21 Aug 2023

Reflections from winners of LIR's 2022 Show and Tell competition

Guest post by LIR HEAnet, Niamh O'BrienStewart Killeen

My experience entering and winning the LIR Show and Tell Competition 2022 by Niamh O’Brien 

I was having lunch with the Systems Librarian at my library when she told me about the LIR Show and Tell Competition. Having graduated from UCD with my MLIS in 2020, she suggested I enter. While I completed numerous projects throughout my MLIS, my work on the OER project stood out as an obvious choice for me. I had undertaken this project as part of my Service Learning module in college, and a year later, I returned to the same library to work full-time. This provided me with an opportunity to discuss my project and share insights into its benefits in transitioning from my MLIS into the field of library work. 

 OER PechaKucha from Niamh O'Brien 

As I created my presentation, I carefully sourced images and designed my slides to adhere to creative commons licenses. Recording the narration, however, made me realize that my initial script required extensive revisions to fit the format better. While I am content with the presentation I submitted, I acknowledge that there is room for improvement, particularly in the flow between slides to avoid stiff and awkward pauses. 

When I received the email informing me that I had won first place in the competition, I was absolutely thrilled! I eagerly looked forward to watching the other presentations that were uploaded to LIR's YouTube channel. As someone who has attended both online and in-person conferences before, I always enjoy watching presentations from other librarians who are new to the field. The LIR Show and Tell Competition proved to be an excellent platform for new librarians, and I'm excited to see the submissions for this year's competition. 

Reflecting on this experience, participating in and winning the LIR Show and Tell Competition was a significant challenge that ultimately bolstered my confidence as a presenter and strengthened my ability to concisely deliver a compelling presentation on a broad subject. Additionally, it led me to attend the LIR Seminar in DCU, where I had the chance to expand my network and connect with other librarians while learning about web security. 

Niamh O’Brien currently lives and works in Athlone, Ireland. She is a library assistant and provides ICT support to run the Laptop on Loan initiative at the Technological University of the Shannon. 




 LIR Show and Tell Competition Blog Post by Stewart Killeen 

Librarianship, and academic librarianship in particular, is in a constant state of flux, brought on by the rapid pace of change in digital technologies. Today’s professional librarian needs to be both proactive and dynamic to respond to and reap the full benefits of these changes.  


When in September 2022 I saw the advertisement for the LIR Show and Tell Competition (https://lirgroup.heanet.ie/index.php/lir-show-and-tell-competition/), I knew that this was an excellent opportunity to put my presentation and digital skills to the test. Not only that, but I would also have the chance to showcase my research into digital preservation and Irish institutional repositories to the wider library community.  

 After familiarizing myself with the requirements and instructions for entry to the competition, I set about researching the presentation format.  

 I take great pleasure in the art of storytelling, and the presentation format relies on the power of pictures or images to tell one’s story. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” However, choosing the right pictures to narrate the story of my research required me to carefully consider several important factors:  

  • the aims, methodologies and rationale behind my research question  
  • the salient points to convey in the presentation  
  • the content and quality of the images chosen and  
  • The expectations of my audience.   

It was also essential to ensure that I used images that had an open license. Google images provides a handy tool to search for images in the creative commons (https://creativecommons.org/) using their advanced filter fields while there are many websites on the world wide web that provide images with open licenses.  

 Once I had chosen the images, I then had to write corresponding text to bring out their full meaning. Before finally recording my presentation, I added alternative text to each of the images and turned on the text-to-speech feature in PowerPoint.  

Institutional repositories and long-term digital preservationPechaKucha from Stewart Killeen

Recording the presentation was, I admit, the trickiest part of this journey. It demanded of me a little learning and sometimes a lot of frustration. However, with a little trial and error and several minutes of how-to videos on YouTube, my entry to the LIR Show and Tell competition was ready: Institutional repositories and long-term digital preservation (https://youtu.be/qt12lRFmuQ8).  

 Participating in the LIR Show and Tell Competition was both exciting and challenging, and it ignited many creative sparks. There are so many free resources available on the internet to choose from which will undoubtedly help you. Practice a few times before finally submitting your entry, but most important of all, have fun. 

 Stewart Killeen is a recent graduate of the MSc in Library and Information Management with Dublin Business School (DBS). He took up a position as a Library Assistant with Technological University (TU) Dublin during his studies and is currently the Senior Library Assistant on the Blanchardstown campus. He thoroughly enjoys working in an academic library, especially as it allows him to engage with a diversity of information needs.  




The LIR HEAnet User Group for Libraries is running its very successful Show & Tell competition once again. 

This time we have opened the competition up to all early career library staff with five years or less experience of working in library environments on the island of Ireland, as well current LIS students and/or recently qualified library professionals from LAI or CILIP accredited institutions. 

This competition provides you an opportunity to showcase your work to the wider library community. We are interested in hearing about any research or collaborative projects/ initiatives you have contributed to, or are currently engaged in. 

If you would like to improve both your presentation and communication skills this competition is an ideal platform to make an impact. 

We would like you to record a PowerPoint presentation (maximum of 5 minutes), following a template. 

Prizes will be given to the top 3 submissions (vouchers) and participants can win a LIR branded hoodie. A selection of videos will be showcased on the LIR Group website. 

For more information, visit LIR Show and Tell Competition 



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