The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

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“Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it”

The topic for this weeks class is 21st Century Libraries, this is a very interesting topic, as we are now at the stage, where the Information and Technical world is growing at a lighting speed, and Libraries are desperately trying to keep up.

The role we now play as potential Librarian’s or Information Professional’s or Investigative Researchers, we have the opportunity to, Stop, take the time to have a look around at what everyone else is saying and more importantly DOING..and take note.

This is a opportunity that will not come our way again, we as students of the Library and Info world, can take these ideas and work them to suit our own visions of what we want in our career. It is this insight and Knowledge that we can ultimately bring the library forward and maybe stay on track with the advances in Technology.

It is a tough challenge, there are lots of things going against us, economic, political, and what is caught up in all of this is technology.  We can’t invest in thousands of pounds, dollars and euros on state of the art software, when we don’t even know how we can incorporate it, into our space, or the context of the community the Library sits in. We first need to ask what do we need from technology, who needs this technology and how do we use it in the space we are in.

It is this role of an Information Professional that is in the field now to start this ball turning, like the panel on the Webinar we watched, exciting invigorated people who have all different settings of a library, but yet come together to see what can be done and question why it can’t.

Librarians and Information Professionals have always been about giving people the right Information, nothing has changed in that sense, only how we give the right information has changed, and how too change the users ability to find the right information via these new technical sources.

Entering this changing environment is having the ability to adapt on a very regular basis, to find a balance in the change and services you provide to your user, to make and take all good decisions and use them to the best ability of the institution.

Public Libraries will have a difficulty in keeping up with the ever emerging trends, as political and economic reasons just won’t allow it, as the recession keeps on rumbling public libraries will change in the way they are structured, that is more welcoming in terms of open spaces, interaction between technical devices, provide an adaptable service via technical uses however small, it will change however it will be a challenge.

Other types of information organisations differ to public libraries because the user is different, end of story! It is the reason we provide information to give it to a certain group of people, business, health, law, academic. It is similar as it still gives the user the information they are seeking.

It is time to watch, listen, and learn, eventually we will CREATE!!!


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Striving as a Pro!


“Core Values & Ethical Principles are often percieved as one and the same, but as we have often seen are in fact somewhat different in definition and application” (Koehler 2005)

Professional Practice is in my eyes, simple to define, its what you are good at, because if you are good at your work, even though it may not be the best position or even profession that are are in, you as a person has expectations and skills that you want to enhance.

Within developing the many assignments for the MLIS the one theme that keeps reacurring is “Creativity”. To express your ideas in many shapes, either through Blog’s or creating the module to your intrests, ideas and experiences.

Throughout my years working in Hospitality you are engineered to be organised and prepared for the worst, it looks very bad if you run out of wine an hour into service or you don’t have enough food prepared when you have forth warning that the restaurant is going to be busy!

Creativity buils your confidence, I find the feedback you get from collegues and educators is so fulfilling that you just want to try more.

Competencies is a new word within the world of professions for me, I never once thought that my abilities, knowledge and skills gave impact to an organisation. I was there to provide a service, like anyone else, they needed someone to serve drinks and organise a function I had those skills… so the job got done. However looking back over my time in various Hotels many instances arose where it was busy and I was called on to manage these large functions because I was certain it had to be a success, nothing was to go wrong, that is not professional!

Being prepared is essential with the Hospitality industry you need to plan in advance so that when the time arrives to actually get the room ready you have everything you need you just need to arrange it.

Having excellent communication skills is a must to make sure everyone knows what page there on, if the chef has only 40 salmon portions and you have 100 sitting down to eat plan with you staff to recommed the Beef or the Pasta dish and “go easy” on the salmon.

Know what you selling, if you get a new wine in stock, research it.. if you don’t have previous knowledge or this particular label or grape. Another example is, if a new dish has been made, ask the chef questions, there is nothing worse than a customer asking a question and you having to leave the table to go find information elsewhere.

All the skills I have gained in my previous career are so important and transferable to this discipline, however there are many more areas that I need to work on, for example presentation skills, even though I am a bubbly and talkative person the minute I have to give a presentation I will crumble and fall. It is these esteem building skills that I would be prepared to focus on.

The idea of PLN is definitely not new, the old saying rings true. “It’s not what you know it’s who you know” is often heard to network people within areas of your expertise. However now it seems that what you know should be given to others in order to get them into your cirle. The book by Bedell speaks of social bookmarking, which I am really enjoying, for instance one of my classmates posted on her blog about the website which I found excellent and will use.

The last aspect that I find new and exciting is the compoent of a live event, being prepared to attend conferences and events within the library and information studies fields is dauting, the recent event I got invited to in Trinity was a perfect example. I arrived in my own college wear, however the guy that was talking was a marketing executive and everyone was in suits and dressed impeccable, hence I sat at the back and once it ended I fled!!!

I am hoping that this blog and the other 2 I have created will help me in my journey to entering the career of Information and Libray Studies, social networking is something that I think will help me build on my presentations skills, the ability to talk to people who you don’t know and ask questions about areas you are not really sure of will make me more confident to stand up and talk about an area that I truly love and understand.

That’s all folks !!!!



My Favorite Place


The monastery library, The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco

We’ll never get tired of the library-as-maze metaphor: it’s just so satisfying on both metaphorical and literal levels. Eco’s secret, labyrinthine library, though set in the real world of a 14th century monastery, is based on Borges’s Library of Babel — after all, its blind librarian is called Jorge from Burgos. “It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring,” Eco writes, “an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by a human mind, a treasure of secrets emanated by many minds, surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.”

After a day of getting my social networking sites up to date and sorting my ever building “To-Do” list, I received an email from a very nice person (whom I only know via these online networking sites) with an invitation to one of his talks in Trinity, only available on special invite!

To say I am chuffed is an understatement, as the semester flies on, and we are being encouraged to build and search for other people’s ideas and blogs and network your way around the world, I did think it very daunting experience, so this nice invite has really given me the confidence to keep going and find people who normally I would think outside my circle.

It is also very addictive, I would normally do college work all day on a Friday and in between readings, notes etc, I would “take a break” and go online, Facebook, Twitter, etc, now it’s part of my college work a constant up date of who’s who and links that just keep on adding up.

A classmate introduced me to “Web note” and an addition on it is you can track and keep all the websites you like, similar to bookmarking, already I have 50 with various tags attached!! I think I am getting the drift!!!