author of “The Invisible Librarian”: “Publishing for Librarians: Reflections from an Author”

6:25 – 6:35: Colm O’Connor, Information Resources Librarian, RCSI: “Collaborating on a paper – why & how”

6:35 – 6:40 Senan Healy, Library & Information Systems Manager, RDS: “Writing for your audience”

6:40 – 6:45 Laura Zaliene, Library Assistant, UCD: “Thesis to article: the value of collaboration”

6:45 – 6:50 Amye Quigley, Executive Librarian, Wicklow County Council Library Service: “Confessions of an accidental writer”

6:50 – 6:55 Alexander Kouker, Research Librarian, Dublin Business School: “Getting published”

6:55 – 7:15 pm Questions & wrap-up

7:15pm Close

From 7:15pm Socialising in the Mont Clare Hotel

 

Profile of a Branch Librarian (Small Library)

What is your role/ title? If you are happy to include your name and

organisation please also add these.

I am part-time branch librarian. Peggy Byrne, Enniskerry Branch, Wicklow County Council Library Service.

What path did you take to get to your current role. This can be quite general, but will give readers an idea of what career paths can lead to certain types of roles.

On returning from 11 years in the US working as an occupational health and safety nurse (23 years in total) I looked at the Wicklow website thinking they would need a safety officer but the only thing being advertised at the time was the job as a part-time Branch Librarian in Enniskerry and I applied for it.

Describe a typical day. If you don’t have a ‘typical’ day, are there any duties that you regularly have to perform as part of your role.

Everything! Included in my day is the obvious librarian work; checking in and out items, requesting items, supplying the schools with books during the school term, the usual shelving etc. In addition I also have to maintain the hygiene of the library. So I’m a housekeeper as well as a librarian. I manage the cash and library statistics. I run a book club once a month. I used to do a reading corner but due to the insurance risks and Garda vetting required for parents reading this no longer takes place.

What traditional library skills are important to have within your role?

Good communication has to be top of the list. Patience and most definitely a sense of humour. A reasonable knowledge of the collection. Good organisational skills are also essential, especially since you are a solo librarian. Reasonable IT Skills would be needed too.

What non-traditional library skills are important to have within your role?

That’s a difficult one. Every day is different and every borrower has different needs. We’re a small branch so I’m not sure I use many of what you might think of as non-traditional library skills.

Are there any specific software packages or technologies you use on a regular basis within your role?

I would use Microsoft Word a lot. It’s versatile for notices, posters, reports for HQ, book lists etc. I would access Borrowbooks.ie to help borrowers find books in other library services. We would use the internet a lot for new releases information, etc. We use Horizon LMS.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

When somebody comes in and says that was a fantastic book. When you recommend something to a borrower and it works. Children using and enjoying the library service. Finding obscure requests gives a great sense of achievement.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

Rudeness. It can be the hardest thing to deal with in people. I suppose also the subliminal threat (rarely but it is there) that you are on your own and can feel a bit vunerable.

What are the career prospects within your area of librarianship? For new entrants/for promotion?

Zilch. For me that is. Given my advanced age it’s just reality. And that is not being ageist. For new entrants I would say it is pretty good, whether moving within the organisation or from outside the service, there are great prospects there. The volume of experience you would gain working as a solo branch librarian would set you up for any future job/promotion.

Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing a role in your genre of librarianship.

You need to be out-going. A people person. It’s definitely not an office job, there is a skill in dealing with the public. Good communication skills. A pleasant manner. Helpfulness. Good IT Skills. Good trouble shooting skills. You need to be flexible. Good ability to make judgement calls as you’re working alone, you have no back up.

Librarian as Researcher – HSLG Workshop

 

hslg-logo-165pxOn the 17th December 2015, Rosarie Coughlan (Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada) facilitated a custom-made HSLG workshop “The Librarian as Researcher” in UCD, Belfield, which was well-attended and enjoyed by a mix of librarians from different sectors. In her current role, Rosarie manages the University library’s journal hosting service and institutional repository and coordinates library support to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Her previous roles include Information Literacy Co-ordination Librarian at Concordia University, Montreal, and Research support Librarian at NUI Galway.

The first part of the day was dedicated to the theme of ‘Librarian as Researcher’ and began with Rosarie describing the key differences between academic librarianship in Ireland and North America, including the obligation for librarians to publish when seeking tenure in North American Universities and the right to ‘academic freedom’ that faculty (and librarians) enjoy in some institutions. ‘Academic freedom’ allows researchers to develop, explore and disseminate research “regardless of prescribed or official doctrine and without limitation or constriction by institutional censorship.” This stimulated an interesting discussion on whether librarian-led research is valued in the same way as that

Why librarians conduct research

Why Librarians research – group discussion

of other researchers, and how we can balance institutional priorities and individual research priorities given time constraints and other professional commitments. Workshop participants discussed current research plans and the reasons why they personally engaged in research – which revolved around the desire to ground practice in evidence-based decisions and to affect positive change within health, education and special library contexts. Many participants felt that the professional development and research that they undertook had to be carefully balanced with supporting the research needs of scholars and practitioners in our organisations. Continue reading

Profile of a Systems Librarian

 

DBS-40th-Logo

 

My name is David Hughes and I am the Systems Librarian in the library of Dublin Business School.

