29 Apr 2022

Preparing a Portfolio for Associateship of Library Association of Ireland (ALAI)

Guest post by Ruth O’Hara, Catherine Ahearne, Saoirse DePaor and Edel King.

This blog post covers preparing a CV, a reflective statement, a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) portfolio and detailing membership of the LAI and cognate bodies.

Ruth O'Hara

Tailoring your CV to your ALAI application by Ruth O’Hara

When applying for any accreditation or job, it is important to know what exactly is being looked for. The Library Association of Ireland (LAI) application form sets out clearly what needs to be included as part of your portfolio for the award of Associateship.

Under the CV section of the application process, it states that CVs will be used to review professional experience. As a result, I tailored my CV to focus primarily on my work in the library.

In addition, the application form also asks applicants to provide a list of professional development activities and a record of involvement in the LAI separate to the CV, so this again helped me decide what information to include in my CV to ensure it was concise and that what was being asked for was covered.

To make sure it was relevant and only included the necessary information, I chose a reverse chronological CV. I detailed my most recent and pertinent academic and professional experience first.

I kept my education section brief. I included my library qualification first, as this was my most recent educational achievement, followed by my other third level qualifications.

The focus of my CV was on my professional experience to-date. I was conscious of not just giving a list of every role I have held in the library. As a result, I provided details on the roles that showcased both my experience and skills as well as my progression in my career. I did not give the same level of detail to jobs outside of my library experience, for example lecturing or tutoring.

It took a few drafts to ensure my CV was clear and logical. I have been lucky to work in several different sections within Maynooth University Library often at the same time. It was important, therefore, to set out clearly which department I worked in, the relevant dates and my respective roles in each section. To do this, I included a qualifying sentence to make evident that during term time, for example, I worked as a member of the front desk team but in the summer, I worked on various projects in other library sections.

I also included two referees, one person that I work with at present and a second from outside the institution, who had experience working with me in a library context.


Your CV might be the first thing that is read by your assessor, so it is important that it is well organised, logical and gives a clear oversight of your experience and skill.

In addition to ensuring it is relevant, it should also look well and so maintaining the same style throughout is important. It might sound obvious, but make sure your spelling is correct, the dates used are accurate and cite papers or departmental names properly. Also spell things out fully. One thing I discovered going through this process was just how many acronyms we use in the library world. I had to check more than once that I spelled things out fully, such as GC&F (General Collections and Finance). It might make sense to us in Maynooth University but not to your anonymous reviewers.


The main tips I have if you are considering applying for the Associateship of the LAI are:

  • Do your CV first. It helped me collate information that was of relevance to the other parts of the application process, including the reflective statement, and so saved me time overall. Doing it first also let me get practical things out of the way without stress, such as contacting my referees. It also allowed me to identify gaps in my CV that I could refer to elsewhere. In the reflective essay I referred to a career break I took, and how this impacted my career development.
  • Know what is being asked of you by this application process. That is, giving the best overview of your professional experience in the library so far. Read the guidelines on the LAI website so that you fully understand what you need  to include in the portfolio and understand the role of the LAI.
  • Finally, have someone else read over your work. No matter how often you check it, you will always miss something. This can be hard, but I certainly benefited from having others review my CV and other documentation and their suggestions made it and my portfolio much stronger overall.

Catherine Ahearne

Continual Professional Development (CPD) record and LAI and cognate bodies involvement by Catherine Ahearne.

There is some overlap in terms of content and preparation, so I am discussing them together.
A CPD record is a list of professional development activities undertaken, not only with external organisations or bodies, but also includes internal events, training, and work-related activities. CPD endeavours should be core professional activities that align with professional development. With librarianship, there is no defined CPD pathway, as with other professions, but the LAI endorses and recognises the need for lifelong learning and the awards can act as a type of pathway giving time to look back on CPD and identify gaps.

When recording CPD activities, list under headings such as publications, awards, presentations, events attended etc. It can be helpful to list chronologically with the most recent items first. It can be useful also to distinguish between internal & external CPD. Taking on a new project at work would constitute internal CPD, as would presenting to your colleagues in the Library at a briefing etc.

Your record of engagement with the LAI and other cognate bodies can include:

  • Workshops
  • Seminar
  • Conferences
  • Publications
  • Following @LAIonline
  • Professional reading including “An Leabharlann”

The record should present the major things first such as, presentations, awards, or articles. Please remember when citing these to do so correctly using an established citation style.
After that list events attended giving the title of the event, the date and location and the body that hosted it.

