Join Your Community!

collage of four images 1. post it notes, 2. table with the word "ideas" written in on pages in different typefaces. 3. two cups of coffee held by two hands, 4. two hands writing in a notebook. Overlay of black text in white circle reads: join your community #SLIPIreland

When starting the MLIS in either UCD, DBS, University of Ulster or distance learning, you are not just starting a college course but joining a profession, an industry and a community.

The great benefit of becoming a librarian at graduate level is that we all come from different academic disciplines and often previous careers. Okay, we tend to skew towards the arts and humanities side of things but many successful librarians have very different backgrounds. Sandra Collins, director of NLI has a PhD in nonlinear fluid dynamics.

Embarking on a new career can be a bit daunting and the best thing you can do as a student is to set yourself up for success by joining your community and this stage. It’s also a good idea to do so now as many organisations offer free or reduced student rates to join or free or concession tickets for events. I would encourage you to go to as many events, conferences, seminars as possible to see what people are doing, what organisations are the big names, the breadth of what library work really is.

So, here at SLIP Ireland we’re going to tell you about some of the top groups to join, websites to check out, hashtags to follow on twitter – librarians love twitter.

But be warned, there is a slight epidemic of an unusual malady affecting the library community not just here at home but also abroad – you will definitely encounter it during your studies and probably in this blog. We’re working on a cure. It is of course…

Old Hollywood movie picture of a woman fainting on stairs, a man is holding her outstretched hand. Over the image it says in large yellow letter: "acronym fatigue".

Librarians seems to just love acronyms. It never even occurred to us to call SLIP anything other than an acronym. The library world can be quite jargon-heavy so don’t feel overwhelmed when you hear someone say a string of seemingly meaningless letters and everyone around you is just nodding along like that actually meant something. You will catch on.


library association of ireland logo

The biggest player on the acronym scene is the LAI. They are the professional body representing librarians in Ireland. There are many subgroups, explained below, and as a student you can join for free for two years. The LAI website is under construction at the moment so you can keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter.

Groups of the LAI

These are some of the main groups of the LAI, but there are more. Check in on the new LAI website to see the full list or search around on Twitter.

  • A&SL: Academic & Special Libraries Group
  • CDG: Career Development Group
  • CMG: Cataloguing & Metadata Group
  • RBG: Rare Books Group
  • HSLG: Health Sciences Libraries Group
  • WRSLAI: Western Regional Section

International Groups

  • CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals
  • ALA: American Library Association
  • IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
  • SLA & SLA Europe: Special Libraries Association & European section
  • UKSG: United Kingdom Serials Group

Student & New Professionals Groups

  • SLIP Ireland: Student Librarians & Information Professionals in Ireland (that’s us!)
  • NPD: New Professionals Day (Ireland)
  • NLPN: New Library Professionals Network (UK)
  • Hack Library School (USA)

Website & Blogs

libfocus logo


These are hashtags that are active all year round, many library conferences have specific hashtags – keep an eye on our Twitter account to see when they are coming up.

  • #LISjobsIE
  • #libchat
  • #uklibchat
  • #critlib
  • #librarianwardrobe
  • #saturdaylibrarian
  • #libraryproblems
  • #radlibchat
  • #UXlibs
  • #openaccess
  • #scholcomm
  • #infolit
  • #medlibs
  • #librariansforrefugees

All of these groups over various things from great informative blogs and websites, online learning platforms to great events, workshops and conferences. Over the year we will be highlighting are promoting various events around Ireland organised by many of these groups. In February 2019 we will be holding our fourth annual student conference. If you’re looking for work in libraries why not take a look at our previous series of blog posts on Job Searching to find out more info about how and where to look for library jobs in Ireland.

Just starting your MLIS? Take a look at our post on 10 Tools to Survive Your MLIS!

If you’re interested in taking part in SLIP Ireland and have a topic in Library & Information Studies you would love to write about for the blog, take a look at our submission guidelines here. Feel free to drop us an email anytime or send us a DM on Twitter or message on Facebook.

If we missed any groups or sites please leave them in the comments below!

About the authorphoto of Clare Murnane standing on top of the Saxon Tower in Oxford din 2018, wearing a snazzy beret, tartan scarf and fuzzy coat.

Clare Murnane is one of the founders of SLIP Ireland. She graduated with an MLIS from UCD in 2015 and now works in UCD Library. If you would like to write for SLIP you can contact Clare on Twitter @SLIPIreland or by emailing