A A A

Visit to the Royal Astronomical Society Library by Maddie House

By Anne Welsh, on 24 October 2014

RASEditorial Note: We are grateful to Sian Prosser, Librarian of the Royal Astronomical Society for hosting this Induction Week visit. – Anne Welsh, Programme Director MA Library and Information Studies.

—–

During our induction week, some of the new LIS students were lucky enough to visit the Royal Astronomical Society Library. The Society was formed in 1820, and gained its Royal Charter in 1831. The Society’s aim was, and still is, to promote the study of astronomy and related disciplines. The Society has been collecting books, manuscripts and other works since its inception, which form the basis of the Society’s collections today. The Society’s home is at Burlington House in Piccadilly, where it is neighboured by the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Linnean Society, among others.

 

We were shown round the beautiful building by the Society’s Librarian, Sian Prosser. She told us about the history of the collections and the challenges of managing the Society’s archive and rare book spaces. We were shown the wonderful wood-panelled reading rooms which house some of the collections. The Society holds regular talks and events in these rooms of the library. One of the highlights for me was seeing the Rare Book Room which holds, among many other treasures, a piece of wood from the apple tree in Isaac Newton’s garden. Sian very kindly laid out some unique items from the collection for us to see, including Astronomicum Caesareum by Peter Apian, published in 1540. The book contains many brightly-coloured, moving discs which can be used to calculate the position of planets. There was also a first-edition of Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), which revolutionised astronomy at the time of its publication in 1543.

 

After a look at the treasures, we sat down to talk shop! It was fascinating to hear about the role of the librarian in an well-established organisation such as the Royal Astronomical Society. Sian talked to us about the challenges of being a sole practitioner in terms of planning and managing your workload, but also about the opportunities that can be gained by broadening your skill set, taking on new challenges and establishing new professional knowledge and networks: in this case, by learning about the distinguished history of the Society and getting to know current members. She told us about some of her potential plans for the future, which include some retrospective cataloguing (the Library holds 300 current periodicals as well as over 3000 ceased journal titles), liaising with other astronomy libraries and archives internationally to map shared collections of journals and to perhaps plan for digitisation of some titles, and extend the Society’s already impressive outreach activities around its collections. She also mentioned that as a sole practitioner, having a professional support network of librarians to talk to (both in the other libraries at Burlington Place and in the wider world) was very helpful – something to bear in mind as we continue to build our professional networks! In all, it was a fascinating and inspiring visit to a beautiful and unique institution. Thank you very much to Sian for inviting us!

—–

Maddie House (@thevonfresh) is studying part-time for her MA LIS, while working in an academic library.

Image: Anne Welsh. Used with permission.

 

 

Tweet of the Week by Lucy Broughton

By Anne Welsh, on 22 October 2014

tweetEach week we will pick a tweet that we think you just should not miss out on…

Read Lucy’s thoughts on this tweet on the Publishing Blog.

 

—–

Lucy Broughton (@lucyybroughtonis a student on the MA Publishing programme.

Thought of the Week: Information Is Not Knowledge by Alice Hughes

By Anne Welsh, on 20 October 2014

uclpublishing-200“… This week, in Marketing and Sales, James MacFarlane from BookGenie451.com is coming to speak to us. On their website you’ll find the all-too-familiar fact that ‘university students often spend up to 70% of their time searching for the right reading material’ …”

Read Alice’s full blog post on the UCL Centre for Publishing Blog.

—–

Alice Hughes (@AliceHughess) is studying for her MA Publishing

Image: UCL Centre for Publishing.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Alice Hughes is the sole author of this piece.

 

Plan Your Weekly Events by Emily McCracken

By Anne Welsh, on 19 October 2014

uclpublishing-200Hi everybody! We are hoping to keep you up to date about events in the publishing world and big events happening in our programme. It’s not definitive but it is more than enough to fill your calendar…


Check the Publishing Blog every Sunday around 6pm and if you fancy a monthly format, look for the October Publishing Events Calendar in the sidebar. Happy Sunday!

