The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

Leave a comment



2014 – uklibchat A team of librarians where we host a twitter chat every month. A different member hosts each month. Together we pick a topic, always library related. All members pitch in ideas for someone to write a featured article.

This collaboration is the one of the best things about uklibchat, it is great to meet new and diverse professionals and be able to connect with them through Twitter.

The twitter chats I have hosted so far include:

July 2014 –  3D Printing & Makerspaces with Dundee Libraries collaboration with Kevin McGinely @kevinmcginley16 

7th October 2014 – Research Data Management collaboration with Jez Cope from Imperial College London Library @jezcope

7 April 2015 – Collaborating outside libraries collaboration with Martin O’Connor & Elaine Bean @martinoconnor3

2015 – I joined SLA, as I am located in Waterford I find it difficult to become part of library committees as most are based in Dublin. Through a few twitter chats and a good twitter friend, I was alerted to the SLA digital committee. Here I was put in contact with the team and after a few emails I was brought on as part of the team. Within the committee, I update the events page of the SLA Europe website.

All of the above collaboration and networking is all done virtually, through Twitter, emails, Google Doc’s, & Go To Meeting.

2015 – I have recently collaborated with Rudai23, the Irish version for 23things. Here along with nine other librarians we each contribute with writing blog posts on each thing. Here I contributed on thing 5 – online social networks in particular Facebook and Twitter. Other posts include Collaboration Tools, and guiding our followers through reflective practice and a twitter chat, the Storify is here.

2015 –  As part of my internship I have begun to scope a digital library project, along with my mentor, an archivist. Here we are hoping to build a digital library of all the images that the heritage council as gathered over their 20 years. The main aim of the digital library is to preserve these images in a digital repository for future use. In order to up-skill for this project, I have taken a self-learning workshop in digital preservation through CESSDA.

2015 –   Finding a mentor, through a simple tweet during a twitter chat about careers. Here Tracy Z. Maleeff reached out to ask if we could start a mentor, mentee – ship. It is inspiring to know that someone out there has your back, and will always be there for you to give you the confidence we sometimes lack as new professionals.

2015 –  Helping create a twitter chat for school librarians, again a very random tweet asking me did I know of any chats, I knew a few in the US but none in Ireland and UK, and again I added in a few twitter peeps who would have more information and there you have it the makings of a twitter chat for school librarians! Watch this space.

2015 – Joined CILIP in August.

Please contact me if you would like to collaborate for a twitter chat, a poster presentation, webinar, podcast etc. you can contact me via twitter @shivguinn or my email is


Leave a comment

Artefact #3 Analysing Information seeking behaviours of Football Fans

My module for Information Behaviour was an interesting choice, we had covered a small piece of this topic in semester 1 and it really intrigued me. As I read the course description I was sold, over the semester class would be held online each week, through Blackboard collaborate.

In addition, each week 2 members of the class would be seminar leaders and work together with the readings allocated for that week. We also had a Facebook page were the class added their opinions about the readings a fruitful discussion began from week 1.

Assessments were just 1, which was due end of term, however as each week would build up our knowledge of information behaviour we needed to keep this assessment in mind and build on it each week. My topic was centred around football fans which originated from my interest in how sport can effect the male population and how they show different emotions throughout a football match or any sporting event.

The final draft of my presentation is here:

It was so much fun, it really opened my eyes into the many decisions one has to make when undertaking a observation project. At first I wanted to go to a football match, however on further analysis it was apparent I would not be able to take notes while there. So I decided I would watch a football match in a pub. This decision alone was the most important decision I had to make within this project as context proved to be the foundation for all other behavioural traits.

This was a different project from anything else I had done before as it was only as I started compiling the document did I find the various elements that attached to it. As I documented each observation many threads started to emerge, some of the threads to emerge really did amaze me, the difference in the groups I observed along with the different football teams they supported really brought out difference along with similarities between the people.

The module altogether was very insightful in how people behave in general. It was amazing to find a another world of theories from what I had previously done in Sociology.

Leave a comment

Artefact #2 Presenting Professional Projects

As part of our Contemporary Issues in Professional Practise module our supervisor gave us a project to work on as a group. We had the freedom to choose our own topic, and at the time a lot of people were debating the open access topic.

Here is our presentation:

As I have only given two other academic presentations this one was tough as it was a very detailed and the many issues surrounding the topic were technical in figures and statistics.

