Library Camp 2018 – Book Now

The Career Development Group of the LAI in conjunction with DBS Library brings back its most popular event: LibCamp, which will take place on Saturday 26th May from 11-4 pm in the Dublin Business School Common/Hobby room.

Book your place on library camp 2018 today.  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 exploring methods of Engaging With our Users!

Engaging with our usersRecent

LibCamps are “unconferences”  where participants can wander in and out of sessions (pitches) and we encourage to communicate via social media your experience at the LibCamp. LibCamps provide an avenue for networking, communicating and sharing information. At LibCamps participants are leading the agenda.

This year we are exploring Engaging with our users: how do we interact with library patrons in Libraries?

See why you should attend How LibCamp 2015 works  How LibCamp 2016 works  and even consider pitching at our Library Camp 2018 What to pitch

Email your pitch ideas: laicareerdevelopment@gmail.com

Library Camp 2018 programme

10.30-11.00 Registration

11.00 – 11.15 Introduction to LibCamp 2018

11.15-12.30 Ice breaking: library quiz and prosecco

12.30-1.30 First set of pitches

1.30-2.15 Savoury and sweet break

2.15-2.45 Second set of pitches

2.45-3.15 Third set of pitches

3.15-4.00 Reflections and wrap up

Book your place here today.

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Library Camp 2018 – How it works.

Engaging with our usersRecent

If you were fortunate enough to attend Library Camp previously you know exactly how it works! If not, here is a brief introduction to the wonderful world of Library Camps.

Library Camps are unconferences – we will be following the principles of Open Space events – participants can wander in and out of sessions and we ENCOURAGE you to tweet, blog and take photos during Library Camp.

Library Camp has no key-note speaker and you can wander in and out of sessions

Library Camp provides the perfect avenue for communicating, networking and sharing information. At Library Camp it is the PARTICIPANTS who lead the agenda for the day – and until you the ‘participant’ make suggestions or session pitches there is no agenda.

Pitches are informal sessions where you lead a discussion

Library camps emphasise the informal, and that’s where we need your input. The theme of this year’s event is Engaging with our Users. If you have a burning desire to talk about a particular aspect of marketing libraries or librarians we want to hear from you!

You can pitch sessions that you would like to host or co-present on the day. To get those thought juices flowing check out the session pitches from 2016. There is no powerpoint, just a flip chart if you want to make notes. You are not presenting in the traditional style, but leading a discussion around your chosen topic.

And don’t forget there will be cake

Ace of Cakes, library edition” by clemsonunivlibrary holder is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

We also encourage participants to bring some baked good – sweet or savoury  – to help get everyone in the mood.

Library Camp 2018 – Call For Pitches 

Due to the great success of previous Library Camps we will be hosting the next Library Camp on Saturday the 26th of May in DBS Castle House from 11am-4pm.

At Library Camp it is the participants who lead the agenda for the day – and until you make session pitches there is no programme.  So we need you to pitch your idea to us (by email to laicareerdevelopment@gmail.com ) and we’ll be adding pitches as we receive them to the blog over the next few weeks.

Pitches are informal sessions where you lead a discussion.

We are delighted that Loretta Rose will be participating and her pitch is as follows:

SUMMERTIME STARS

Aiming to outline methods to design creative, fun storytimes and arts & craft sessions for babies, toddlers, young children and their caregivers.

Using “Right to Read” recommendations to employ “themes” in storytime sessions I will explain what a “theme” is and how it differs from the subject.

I will also demonstrate methods to align these themes within the context of Early Childhood and Primary School Curriculum learning objectives, using examples of storytime components and recommended order of activities.

Drawing from over 10 years as a professional voice-over artist and 15+ years’ experience teaching drama in primary schools I will offer tips, techniques and advice to maximize learning outcomes and minimize challenging behaviors – ensuring a popular programme with robust participant engagement and excellent repeat attendance levels.

 

Library camps emphasise the informal, and that’s where we need your help. If you have ideas, thoughts, or even musings on the topic then please send us a pitch – it’s a great way to get some public speaking experience/kudos and a great way to show your commitment to the cause!

Library Camp provides the perfect space for communicating, networking and sharing information

You can pitch sessions that you would like to host or co-present on the day. To get an idea of what it involves check out the session pitches from 2016. There is no powerpoint, just a flip chart if you want to make notes. You are not presenting in the traditional style, but leading a discussion around your chosen topic. A pitch generally takes about 30 minutes and can incorporate games if you want to get creative! Audience-participation is key.

