LIBRARY CAMP 2015

Library Camp 2015 145

We had a great day at the Cregan Library in St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra last Saturday. The weather was gorgeous, Orla and her staff welcomed us with open arms, and all the pitches were engaging and sparked a lot of discussion about libraries and librarians. Thanks to all who left their post-its in the Ideas Lounge – we have compiled them all, and will be taking those ideas into account when planning our programme for the autumn.

For a taste of what Library Camp 2015 was like, have a look at our Storify and some lovely Photos.

We will be publishing the various pitches in short blog posts in the next few days.

Many people contributed to the success of the Camp. First of all, thanks to Gen, Jenny, Elaine, Andrew, Louise, Carolanne, Niamh and Elaine for pitching your ideas – you gave us a lot of food for thought. Secondly, thanks to Orla Nic Aodha and the Cregan Library staff for lending us their space, providing great coffee throughout the afternoon, and looking after all the little details [including flip-charts, post-its and markers!], as well as taking us on two tours of their wonderful new library. Thanks also to our friends at the A&SL for moral and practical support;  and finally thanks to all of you who gave up a sunny Saturday to participate in Library Camp and share your ideas with us. We look forward to Library Camp 2016!

Library Camp 2015 105

Library Camp 2015 147

 

Networking on a budget

"librarian" by Joachim S. Müller is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
librarian” by Joachim S. Müller is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

If there is one thing I’ve learned since becoming an information professional it is that other information professionals are fountains of knowledge and wisdom. Going to events and meeting others who inevitably have advice or experience you can draw from will make you more knowledgeable about the profession as a whole and can be invaluable at different points in your career when you have questions or need support.

Unfortunately when you are just out of college or that contract you were on has come to an end it can seem like networking is completely unaffordable; however, don’t be disheartened – there are plenty of ways to engage with your peers and keep up to date by spending little or nothing at all.

Firstly, make the most of social media. Twitter is an excellent resource for information professionals. Some of my network I have never met face-to-face but nonetheless they have offered advice and support when I’ve needed it. Get involved in things like twitter chats to build your contacts and look out for lists of information professionals so you know who to follow. There are also plenty of librarian groups on the likes of Facebook and Linkedin also.

Attend free networking events – A&SL and HSLG have a joint networking event every winter (usually January) and it is always a great night with plenty of opportunity to mingle and chat. If you aren’t from Dublin look out for regional events such as events run by the Western Regional Section of the LAI.

Attend conferences virtually – this year I couldn’t make it to A&SL but thankfully the conference was streamed live, allowing me to participate without costing a cent. And if you’re social media savvy there isn’t even a need to miss out on the networking aspect. Twitter can be a conversation – follow the hashtag for the day and get involved by asking questions and replying to comments.

Apply for bursaries!!!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this.

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

Finally, there are some events that are specifically targeted to those who haven’t got a budget for networking and CPD but can really benefit from it. NPDIreland run free events aimed directly at new professionals. And LibraryCamp is an annual event run by the CDG and A&SL, there is a nominal charge and everyone brings cake! So for a very small amount of money you get to spend the day listening to, and chatting with, lots of your peers and you get cake into the bargain – what’s not to love!

So there is no excuse – go forth and network!

by Sarah Kennedy, Collections Review Assistant, The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Writing for Academic Publication: LAICDG event

There are so many ways to further your career development as an information professional, and one of those is writing for an academic publication. This is sometimes overlooked as a plausible avenue for those in the field, but given its growing importance, the LAICDG is delighted to announce a workshop by Helen Fallon, Deputy Librarian at NUI Maynooth.

The workshop aims to cover areas such as peer-reviewed journals, books and blog posts. As it is a workshop, there will be a strong emphasis on practical participation in drafting a piece of writing during the workshop.

This is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in an area that few in the field possess and to work under the guidance of somebody with practical experience. Given the nature of an event like this, and the high demand that we expect to receive, tickets are limited, so we strongly advise to book your place as soon as the tickets are advertised.

Booking opens on Eventbrite on September 5th at 7pm and are priced at €10 (waged) or €5 (unwaged). Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@laicdg), Facebook or email us (laicareerdevelopment [at] gmail.com).

Academic Writing Flyer

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.