29 Sept 2022

The coming together of librarians post Covid - WLIC 2022

Guest post by Aisling Smith. Aisling recently graduated with an MLIS in UCD and is currently working at TU Dublin Tallaght Campus 

When New Zealand found they were unable to hold the 87th World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in 2020 due to their venue, the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland, being destroyed by fire, Ireland seized its’ opportunity and stepped in to save the day by offering to hold it in the Convention centre in Dublin. As a result of the pandemic, it was delayed until July 2022 and the subsequent return to in-person meetings and networking after an absence of two years, probably made 2022 the best Congress ever and cemented Ireland's place in world librarianship.

Being a volunteer team lead ensured I was kept busy during the Congress, but I endeavored to attend the session entitled “News Literacy: Fighting Mis/Disinformation at your library” in full.  Fake news and misinformation really came to the forefront with the rise of Trumpism and continued to be a major issue during the pandemic with increased dependency on digital resources for communication, information, and learning. Liffey Hall 2 was packed for the session and the presentations and Q&A session was most enlightening. We appear to be in a post-truth society, where beliefs are influenced by emotions and opinions rather than reason. Freedom of information gives freedom to create and disseminate fake news but fake news is a threat when aimed at those who are in a vulnerable situation or unable to think objectively.

We were advised that Nigeria might even have more problems than most due to the proliferation online of dangerous remedies even before Covid-19 such as salt for Ebola and that fake news can spread panic, tension, and fear in populations. In our post-truth era, young people are predominately dependent on social media and other online sources for information so especially vulnerable to fake news and misinformation. Fulton and McGuinness (Ireland) related how they developed a course for training librarians in media literacy to enable them promote media literacy in the community. Rajic from Serbia reminded us that librarians had to be conscious of the sensitivities of users when promoting media literacy, to anticipate anger and upset when serving “as the patrons’ shield” against fake news. Nguyen Thi Kim (Vietnam) reported on research that indicated that the dissemination of fake news or misinformation was reliant on poor digital and media literacy and this view was postulated by all presenters. The ensuing Q&A session included a discussion on tools to teach critical thinking. I learned that the CRAAP test is now deemed only fit for general literacy as opposed to media literacy and might even have a negative impact on students and leave them worse off. The SIFT method introduced by Michael Caulfield was proposed as being most effective especially regarding digital literacy. The importance of agile project management in libraries was highlighted as librarians have had to adapt and use strategies from other professions ever more frequently in recent years especially since Covid.

The importance of informal interactions at such an event cannot be overlooked. IFLA’s mission ( 2019-2024) is to “inspire, enable, engage, connect” and the Congress gave participants a chance to reconnect with others and share experiences and ideas. The poster sessions were an excellent way of promoting one's work and ideas, and one would be hard put to find so many librarians interesting and passionate people in such a small space.  Covid-19 highlighted the importance of libraries to governments and the general public. IFLA's WLIC 2022 gave librarians from all around the world the opportunity to reconnect by discussing important issues, networking and dancing to YMCA at the disco in the Lexicon public library in Dun Laoghaire. Volunteering at WLIC 2022 presented the opportunity to experience the friendliest conference one could attend. To belong to the tribe of librarians means one is consistently in the company of empathetic, altruistic, opportunistic, and optimistic colleagues, this is what made WLIC 2022 such a success and explains why the future is bright for libraries!

20 Sept 2022

Review of Seminar on Academic Libraries at WLIC 2022.

Guest post by Naomi Faris, from Cork. Naomi has recently completed her MLIS at UCD) 

As an MLIS student with little practical experience in the library world, I volunteered for the WLIC IFLA that was held in Dublin at the end of July this year. Never having attended an event like this before I was unsure of what to expect but I found the experience to be interesting and enjoyable. Meeting volunteers from around the world and hearing their experiences of working in the library world was inspiring as was being able to sit in on various sessions. One session that was particularly memorable was given by three Irish librarians working in academic libraries. The topic was innovations in academic libraries during the pandemic. 