This weeks events are listed here.

—–

Emily McCracken (@emilycracken) is a student on the MA Publishing programme.

Image: UCL Centre for Publishing.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Emily McCracken is the sole author of this piece.

UCL Publishing Bloggers by Caroline Murphy

By Anne Welsh, on 19 October 2014

publishingpublishing2Good Morning from the new blog team at UCL’s Centre for Publishing!

We’re really excited to be running the blog platform for our programme, and we hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy creating! So you know who we are if you ever have any questions, or want us to post anything for you, we’ve created little profiles for all 6 of us on the blog.

——

Caroline Murphy (@carolinealice93) is a MA Publishing student, and one of the new team of editors for the UCL Centre for Publishing Blog.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Caroline Murphy is the sole author of this piece.

 

Zoological Society of London Library Visit by Sophie Rose

By Anne Welsh, on 17 October 2014

ZSL

Editorial Note: We are grateful to Ann Sylph, Emma Milnes and their colleagues for hosting this Induction Week visit to the Zoological Society of London Library. – Anne Welsh, Programme Director MA Library and Information Studies.

—–

On Thursday 25th September two members of the Library and Information Studies course visited the Library at the Zoological Society of London and were given a tour by former UCL DIS student and Assistant Librarian Emma Milnes. The Library is used for research by staff, MSc students studying at the ZSL, members of the public and animal handlers.

 

When the Society first formed in 1826 it comprised a collection of living animals, a collection of preserved dead animals for studying and the bibliographic library. When the Natural History Museum decided to gather a large collection of stuffed animals the ZSL decided there was no longer a great need for this collection and disbanded it.

 

The Library uses the Library Management System EOS to manage the catalogue and the bibliographic classification Bliss. The team working in the Library and Archive comprises one archivist, a librarian, assistant librarian and library assistant. They are currently undertaking the mammoth task of cataloguing the  retrospective library card catalogue with a team of volunteers who also help with the preservation of books.

 

On 1st September the Zoological Society marked the centenary of the death of the last ever passenger pigeon and we were shown some of the artwork collection depicting this breed. This pigeon was once the most common bird and experienced a dramatic extinction over only a few decades following a rise in hunting and deforestation.

 

We also toured the stacks in the basement, the large journal collection and were allowed to handle the oldest book in the library. The library also displays a rare life-painting of the dodo. The online catalogue can be accessed at http://z10300uk.eos-intl.eu/Z10300UK/OPAC/  . If you wish to visit the library, you should contact the friendly team.

 

—–

 

Sophie Rose (@surfarose) is studying for her MA LIS.

Image: Sophie Rose, used with permission of the Zoological Society of London Library.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Sophie Rose is the sole author of this piece.

 

Lucy Broughton Wins MA Publishing Treasure Hunt Blog Post Competition by Samantha Rayner

By Anne Welsh, on 13 October 2014

treasure-300x143In Induction Week, Professor Iain Stevenson set up a fiendish treasure hunt for the incoming cohort: this took them on a walk via some key publishing-related sights in London, and ended up, as all good publishing events should, at the pub. All students then submitted a blog about the experience, and these were shortlisted by tutors, who then submitted these to Naomi Barton, one of last year’s group who is an accomplished blogger herself. Naomi offered a limited edition of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell for the winner, who today has been announced as Lucy Broughton!

Lucy’s blog is reproduced on the Centre for Publishing blog – well done, Lucy!

—–

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Samantha Rayner, Director of the MA Publishing, is the sole author of this piece.

CILIP New Professionals Day 2014 by George Bray

By Anne Welsh, on 11 October 2014

The UX workshop, tweeted by @jonasherriot

Tweet: @jonasherriot

Yesterday I attended CILIP’s New Professionals Day. Of the eight workshops that ran, each person could go to four, so the following account is selective in coverage.

Welcome:
Simon Edwards (CILIP) pointed out the paradox of a world where information’s value was increasingly acknowledged, but where information professionals were often considered unimportant. It is up to individuals to ensure that we make our relevance apparent; we need to keep up with current trends, expand our networks and perspectives, and always remember the importance of continuing professional development.

Workshop: Hooked on a (UX) feeling: research, users and academic libraries:
Georgina Cronin (University of Cambridge) led an engaging workshop on UX (user experience) research. Typically associated with web design, it offers vast scope for improving library services and providing observational data when librarians need to prove their services’ value. Attendees undertook some ‘cognitive mapping’ UX research, wherein we made drawings of our study- and work spaces, subsequently reflecting on the significance of the order in which we drew them.

Maddie1

Workshop: The Library of Birmingham: rewriting the book:
Dawn Beaumont (Library of Birmingham) spoke on the context and content of one of the UK’s biggest public libraries. She emphasised that public libraries constantly need to justify themselves to people who do not understand the tremendous value of such places for society’s vulnerable groups. It was surprising to learn that Birmingham Library is as frequently used as a space for events, social and business meetings as it is accessed as a ‘traditional’ library service, though this continues to play a fundamental role.

Keynote presentation:
Jan Parry (CILIP) gave advice derived from years of experience in government libraries. Her main message was the importance of keeping ourselves active in our careers, knowing what to do and what to look out for in order to help broaden our prospects and get to where we want to be. We must keep our work interesting and challenging, and not be afraid to ‘move sideways’ if we cannot ‘move up’.

Workshop: Professional registration:
Franko Kowalczuk (CILIP Candidate Support Officer) presented useful guidance on the registration process, including the types of material in a portfolio used when applying for Chartership. Since a lot of the process involves the ability to think and write reflectively, attendees were asked to reflect on a recent event/activity in which they had taken part. What had we learned from it and how did we intend to incorporate our experiences into future work?

Maddie2Workshop: Make yourself a ‘must have’ and go places:
Emily Allbon (City University) offered tips on improving our professional value and marketability. These included: gaining insight into our libraries’ broader organisations and how our activities contribute to their goals; not being limited to ‘library stuff’ and getting involved with other disciplines, widening networks and perspectives; developing new skills and improving existing ones; being able to foster expertise as well as more generic transferable skills; and raising our profiles (i.e. cultivating a social media presence and ‘getting noticed’).

Maddie3

This was a very interesting and useful day. It was great to meet and talk with a variety of information professionals and the workshops were very thought-provoking.

—–

George Bray (@NexGenGB) is studying for his MA LIS this year.

Inset tweets: Maddie House (@thevonfresh), who is taking her MA LIS part-time while working.

Image: Jonas Herriot

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was postedby Anne Welsh. George Bray is the sole author of this piece, with tweets by Maddie House and Jonas Herriot.

University College School Visit by Joanne McPhie, Emily Delahaye and Catherine Ascough

By Anne Welsh, on 10 October 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 09.08.27

Editorial Note: We are grateful to Rebecca Hemming and her colleagues for hosting this Induction Week visit to University College School. – Anne Welsh, Programme Director MA Library and Information Studies.

—–

In the leafy streets of Hampstead nestles the University College Senior School, first conceived as a feeder school for the newly established University College in London in 1830. The school continues to be influenced by those early days, with an emphasis on a good liberal education and a tolerant approach. We chose to go on the University College School visit on Thursday of Induction Week as we knew very little about this kind of library. We weren’t disappointed – the staff at the library answered all our questions and told us about their work, leaving us with no doubt that school libraries are a very interesting and dynamic sector to work in. Our visit was to see the well-appointed two floor library and we were welcomed by a team of dedicated librarians, led by Rebecca Hemming, the Head of the Library.

The collections of the library are a mix of fiction and non-fiction and their primary purpose is to support the curriculum. The main part of the library houses the non-fiction collection, compiled to compliment the school syllabus and provide extra resources. The main reading room area houses the fiction collection, split into sections for the younger and older pupils so that students can easily find books of an appropriate level. The library also has a wide selection of print journals as well as subscriptions to online access. While most of the journals where tailored to general study it was also good to see Private Eye and Le Monde on the stands.

We were particularly impressed by the different means the librarian and her team used to foster a love of reading in the pupils. Teenage boys can be reluctant readers, so at the UCS Library they have imaginative methods to overcome this. An example of this was a display shelf full of books covered in coloured paper, with intriguing sentences written on them about the stories they contained. This is to try and encourage the students to not be judgemental about a book’s cover, as this is covered up, and instead take a gamble on a book that piques their interest from its description. The library is currently in the process of adding greater detail to the catalogue records for their literature collection, by adding the blurbs of the books, so that when students look up books online, before coming to the library, they can find something that appeals to them.

One of the many notable aspects of the role of the librarians at UCS is the extent to which teaching information literacy and providing subject support is a central part of the job. Two of the three full time staff are dual qualified with teaching and library qualifications and lead information skills sessions in the library teaching space dedicated to introducing the students to resources like JSTOR or coaching them on how to evaluate websites. The school has its own virtual learning environment includes a section for the library which has been modified by the library staff to create Subject Guides and modules on topics such as citation and referencing. There is also a certain amount of liaison with individual departments, working with the teachers to obtain resources that support the curriculum. It was interesting to see the services and support that UCS librarians provide is akin to Subject Liaison roles in a university context.

We really enjoyed the visit to UCS library – some of us were already planning on taking the Services to Children and Young People module next term, and this has definitely helped confirm that choice.

—–

Emily Delahaye (@EmilyDelahaye),  Joanne McPhie (@JoanneMcPhie) and Catherine Ascough are all studying for their MA LIS.

Image: University College School website.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Apart from the editorial note, Catherine Ascough, Emily Delahaye and Joanne McPhie are the sole authors of this piece.

Learning from Afar: Commuting to Study at UCL by Kat Steiner

By Anne Welsh, on 9 October 2014

Oxford_railway_station_MMB_06_166220

I’ve just started my second year as a part-time Information Science student, and after seeing all the eager new faces in my first lecture, I feel like an old hand. I live in Oxford, working for the Bodleian Libraries, and travel one day a week to UCL for my classes. Although I’m a minority in the IS cohort, travelling from outside London, there are plenty of part-timers in the department, as the Library and Information Studies course offers a part-time option specifically allowing students to come one day a week. So I thought I’d write a few words about how commuting has worked for me.

When I started at UCL, I’d just finished a year’s traineeship with the Bodleian Law Library, but didn’t have any more work lined up. It was nice to have that flexibility in choosing my first year of modules (you sign up for the whole year in October, so some forward thinking is necessary). I chose the train over the Oxford Tube coach, for convenience and faster travel times. The trains have always been pretty reliable and it was nice to have an hour or so to work before and afterwards. The only real issue was the tube strikes in February.

I had a few different part-time jobs within the Bodleian, juggling them around my UCL days. It worked really well; I got some great experience in several different libraries and enough time to study. My managers have always been really supportive and interested in what I’m doing: Information Science is an unusual degree in Oxford, with most people doing the MA LIS. The travelling didn’t bother me unduly, although it was tiring, and I really liked the routine of knowing that my ‘UCL days’ were for studying. I actually found it harder working in the holidays on coursework, without the mental push of going to London.

This year, it’s a bit different, as I’ve got my first permanent, full-time job, which I’ve been in almost a month. I love the team, the library, the regular pay-check…but it does mean working Saturdays in term-time in lieu of one day a week at UCL. So far I really like the routine, and luckily my modules worked out nicely to fit on one day each term, although it did make choosing them a bit harder. After Easter I’m still going to have one weekday blocked out to work solidly on my dissertation, which I’m hoping will give me the kick I need to get it done! It’s quite common in Oxford for people to work full-time and study for their LIS masters at the same time, so I’m not too scared. But ask me again at the end of term, maybe!

Kat Steiner (@kastrel) is working as a Library Assistant at the Bodleian Libraries while studying for her MSc IS.

Image: Mattbuck, Copyright Commons Share Alike.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Kat Steiner is the sole author of this piece.