The group came together having read various pieces and we met to decide each other’s interests. As we went through the topic we each discussed what section of the project we each would like to take and how to combine each element into one presentation.

The group worked very well together as each person had an interest in the issue of open access. Having practised a run through of each section we realised that the introduction was very detailed along with the second part so in order to keep the topic from getting to heavy the last two pieces were kept to a minimum giving an overview of the debate between green and gold access.

My part included the issue of green open access, here my idea was to work with Amelie as she was working on the gold debate so there was no overlapping. We both had similar ideas which was to use the Finch Report as a jumping off point and try to illustrate how this debate emerged and the future possible decisions that will come from it.

Our slides worked well, we each made reference to points made from each other and even though it was a debate we left the debating to the class. Presenting was very daunting as I tend to talk very quickly when nervous. However before class we all did a run through, I learned that having “props” helped me focus, I did need a script which when I look back now seemed very boring. The script acted a nerve barrier however when I reflected on the presentation it now seemed like I was not confident enough about the topic.

Altogether we did very well our debate as an activity in the class went down very well, and it was so much fun. The class were very engaging in helping us see the minor faults in the project, and it was very beneficial to reflect on this analysis. For future presentations I have learned a lot from this one, I shall rehearse with a script first and then without to see how I can incorporate the slides as I move through them, another good idea is to get someone who has no previous knowledge of the topic to sit in and see what they have learned for your presentation, and the questions they have may change you presentation from a good one in a amazing project!

Leave a comment

Academic and Special Libraries SILS breakfast morning!


Bright and early on a Monday morning the committee members of the Academic and Special Libraries Board, Aine Carey and Laura Rooney Ferris laid out a fab spread for us in SILS, coffee, tea, and pastries.

We got off to a engaging start with Holly Fawcett from Social Talent giving us a very true account of how we deal with our Social Media profile. It is true that employers will look at all of these profile from your Facebook account you have that you might not be so proud off and the professional account of LinkedIn, to the twitter feeds that you have created. (semi professional at times)

It is this vast array of your social profile that employers will be looking at but most importantly is that you want them to find you, if you need to “clean up” your F.B.  account do so, because you need all these all these sites to represent you and your personality where a  C.V. can only do so much.

I did not realise until now how much of a footprint I have online, every suggestion Holly made about creating a profile I had already done or was getting around to it. I do have to clean up my F.B. account, the vast majority of friends that I have I don’t contact and then there are the other half who I really don’t need to posting things about me, the more you tell them not to tag you or upload pictures of you the more they do “for a laugh”. Even though Holly was very honest in saying “keep it real” some of those pics I am not proud of so that’s it I am cleaning it up!

Next up is the best speaker I have ever encountered Jane Burns, (Project: Mary Martin Diary) this is maybe my 4th or 5th time hearing Jane speak and not once has she recovered anything I have heard previous, each time I have learned something new and been given another opportunity to pursue a different angle in my career. Jane today covered how we as Library and Information Professionals can identify the tools which we have and challenge them to different sectors. One way to do this is by acknowledging that you have the skills of a project manager but reformatting this into the language of a project manager!

By volunteering in different projects available this can really help you identify these skills and share your ideas with various people from different sectors not just libraries. Jane show how you stamp the skills you already have with a “Formal name” seek out your skills and give them the title they deserve, if you need to brush up on them do! There are various courses available, one that was recommended is doing a knowledge/project management course, some may be for free, the one Jane took was part of IBEC! I am on it! I love volunteering, and I have accepted the fact it is going to be a while until I find a job so for now I am going to sign up to everything! Jane an inspiration as always!

Lastly we have Giada  from the LAI CDG, here the same thread is apparent through all talks “ENGAGE WITH OTHERS” by doing this you are always building your profile, and by engaging with people online and then attending talks, conferences, you are making these connections ever stronger! Also reiterating Jane’s point of volunteering, if you know of a collection that needs work done, and the company/organisation does not have the funds to hire approach them to see if it possible for you to volunteer and put your skills to the test!

The two amazing points that I took away from this morning and that will build my confidence ever more is:

1) Add to your status/tweets that you are actively looking for a job, make sure to “chase after companies that could potentially  employ you and tell them that they need you! Show them through all your online projects that you are the best person for the job, because no one else is going to do it for you!

2) Seek out these projects that are being left gather dust, in a dark corner of a library basement! Email these people ask them what you can do for them!

So a early Monday morning has provided another avenue for me to consider, first Facebook clean up, some peeps are going to be forgotten!!