Something I find helpful is keeping certificates from events, where issued, to refer to for the details of events. You may also be required to complete an application form to attend an external event, and your Library is likely to keep records of this. Certificates can be added to your portfolio under “additional documentation” on the online application.

Becoming actively involved in the LAI is not as difficult as you might think. For example, I try to take detailed notes of the event that I attend while fresh in my mind. After attending an LAI event, I wrote up a report for work and this became the basis of a conference review for the journal “An Leabharlann.”

Takeaways from the experience:

  • Actively track involvement with the LAI and CPD activities. Portfolio documents can become living documents, you proactively update as you do something in terms of training and development.
  • Increase involvement with the LAI. It is not as daunting as you may think. Confidence in your abilities will grow through engagement with the LAI and other groups.
  • I discovered what professional growth means to me. It is an active process and involves self-reflection. As someone who had lived by the phrase “self-praise is no praise,” looking back at my career and truly examining it was difficult but rewarding in the end.
  • Advice for anyone doing this would be to track all training and talks that you attend, and do not be afraid to put yourself out there in terms of gaining experience and learning.


Saoirse De Paor

The Reflective Statement by Saoirse De Paor

The purpose of the reflective statement is to demonstrate your learning from professional activities, experiences and events that have contributed to your professional development. The most important part of this piece is to show how learning occurred from both the activities themselves and from the process of reflection on the activities. When reflecting on past events, we often develop a different perspective that allows us to see the bigger picture and gain a broader understanding of our experiences and of ourselves.

The process of reflection can be broken down into a series of steps;

Firstly, the context and background of your chosen experience or activity is needed, in brief – What was the purpose of it? What did it involve? What was your role?

Secondly, it’s important that you try and capture those initial thoughts, feelings and emotions before, or at the time of the activity or event, in order to truly demonstrate the development process and how your initial expectations differed from your reflections afterwards.

Your learning and understanding of the experience follows: this will encapsulate how you felt afterwards and the key takeaways. These reflections capture the immediate learning that occurred, as well as your overall realisations, awareness and recognition.

Lastly, the learning outcomes of each experience may lead to direct actions that further enhance your professional development and identify. Make reference to the positive outcomes, actions and insights that occurred after reflecting on these experiences and activities.  

 Identifying the activities, experiences and events to reflect on:

One of the more challenging parts of the process can be identifying the type of professional activities and experiences you want to reflect on and write about. Therefore, I have come up with four prompts to help you identify and recognise these experiences:

Challenging experiences - An experience that really challenged you or pushed you out of your comfort zone. A time when you felt "imposter syndrome", anxious, or uncomfortable at the beginning of an experience, which later resulted in a learning opportunity.

Transformative experiences – An experience or moment when you felt you crossed a professional threshold that enhanced your professional identify. This may have been through acquiring a new skillset, knowledge or practice, that you have since adopted as part of your role or has influenced your career or professional development.

Professional achievements - Professional accomplishments big & small. These could include being awarded a bursary, publishing a blog post or article, winning best poster at a conference, or presenting at a conference for the first time. Meaningful moments of accomplishment.   

Collaborative opportunities - A time when you collaborated with the LAI or a similar professional group e.g. CONUL, on a committee, as part of a group project or with colleagues and gained a new perspective and key insights from working with others. How did this collaborative experience inform you, about you, professionally?

While you might end up with a long list of events, experiences and activities to reflect on, I recommend choosing two to three that have significantly helped shape and influence your professional identity so far. When looking back on your career, recall the moments that made you feel empowered, changed, transformed and confident. Moments that have influenced and enhanced who you are and where you are going, in all professional capacities.


Edel King

Creating Your Reflective Statement by Edel King

I learned some things through creating my reflective statement that I would like to share with you here.

It’s reflecting not recounting. When I started writing my reflective statement, I thought I was reflecting. But I had just recounted experiences and not focused on my learnings. In order to fully reflect, I had to think: did this experience impact me in a way that had an effect on the way I approach my work going forward?

Be succinct. It’s only 500 words. You don’t want to rush from one topic to the next, not giving the reader any time to digest what you have said. Planning ahead helps. I wrote down ideas; some experiences that have shaped my career and that I felt there were learnings from. Looking at the list, themes started to emerge. I grouped the experiences and started writing.

