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Archive for the 'Extra-curricular Outings' Category

What’s Coming Up: February and Beyond!

By uczcwtu, on 25 January 2018

There are lots of events going on in the next few months – here’s just a couple of gems that we discovered!

29 JAN 2018: SYP AGM
The SYP meets every year in January in the beautiful Stationers’ Hall to say goodbye to old SYP UK and London committees and welcome in new. There will be a recap of the whole SYP year from different committee members, followed by our panel. To delve more into the creation and popularity of audiobooks, the impact of podcasts on our industry, and what might be next, we’ll be joined by Miles Stevens-Hoare of RB Media, the company behind audiobooks.com, and the team from the amazing Mostly Lit podcast.

8 FEB 2018: Bitch Lit
Bitch Lit is a monthly book club devoted to new feminist writing and cult classics by women. Join us for endless wine, cheese and irreverent, fun discussion led by literary critic Lucy Scholes and Gower Street’s Elizabeth Morris. On February 8th we will be discussing Diana Athill’s Stet: An Editors Life.

9 FEB 2018 – 11 FEB 2018: London Bookshop Crawl
Now in its’ third year it aims to bring booklovers together in a joyful celebration of all things bookish and give some much needed support to (mainly independent) bookshops in the otherwise fairly grim retail month of February. Over the course of the weekend we encourage you to visit as many bookshops as possible, post about how great they are on social media (using #LondonBookshopCrawl), buy some books and grab some of the amazing freebies and discounts on offer and meet some new bookish friends.

15 FEB 2018: The Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures: Divination with Marc Salem
A look at how we deduce, or divine, meaning from non-verbal signs with Marc Salem, performer, mind reader and expert in non-verbal communication. This event is aimed at an adult audience, although children are welcome to attend.

20 FEB 2018: Laura Bates – Misogynation: The True Scale of Sexism
Feminist, activist and bestselling author Laura Bates joins us to once again shine a light on the gender inequality lurking in the shadows of our society with her new collections of essays. At this exclusive London event Laura will be discussing her work with the freelance journalist and contributing editor at The Pool, Marisa Bate, followed by a signing of her books.

1 MARCH 2018: World Book Day
World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

7 MARCH 2018 – 11 MARCH 2018: Women of the World 2018
WOW – Women of the World festival celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. This will include talks by Sandi Toksvig, the women behind the Black Lives Matter movement and a drag king performance of the story of Joan of Arc.

Let us know if you end up going to any of these events!

British Museum Libraries Visit – by George Bray

By Anne Welsh, on 5 December 2014

British Museum Panorama

Following in the tradition of independent visits to libraries, a group of UCL LIS students organised a visit to some departmental libraries of the British Museum on the afternoon of Wednesday 19th November 2014. The libraries which we were able to see were the Anthropology Library and Research Centre (in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas), the Library of the Coins and Medals Department, and the Library of the Middle East Department. It was really interesting to be able to compare these libraries, which were very different (with the exception of the typical library issue of a lack of space for the collections!) despite being within the same broader institutional setting.

Once we had arrived and obtained our security passes, the group split into two smaller groups and spent about 30-40 minutes in each of the Coin and Medals- and the Middle East libraries, before reconvening at the Anthropology Library where we had a chance to talk with some of the staff more generally about the libraries and the profession.

Coin and Medals (Mary Hinton)

An exhibition of German medals from WWI immediately outside the entrance to the Department gave an interesting example of the way in which the physical, archival and library collections can complement each other to create public exhibits. It was good to see that the librarian’s working space is an integral part of the Department as a whole, which helps to strengthen the relations between the curators and the librarian. This was further demonstrated by the fact that the Coins and Medals physical collection is located in the same space as the library, something facilitated by the size of the objects themselves, which makes them easier to store in a smaller space. It was also very interesting to hear that a large proportion of the Department’s acquisitions are donations, which shows how important such gifts can be in helping to fill out a library collection beyond the capacity of the acquisitions budget.

Middle East (Rupert Chapman)

The main room of the library is the wonderful Arched Room, which was originally designed to maximise light in the room without creating the risk of a fire. It features a mixture of cuneiform tablets, library books and some of the Department’s archival material; being surrounded by high shelves of neatly-arranged clay tablets and seeing the further two floors of shelved books above creates a rather unique atmosphere . We were also able to have a look at some of the Department’s rarer books, which are located deeper within the staff-only section. Our discussion with the librarian-curator was very interesting and informative, covering topics as diverse as the conservation of the older physical books, through the in-house classification scheme, and even the collection management software that the library uses.

Anthropology / Africa, Oceania and the Americas (Hannah Thomas)

The main difference in nature between this Departmental library and those of the other two which we saw was that the majority of the library collection is actually accessible to researchers who can browse the shelves themselves, rather than request items to be brought to them. This is mainly due to the fact that part of the library’s stock comes from the Royal Anthropological Institute, whose members also have borrowing rights. It was also very exciting to hear about an upcoming project to re-classify, tag and barcode the entire collection. In our talk with some of the library staff, we learned more about the position of librarians and Departmental libraries within the museum as a whole, and were pleased to hear further evidence of the ways in which the librarians and curators work together on projects, very much to the benefit of the public and researcher. It was also interesting to hear how varied Hannah’s library working experience had been before coming to work at the British Museum, and the benefits of having such a wide range of skills to draw on as a result were very apparent.

The group would like to thank Hannah (a former UCL LIS student), Mary and Rupert for their time and effort in making the visit both possible and highly enjoyable.


George Bray (@NexGenGB) is studying for his MA LIS this year, while working part-time.

Image: Ryan O’Shea, copyright commons, some rights reserved.

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.


Indie-visits to Libraries: LIS Students Out and About by Ivan Donadello

By Anne Welsh, on 21 November 2014



The one-year spent in the full time Masters course passes by very quickly. You start and, all of a sudden, it is January and Term 1 has gone. Then you find yourself putting together that case study and after a minute you are writing up your dissertation. In all this, visiting libraries is a (very) good idea.


The idea came about spontaneously to my classmates and me. As comprehensive as it can possibly be, a LIS course could never cover all the possible aspects of libraries in all their fields. Academic libraries are the first and most common example for library students, but we wanted to explore a bit more what there was out there. Departments would organise visits as part of their curricula, but self-organised students visits respond more to the students’ natural curiosity. And it was fun!


How? We pulled together the resources we had and we used our contacts. Those who had spent a year in a Graduate Traineeship relied on the relations in the previous workplace: simply, they asked their previous supervisor whether they where willing to host a visit by eager library students. Others used personal contacts and their network to arrange a visit. We have never tried to directly contact a library we were interested in, presenting ourselves as “UCL LIS students”, but I am confident that very few libraries would have turned us down: sharing and teaching are at the core of the profession!


What? Our visits were approximately two hours long: enough time to look around and have a relaxed chat with the staff. The more questions, the more engaging the experience was – and it also helps a lot to think critically about ideas and experiences one might have. We managed only 3: the more the better, but studying full time and in some cases having part-time jobs made it difficult to do any more. For the same reasons, each time the group was not too large: trying to fit a visit into everybody’s schedules was of course impossible – doodle helps a lot. We have been to the library of Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London and to the Idea Store in Whitechapel, a new concept of public library that aims at serving at its best their community. We also treated ourselves with a one-day trip to Cambridge to visit the library of Trinity College. Here and there, a couple of pubs.


Why? It has been a great way to think about libraries out of the “write-that-assignment” frame of mind and to build stronger relations among ourselves beyond the university walls. It has been useful in terms of inspiration and a good exercise in planning and organising. Meeting professionals in a more informal situation also allowed us to ask more questions and free up your own curiosity. I believe we gained an awareness of the diversity and the options that exist in libraries.


Ivan Donadello (@ibancelafa) was one of the MA LIS class of 2012-13, and is now Senior Library Assistant at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Image: Trinity College by Laura Newman (@librarylandL), used with permission. Pictured, from left to right: Ivan Donadello (@ibancelafa), Natalie Kent (@natalielkent), Richard Hobart, Fiona Watson, Ella Taylor and Alexandra Kohn.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Ivan Donadello is the sole author of this piece, and Laura Newman holds the copyright for the image.