Thank you Altmetric

logo for Altmetric, rainbow coloured wheel

Only two days until the third annual SLIP Ireland conference! We would like to thank our new bronze sponsor, Altmetric. It’s down to organisations like this supporting us that we are able to provide a platform for students. Look out for some Altmetric swag on Saturday!

A special thank you to Josh Clarke and Jane Burns.

You can find out more about Altmetric here and follow @Altmetric on Twitter.



Thank you DBS

Dublin business school logo, tagline reads: excellent through learning.

The third SLIP Ireland  annual student conference is getting closer – only three days to go! We would like to thank our bronze sponsor, the Dublin Business School Library. It’s thanks to the kind generosity of DBS library that we are able to keep the SLIP Ireland conference going and free for attendees.

A very special thank you to Marie O’Neill.

You can keep up to date with what’s going on in DBS Library here, follow the Library @DBSLibraryTwits and follow the @DBSLibraryMSc while you’re at it.


Thank you ICS

Logo with gree, dark blue and light blue crest with gold hard and three Dublin castles logo for UCD Dublin. Tesxt reads: School of Information & Communication Studies.

The third SLIP Ireland  annual student conference is now only four days away and we would like to thank our silver sponsor, the School of Information and Communication Studies, UCD. Both Clare and Helena are graduates of ICS (then known as SILS) and have had such wonderful support from all there ever since.

A special thank you to Prof. Kalpana Shankar, Claire Nolan & Lisa Gaffney.

You can visit the school website here and follow them on Twitter @UCD_iSchool.


Thank you Library Association of Ireland


The third SLIP Ireland  annual student conference is just five days away and we would like to thank our silver sponsor, the Library Association of Ireland. The LAI have been so supportive of SLIP Ireland and we really appreciate all the help they have given us. Without this assistance the SLIP Ireland conference would simply not be possible.

A special thank you to Lorna Dodd.

Visit the LAI website here and follow them on Twitter @LAIonline.

SLIP 2018 Conference Schedule

With only two weeks to go make sure you have registered to get your free ticket to the SLIP Ireland Conference 2018. The schedule and the abstracts are now available  #SLIP2018.


10:20 – 10:45         Registration and Networking

10:45 – 10:50         Opening Remarks

10:50 – 11:10         Keynote – Jane Burns

11:10 – 11:20         Jesse Waters   “To be or not to be an information professional? Be”

11:20 – 11:25         Gillian McCarthy   “To be an information professional”

11:25 – 11:35         Alice Morrissey   “Practising While Learning: My Perspective ”

11:35 – 11:45    Anita Cooper   “Translation: learning the language to communicate relevant skills”

11:45 – 11:50                                                               Questions

11:50 – 12:00                                                       COMFORT BREAK   

12:00 – 1:00         

Academic Panel   “Libraries and Archives, what is the difference?”

Kalpana Shankar – UCD, Head of the School of Information & Communication Studies (ICS).

Marie O’Neill – DBS, Head of Library Services.

Jessica Bates – UU, Course Director of Library & Information Management MSc.

Jacinta Prunty – MU, Head of History.

Elizabeth Mullins –  UCD, Director of the MA in Archives and Records Management programme.

1:00 – 2:00                                    LUNCH  (tea/coffee and sandwiches will be provided)

2:00 – 2:10      Sharon Healy   “From the Archive to the Web: Dilemmas with Digital   Scholarly Editions”

2:10 – 2:20            Michael Kurzmeier   “Smart tools, smart users?”

2:20 – 2:30        Lucy McKenna   “MLIS to PhD – Making the move from Information Studies to Computer Science”

2:30 – 2:35                                                                   Questions

2:35 – 2:45           Tamsin Reilly   “Balancing studies with working in an academic library”

2:45 – 2:55         Colleen Ballard   “It’s Not About the Book: Expectations and Realisations”

2:55 – 3:05          Emma Doran   “Finding Your Feet In The Professional World: First Steps Away From The MLIS”

3:05 – 3:10                                                                   Questions

3:10 – 3:20                                                           COMFORT BREAK

3:20 – 4:20        

Practitioners Panel   “What kind of information professional will you be?”