Just start writing. I put off the reflective statement for a long time in the application process as I was unsure about it. But starting to write is really the best thing. Getting it all down helps the ideas to come. You can edit it once it’s there on the page.

Rely on your network for feedback. There is nothing like a fresh pair of eyes to help you see how it reads. Or to help you with editing if you are struggling with the word count.

Be honest. Don’t say what you think people want to hear. Make your application stand out by talking about your struggles and doubts; things you have experienced that others may have no knowledge of. Don’t be afraid to talk about negative experiences or aspects of your career that you think you need to work on.

It’s not a linear process. I would recommend working on the reflective statement and then leaving it for a while. At the end of the application process, return to it. You have done all of the other pieces, everything is fresh in your mind. You never know what will occur to you that you will want to include. 

The reflective statement is a very helpful. It gives you a chance to think about your career and where you want to go to next. 


We, the four authors, hope this blog post will inspire you to consider applying for an ALAI award.




Posted on Friday, April 29, 2022 | Categories: , ,

26 Apr 2022

Applying for an Award of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI)


Guest post by Helen Fallon and Jane Burns Jane and Helen have both served on the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Committee. Both have experience of assessing applications for LAI awards and have been very active in promoting the awards, since they were both awarded FLAI in 2010.

This blog posts contains tips/suggestions based on their experience as applicants, mentors and assessors, and the detailed guidelines provides on the LAI website.

If you are reading this blog post you may have already started investigating the various awards of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI). Here we reflect on the process and make some suggestions.  We both really enjoyed the process overall; at times it was challenging but the result was a significant achievement that we want to help our colleagues attain. We published a detailed article of our experience of applying for the FLAI in “An Leabharlann”, and also presented a poster at an LAI conference. Please note that the option of doing the FLAI by thesis, mentioned on the poster, no longer exists.

If you are an early career library professional now is the time to start thinking about the LAI awards. It does take time to have the experience to apply but from today you can start focusing on the process. If you have been working in a library for some time but have never considered applying for a LAI award, the application process is an excellent way to review where you are at, and plan forward.

We are fortunate in our field that no two days are the same, we work in varied and dynamic environments. We interact with so many different people that there are always opportunities to learn, get ideas, and to see areas where we can develop new knowledge or skills.

Talk to and observe colleagues within our profession, talk to colleagues outside of the library in your organisations to identify what are trends and changes in the workplace. Seriously consider what kind of CPD you want to do. Most of the CPD will be related to your current role but CPD can be targeted at future roles or topics you are interested in.

CPD doesn’t just meant degrees, certificates, etc. it can include writing, professional reading, participating in the LAI Job Swap scheme, taking on new projects at work, volunteer work or committee/event involvement for example.  Be targeted in how you spend your time and resources.  It is important to note not all CPD is funded by your employer so you may have to consider funding CPD yourself for own personal development and future goals. If your CPD option is future focused it may not be relevant to your current position and with limited funding this is a consideration your employer needs to take.

Also keep track of the CPD you engage in. Reading blogs, books attending conferences, etc. are things that people often forget to recognize as CPD. If you set up spread sheet and just keep track of dates, the topic and time involved this will help you keep track of things and also see patterns and most importantly how you used what you experience to contribute to your own CPD but also to our profession. Another annotation you might record is who you met and what their interests, specialties are. This information helps you network and reconnect with colleagues for future collaborations or advice.

 Our Experience

Firstly, we both had, at different times, applied for an achieved the Associateship of the Library Association of Ireland (ALAI) but our pursuit of the Fellowship of the Library Association of Ireland (FLAI) coincided, and that was very beneficial to both of us. We have both worked in libraries for a few decades, in different areas and different environments. We share common professional interests particularly in all aspects of writing: everything from creative writing, blogs, policies & procedures to academic publishing. It that really helps when you have a colleague with a shared interest in an aspect of the broad spectrum of library experience. As a profession we are very lucky to have so many talented members who have interests and experiences in different areas of librarianship. This diversity helps us pool these skills to help each other recognize the different areas of librarianship that we are contributing to and developing.

The reflections and suggestions here can be applied to the ALAI, SALAI and FLAI journey.

Some really helpful things we did in the preparation of our FLAI applications were the following;

Review the list of holders of FLAI to see what areas they work in, present on and volunteer in.  If you know them or would like to know them reach out and ask for advice.