We also encourage participants to bring some baked goods –  savoury or sweet  – to help fuel hungry pitchers!

Library Camps follow the principles of Open Space events – participants can wander in and out of sessions and we encourage you to tweet, blog and take photos during Library Camp…it’s a fun time!

Email  laicareerdevelopment@gmail.com with your pitch today!

L2L: Librarians learning to support learning Seminar in DIT

New DIT Campus in Grangegorman
New DIT campus in Grangegorman , photo available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/14995046247
On the 27th of June on the newly developed DIT campus in Grangegorman, a range of librarians and colleagues from Higher Education came together to hear about and discuss L2L (Librarians learning to support learners learning); a two year project which plans to explore the application of the National professional development framework for all staff who teach in Higher Education to the work of teaching librarians.
This project promises to result in a framework which academic librarians can use to guide their own professional pedagogical development and tangible, demonstrable evidence of professional development (such as digital badges or awards). One of the major draws of the project (spear-headed by Dundalk Institute of TechnologyInstitute of Technology Carlow, & Dublin Institute of Technology) is the proposed development of a vibrant and inclusive community of practice which can share the issues, challenges and best practices particular to the work of teaching librarians. Herein lies the real value of the project for me and other academic librarians who may work in small institutions and yearn for a network of like-minded practitioners with whom to share our successes and failures in the hope of improving and developing our praxis.
Funded by the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, the project also allows librarians working in Higher Education in Ireland to develop a shared language and currency with their academic colleagues which will hopefully promote a deeper understanding of the meaning and value of our work with the students and staff in our institutions: information literacy (and a range of other academic, digital, and meta-literacies) -concepts  which can be difficult to articulate and to measure in practice.
 
The day began with a presentation by Roisín Donnelly (currently on a year’s secondment to the National Forum from the Dublin Institute of Technology, where she has worked for 17 years as an Academic Developer), who explained the background of the Framework and the project in general, as well as how professional development can transform roles and identities. She described forms of non-accredited professional development activities which many of us engage in regularly without any formal recognition. These activities include (but aren’t limited to) reflective practices such as the creation/maintenance of learning/teaching portfolios, blogs and journals.
Next up was Dr. Claire McGuinness, who helped to contextualise the project by giving an enlightening talk on the past, present and potential future of teaching librarians globally and in Ireland. She described research which explored the teaching aspects of the academic librarian role and identity with all of its complexities, uncertainties and cross-functionalities. The concept of information literacy is (as she said) ‘nebulous’ and has received a mixed reception outside of academic library circles. Some of the research she cited was familiar to me but much of it was not – and I left with notes packed with useful references.
Before lunch, Dr. Ashley O’Donoghue (Head of Staff Learning and Development at DIT) gave a short talk on the importance of professional development both for individuals and for knowledge organisations. She highlighted research which showed that training and development opportunities are a determining factor in the retention of highly-motivated employees (Boxall et al, 2003) – and also provide a major attraction for managers to draw new staff to their organisations. Frameworks such as those being developed to support the National PD Framework play a vital role in mapping  clear career development and progression within key sectors in Higher Education.
After a generous lunch we were encouraged to participate in discussion on the Framework and the L2L project in a ‘World Café‘. Groups discussed questions such as ‘How do your libraries contribute to T&L in your organisation?’, ‘How do you see your role as a teacher?’, and ‘How do you think the L2L project might help you in your role?’ (paraphrased), with each group mapping their ideas onto large paper, hung around the room. Afterwards we had the chance to circle the room and write our feedback to each group poster with post-its.

contributing to T&L L2L 2contribution to T&L L2Llibrarians as teachers L2Lrole as teacher L2L

The day wrapped up with a helpful Q&A session chaired by Dr. Mary Delaney (Head of Library and Information Services at IT Carlow) who answered questions from the floor regarding the other groups (apart from academic librarians) who were developing projects around the Framework, and what form the ‘communities of practice’ mentioned in the L2L leaflet might take. It’s hoped that there might be avenues of communication and collaboration between this new initiative and other interested parties such as the Library Association of Ireland which might help to provide pathways of sustainability into the future.
Overall the day was an extremely positive experience, with a good mix of discussion and explanation and the L2L project looks and sounds like it will be a very fruitful collaboration amongst academic librarians and between libraries and our colleagues in Higher Education which should promote dialogue around the role and identity of teaching librarians. Presentations from the day and updates about the project will be posted on http://www.teachingandlearning.ie/l2l-librarians-learning-support-learners-learning/. You can also follow developments on the project’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Post by Genevieve Larkin, Assistant Librarian in Marino Institute of Education