Lorna Dodd – Library Association of Ireland (LAI)

Jayne Finlay – CILIP Ireland

Siobhan McGuinness – SLA Europe

Sarah Foley – British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL)

Pearl Quinn – Archives Records Association, Ireland (ARA,I)

TBC – Information and Records Management Society (IRMS)

4:20 – 4:30            Closing Remarks


Join conference participants at a nearby venue for more networking


Jesse Waters   “To be or not to be an information professional? Be”

To be or not to be an information professional, that is the question. But not a question that I have to ponder for very long. I have been working in academic libraries, be it voluntarily, part-time or full-time, since 2013. While it has been difficult to secure full-time employment in the profession since graduating from UCD in 2015, I find librarianship to be very rewarding. Despite external perceptions, it can be a very social and enjoyable line of work that offers a variety of interesting challenges and opportunities. Challenging in that you encounter a diverse range of people, need to learn new skills consistently, and rarely get the same query twice. But opportunistic also for the same reason that you are constantly learning new skills, whether by working with others or getting involved in projects. In this presentation I will talk about what made me want to join the profession, and what makes me want to make a career as an information professional. I will also touch on opportunities and challenges that have arose for me to date.

Jesse Waters is a library assistant at Trinity College Dublin, a 2015 graduate of the MLIS from UCD, and has five years experience working in academic libraries. He has worked in six libraries across five institutions to date including Trinity College Dublin, the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, University College Dublin, the University of Limerick, and the Limerick School of Art and Design. His professional interests include CPD, user experience, information literacy, and student engagement. He tweets @jessewaters061

Gillian McCarthy   “To be an information professional”

The promotion of library and information sciences is a key issue in whether a person decides “To be or not to be an information professional”. I noticed that a large majority of my peers (myself included) did not become aware of the possibility of being information professionals until during or after our undergraduate degrees, if not much later in life. It was not mentioned during career guidance classes or recruitment drives at either second or third level education.
Despite the fact that library science and archival graduates possess the top skills employers report seeking, such as communication skills, I.T skills and problem-solving abilities, it is not a career path that is widely marketed to prospective students.
Therefore, I want to present a recruitment poster which promotes and identifies the skills required to be an information professional, along with the potential careers that can be obtained with a library qualification in both the public and private sector.
To take inspiration from the conference’s Hamlet theme, the poster will be titled “To Be an information professional” with a (friendly, non-gendered) skull sitting atop a stack of books which state job titles along their spines. Beside the skull will be a checklist of abilities required for these positions. I hope the poster will provide an alternate view to the stereotype of the shushing librarian while also raising the profile of our capabilities to other recruiters at job fairs.

Gillian McCarthy is currently studying for her MLIS qualification in UCD having previously graduated from UCC with a BA in English and History. She is particularly interested in how public and academic libraries engage with their communities through outreach services.

Alice Morrissey   “Practising While Learning: My Perspective ”

This presentation will examine my perspective of studying for the MLIS while beginning work in a library without any previous library experience.
Entering the field without knowing what to expect and trying to fill the gap in your knowledge can be daunting. With this presentation, I hope to highlight how this gap can be bridged by learning on the job concurrently with studying. There are many advantages to having this experience, both from the student perspective and from a staff perspective, including but not limited to knowledge of library resources, time management, and real-world applications of theory. I will consider what I have learned while training on the job, and how that compares to what I am being taught in the MLIS.

Alice Morrissey is a current full-time MLIS student in UCD. Alongside her studies she works part-time at the service desk in the James Joyce Library. She has a B.A. in History from Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests relate to the changing nature of reference services provided by academic libraries. Twitter: @AliceMorrissey9

Anita Cooper   “Translation: learning the language to communicate relevant skills”

This presentation will demonstrate how I was able to translate and communicate my experiences and skills from a career in investment accounting/reporting into a new role as an information professional. There are similar skills between the two fields which needed reflection and translation in order to effectively relate their relevance. Also, I will show a way to approach a job spec, evaluate required skills, and translate previous experience from a different sector (eg. financial, retail) to a library/information role.