What path did you take to get to your current role.

A rather convoluted one!   A BSc in Molecular Biology saw me start a PhD, but for various reasons, that crashed and burned.  To salvage a Master’s degree from the wreckage, I had to do some fairly extensive library research.  Funnily enough, I did think about librarianship at the time, but saw a syllabus for a Master’s course and thought ‘that’s really dull!”

However, using Biological Abstracts (ask your parents!), I was impressed by the power of subject indexing to aid the retrieval of information that I needed and thought that would be something I’d like to try.  After a brief detour as a trainee computer programmer, I found an indexing position with a start-up that had landed a contract with Elsevier B.V. to produce database records for EMBASE.

After that company was bought out and closed down, I moved to a job as an Information Scientist with a UK government department.  This was a gateway role: I was indexing, classifying and doing other IS stuff (e.g., bibliometrics), but also doing some more traditional library roles: such as cataloguing and literature searching.  For personal reasons I was moving to Ireland and it was suggested to me that to improve my employability here, I should do the library degree at UCD.  After completion of the Master’s I had two part-time jobs: working on a XML project in UCD and at DBS as a part-time library assistant.  Incredibly I was offered full-time positions in both but chose DBS, so here I am.

Describe a typical day

A typical day involves handling queries (email, telephone, instant messaging) from students & staff, a lot of which concern access to resources, and performing triage on any library IT issues that have arisen i.e., can I solve the problem; does it need to go to our IT department or is it something a vendor needs to look at?  After I finish this, for example, I have to investigate why YouTube won’t work on Internet Explorer on our student PCs and/or find a solution if possible.   At the start of term, there’s also the need to make sure that all students can borrow from the library and have access to our electronic resources. Similarly, I have to ensure that ex-students can no longer borrow books or access our resources.    That’s the bread and butter, but there’s usually ongoing projects to manage or to work on (in recent times that has included implementation of a new library management system [Koha] and snagging our new reading list software [LORLS]).

What traditional library skills are important to have within your role?

Search and retrieval and the reference interview in particular; you’d be surprised by how many queries consist of: “it won’t let me login” and replying “tell it I said to let you login” won’t cut it. However, you never know when some other skill is going to be needed; cataloguing came up in the context of the library management system switch for example.

What non-traditional library skills are important to have within your role?

IT skills, obviously. Project management: a lot of library work consists of discrete projects (go on, think about it), and having some project management experience is important. People skills and being able to communicate effectively; it’s important to be able to say “no thanks!” politely but firmly to cold-calling electronic resource salespeople.  Thinking about it, people skills should be a ‘traditional’ library skill as this is a service professional after all.

Are there any specific software packages or technologies you use on a regular basis within your role?

Koha, Microsoft Office – one of the best things I ever did was take a Microsoft Access training course.  MySQL, Notepad ++, Zotero, HTML.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Hopefully making a difference to our users by either by giving them access to the information that they need or resolving the particular library IT issue they have at the time; it’s nice to receive thank you emails and see smiley emoticons on the instant messaging service.  It’s almost pathological, but I like solving problems; I like (pretending) to be the expert!

What is the most challenging part of your role?

There are a million and one things I’d love to do, but can’t because of corporate IT policy – that’s not a complaint, it’s just the way thing are, so some workarounds have to be found.  Time management – answering all the queries, getting all the trivial jobs done and finding the time to keep abreast of what’s happening in the LIS world; Twitter is absolutely essential in this regard.  Librarians shouldn’t just be providing access to information to their users, but should be actively seeking to improve their knowledge of their own field: every day ought to be a school day.  Maintaining a quality service in a time of budget cuts.

What are the career prospects within your area of librarianship?

Mixed. On one hand, IT skills are needed for more and more aspects of librarianship. On the other hand, critical though system roles are in the 21st century library, there’s a danger that they will be hived off to IT departments.  This would be bad as IT departments (in my experience) just don’t have the same service ethos as we do.   A little IT knowledge – even just being able to understand what IT staff are talking about – can take you a long way. Having a 10 minute conversation with the technical support guy for our print management software in her presence was what convinced my manager, the awesome Marie O Neill, to offer me the systems role in the first place.

Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing a role in your genre of librarianship.

In general, find a niche for yourself. Network, network, network! In particular, look at spreadsheet (e.g. Excel) and database software (e.g. Access, MySQL) in a little depth.  Learn some HTML and XML.  Don’t worry about not being able to code; chances are you’re not going to work in a library where that’s required.  Be willing to admit you don’t know something but you are prepared to go and find the answer. If you’re interested in systems librarianship, The accidental systems librarian by Nicole C. Engard and Rachel Singer Gordon (Medford NJ   Information Today Inc.) is well worth a read.  Also, be aware that you don’t have to work in a library to use these skills, and don’t worry about Imposter Syndrome, it’s not just you; a lot of us feel that way.