Library leadership workshop with Andy Priestner

The Career Development Group in collaboration with the Academic & Special Libraries section of the LAI are organising a workshop for librarians interested in developing leadership skills that empower them to tackle the challenges facing libraries in the current environment. Tickets are available here

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Lead to succeed: a final reflection

The last of our series of blog-posts ties together the visions of  leadership in Irish libraries presented by our inspiring speakers at Lead to Succeed and is written by CDG Chairperson Marta Bustillo. 


This year’s annual seminar and AGM of the Career Development Group sought to present a variety of views on leadership from librarians at all career stages, as well as from non-librarians. We invited John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy prison, as our keynote speaker and we also had Kate Kelly, head librarian at RCSI; Siobhan McGuinness, 2016 winner of the Career Advancement Award from the Special Library Association’s Leadership & Management Division; Hugh Murphy, Senior Librarian at the Collection Management Division in Maynooth University Library, and Marie O’Neill, head of library services at Dublin Business School. All of them came at the issue of leadership from very different angles, yet a number of common themes seemed to emerge from all of the talks, which I would like to reflect upon in this post (slides available at links above & on our Slideshare).

At a time when even the need for libraries is being put in question, and when library staff are increasingly being replaced by so-called ‘open libraries’, effective leadership will make the difference between a thriving and well funded library, or no library at all.

hughmurphy-7Hugh Murphy asked: “a leader of whom? In what?” These are unequivocally the core questions we should ask of ourselves and of our profession. If we want libraries to flourish and play a central role in society, we must provide visionary leadership that can demonstrate the value and relevance for the future of what libraries offer and what librarians are trained to do. However as Marie O’Neill highlighted, where are our role models for leadership? Do we know sufficiently about the history of our profession to understand who our leaders were, and what they contributed to the world as we know it now? How many working librarians can actually name the founders of our profession and why what they did was important?

As a profession, we have remarkably little knowledge of our own history, of our own successes, and find it particularly difficult to adopt a style of leadership that works for ourselves and for our institutions. This of course could change if, as Marie suggested, we introduced modules on the history of our profession and on developing leadership into the LIS curriculum. Nevertheless, we would probably still come up against what could be considered as character traits of librarians: the unwillingness to ‘blow our own trumpet’ and the preference for keeping a low profile. As Kate Kelly highlighted in her talk, the ‘vision thing’ is difficult to achieve, particularly, it seems, for women, in a profession predominantly populated by women. It requires influencing and persuading ‘up, down and sideways’, something that librarians are rarely trained to do.

Responsibility, integrity and vision

johnlonergan-12John Lonergan defined leadership very clearly when he said that it is about taking responsibility for everything that happens in an organisation. It requires integrity, vision, the ability to get the best out of others and the humility to acknowledge mistakes. Without integrity, nothing else will work because staff won’t know what is true, what is expected of them and whether leaders can be trusted to stand by them when things get difficult. Without vision, staff won’t be enthused about their work and will not contribute their most creative ideas. Leaders must be committed to getting the best out of others, fostering an equal and respectful atmosphere at work, making good use of the expertise that staff bring to their positions, recognising the achievements of their employees and investing in their personal and professional development. When they fail to do so, this translates into high staff turnover and losses for their organisations. Finally, leaders must have the humility to acknowledge mistakes in order to foster a trusting relationship with employees, one which encourages staff to report the failures as well as the successes, and to try even when they may fail.

Ultimately, as Hugh Murphy pointed out, managers choose whether to be leaders or ‘power mongers’. One possible way of ensuring that leaders get the best out of their staff is by applying the concept of Appreciative Inquiry, defined as a system that ‘advocates collective inquiry into the best of what is, in order to imagine what could be, followed by collective design of a desired future state that is compelling and thus, does not require the use of incentives, coercion or persuasion for planned change to occur.’[1]coffeebreak-3

The CDG’s seminar was meant to start a conversation about leadership in Irish libraries, and certainly our five speakers achieved this very successfully. Now the question is where we go from here: what do we need to do in order to encourage leadership at all levels, to train leaders and to foster a culture of leadership in our libraries?

Watch this space – we hope to organise more events in the future that explore the concept of leadership and train future leaders.

[1] Bushe, G. R. (2013). Kessler, E., ed. ‘The Appreciative Inquiry Model.’ The Encyclopedia of Management Theory. Sage Publications.

Lead to Succeed: envisioning leadership in Irish libraries

Following on from Tuesday’s keynote recap, our second post below on Lead to Succeed: a vision for Irish libraries on Friday the 14th October in the RCSI is written by Committee member Andrew Moore and describes the remaining three speakers urging the Irish Library community to embrace leadership in all its forms. 


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Speakers included Siobhán McGuinness, John Lonergan, Kate Kelly (RCSI), Hugh Murphy (NUIM) & Marie O’Neill (DBS).

siobhanmcguinness-3After a short break…Siobhán McGuinness gave her presentation entitled “Learning and developing leadership: opportunities, influence and motivation.” Siobhán gave real world examples of how she has forged a professional profile winning national library awards in career development. She stressed the importance of being “bold and brave” at the level of new, and mid-level management positions, within libraries. She then gave evidence of her recent achievements winning a prestigious award in career development, the Career Advancement Award from the SLA (Special libraries association) Leader and Management Division. Despite a temporary setback in her career, she has continued to liaise with her professional network; by having a library mentor, being involved on committees and teams, attending conferences, having a lively website, as well as blogging and tweeting about events. It is abundantly clear that Siobhán fully understands how to actively promote yourself as an important voice in the library profession. She gave sound advice:

 “No matter what your rank – we are all leaders”

and recommended that all junior library staff should break the mould of what a librarian is, or should be: turn your obstacles into opportunities, exert influence, set challenges and deadlines. That Siobhan had achieved all these things, and more, made her advice prescient, she clearly knew what she was talking about.
 
Hugh Murphy, Senior librarian at NUI Maynooth then followed with his talk entitled “Leaders, managers and power mongers.” Hugh delivered his talk with great humour as well as providing some food for thought regarding theories of leadership in libraries. He began by showing that culturally and professionally we have a problem with the term ‘power’ in Ireland. Historically a “Great Power” suggests colonialisation, invasion, occupation, and culturally it suggests exerting pressure on the weak by the ‘powerful’. Power is therefore ‘bad’ in cultural terms, and as a profession, librarians are prone to shy away from power.
hughmurphy-8
Hugh stated that very few people are born leaders, and that he himself was wary of becoming one, but after attending a “Future Leaders” course he learnt about it in detail. He now leads a team of over 25 members of staff. He then gave examples of some negative aspects associated with leadership: ‘Role blur’ (information overload); ‘Energy theft’ (when a negative comment can deflate a meeting); and Gender politics and power. He then went on to describe one of the key skills of being a leader, the ability to be ‘self-reflective’ as well as to demonstrate ‘capacity and view’ and show empathy. He characterised librarianship as not being a ruthless work environment, in comparison to being a lawyer. He however countered this by asking if consensual management is any good if something goes wrong, and that therefore, leadership is a vital component of effective management.
 
marieoneill-1The ever engaging Marie O’Neill, Director of DBS Library, ended the day’s talks with a lively session which really made us all question our roles as leaders, and if we were doing enough to show leadership in libraries. In her talk  “Developing a leadership style and brand,” Marie discussed some of the problems of library training;  and that there is no recognised framework for the education of library leaders in Ireland. She asked those present the provocative question:

“Do we fully embrace leadership?”

Marie then went on to point out how our profession is detrimentally associated with the anachronistic image of introverted, shy & retiring type; a ‘cat-loving-cardigan-wearing’ librarian stereotype! She questioned if we are doing enough to break this association. She then gave an impassioned call for greater self-motivation, as librarians too often are satisfied with “generic management approaches,” and are anonymous in terms of political lobbying. She added that the library profession is doing too little too late, with closures and mergers in Ireland and the UK, and that although CILIP has issued an “Impact Toolkit” to help us counter these threats, the “horse may already have bolted.” She concluded by admonishing librarians for not putting our heads above the parapet, as we are not taught to be adversarial – and recommended that we begin developing leadership in Irish libraries by having a debating competition and debating cup!