Anita Cooper (@anitaocooper) graduated from Dublin Business School in 2016 with the MSc in Information and Library Management. She is currently working in her first professional post as an Assistant Librarian, Early Printed Books and Special Collections/Bibliographic Data Management, Trinity College Dublin cataloguing 19th century children’s books. Before qualifying as an information professional, Anita had a long career in the investment services sector in Ireland and Canada.

Sharon Healy   “From the Archive to the Web: Dilemmas with Digital Scholarly Editions”

Two longstanding activities associated with humanities computing/digital humanities (DH) are digital archiving and digital scholarly editing. Both activities can be traced to the pre-Web era and gained prominence from the mid-1990s due to advances in digitisation technologies, combined with the development of the Web in the public domain. While they have characteristics in common such as the digitisation of texts/documents and the provision of access to the digital surrogates in an online environment, it is worth noting that they are not the same thing.

Sahle defines scholarly editions as the “critical representation of historic documents” (23), with a digital scholarly edition (DSE) being a scholarly edition that is “guided by a digital paradigm in [its] theory, method and practice” (28). Characteristics of a DSE include the digitisation, transcription, and encoding of texts/documents for presentation in the HTML environment, with added contextualisation through hyperlink annotations and/or multimedia. While the tasks involved in producing a DSE seem relatively straightforward, nonetheless, DSE projects often run the risk of not being completed on time or within budget. For instance, problems arise from underestimating the length of time it will take to complete a task, a failure (at the start) to configure the parameters and constraints of the proposed web platform to be used, and a major dilemma is Scope Creep. Thus, the aim of this presentation is to provide some useful tips for early career information professionals on how to avoid some of the pitfalls in producing a quality DSE within time-frame and budget.

Sahle, Patrick. “What is a Scholarly Digital Edition?” Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices, edited by Matthew James Driscoll and Elena Pierazzo. Open Book Publishers, 2016, pp. 19- 43. Open Access

Sharon Healy is a PhD candidate in Digital Humanities at Maynooth University and is a recipient of the John and Pat Hume Doctoral Scholarship. Her research focuses on bridging the gap between the creation of web archives and the use of web archived materials for current and future research in the humanities and social sciences.

Michael Kurzmeier   “Smart tools, smart users?”

There is a plethora of digital tools available for all kinds of needs – and of course they all claim to be the best there is. But when and how can you use them to actually get added value to your work? Rather than showing you my favorite apps, my presentation is going to show how to identify criteria that tell enabling digital tools from restricting ones. As diverse as our research is, we share common needs when it comes to referencing, writing and generally not loosing our work. Also when teaching, we need to find a way to communicate digital literacy beyond buzzwords and hype. My presentation is going to be based on my own experiences from B.A. to PhD level and illustrate a set of criteria for productive use of digital tools in research. It keeps a focus on information management
and emphasizes the importance of open interfaces and user agency.

Michael Kurzmeier is a PhD candidate in Digital Humanities supervised by Susan Schreibman. His thesis investigates questions of preservation and presentation of digital cultural heritage. The age of digital communication as also the age of massive data collection driven by very different intentions. As those archives serve as memory agents for current and future ways to remember and portrait the past, it is necessary to understand the challenges and opportunities that an increasing digitization of memory brings. Michael received his BA European Literature from Marburg and MA American Studies from Tübingen University. He has worked for DARIAH and has a strong interest in open source hard- and software as well as previous experience as an IT Manager. @mkrzmr

Lucy McKenna   “MLIS to PhD – Making the move from Information Studies to Computer Science”

Is a PhD for me? Is there a role for Information Professionals in Computer Science? Why should libraries be interested in the Semantic Web? This presentation will focus on answering these three questions based on the speaker’s personal experience of becoming a PhD student.

