The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions


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Professional Reading & Engaging with Library Associations and Organisations.  

For some being a new library and information professional is a chance for you to experiment and explore all things LIS.

The profession has broad levels of knowledge and skills. As you investigate and identify all areas on offer it can begin to overwhelm and bemused some new graduates.

I for one was very bemused, as I moved through the Masters I subscribed to all the Library blogs and noted all the professionals to follow and engage with on Twitter. However, as time moved on I began to accumulate a number of documents. These documents were relating to a number of topics most of which I was not reading and later realising I had no interest in.

The need to retrieve, and store this information in my mind is a way of “staying in touch” with the wider world of library and information professionals.

As I began to weed my ever growing collection of documents, I decided to question each piece;

Why would I read this?

What could I produce from reading this, a blog post or add it to my literature review for a potential article?

Who would benefit from me submitting an article about this topic or reading a blog post about this topic?

What was my interest and what was the value of this topic giving me as a professional?

I questioned these over and over.

The one question that struck me was who would benefit from me submitting an article or blog post? The way I intend to read these topics is to increase my CPD and by doing that I would keep on top of my professional reading whilst

The way I intend to read these topics is to increase my CPD and by doing that I would keep on top of my professional reading whilst showing my CPD with various library blogs.

The next question then I came to is who do I choose? I am not prepared to join every association nor am I going to read through all the library blogs that are live.

What I am prepared to do is sit down and look at who I am interested in and see what they are interested in. Moreover, I decided which of the library conferences or unconferences will I be able to attend this year, certainly not all of them. As I noted the ones I would like to attend I matched the organisation or association that arranges them.

From here I noted many things, by focusing on a few library associations and joining them I could connect with a wider network yet control the flow of new information. I could then engage with this new information on a scheduled basis, newsletters, webinars, lectures etc. As I have a keen interest in social media I wanted to not lose this global platform for interaction so I chose an organisation that was not based in Ireland but had a presence on Twitter.

Here I began to engage more with a selective few that were happy for me to blog or tweet about the topics in their newsletters or webinars. The access to the professional information was more defined, I still find other pieces serendipitously but I take my professional reading from these organisations first and foremost.

I am no longer overloaded with unnecessary information, the lesson learned here is you don’t have to read it, only read it if it interests you. From there do plan to produce a piece of writing something from the article or journal.

Happy Reading!

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Alternative Careers for Information Professionals

Today’s topic as you can see from the above title is a new and exciting area that we have all been engaging in during the Masters.

A lot of people did enter into the MLIS wanting to be a “librarian” however as the challenges started to seep into the profession the options for us to become a librarian were drastically reduced.

So option number 2? Luckily for us the MLIS has a range of modules for the techs peeps to the creative blogger. The group’s presentation was very encouraging as they outlined each avenue to take within the skills gained from the MLIS. These skills really are numerous with links to many job opportunities. It was really nice to be able to say you have developed a range of “school sets” as one of the speakers related our skills to. And in addition how these sets match the different disciplines within an academic setting.

One piece of advice they did note was to reflect why you wanted to become a librarian, what is it within this profession that you viewed yourself being and if it was Money you wanted to rethink this profession!

On reflection of this I always knew it was going to be a public library I would like to be part of, however the many Arts festivals that I have attended since moving to Dublin intrigued me. Apart from being a volunteer how else do you become a part of these festivals? The Arts Council of Ireland seems to be only a sponsor on these many brochures. However they obviously need someone to organise and connect to various writers, musicians, poets, artists, etc. So who do you connect to in order to be hired? Who hire’s who? Is an information Professional and Librarian not considered for these positions?

These are the many questions I want to hopefully answer in the next coming weeks, I have volunteered for the Ranelagh Arts festival and understand this is all volunteer work. However on a larger scale the Mountain to Sea festival is a huge platform along with Dalkey Book Festival.

So I am going to be cheeky and I am going to see if I can find some of the people involved on Twitter and I shall tweet them this post and hopefully they shall provide some answers.

I am not going to lie I am actively seeking a job at the moment but I am not actively asking for a job!!! I would just like to know the avenue I need to go down in order to seek the job I would like. I addition I can then review my skills and see how they can be matched to positions available outside the realm of Librarianship.

This is a summer where I am actively working on my capstone and shall keep building my skills and extend the projects I begun with the MLIS. One area that I love is the emergence of this blog, I love it and I love the way it has given me a confidence to pursue my Dream job even if I don’t really know what it is I want, I do know the area I want it to be in!

It is my love of libraries, books, Music, Poetry, Art, History, Politics, People, and learning that I feel I would be best suited to a place within the Arts scene in Ireland.