#SLIP2019 Call for papers now open

call for papers wide (twitter post)

The Information Professional as Author

The call for papers for our 4th Annual Student Conference is now open! Our theme this year is “The Information Professional as Author” and, as always, we are open to a broad interpretation. You are free to consider any type of writing or publishing an information professional / librarian / archivist may be a part of. From an academic researcher, to a practitioner writing a project report. You could consider grant proposals or social media authorship, or authorship in different formats such as audio, video as well as the written word. Presentations can be about a project you have completed or are currently working on or can be academic in nature.

All presentations will be 10 minute lightning presentations. You are free to choose the style of your presentation, you may use Powerpoint, Keynote, PDF or Prezi.

Submissions are now open for current students and graduates of the last three years from any library qualification (UCD, DBS, Ulster University, distance learning). Submissions are also welcome from students and graduates of Archival Studies, Archives and Records Management and Digital Humanities.

Make your individual or group submission on the form here!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the conference just send an email to conference@slipireland.com and we’ll be happy to help you.

Good luck, we can’t wait to see what you have got for us this year!

IMPORTANT INFO Submission Deadline: 17:00 Friday 11th January Date of Conference: Saturday 23 February Location of Conference: Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse St., Dublin 2 Cost: Free! #SLIP2019



Do you want to get involved with SLIP Ireland?

image of multicoloured hands reaching up. inside a yellow, orange and red shape says "join us". Text reads "get invovled with SLIP Ireland! Join our Working Committee"

We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our new Working Committee! There are lots of roles on offer and plenty of different ways to get involved.

Our Working Committee will work with Clare & Helena with the day to day running of SLIP Ireland as well as helping to plan and deliver the annual conference in February. If you’re interested in any of the following then please let us know!

  • Content specialist & curator
  • Social Media
  • Writing blog posts
  • Event write-ups
  • Conference assistant

If you have an idea on how to get involved that’s not listed here then please let us know, we’d love to hear from you. As this is a volunteer position we don’t expect anyone to contribute more than a few hours per month.

Send a short email to hello@slipireland.com with the subject line “Working Committee” for more info, or fill in the contact form below.

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 clare@slipireland.com.

Mo Chúinne Gaeilge i leabharlann Cabrach

My Irish Corner in Cabra Library

Before embarking on the journey to becoming an MLIS graduate, I began my first library placement in Cabra library last summer. Before making the decision to become a librarian I had worked as a substitute teacher in my local Gaelscoil as well as taking on the role as school librarian. I absolutely adored reading with the children, organising the books, and rearranging the room so that the library seemed less like a stuffy storage space and more of a creative space. When I started in the library I noticed how many of the Irish books were scattered amongst the other collections. Since Cabra library is in the vicinity of Gaelscoils I thought an Irish section would be a fantastic resource for the children. With this idea I started to plan how I might start such a project. The staff in Cabra were so supportive, constantly reassuring and encouraging me to use my initiative.


Including my ordinary tasks of the day, I put aside an hour each morning before our doors opened to work on the project. After moving a few shelves around and making some space, I gradually created a cosy and colourful “Cúinne Gaeilge” in the children’s section. I had so much fun decorating the corner with a helping hand from the children themselves who loved taking part in the project. I took inspiration from Pinterest with my “Road Sign Design” and used well-known fairy-tales translated from English to Irish to give the space a bit of familiarity and magic!


One of the main challenges with this project was categorising the reading level of each Irish book and making it easily comprehensible for both children and parents, specifically non-fluent Irish speakers. It took a while to develop this system but in the end I organised the books into five individual categories and colour coded them to distinguish the categories – Picture books (Leabhair pictúir), Translations English – Irish (Aistriúchán Béarla go Gaeilge), Early Readers (Leitheoirí Óg), Fiction (Leabhair Fiscean / finscéal) and Non-fiction (Leabhair neamhfhicsean).