Think about why you want to apply for the FLAI. Some reasons are to show commitment to our profession and to gain recognition for the contribution you are making. Another is to consider that the LAI awards are actually a peer reviewed process so having your application reviewed by librarians who understand the field and the relevance of your application can be very affirming.

Try to work with a colleague or group of colleagues. It is easy to get distracted or even frustrated in the process but having someone to support and who supports you is ideal.

Really reflect and celebrate your achievements that you included in your reflective statement. This isn’t being arrogant- it is a chance to reflect on what you have done, how you have achieved it but most importantly how you have impacted on colleagues and our profession.

If you haven’t already done so set up an excel sheet or a work file and keep a record of every piece of CPD you do.  Remember CPD isn’t just courses and diplomas or committee work. It can be attending events, writing a blog or projects you have been involved in.

Be sure to read all of the information on the LAI website, if you have questions ask for clarification and assistance.


Read the guidelines on applying for any of the three awards on  the LAI website. This is very important. The submission requirements and the assessment process - double blind peer review - are clearly articulated, as is the timeline you need to allow for assessment (six to eight months).

The Awards
When you have read the guidelines, consider which award to apply for.  There are three: Associateship, Senior Associateship and Fellowship.

The first, Associateship, is for people with a minimum of two-years post qualification experience.
You must be a member of the LAI for at least one year before applying for this award.

The second level of award is Senior Associateship – SALAI. This is a mid-career award for librarians with a minimum of ten years post qualification experience, who hold the ALAI for five years, and have been engaged with the Association for at least five years. However, applicants without the ALAI, who hold over 10 years professional experience can apply for the SALAI for 2022 only, if they apply before 31st October 2022.

The third award is Fellowship – FLAI. This is a senior-level award, for librarians with more than 15 years professional experience, who hold the SALAI for a minimum of five years. However, in the case of librarians who held the ALAI on or before 2016, there is not a requirement to achieve the SALAI, before applying for FLAI.

Applications are made online. For each award you need to complete the relevant application form, and submit the required portfolio and the appropriate fee.  As of March 2021, this is:
Associateship   €50
Senior Associateship €125
Fellowship €150

There are five parts to your application regardless of which award you apply for.
These are: the online application form; your CV; the list of professional development activities you have undertaken; a reflective statement; a record of involvement in the Library Association of Ireland and other cognate bodies. There is also an option to include any other documents you feel are relevant.  For the ALAI you must include a scanned copy of your library qualification

Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Most librarians will have a CV.  Ideally you should update this every year, regardless of whether you are applying for a post. When doing your CV for an award, try to demonstrate the breadth of your library experience and engagement. If, for example, you were applying for a post in Special Collections, the focus of your CV would be on your experience/knowledge in that area. Use broader brush strokes here that demonstrate the totality of your experience.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

The LAI website lists the following as examples of forms of CPD: workshops, seminars, conference, publications, academic qualifications, Internet-based learning, training from industry suppliers, on the job learning, shadowing and job exchanges, professional reading, committee membership, informal networking.
In the case of events attended, include details such as date, location and hosting body.
Many libraries will keep records of staff attendance at events, but you should endeavour to keep an up to date listing yourself.

Record of engagement with the Library Association of Ireland and other cognate bodies
Your membership denotes a level of involvement.  However, it is good if you can illustrate a deeper level of engagement. Perhaps you have you attended the LAI/CILIP conference? Do you follow @LAIonline on twitter? Do you read the open access journal An Leabharlann?   All of these are valid forms of engagement. Of course, you may have done more, such as serve on a committee, written a book or conference review for An Leabharlann or presented a paper or poster. You should also give details of engagement with similar bodies to the LAI, such as CONUL, in the case of the University sector.

Reflective Statement
Each award requires a reflective statement. As stated in the guidelines, this such demonstrate your learning from your CPD and other activities and how this helped you change/develop as a professional. Guidelines on putting together a reflective statement are available on the LAI website and as noted there “a key aspect of reflective practice is that experience along does not necessarily lead to learning but that learning follows from deliberate reflection on such experience.”

In the case of the ALAI, the reflective statement required is 500 words; while the statement for the SALAI is between 500 and 750 words and the statement for FLAI is between 750 and 1,000 words.

Other documentation
It is up to yourself to decide if you wish to include additional documentation. You should have certainly noted awards, publications etc. in the CPD document, but you could choose to scan copies of these, however this is not essential.

