Your 2021 CDG Committee

CDG Officers and Committee Members 2021

Chair: Clare Conneally

Treasurer: Nicola Smith

Secretary: Aoife Williams

Communications: Louise Cooke-Escapil and Louise Lawlor

Committee Members:

  • Stephanie Chen
  • Louise Cooke-Escapil
  • Isabelle Courtney
  • Saoirse De Paor
  • Linda Fennessy
  • Louise Lawlor
  • Alice Morrissey
  • Lara Musto
  • Conor O’Brien
  • Nicola Smith
  • Aoife Williams


Committee Members Biographies 

Chair: Clare Conneally

clare profile picture

“After attending so many wonderful CDG events over the past few years, I knew I wanted to join the committee. I want to advocate for early career professionals as well as helping to organise the events I’ve loved attending. I joined the committee in 2017 and took up the role of Chair in 2020. It is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the support structure that has benefited me so much already in my career.”

I completed the MLIS in UCD in 2015 having graduated with a BA in philosophy from Trinity College two years previously. After a brief but immensely enjoyable internship in Marsh’s Library I took up a role as a library assistant in UCD. I worked in UCD for three years while occasionally guest lecturing in UCD School of Information & Communication Studies on cataloging for special collections. I now lecture on the MSc Information & Library Management in DBS. While studying in UCD I co-founded Student Librarians and Information Professionals Ireland (SLIP Ireland) with Helena Byrne (British Library). We run a blog for students to showcase their research interests and have hosted a successful annual conference for the last five years. I am currently Deputy Chair for IFLA WLIC Volunteers committee.

Treasurer: Nicola Smith

I’m currently a Library Assistant at RCSI, Dublin where I work as part of the Scholarly Communications & Research Support team and part of the Customer Service team. Prior to this I worked as a School Librarian for many years at Ousedale School, Milton Keynes.

I am currently undertaking a MSc in Library and Information Management at Ulster Unversity.

Secretary: Aoife Williams


Committee Member: Stephanie Chen


“I joined the committee to keep up to date and to help existing library professionals and recent graduates in their career development goals”

I graduated with an MSc in Information and Library Management from Dublin Business School in 2016.

I’m currently the Digital Learning Specialist in University College Cork Library where I explore ways to integrate new library technologies and spaces into the learning experience. Prior to this role, I was a Library Assistant in UCC Library in the Services Desk Team and Social Media Team. Previously, I was a solo Librarian at the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI) in Dublin and a Library Assistant in Cork Institute of Technology Library.

Committee Member: Isabelle Courtney 


“I joined the CDG committee to keep in touch with fellow librarians, to keep up to date with career development in the library sector and to offer any insights to the group from my journalism, PR and event management experience.”

I graduated from DBS library & Information management MSc in 2017.  My undergraduate degree is in Journalism.   In my early years, I worked in commercial development in the Sunday Tribune and Irish Press newspaper until it’s closure in 1995. I took a career break to raise my three daughters and went back to college in 2011. I worked as producer in Canola Pictures, an independent filmmaking company and as part of my role there I took a documentary film on a nationwide library tour in 2016. This experience confirmed my love of libraries and I embarked on the MSc in Library & Information Management.

My dissertation focused on the proliferation of Fake News and the role of information literacy in journalism education.  As a result of this research, I became a member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) media literacy working group to promote media literacy in Ireland.  I presented my research findings at the NeMLA convention in Pittsburgh in April 2018.

Last October I set up a consultancy and now work as a knowledge manager and researcher focusing on eLearning within the retail sector.

I have a particular interest in career development and the diverse roles of librarians and information professionals. I’m looking forward to working with the CDG and getting to know the other members.

Committee Member: Linda Fennessy


Committee Member: Alice Morrissey


“The CDG events provided an immeasurable amount of help in my initial job search and my CPD within my roles. As I have a keen interest in career development and the developing roles of librarians, I knew I wanted to join the committee to help continue that invaluable work.”

Before becoming qualified in the library sector, I earned a BA in History from Before becoming qualified in the library sector, I earned a BA in History from Trinity College. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career at this stage, until, after a lot of research, I realised that the library sector seemed like a really good fit for me, as I love research, helping people with their projects and goals, and developing new skills. I entered the MLIS in UCD in 2017 and graduated in 2018. Since then I’ve worked in a variety of institutions such as UCD Library, RCPI, and the National Library of Ireland. I’m currently working in IADT Library. The CDG events provided an immeasurable amount of help in my initial job search and my CPD within my roles. As I have a keen interest in career development and the developing roles of librarians, I knew I wanted to join the committee to help continue that invaluable work.

Committee Member: Lara Musto 


I joined the CDG committee to upskill, network, keep abreast with the sector and share my experience in the industry.”

My working experience in Ireland goes back to when the Celtic Tiger was roaring loudly and when most IT companies were eager for hiring multilingual employees willing to apprehend new IT skills different from their background. After completing an MA in English, Spanish and Italian Linguistics, I was fortunate to deepen my then basic IT knowledge covering various roles in multinational companies such as technical support, training representative, software/localisation engineer and project manager. I also decided to answer a job post looking for part time teachers in the evening for leaving cert students and adults. In this new role I was able to use those skills I had acquired during my MA. Education was a field that never appealed to me while I was doing my MA, I had always wanted to work in IT! However, this was proven wrong. I worked as a Leaving Cert Examiner for a number of years during the summer.

After 8 years in the IT industry, it was time to pull the plug and to embark into a career of a full-time teacher of Italian and Spanish, taught at various levels from Primary to level 9.  Keen on my CPD,  I did a TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) course and decided to go abroad. I taught English to foreigners for 3 years while I was still looking for ways to upskill and share my knowledge with information seekers. I subsequently adventoured in my third career path that was going to marry my IT and teaching experiences: becoming a librarian.

I returned to Dublin and started the MSc in Information and Library Management in DBS and it has been a growing learning curve since I stepped into DBS. I have recently moved from consultancy (teaching and librarianship) into a full time position as a College Librarian at IBAT College; this comprises the largest English School in Dublin with over 1000 students from different parts of the world and Higher Education students with undergraduate and MBA courses. I have been working on rejuvenating the library service, creating IL courses ad hoc, observing the information seeking behaviour of students of English and organising a career fair.

Committee Member: Louise Lawlor

Prior to working in libraries, my background was in bookkeeping and office management. I began in public libraries in 2018 and the career change has proven to be a great decision for me. I am a Library Assistant with Kildare Library Service and I am currently studying at Maynooth University towards a BA in Local Studies and plan to go on to Library and Information Studies next. 

After attending some of the Career Development Group events, I decided to get involved and join the committee as I am particularly interested in career development and CPD. The CDG are so supportive and informative for librarians at all career stages. I am delighted to be part of the team and to be able to learn from and network within the library community. 

Committee Member: Louise Cooke-Escapil

My first experience in the professional world of libraries began in 2012 when I undertook an internship in Marsh’s Library. This experience confirmed my love of libraries and inspired me to pursue a position as a Bilingual Library Assistant in the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information in Paris. This experience was very enriching and taught me the vital social importance of libraries. While I was in Paris, I also worked part-time in the American Library. I have since worked in a variety of libraries including Sutton Public Libraries, King’s College London Libraries, the London Library, and Maynooth University Library. 

I am interested in professional development and I am currently working on my portfolio for Professional Certification with CILIP. I joined the committee as a Communications Officer as a way of continuing this professional development and linking in with the library community in Ireland.


Author: laicdg

Career Development Group of the Library Association of Ireland.

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