Thankfully, I got to see the positive reaction and feedback from our regular users before finishing up my placement. The children that visited seemed to love the corner as well as their parents and grandparents who complimented our efforts. Our fluent Irish speakers were also delighted to see a dedicated corner for Irish books and asked whether we would do something similar in the adult section. The development of the Irish corner also encouraged the staff to create a “reference corner” for the children, using the same design. The staff thought that individual corners could be organised by themes, creating a set of different and interesting spaces for the children to read or do their homework.


The Cúinne Gaeilge is something very special to me as it allowed me to contribute something unique to the library and at the same time, promote a required resource for the community and local schools. The staff in Cabra were so encouraging and supportive, constantly reassuring me that I was doing a great job and that the corner would be maintained and continued after I left. It was only recently that a librarian from another public library contacted me about how their library had implemented their own “Cúinne Gaeilge” after I had shared my idea on a visit. This was so rewarding to hear as I know just how important Irish books are to students, children, and adult learners. I am hoping that this new, colourful, and welcoming corner will give books “as Gaeilge” a new lease of life and encourage children to take a seat and enjoy the world of Henrí Dána and Fionn Mac Cumhail.

About the AuthorPicture of Saoirse De Paor

Saoirse De Paor is currently completing my MA in Information and Librarian Studies at University College Dublin. She previously graduated with a BA in Geography, Classics and Nua-Gaeilge from Maynooth University. She has previously worked as a substitute teacher in my local primary Gaelscoil and also as their school librarian. She undertook her eight-week library placement in Cabra Library which allowed her to gain a massive amount of experience working in a public library. The staff at Cabra constantly encouraged her to share my ideas and take the initiative! She also got to visit the staff in Pearse St Library and Ballyfermot Library which provided her with a fantastic insight into the different projects and programmes libraries are currently rolling out.



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.

Join us for a live Twitter chat!

red, blue and white advertisement reads: #SLIPIRELAND Join us for a live twitter chat on thursday 25th january at 6pm. see www.slipireland.com for details. follow us on twitter @slipireland. connect on facebook @studentlibrariansireland

On Thursday 25th January at 6pm SLIP Ireland will be hosting a live Twitter chat inspired by an article in Liber QuarterlyThe e-Reader — an Educational or an Entertainment Tool? e-Readers in an Academic Setting by Peter Ahlroos and Jonna Hahto1.

To take part in the Twitter chat all you need to do is read the article, which is open access and available here, and think about the points raised in the article – then share your feedback using #SLIPIreland! For some guiding questions on reflecting on the article see below. @SLIPIreland will be moderating the chat and asking some questions raised by the article and the topic of e-readers in general and how the landscape has shifted in the years since the article was written.

Guiding Questions

  1. What is the focus of the article/chapter?
  2. What kinds of contributions do the readings make (theoretical, framework, insights, practical, etc.) to understanding your chosen topic?
  3. Is the evidence the author presents convincing to you? Why/why not?
  4. What is strong/weak about the article?
  5. What do you agree/disagree with?
  6. How would you change the research or what else do you wish the authors had considered?
  7. What connections can you make between these articles and others?
  8. Does it support, challenge, extend, or contradict other readings you’ve done?
  9. What connections can you make between the reading and your own experiences in previous study or in the workplace?
  10. What can you “take away” from the readings?
  11.  What questions or issues does the reading raise for you?


  1. Ahlroos, P. & Hahto, J., (2012). The e-Reader — an Educational or an Entertainment Tool? e-Readers in an Academic Setting. LIBER Quarterly. 21(2), pp.249–261. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.8023


10 Tools To Survive Your MLIS

logo of Doodle - blue text reads "doo

If you remember nothing else from this post remember Doodle. The number one thing I found most difficult during library school wasn’t the course-load, the growing mountain of assignments and reading or balancing college and a social life – it was trying to find a time to have group meetings. Seriously, when you’re taking five modules but are somehow doing six group projects it’s a nightmare trying to find a time that works for everyone, especially as we all have commitments outside of college and more and more students are in employment while studying. So, forget the unending messages in the group chat and just use a Doodle poll. It’s simple, just input your available times for a meeting and invite everyone to participate in the poll, then you can quickly see the time that suits you all best. Doodle will also sync to your calendar. There’s no need to go for the Premium account, the free version will cover everything you need.

logo of skype - white "S" in blue circle.