Aoife Lawton, a national health services librarian from the HSE library in Dublin, spoke about the problems associated with staff wellness during this difficult and unprecedented time and the steps that the library took to combat them such as energy pods for frontline staff. Innovation and creativity were key concepts and could be seen in other areas such as the LAMA bot (Library Ask Me Anything), a design thinking workshop and a maker lab. Aoife also exhorted the library as a third space and the importance of leveraging A1 technology, an up-and-coming area in libraries of the future. 

These ideas were also seen in the piece by Michela Hollywood, librarian at Maynooth University. Michela spoke about the library as a flexible space and the environment was the theme underpinning many of the ideas that Maynooth embraced during the pandemic. This involved a celebration of World Africa Day and the redesign of the reception area with light and plants to create a welcoming, eco-friendly space. Michela also mentioned the energy pods which were installed in 2018 and were the first for a library in Ireland. Other creative ideas presented were a short story dispenser and wellness days for staff. In terms of covid measures Maynooth library incorporated a click and collect service as well as staff training and development. 

Martin O’Connor of UCC library in Cork spoke about ‘Shush! Sounds from UCC Library’ on UCC 98.3FM, an innovative radio show featuring library news, shows stories and some of the DJ’s favourite sounds in the mix. This show is broadcast for 1hr on campus radio and is used as a promotional tool to promote the library to students who may not be aware of all the library has to offer. The show also features interviews on all things library related such as advice for new librarians and issues affecting librarianship in general. This appears to be the first dedicated library radio show in Ireland. 

What stood out most was the innovation that each librarian showed as well as how libraries rose to the challenge of a difficult set of circumstances that occurred in 2020. As a newly qualified librarian it was interesting too to note the commitment to wellness, the possibilities for AI in libraries and how problems can be solved with creativity and innovation. 

13 Sept 2022

LIR - Show & Tell Competition

The LIR HEAnet User Group for Libraries is currently inviting current LIS students and recent graduates to share their work in a pre-recorded PechaKucha presentation (20 slides with 20 seconds of commentary per slide; total presentation length of 6 minutes, 40 seconds). PechaKucha tips, resources, and examples can be found here. Some examples of a Pecha Kucha: Pecha Kucha on presenting a Pecha Kucha, The Art of Revolution in the Public Library!, Accessibility on Academic Library Webpages and Information Professionals in Non-Traditional Library Settings. 

This competition is limited to current LIS students and graduates from the past two years from Dublin Business School, University College Dublin, or Ulster University. 

This is an opportunity for students and recent graduates to develop their presentation, communication, and impact skills by sharing their research with LIR and the wider community. Research has shown Pecha Kucha presentations can “promote visual design literacy while building oral communication skills” (Beyer et al, 2013) and can help in creating engaging presentations and increasing confidence in giving presentations (Christianson and Payne, 2011). 

Submission topics can be anything relating to library and information studies (such as a Master’s dissertation, capstone project, coursework, groupwork, general topic overview or any other research). 

Prizes will be given to the top 3 submissions (One4All vouchers - €150 for first, €100 for second, €50 for third) and participants can win a LIR branded hoodie. A selection of videos will be showcased on the LIR Group website. 

For more information, visit https://lirgroup.heanet.ie/index.php/show-and-tell-competition-for-lis-student.  

Submit your video recording online at https://www.cognitoforms.com/LIRLibraryGroup/LIRGroupStudentShowandTellSubmissions

Deadline for submissions: Friday, September 30th 


Beyer, A. A., Gaze, C. and Lazicki, J. (2013) “Comparing students’ evaluations and recall for Student Pecha Kucha and PowerPoint Presentations”, Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 1(2), pp. 26–42. Available at: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/jotlt/article/view/3109 (Accessed: 31 August 2022).

Christianson, M., & Payne, S. (2011). Using the 20x20 format for presentation training. Language Research Bulletin, 26, 1-15.

