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Department of Information Studies


#libday8 – Wednesday

By Ellen Allardice, on 1 February 2012

This blog entry is part of a series of posts by DIS students for the Library Day in the Life Project.

I’m a third year modular student on the MA Library and Information Studies course at UCL. This year I am working on my dissertation, having completed the taught part of the course over the past two years.  For the dissertation, I have chosen a topic area that I found particularly interesting – Bibliography.  My choice of the Historical Bibliography module as an option was unexpected, as I had intended to focus on IT related topics.  However a visit to the National Art Library at the V&A (recommended by a librarian at work) inspired me to change at the start of my second year.    I remember being enthralled by the display of the early manuscripts and various editions of Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

For my dissertation, I am exploring the history and development of bibliography as a field of study, and will be looking at its major achievements, for example the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC).  Also, I want to investigate if and how the discipline has influenced contemporary digital age projects, to see if bibliography is still relevant today.  This involves a lot of reading!


I start the morning by listening to a podcast of  ‘The Scientific Method’, a programme in the In Our Time series broadcasted on Radio 4 last Thursday (recommended by Lyn Robinson from City University via twitter).  This interested me as it was in the early 20th century that bibliography was first promoted as a distinct scholarly field focusing on a rigorous, scientific approach.   I found the broadcast useful as it was apparent that there are parallels between the evolution of ‘the scientific method’ and changes to approaches in bibliography.  When this has finished, I continue reading up on the history of bibliography until it is time for lunch and then work.

I work part-time for Hertfordshire Public Library Service, and today is my late shift at Hatfield library.  On Wednesday, we hold a Story and Rhyme Session for the under-fives, so the early afternoon is always very busy but rewarding!  Today I also spend time with a colleague that I am supervising for the Frontline online course by Opening the Book Ltd.  The course is designed to “embed the reader-centred approach in the everyday thinking of staff who work directly with books and readers in public libraries”. Today we discuss how best to recommend and promote books that we do not like reading ourselves!

Library [School] Day in the Life

By Anne Welsh, on 29 January 2012

This week is the eighth round of Library Day in the Life, a blogging and microblogging communal diary initiative started in July 2008 by Bobbi Newman.

As it says on the project wiki, “It’s a great way for students who are interested in the library profession to see what we really do.” I thought that prospective librarians might be just as interested to see what happens at library school, and, now that our student blog is fully operational, several of this year’s cohort have agreed to blog some of their activities here.

Look out for posts this week from Ellen Allardice, James Curtis, Karina de la Garza Gil, Annie Johnson, William Earp and Jennifer Yellin.

If you want an idea of the sort of things they might have to say, take a look at Helen Doyle’s ‘My Week’ column in Library & Information Update, February 2011 (close-up of cutting here) and Sarah Maule’s blogging for libday6 (week commencing 24 January 2011). Sarah also blogged libday7 in July 2011, when she was completing her MA LIS dissertation and working full time.



Image: UCL Portico on graduation day 2011.