Remember, not all group meetings have to happen in person! Remote meetings are great if you have a long commute into college that you don’t necessarily want to have to do every day. If you’re camera-shy you can do voice-only calls and you can also share your screen over Skype, which is handy for group projects and presentations. Facebook messenger also has a group video chat option.

Google Docs

There are numerous benefits to Google Docs as an alternative to the more traditional Microsoft Office. Firstly, it’s free! Secondly, it’s really easy to collaborate on group reports with Google Docs as multiple users can simultaneously edit the same document. This ends up being so much easier than trying to combine four different Word documents.

Thirdly, as Google Docs is stored in the cloud if you lose your USB drive you won’t lose the paper you just spent 5 hours finishing. Side note: so many USB drives are lost in the library year and it’s really hard to get them back to their owners. Would you recognise your USB in a box of pretty identical looking USBs? Do you have 30 minutes to look through all of them? My advice is to both make a physical mark on the outside of your USB drive (permanent marker or nail polish should work for this) and create a simple “If found please return to” text document to keep on it with your contact details. Better still, stop relying on them fully and have at least one backup with a cloud based solution. Microsoft has cloud storage with 365 but you still have to pay for it. Evernote is popular for taking lecture notes and it has an option for sharing notes including a live chat function.

If you’re not into Google Docs but still don’t want to shell out for Microsoft then there are a number of great open source alternatives like Openoffice and Libreoffice that do everything you need them to.

Google Drive logo - a green line a yellow line and a blue line form a triangle.

When it comes to storing and sharing files I recommend using Google Drive or Dropbox (see USB horror story above for reasons why). Another alternative is pCloud, it works just the same as Dropbox but has the option to upgrade to pCloud Crypto for the extremely security conscious among you. pCloud are so confident in their security that they offered $100,000 to anyone who could hack their system and nobody has been able to (and at least 2800 people have tried).

Citation management

When it comes to essay and dissertation writing, using a citation manager can save a lot of time and headaches. Endnote, Mendeley and Zotero are popular choices. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses depending on your particular needs. Different universities and colleges usually recommend and support different software. If you’re unsure what to go for, try out Zotero – it’s free and open source.

Stop paying for photocopying

As long as you don’t mind reading from screens you won’t need to pay for photocopying anymore if you use apps such as Scannable (made by Evernote) or Adobe Scan. These apps allow you to take photos of documents, automatically rotates, crops and adjusts them and saves them as PDF or JPG.


If you’re looking for a free alternative to PowerPoint, look no further than Google Slides. Google Slides offers everything that PowerPoint does with the added benefit of cloud storage and simultaneous collaboration with other users (seeing a pattern emerge here?). There are loads of great resources out there with free Google Slides templates to play around with like Slides Carnival. Another alternative is Canva. Canva is great for designing posters, images and infographics and now they also offer some pretty great presentation templates. Presentations can be shown native on the Canva website or downloaded as a PDF.

Getting Organised

There are lots of great “To Do List” apps, I recommend Any.do which allows you to collaborate with others and share tasks.

If you’re prone to procrastination you might find this desktop Pomodoro timer helpful. The Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break work down into 25 minute intervals with 5 minutes break in between. There’s also a web based timer here for concentration on the fly.

If you need a more extreme method of preventing procrastination, when the siren song of Facebook is calling (or literally anything other than work is calling, let’s be honest) maybe you should go Cold Turkey and download a desktop distraction blocker.

So, there are 10 tools to help you survive the MLIS! Have you found any of these tools helpful? If you have any tips or tricks that help you leave them in the comments below or join in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #SLIPIreland

About the authorimage of Clare Murnane

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 clare@slipireland.com.