Firstly, I will discuss the experience of becoming a PhD student. This will include advice on deciding whether a PhD is for you, and a discussion of my experiences so far in my research journey.

Secondly, I will present on the process of transitioning from Information Studies to Computer Science. This will include a discussion of the challenges I faced, how I overcame these challenges, and why I believe Information Professionals have a lot to contribute to the Computer Science domain.

Finally, I will offer a little snapshot of my research which focuses on designing user interfaces for Information Professionals with the aim of increasing their engagement with the Semantic Web and Linked Data.

Lucy McKenna (@LucyMaryMcKenna) graduated from UCD with an MLIS in 2015. In 2016 she began a PhD in Computer Science with the ADAPT Centre in Trinity College Dublin. The focus of her research is on engaging Information Professionals with Linked Data.

Tamsin Reilly   “Balancing studies with working in an academic library”

In this presentation I draw on my own experience as a distance learner with the University of Ulster and as a member of staff at University of Bath Library to reflect on the advantages and difficulties of combining work and study. I explore how studying for a postgraduate qualification in Library and Information Management and working in an academic library have, in my case, been mutually beneficial. Both my work experience thus far, and also the culture of support and encouragement for staff development in my current workplace, have had a positive impact on my studies, while my course of study at UU and my fellow students have stimulated my enthusiasm, contributing to the progression of my career. I look at how studying alongside a cohort working in a variety of libraries has ensured that I have good knowledge and understanding of the wider library landscape and am not limited to the sector in which I work, thereby helping to further my development in the library profession. I also examine some of the difficulties inherent in undertaking a qualification that combines both study and work; not least in terms of striking the right life-work balance.

Tamsin Reilly has worked as a Library Assistant in Stranmillis University College and Queen’s University Belfast, as a Senior Library Assistant in University of Bath, and she is currently an Information Librarian at the University of Bath and is studying for a qualification in Library and Information Management with the University of Ulster where she is about to embark on her fourth module as a distance learner.

Colleen Ballard   “It’s Not About the Book: Expectations and Realisations”

Reflection is a key component of modules within MLIS. This presentation is a verbal reflection on what I imagined MLIS was, a realisation of the reality, and how I adapted to this. The role of information professional had escaped me as I contemplated studying MLIS, and the significance of this position, as is taught, as a primary role in librarianship was initially disappointing. I had envisioned a focus on books, forgetting that time and methods of study move on with society’s needs and uses. I reflect on my feelings and prospects, how I reassessed my perspective and enabled an element of acceptance for what I had not expected. Yet, I also found ways to incorporate subjects that interested me into my assignments, holding on to my passion for literature and ephemera. I acknowledge that there is room, potential and opportunity for persons whose preference is “not to be” an information professional as I currently interpret the role, in library services, but who wish to contemplate niche areas or roles that retain their specialised interests, whilst facilitating a useful contribution to the field and hopefully, personal fulfilment.

Graduating in 2017 in B.A. Joint Honours in English and New Media, and recipient of the award for First Place in Arts, Humanities and Social Science from the University of Limerick, Colleen Ballard is currently a student of MLIS at UCD. She enjoys the research and writing aspects of academic assignments. Her interests include books, ephemera and cultural heritage.

Emma Doran   “Finding Your Feet In The Professional World: First Steps Away From The MLIS”

Finding your feet in the professional world is no easy task, this is especially true for new & developing library and information professionals looking to branch out and establish themselves in careers after completing their studies. My presentation aims to explore and share some of the advice I received from successful Information Professionals currently working in the field, steps I took and valuable lessons I learned along the way as a new librarian hoping to establish myself and my career in the profession.

Emma Doran is a Special Collections & Archives Library Assistant at Maynooth University and a 2016 graduate of the MLIS at University College Dublin. She published her first poster and placed first in the 2017 LAI/CILIP Conference. Emma is also a committee member of the Information Professionals Network and the Chairperson of the LAI Career Development Group. Her twitter handle is @tumbling_tomes and she welcomes new connections on LInkedIn.