Lucky LILAC: an LIS new professional’s perspective of the 2017 conference

Lucky LILAC: an LIS new professional’s perspective of the 2017 conference

This is a guest post written by Catriona Robertson (@RabCShell), a new professional working in HE/health libraries.

Lucky might not be the term that springs to mind when you hear that it was LILAC’s thirteenth year in April, but that is how I, a LILAC newbie, felt to be attending this year’s conference. LILAC, the Librarian’s Information Literacy Annual Conference, is organised each year by CILIP’s Information Literacy Group and attracts attendees and delegates from the UK and further afield. This year’s conference was held over three days at the beautiful Swansea University Bay Campus. As an added bonus, there was plenty of sun rays, as well as ideas, to soak up.

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The changing role of librarians in today’s industry – an interview

university_of_essex_-_albert_sloman_library
The Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex

This is a summary of an interview with Cathy Walsh, Director of Library Services and University Librarian at the University of Essex.

Claudio Svaluto: The general theme of this interview is “the changing role of librarians in today’s industry.”
Continue reading “The changing role of librarians in today’s industry – an interview”

Committees: what you can do for them, and what they can do for you!

Committees: what you can do for them, and what they can do for you!

As a new professional looking forward to potentially working towards chartership once I finish my LIS degree next year, I am always keen for a CPD opportunity. So, when I was encouraged by a colleague to join the committee of the Forum for Interlending and Information Delivery (FIL), I jumped at the chance. So, what does being a member of a committee involve, and how can it help a new professional develop their career?

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How much is too much?

How much is too much?

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I drove for nearly four hours through tiny Welsh towns, rippling hills and the thickest fog imaginable to emerge in the seaside town of Aberystwyth. Barely a week before, we’d had our acceptance letters for the Masters in Library and Information Studies by distance at the university there, and only three weeks before that we’d made the decision to apply. Three months ago we’d met for the first time as we moved to a new city and started our graduate traineeships at the same place, so it’s fair to say things have moved very quickly.

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Getting into the ‘Back to School’ Mindset with Library Make and Do Camp

Getting into the ‘Back to School’ Mindset with Library Make and Do Camp

Last month I attended a library camp with a difference.  Catching my eye on the LIS-Link mailing, organiser Andrew Walsh of Innovative Libraries had described ‘Library Make and Do Camp’ as “having the same positive vibe [as a library camp]… but based around creating materials rather than just talking about stuff.”¹  Andrew is well known for his work on games in teaching, especially in libraries.  The basic idea is that getting students to play games and learn actively improves their understanding and retention.²  This is an area that interests me – I’m a big kid and love playing games myself – so I was excited to find out how I could use games in my workplace (a small HE campus library) to deliver library inductions and information literacy sessions to our new students this September. Continue reading “Getting into the ‘Back to School’ Mindset with Library Make and Do Camp”

Getting into libraries: volunteering and internships

It sounds like a cliché, but libraries have always been there.

Much to my shame, I haven’t always proclaimed my adoration for libraries – but looking back, they have always been there. I remember taking out my first book – being jealous of the stamps, which I still take great joy in – and lament the loss of as our libraries get ever more technological!

In secondary school, the library was the place that students could go to escape the regimented monotony of school – it was a bright space with beanbags and friendly staff. Later in life, the library became a lifeline (as a poor Masters student with a cold, damp studio apartment) – a place with all the information I could need, with free internet, heat and electricity. I waited outside the doors of the library until it opened early in the morning, when it was still dark, and was one of the last students to be sympathetically moved on by a member of staff long after the last tannoy.

A photo of the stacks in Hugh Owen LIbrary, Aberystwyth Unviersity.

Hugh Owen Library, Aberystwyth University. Author’s own.

I emerged from the university bubble like many English graduates, I think – completely unsure what to do next. I worked in a restaurant for a year while I applied to all jobs where English might be considered useful – copywriting, TV & media, and then anything with a desk…I ended up working a full time job in admin and moonlighting in the restaurant because the admin contract was temporary and I couldn’t face a gap in my employment history.

When the admin job ended, I decided I would start volunteering. You’d think a library position would be obvious, but still…nope. I think it was a case of not seeing the woods for the trees. It wasn’t until I had an epiphany one evening, mid-migraine. If you’ve had a migraine, you’ll know that normally it’s best to try and block out all light, sound, smells…and thoughts. You will also comprehend, then, just how much of an epiphany it was that as soon as the thought struck me, I sat up in bed, somehow managed to crawl to the nearest notepad, and scrawl the word ‘libraries’ (underlined too!) before returning to my bed and passing out. Continue reading “Getting into libraries: volunteering and internships”