About LIR: 

LIR HEAnet User Group for Libraries provides a forum for discussion on the use of electronic resources and networks by HEI libraries and assists in development and training for their effective use.

LIR encourages communication and co-operation between member libraries in accessing electronic resources.  LIR aims to help academic libraries explore and develop their digital capacity by providing seminars and workshops for members, as well as other such events which bring this community of practice together. 

Follow LIR on Twitter @LIRHEAnet 

Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 | Categories: , ,

12 Sept 2022

Webinar - New Horizons in Open Access publishing October 25th 10.00-13.00

Open Access publishing is well established in our research landscape, and the advantages of OA are clear but unfortunately the mechanism and metrics are still tangled with for profit publishers meaning at some point someone must pay. 

Diamond Open Access refers to Open Access journals and platforms that are free to both authors and readers. Science Europe, cOAlition S, OPERAS, and the French National Research Agency (ANR) recently presented an action plan on Diamond OA and the landmark Open Access Diamond Journals Study found that Diamond OA contributes 45% of OA publishing globally. This coincides with the finalising of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment which aims to move us away from publish or perish metric to an ecosystem that recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research. 

In this webinar we will hear from Dr Samuel Moore about the potential that could be unlocked with a move towards Diamond OA and from Prof. Toma Susi on how the reform of research metrics and assessment could enable this move. UCC Library Scholarly Comms Librarian Donna Ó Doibhlin will outline the options for OA publishing in UCC and we will hear more about CORA UCC institutional repository. We will also hear from the editors of some of our homegrown Diamond OA journals Boolean and Scenario on their journey and the support that UCC Library has provided along the way.

To register for this event please click on this link

Keep reading for speaker information and abstracts.............

Samuel Moore      

 Dr. Samuel A. Moore is a scholarly communication specialist at Cambridge University Library and a research associate at Homerton College. His research in library and information studies explores the ethics and politics of scholarly communication. He has a Ph.D in Digital Humanities from King’s College London and over a decade’s experience as a publisher, educator and researcher specialising in open access and academic publishing. He is also one of the organisers of the Radical Open Access Collective.     


'Scaling small', or why there are no BIG solutions to the problem of ethical open access

As Plan S gains steam in Europe and the US mandates public access to all research published from 2026, subscription publishing seems likely to be an increasingly unviable business model in the near future. We are rapidly moving to a time in which all academic research articles – and increasing amounts of books – will be available to access and share without payment. Yet although open access has won the day, it is worth considering why this victory also feels like something of a defeat. Publishing is still largely controlled by a handful of profiteering companies who are rapidly expanding into areas beyond research articles, such as research data, user data and other elements in the knowledge production workflow. At the same time, many researchers remain unengaged and motivated by regressive research cultures that promote competition over collaboration, seeing open access as an imposition or something to be ignored entirely. But what is to be done here, and why are there no easy or big solutions? This talk will argue that the all-encompassing solutions promised by open access mandates, funder platforms and transformative agreements are part of the problem. Instead, open access practitioners need to consider the necessity of ‘smallness’ and local solutions in nurturing a diverse and ethical diamond open access publishing ecosystem.

Toma Susi 

Toma Susi is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna in Austria. In his research career, he has worked on materials synthesis, spectroscopy, electron microscopy and modeling, authoring over 80 peer-reviewed articles and reviews, and contributed open data and code as well as an open grant application. He coordinated science policy as the Vice-Chair of the Young Academy of Europe, recently chaired an open science task force at the Initiative for Science in Europe, and was a member of the core drafting group of the European agreement on reforming research assessment. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Open Research Europe and on the Editorial Board of Scientific Data.  


Twitter @mostlyphysics

Reform research assessment to unlock the potential of diamond OA

Processes of research evaluation and rewards are coming under increasing scrutiny, with critics convincingly arguing that they have adverse effects on research quality and support a research culture of competition to the detriment of collaboration. Accordingly, many have called for a wide-ranging reform of research assessment. The overarching aim would be to enable a positive change in research culture that not only helps improve the transparency, reproducibility and reliability of research, but by rewarding excellent science on its own merits, also de-emphasize those forms of evaluation that contribute to toxic competition. These long-overdue efforts to reform research assessment are finally underway. 

A prerequisite for a successful reform is to increase the involvement of researchers themselves in designing reward and evaluation systems. However, it has become clear that although there is increasing recognition of the need and desire to move away from flawed prestige-based metrics, there is little consensus on what should replace them. Considering the increasingly strong drive from policy-makers, it is now vital that different research communities both urgently and concretely consider how they wish evaluation systems to be adapted in each of their individual circumstances.

At the same time, the efforts to achieve immediate availability of publicly funded research outputs accelerated by cOAlition S and now the US Federal Government seems set to flip the entire academic to open access publishing. There is a valid concern that this may further entrench existing commercial players and lead to ever-inflating article processing fees, shifting access barriers from reading to publishing. However, this may also make researchers finally aware of the exorbitant price we pay for publishing – and should we succeed in the assessment reforms, this may be a perfect opportunity to unlock the potential of scholarly-led diamond OA.

Donna Ó Doibhlin

  Donna Ó Doibhlin is the Scholarly Communications Librarian in UCC Library and CORA manager. Her role involves promotion and support for OA publishing across the university and she provides regular outreach, training and skills development sessions in OA.  



Twitter @CORA_UCC

The Library Research Services enabling OA publishing in UCC 

Research Services and the CORA Team in UCC promotes Open Access publishing throughout the University by encouraging staff and researchers to publish their research findings openly through our OA repository CORA.  

Recent funder OA mandates have strengthened the requirement to publish research openly and this has highlighted the value of institutional repositories to share this research.  The team also manage the current IReL-funded transformative agreements with publishers.  While this offers a level of support to our researchers it brings its own challenges.  This talk will highlight some of these challenges and identify potential solutions.

The Boolean: Showcasing UCC’s doctoral students 

The Boolean is a student led publication that gives doctoral students in the University a platform to communicate their research in a non-academic, accessible way. Students submit articles about their work written to be intelligible to a general audience. These articles are peer reviewed by staff and students from a different discipline to ensure intelligibility. The goal is to train students in both, non-academic writing, as well as get them familiar with the submission and peer review process. Thanks to the library the Boolean runs on the Open Journal System, OJS, this year. This means it has a fully integrated submission platform which helped in gathering over 30 articles publication this year.

9 Sept 2022

The DCU Staff Book Club

Figure 1: DCU staff promote the launch of this year's DCU Staff Book Club (DCU, 2022)

Guest post by Grace O'Connor, who is a member of the Public Services and Outreach team in DCU Library. 

The DCU Staff Book Club is an initiative of the DCU Cultural Arts Office in partnership with DCU HR and DCU Library. A new book is read each month, with monthly competitions for signed copies. A virtual meeting is held at the end of each month, with a live Q&A with the author and specially chosen moderators.

To date we have focused on Irish authors, and our speakers have included such luminaries as Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, and Kevin Barry.

It has proven hugely popular amongst staff, with one member stating “The DCU book club has rekindled my interest in modern Irish literature and connected me with other readers across the DCU community. It is wonderful to hear directly from such well-known authors and also to be introduced to emerging new writers. Thank you so much to the DCU Cultural Arts Office and DCU Library for this terrific initiative.” 

Figure 2: Well-known authors who have featured in the DCU Staff Book Club
(see image sources below)

The DCU Staff Book Club began back in January 2021 as a way to bring the DCU community together through the love of reading. DCU’s Cultural Arts Officer, Marcella Bannon, was always eager to have a staff book club. When Covid-19 hit and DCU staff began working from home, DCU’s Human Resources Department wanted to support staff wellbeing and were hugely open to the idea.

It was crucial for the Library to be involved in the Book Club from the beginning. Meetings between the Library and the Cultural Arts officer began in January 2021, discussing all aspects of how to run a book club for DCU staff entirely online. The Library also wanted to get involved with the new Ireland Reads initiative, and the first ever Book Club meeting coincided with this in February 2021.

Registration for the book club is free, the only requirement is that you are a current DCU staff member. Club members then get monthly emails containing details about the featured book for that month. The emails include information about how to obtain a copy of the book as well as a link to the virtual meetup session.

Figure 3: A signed copy of Nora by
Nuala O'Connor (DCU Library, 2022)

University Librarian, John McDonagh, was very supportive from the beginning of the initiative. He allocated a budget to buy copies of the books for the Library collection that staff could then borrow, as well as copies that could be signed by the author and given away as prizes in the monthly competition.

To date it's been difficult to purchase copies of the books using library systems as supply can be slow. One way to combat this issue would be knowing well in advance which books will be featured, which is something we aim to improve on.

The Library has a dedicated webpage containing all the information about the book club, as well as the details for the current competition. Library staff check that the competition answers are correct and that the entrants are eligible to take part before picking four winners at random. We try to get the signed copies to competition winners before the book club meeting, but this proves difficult due to the aforementioned delays in order times.

The Library’s Research and Teaching directorate provided articles and research on the benefits of reading for the website.

A Facebook group was set up for the club via the Library Facebook page, as a space for members to engage in discussions about the book. We had hoped this would be more popular than it is, but it's difficult to motivate members to engage via this platform.

A decision was taken early on not to record the online sessions, as we wanted staff to be able to relax and enjoy the experience. The exception to this was Pat McCabe whose book ‘Poguemahone’ was featured in May 2021. He was happy for a recording of the session to be made and this was then shared with DCU students undertaking the MA in Creative Writing.

Marcella Bannon, Orla Nic Aodha (Associate Director of Public Services and Outreach), Theresa OFarrell, (DCU President’s Office) the moderator and the author meet online 15-20 minutes before the book club begins, to make sure everything is working well.

Online sessions usually begin with an introduction, a reading from the author and then a Q&A session facilitated by the moderator.

Initially members spoke out at the book club nights but increasingly started to engage via the chat function. It very much depends on the author however, sometimes the chat with the moderator is so good there isn't much time for member contributions!

On average 30 members of DCU staff join the online sessions, but there was a marked drop off in the last sessions as they coincided with exam corrections. Therefore, closer attention will be paid to the academic calendar when planning the new sessions for this season.

This September marks the first in-person Book Club session, beginning with Breaking Point by Edel Coffey, followed by Donal Ryan's The Queen of Dirt Island in October and Ruth & Pen by Emilie Pine in December. This is something all our members are very much looking forward to, and will show how something that was conceived as a solely online event can transition to real life.

Figure 4: Titles featuring in this year's book club
(DCU Library, 2022)

Image attribution

Figure 1:

DCU (2022) DCU staff promote the launch of this year's DCU Staff Book Club [Photograph]. Dublin: DCU

Figure 2: 

(a) Colmtoibin.com (2022) Author image of Colm Toibin and cover image of The Magician. Available at http://www.colmtoibin.com/ (Accessed 9 September 2022).

(b) RCW Literary Agency (2022) Author image of Anne Enright and cover image of Actress. Available at https://www.rcwlitagency.com/authors/enright-anne/ (Accessed 9 September 2022).

(c) O'Mahony, Conor (2022) Author image of Kevin Barry. Available at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/143091/kevin-barry/ (Accessed 9 September 2022).

(d) PenguinRandomHouse (2022) Cover image of That Old Country Music. Available at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/143091/kevin-barry/ (Accessed 9 September 2022).

Figure 3:

DCU Library (2022)  Signed copy of Nora by Nuala O'Connor [Photograph]. Dublin: DCU Library

Figure 4:

DCU Library (2022) Titles featuring in this year's book club [Photograph]. Dublin: DCU Library

Posted on Friday, September 09, 2022 | Categories:

7 Sept 2022

Year in Review at Maynooth University Library

 Guest post by Kate Hawkins, Library Assistant, Engagement and Information Services, Maynooth University Library


The Maynooth University (MU) Library Year in Review takes place twice a year: before Christmas and at the end of the academic year. It brings together colleagues from different MU Library departments to showcase their work, which can be internal or external projects, events attended or day-to-day work practice to name but a few topics. Examples of what library staff spoke about at the most recent Year in Review are: the MU Makerspace, the new model for the Digital Communications Team (DCT) and a report from a colleague who completed a certificate in Adult and Community Education at MU. There is time for questions from attendees once all the presentations have been completed. 


Each participant is invited to speak for a total of seven minutes about their chosen topic. The presenter may use PowerPoint if they wish but are restricted to seven slides.   Prior to the pandemic, the Year in Review was a face-to-face event.  Since the advent of the Pandemic, it is online via Microsoft Teams. If using a PowerPoint presentation participants must share their screen. This allows the Year in Review experience to be more engaging. All staff are invited to attend the event.  The most recent Year in Review had almost thirty attendees.

My Experience

For my first Year in Review, I presented with a colleague, and we spoke about our transition from being members of the Facilities and Events (F&E) Team to being members of the Engagement and Information Services (EIS) team. We alternated every second slide on our PowerPoint presentation. I began the presentation by introducing myself and my role in MU Library and my colleague followed suit. The topics I spoke about were our transition from the F&E team to the EIS team, EIS team updates and my aspirations within MU Library.

For my second time participating in the Year in Review I spoke about the work I had done in relation to the University of Sanctuary (UoS) at MU. Before beginning the PowerPoint presentation, I made a list of all the noteworthy UoS events and updates that had occurred over the past few months. I ensured the PowerPoint Presentation was colourful and eye-catching. I made sure to include the UoS logo in the PowerPoint presentation as well as the relevant links to our UoS social media: Twitter and Instagram. When it was my turn to present, I introduced myself and my presentation very briefly and I provided a summary of the UoS and MU as a UoS. My presentation was divided into five sections: the background to the UoS, social media, writing, the MU UoS coffee morning and further information. My favourite UoS things to speak about was the coffee morning because it gave staff and students a chance to get to know one another and it was an enjoyable event to be a part of.

The Preparation Process

I prepared for each Year in Review slightly differently. For the 2021 Year in Review my colleague and I had some team meetings to prepare. We discussed what we wanted to speak about and what angle we were taking, would it be one or two different ones? Would we have two separate PowerPoint presentations, or would we just have one? We created a shared document in Microsoft Teams where we could brainstorm ideas.  We provided each other with feedback on our contributions to the PowerPoint presentation.

For the 2022 Year in Review, I was presenting solo, so my preparation activities looked slightly different. The presentation topic was also different. This time I presented on the MU UoS’s engagements and the role I played in it. I liaised with the Deputy University Librarian who is on the UoS committee at MU for advice about the presentation and confirmation about up-to-date information.

For both presentations I made sure I had allocated sufficient time to work on the presentations. This included planning what I would speak about, creating the PowerPoint, editing the PowerPoint and rehearsing the presentation. When I was rehearsing, I practised with colleagues or at home. I always used the timer on my phone to ensure my presentation did not exceed the allocated time. From participating in the Year in Review I learned to keep my points clear and concise during presentations and equally when preparing the PowerPoint presentation slides to, I learned to avoid making them too text heavy and to include some photos or pictures where possible. 


The MU Library Year in Review gives colleagues the opportunity to interact with one another and learn about the broad range of activities in the different areas of the Library. It also gives staff an opportunity to speak to a group in an environment that may be less daunting than speaking at a seminar or conference.  It was particularly beneficial during the Covid 19 lockdown as it really boosted morale among colleagues. I was particularly grateful for the chance to be a part of the Year in Review because I got to know a lot of my colleagues that I had yet to meet in person due to Covid restrictions and the blended working scheme. I feel a great sense of community at MU Library, and it makes me look forward to what will come next.

Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2022 | Categories: