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Archive for the 'Events' Category

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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Lambeth Palace Library Visit by Verity Parkinson

By Anne Welsh, on 3 October 2014

Lambeth Palace by Tavian Hunter

Lambeth Palace by Tavian Hunter

Editorial Note: We are grateful to Lambeth Palace Library for hosting this visit and also for allowing its Collections Librarian, Dr Naomi Percival, to attend our Open Day next Wednesday and share a placement host’s view of the work placement process that forms such an important part of the MA LIS  - Anne Welsh, Programme Director MA Library and Information Studies.

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After talks and activities ranging from “what to expect from the dissertation process” to “design a poster about the Information Multiverse”, the LIS Induction Week was rounded off with a choice of visits to libraries. I went to Lambeth Palace Library, home to the records of the Church of England and one of the oldest public libraries in the country. It certainly looks much more impressive than your average public library; we entered via Morton’s Tower, a Tudor gatehouse. The Houses of Parliament are visible across the road, and we could hear Big Ben striking. Our visit, however, happened during a period of building work, so we may not have seen it in its full glory. The main part of the library is usually housed in the palace’s great hall (a former feasting hall dating from the seventeenth century), but when we arrived the books had all been moved out, leaving only the bookcases that lined the walls. The cork tiles on the floor are going to be taken up, under-floor heating installed, and a new stone floor laid. This is mainly for the benefit of the books – the draughty hall and the proximity to the Thames mean mould and damp can be a problem – but will hopefully make it more bearable for the people as well.

Our hosts, Naomi Percival and Hugh Cahill, told us about the history of the library and its current function. Originally conceived as a “theological arsenal” – a collection of writings to help refute the religious arguments of opponents – its collections now focus on the history of the Church of England. This covers a very wide range of material: one item we were shown was a geometry textbook written by a polymath Archbishop. This diversity of material means the library’s users aren’t solely the researchers of Church History one might expect, but also people researching local and family history. A lot of users are studying the book as object, so the library also has a large collection of books on bibliographic subjects. When new acquisitions are catalogued, information on provenance is included in the record due to this interest among readers.

Hugh Cahill shows a small group of MA LIS students around the grounds. Photo by Tavian Hunter

Photo by Tavian Hunter

Around five to ten readers use the reading room each day, a figure that has not decreased despite the recent growth of online resources made available by the library. Most of the outreach work done by the library is online, due to the security issues of holding events at the Palace. These include the library’s blog, twitter (@lampallib)and facebook, and online exhibitions. The hall has been used as an exhibition space and hosted several popular exhibitions in recent years, such as the 2011 King James Bible Exhibition.

The archives are the fastest-growing part of the library. One current issue is how to handle the growing volume of material that is in digital form from the outset, such as emails, and how these should be integrated with the archive’s systems. There is also the question of how much should be kept – should a copy of every email be retained? What about the Church of England’s twitter feed? For this reason, the library is selective about donations, and reserves the right to weed collections or refuse parts. Archival donations are often archives of people or organisations connected to the church. It helps the library if money can be donated along with the material to cover the cost of processing it, which can be a very large task.

At the end of our visit, we were shown rare and interesting items from the library’s collections: a book that had been in the great hall when two bombs came through the roof in 1941 (the cover and edges of the pages charred and flaking, but the text inside still legible), Bibles and Books of Common Prayer in languages from all around the world, and a beautiful, Nuremberg Chronicle, one of the books stolen from the library in the 1970s and returned in 2011. We were shown where the identifying marks had been scraped off to hide the book’s provenance.

It was a great visit to a fascinating library, and Hugh and Naomi were very welcoming: we even got goody bags! An excellent way to kick off the year, and I look forward to whatever comes next.

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Verity Parkinson is currently studying for her MA Library and Information Studies.

Images: Tavian Hunter (@rubytavian), also studying for her MA LIS this year.

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, Verity Parkinson is the sole author of this piece, with the images provided by Tavian Hunter.

Esther Freud’s Book Club by Caroline Murphy

By Anne Welsh, on 3 October 2014

BloomsburyInstitute

I’ve never actually been to a book club before. My reading career started, and continues to progress in armchairs, duvets, and trains. However, the UCL Centre for Publishing has been throwing new experiences at me left, right and centre since I began, and one happened to be my first book club … at the Bloomsbury Institute, no less!

Four other students and I were offered the opportunity to be hosted by Bloomsbury in their offices in Bedford Square for an evening of discussion with Esther Freud. Freud is the great granddaughter of the famous psychoanalyst, and her eighth novel, ‘Mr Mac and Me’, comes 22 years after her debut ‘Hideous Kinky’ in 1992. The evening promised to be a eye opening event and after a bite to eat, we set off for Bedford Square.

The great thing about the interior of the Bloomsbury building is that it isn’t the usual setting for an office. It’s a huge town house where the corridors twist and turn, and are separated by rooms with high ceilings and wide doors. We were directed from the foyer into a conservatory, beautifully decorated with white fairy lights. We were then offered complimentary wine, which has set the standard in my mind for all other publishing events! The buzz started to grow as more people shuffled in. After purchasing Freud’s novel, having our glasses topped up, and having a few snaps of our best ‘in-the-moment’ poses taken by the Bloomsbury photographer, we all took our seats.

Esther Freud is a trained actor: her diction is incredible, and much like her writing, she speaks with great fluidity, clarity and ease. In conversation with Bloomsbury’s Editor-in-Chief, Alexandra Pringle, she recounted the events that brought her to creating ‘Mr Mac and Me’, including her relocation to Suffolk, and the history she discovered in doing so.

The novel itself follows the tale of the Glaswegian artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, famous for his art deco designs such as the Glasgow School of Art and Hill House in Helensburgh. Having seen some of his works myself, I was intrigued to learn more. The novel follows his years in Suffolk, when his work was underappreciated and unaccredited, and his drinking habits were escalating.

Freud’s composition of this novel demonstrates that serendipity in writing exists: you often find something brilliant when you’re not looking for it. She set out to write a chilling ghost story, but continued in a direction she didn’t expect, and ended up with the detailed historical account that sits on my desk in hardback as I write this blog post.

After hearing a short excerpt from the novel, the evening drew to a close, and we queued for our signings, whilst gawping at the Platinum Book Awards earned by nearly all of the Harry Potter books. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable, with great advice from a great author, complimentary wine, and floor to ceiling bookshelves.

Thanks, Bloomsbury Institute and UCL Publishing!

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Caroline Murphy  (@carolinealice93) is studying for her MA in Publishing.

Image: Caroline Murphy on Twitter.

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.

My First Week at UCL by Becky Scott

By Anne Welsh, on 26 September 2014

UCL 2014 by Susan Greenberg

 

New beginnings are always a little daunting. Arriving at one of the world’s best universities to study at Masters level can make you feel more than a little awed by the task. When you add to that the fact that I haven’t studied in this way for ten years, you can imagine my nervousness as I waited in line to enrol in our department on the first day. But as I look back the end of Induction Week, I feel that anything is possible over the coming year.

My course tutors have both challenged me and supported me. Those first day nerves are gone now. I am already submerged in the language of Library and Information Studies. Reflecting on the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base, I know my strengths as well as the areas which I need to develop. Charlie has asked us simply “to read and to think” and as Librarians these are two things that are second nature to us. We love learning. We love helping others to learn. Reading and thinking are achievable tasks.

Of course I had fears that I wouldn’t fit in. We come from a diverse range of disciplines and, as Anne said, a range of different ‘cultural backgrounds’. But as each day passed, we got to know one and other and I have realised that we are all kind, welcoming and willing to help each other. Certainly, using the exercise to “find someone who…” stopped me being intimidated and helped me start conversations on Librarianship but many other topics too.

My classmates have guided me across campus to lecture theatres, helped me register with Senate House Library and even find the cash machine. They have made this week enjoyable and entertaining. Every day, I discover that I love studying at a London university. There are so many treasures to discover: museums, farmers’ markets and of course, libraries. Visiting the Royal Astronomical Society Library was a wonderful opportunity to explore a special collection but also to learn from the day to day challenges of an experienced practitioner.

In just five days, I have gone from fearing the dissertation to being open to all ideas which may be sparked in my seminars. I felt inspired by Henry and Fiona – two recent Department of Information Studies graduates – who shared their experiences of writing the dissertation and how they shaped their  ideas.

I write this as just one voice in the LIS class of 2014/2015 but we are all on our UCL learning journey. New beginnings may be a little daunting but they are also simulating, thought-provoking and full of potential.

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Becky Scott (@the_bookette) is working as a school librarian while studying for her MA LIS.

Image: Dr Susan Greenberg. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Becky Scott is the sole author of this piece, with the image provided by Susan Greenberg.

Profiles in Law Librarianship

By Anne Welsh, on 2 December 2012

At our recent open day, we were pleased to meet prospective students from a range of sectors including academic, health, business and law.

Perhaps because we teach a traditional MA LIS, with core modules in Cataloguing and Classification, Collection Management, Information Sources, Management and PCIT, or perhaps because so many of our alumni have gone on to prominent positions within RLUK and other academic libraries, one of the frequently asked questions was how many of our students go on to careers in the commercial sector.

We are honestly able to say that an increasing number of our graduates go into commercial roles, both within traditional information services and in new media positions. It’s a happy co-incidence that one such recent graduate has just been featured on the Special Libraries Association Legal Division’s ‘Profiles in Law Librarianship’. 

Marie Cannon was a member of last year’s cohort of students. Arriving with a background in the legal sector, she took advantage of opportunities within the MA to try out different areas before deciding to target law firms in pursuit of her first professional post. She was one of the first in her year to obtain a post, and one of many students to combine finishing her dissertation with starting a new role. She also received a scholarship to attend the SLA conference in Chicago last summer, and is now a board member for SLA Europe, for whom she runs the SLA Europe Blog. Social media was a developing professional passion for Marie during her time at UCL, when, as well as starting her own blog, she authored two entries during her work placement at Senate House – ‘Rare Books Revealed‘ and ‘Rare Books Revealed 2‘.

Information professionals are a friendly group of people, and Marie is no exception to this. I’m sure if you have questions about her route into law librarianship, her time studying at UCL, or, indeed, her love of baking and decorating beautiful cakes, she will be happy to be found on twitter @mariegcannon.

Read Marie’s interview on the SLA Legal Division website.

Image: Marie Grace Cannon’s Blog

Graduate Open Day

By Anne Welsh, on 29 October 2012

UCL Graduate Students Open Day Wednesday 21 November 2012

 

UCL Department of Information Studies (DIS) is a leading centre for research and professional education inlibrarianshipinformation sciencearchives and records managementpublishing and the

digital humanities.

 

Come along to our Faculty and Departmental Graduate Students Open Day: talk to teaching staff, visit the campus and library, hear from researchers and chat with current students. It takes place on Wednesday 21November 2012From 11am in Wilkins South Cloisters, Gower Street, UCL (please register athttp://www.ucl.ac.uk/ah/grad-open-day/ )

And from 3pm – 7pm in DIS, Foster Court, Ground Floor, UCL (for details see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dis ).

 

Students benefit from studying in the UK’s largest information school, at one of the world’s top 10 universities. We offer MA/MSc/Diploma programmes in Digital Humanities; Library and Information Studies; Archives and Records Management; Publishing; Electronic Communication & Publishing and Information Science.

 

Our teaching is built upon an international research reputation: the department hosts three research centres and two research groups: Centre for PublishingCentre for Digital Humanities (CDH), Centre for Archives and Records Research (ICARUS)Applied Logic Group and Knowledge Organization Group. We welcome research students (MRes, MPhil and PhD) in all these areas.

 

 

Zine Workshop

By Anne Welsh, on 17 October 2012

Yesterday part-time MA LIS student Siobhan Britton gave an introduction to zine-making at a workshop in UCL’s temporary exhibition Strindberg’s Red Room – the location of PhD student Sara Wingate Gray’s talk on the poetics of the library at the beginning of the month, and of The Itinerant Poetry Librarian’s appearance on National Poetry Day.

Red Room events continue all week before the exhibition closes on 21 October.