Final comments
We found the process challenging, interesting and a learning experience. It gave us time to reflect on our careers to date and to identify @gaps or areas for future learning. It also helped us connect further with our profession and our professional body, which we are both deeply committed to.

Contact details

Helen Fallon  Helen.B.Fallon@mu.ie  / @helenfallon

Jane Burns jane.burns@tus.ie  /@JMBurns99

20 Apr 2022

My Top Tips for CVs, Cover Letters and Interviews

Guest post by Marie O’ Neill, Head of Enhancement, CCT College Dublin

I was delighted to be invited by the Career Development Group (CDG) of the Library Association of Ireland recently to speak on all things pertaining to job seeking, CV preparation and interviews. It was an honour to speak alongside peers that I admire greatly such as Emma Doran of Kildare County Council Library, Martin O’ Connor of UCC Library, Johanna Duffy of AIT Library and Linda Fennessy of the National Library of Ireland. The work of the Career Development Group of Ireland is a vital support to those wishing to develop their careers further. Membership of the Library Association of Ireland connects library students, graduates and staff to a vibrant, dynamic and supportive national community of practice. Students of a recognized LIS course can join the Library Association of Ireland for free (course details and year must be provided). Further information about joining the Library Association of Ireland is available at: https://www.libraryassociation.ie/membership/

A little bit about me. I am a graduate of the library schools of University College Dublin and the University of Northumbria. I have been a librarian for 30 years, working in libraries such as King’s Inns, Technological University Dublin, University College Dublin, the HSE, the Welsh Office, the Oireachtas and Dublin Business School where I was Head Librarian for 12 years. I was the originator and co-founder of the MSc in Information and Library Management at Dublin Business School. More recently I have migrated into an academic enhancement role at CCT College Dublin. I remain as active as ever in the library sector. I am a Council member of the Library Association of Ireland and a Committee member of the Library Association of Ireland’s Library Publishing Group. I am a judge for the third year in a row on the Library Association of Ireland’s National Library Champion Awards and a mentor in the Library Association of Ireland and CILIP Ireland’s Virtual Mentoring Scheme

My talk for the CDG event focused on my top tips in relation to job seeking, CVs and interviews. I was allocated 15 minutes. Below is a brief summary of my main points which includes my top tip in relation to adapting the STAR approach to answering competency-based questions for additional success in interviews.

Avoid tunnel vision. Don’t forget the information management component of your qualification. If you can’t get a library job immediately after graduation, apply for roles in data protection, GDPR or freedom of information. An increasing number of library graduates are also working as taxonomists for companies such as Amazon. Reach out to professionals working in these roles for advice. These roles can help you to transition into a library role. Alternatively, many graduates pursue successful roles in the broader information management area in the long term. See this job vacancy for a taxonomist role at Amazon as an example at: https://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/Amazon Description.pdf

Find a Mentor: Ask a librarian working in a role that you would like to work in, to be a mentor. Seek advice from this mentor virtually or in person in relation to your career development. Ask your mentor to peer review your CV or to conduct a mock interview. The library community is a generous profession. Consider joining a formal mentoring programme such as that offered by the Library Association of Ireland and CILIP Ireland. Conducted on a virtual basis, the LAI/CILIP programme is extremely beneficial for mentors and mentees alike. 

For further information, see: https://www.cilip.org.uk/members/group_content_view.asp?group=201287&id=970445

Some extra considerations in relation to CVs. If you are interested in becoming an information literacy librarian or a systems librarian as examples, ask an experienced librarian in this area or a mentor to peer review your CV.  Include a Technical Proficiencies Section in your CV in which you list as many technical proficiencies as you can, as all areas of modern librarianship have a strong technicality. Proficiencies could be platforms and standards such as an LMS, MARC, Dublin Core etc.

What’s missing from cover letters! Cover letters shouldn’t exceed one page. Additionally, they shouldn’t be just about you. Close your letter with reasons as to why you want to work in the recruiting library with specifics. Perhaps the library is a centre of excellence in health librarianship. Perhaps you admire a specific objective in the recruiting library’s strategic plan. Always mention in your cover letter that you are a member of the Library Association of Ireland. This indicates to recruiters from the outset, a commitment to your profession.

