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Department of Information Studies


UCL DIS at CIG 2012

By Anne Welsh, on 21 May 2012

Two students have had papers accepted at the main UK conference for cataloguing and indexing, CIG 2012: the Value of Cataloguing, which takes place in Sheffield, 10-11 September.

William Earp will give a lightning talk entitled ‘Connecting the dots: the birth of RDA, the death of MARC and the library semantic web’, based on his current MA LIS dissertation research.

Kate Whaite (MPhil / PhD) will speak on ‘Finding value in History: gaining knowledge by examining historical practices’, which draws on her experience in the impact of historical methods within cataloguing practice gained in her MA LIS and PhD studies. Kate is also second author on a full paper at the conference, in which she and Anne Welsh (Lecturer in LIS) elucidate ‘Our hybrid history and its action points for today’. Following the conference’s keynote address, this will open the first session in the conference theme ‘Working with New Standards’.

From a glance at the draft programme (pdf) it seems that other lightning round papers are practitioner-authored, so it is good to see UCL DIS flying the flag for the academic study of cataloguing.


#libday8 – Thursday

By uczcwae, on 2 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 full time student on the Library and Information Studies MA. As compatriots Jennifer and Annie mention below, one of our modules for the spring term is Management. For one assignment, we are to examine the legal issues surrounding an imagined scenario encountered by a library. So this morning I have spent my time trying to get to grips with the Data Protection, Freedom of Information, and Copyright acts and how, if at all, these legislations apply to unpublished material authored by deceased persons.

These acts of Parliament embody core liberal values such as rights to ownership, privacy and freedom. Over the past months, we have seen a conflict between these important values exposed and most upsettingly abused to justify private gain by some press. The pursuance of freedom at all costs compromises privacy and vice versa. The key is striking a balance, and for the information professional, weighing up the risks under the constraints of limited time and resources.

For this assignment and others my tutors need not be worried; I don’t attend adopt the ‘lob it in’ method as demonstrated by one distinguished tabloid editor. I can sympathise though, although not wholeheartedly. From my little experience so far working in two high-profile organisations both scrutinised and regulated extensively, important decisions concerning the management of information are made daily. I have been afforded the time for this assignment to research the legal issues surrounding an imagined scenario, but in the real world time is of the essence and there is often little of it to go around. I am beginning to understand that knowledge of the law on these matters and the nouse to weigh risks appropriate to the size and type of the organisation are vital skills for the information professional, especially with fewer barriers to access information and greater expectation than ever before.

From legislation to ligature: students on the MA course are required to choose two optional modules and for one of which I chose Manuscripts Studies. This is unlike anything I’ve studied before and that’s why chose it.  So this evening and to end my #libday8 I will spend it distinguishing minuscule from majuscules, uncial from cursive, the quire from its inserted singleton and appreciating the finer aspects of the medieval Insular script.

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.