Go the extra mile in relation to job preparation. Read the strategic plan of the recruiting library and of the organization in which it operates. Do a PDF search of the library on Google. Reports can appear that have not yet been published on the library website. Check out the library website and the website of the recruiting organization. Look at the library’s social media platforms to get a sense of the institutional culture on the ground. Repeat this search for the organization in which the recruiting library is located. Check out the recruiting library’s institutional repository to see what library staff are publishing. Do a Google news search on the Library. Libraries regularly feature in the news media in relation to events, new developments etc. Talk to a former employee of the library. Reach out to librarians working in the role in the wider sector (not in the recruiting library) to get additional information. Knowledge is power!

STAR is not Enough!  The STAR approach to answering competency-based questions in interviews requires that you evidence competencies by discussing the Situation, Task, Actions and Results. I encourage people that I mentor to add an additional two S’ to the process; one S representing the strategic plan of the library and the other, the strategic plan of the institution in which the library is located. For example, if you are applying for a job at Maynooth University Library as an example, talk through your competency using the STAR approach and close out by adding how this competency aligns to both the strategic plan of Maynooth University Library and the overall strategic plan for Maynooth University. This process indicates how your competencies align to the strategic priorities of the library and institution and presents you as someone who can contribute to the goals of both the library and the institution. 

More on the STAR technique at: https://www.careerhigher.co/career-advice/answering-competency-based-interview-questions-124224/


Image: Slide from Marie O’ Neill’s presentation for CDG event

Do a mock interview. Get a colleague, family member or better still a mentor to ask you questions. Make sure that you do this several times. You can also ask a librarian in an equivalent role who is not working in the recruiting library. Muse.com has information on 53 questions typically asked at interviews with answers. Whilst not library specific, they are helpful in providing some ideas in relation to how you might answer questions. See: https://www.themuse.com/advice/interview-questions-and-answers

Stand out with value added professional development: Ireland is a small island. Applicants can be similar. Stand out by engaging in additional value-added professional development. It doesn’t have to be library related, for example a certificate in digital marketing. Consider undertaking a National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning open course/digital badge. The National Forum offers badges in academic writing, research and universal design as examples, topics that are highly relevant to the library profession. Consider taking a free MOOC in a library related topic or general topic such as leadership.

The benefits of professional development frameworks. Familiarize yourself with a professional development framework. The Library Association of Ireland offers a digital badge in partnership with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching called the L2L Joint Digital badge which promotes engagement with the National Forum’s Professional Development Framework for all Those Who Teach in Higher Education. Librarians have a strong teaching component to their work informally and formally whether they are working on the readers services desk, are a systems librarian or work in an information literacy role.

Add competitive edge by including a link to an e-portfolio in your CV: Create and maintain an e-portfolio that showcases your professional development. An e-portfolio that I really like belongs to Robert Alfis of ETBI. He maps his entries to the National Forum’s National Professional Development Framework by adding tags aligned to the Framework’s domains and typologies. See: https://robertalfis.wordpress.com If you have a Gmail account, consider creating an e-portfolio using Google Sites which is a user-friendly e-portfolio platform.

Watch your body language. Remember to smile and to appear affable. Organizations want to recruit people who are pleasant to work with. If you are a shy person or have autism, you can evidence how you support your colleagues through competency based examples. When all things are equal between the two final candidates, a candidate who has evidenced a strong team working approach can edge ahead of the other candidate.

Don’t ask a question at the end of an interview for the sake of it: I have never asked a question in 30 years, and it has not prevented me from being successful in an interview. Having done a successful interview, a candidate can occasionally ask a question that exposes a lack of knowledge. Equally a candidate can ask a question that an interview panel is unable to commit to, for example, “can you fund my PhD?” It is perfectly okay to say that you have no questions and that the information provided in advance of the interview was very comprehensive. A tired interview panel is often relieved and happy to hear that they have met your information needs successfully. It also means that you close out your interview by thanking the recruiting library.

Dealing with pre-interview nerves Go early to your interview. Find a coffee shop nearby and do something nice. Have a slice of cake and watch something funny on your phone (Father Ted, Monty Python etc.) This small technique is very effective at reprogramming your brain into a calmer, more relaxed space. Many people who have undertaken this advice, have reported back how effective it was in relaxing them. 

Communities of Practice, A critical way to develop your career is to engage with your community of practice. Join a Library Association of Ireland committee, attend conferences in your areas of interest and follow librarians in your areas of interest on social media platforms. 

Best of luck with your career development and interview opportunities. Remember that librarians are very generous. Reach out to librarians in roles that you aspire to work in for advice and support. To see my slides from the CDG event, go to: