Parallel and Workshop Speakers 

Esther Walsh
Laura Connaughton
Mark Ward
Aoife Connolly_edited

Parallel Presenters 

Martin O’Connor and Ronan Madden - University College Cork Library 

Martin O’Connor is currently a Senior Library Assistant at University College Cork Library, UCC. He works in the Collection Development & Management Division having previously worked in the Academic & Student Engagement Division.

His main LIS interests are the use of social media as a tool for CPD, Outreach and promotion, Ethnography, Research Methods and Methodology, the Sociology of LIS and Chinese Librarianship.

He is a member of Libfocus blogging team

He is also a member of the The Blackpool Sentinel blog team

And finally, he is now also a member of the Shush! – Sounds from UCC Library team @shush_radio 

He can be found on Twitter, quite a bit actually, at @martinoconnor3

Ronan Madden is currently Acquisitions Librarian at University College Cork Library, UCC. In this role he is responsible for serials and monographs acquisitions, donations and legal deposit. Previously he was Arts and Humanities Librarian at UCC Library.

Main interests include the role of the library in teaching, learning and research, and information behaviour in that context. He is also interested in the financial/economic aspects of university libraries.

He is a member of the Shush! – Sounds from UCC Library team @shush_radio and can be found on Twitter at @RonanPMadden (but not as often as Martin!).


Title: You are listening to Shush! Sounds from UCC Library and that track there was Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.. 

Shush! Sounds from UCC Library is a weekly one hour music & library chat radio show hosted by two librarians from UCC Library. The show is broadcast to the UCC Community and beyond via the college broadcaster UCC Campus Radio.

In this case study we talk about Shush!, highlighting the reasons behind UCC Library undertaking such an initiative.

We talk about the outreach aspect of Shush!; how it is used to engage and connect with the UCC community, the wider Cork community and the wider Library Community. We explore the potential of Shush! as a promotional and marketing tool for the library, and discuss how Shush! is providing UCC Library staff with another forum to communicate about our services. We also consider how an initiative like Shush! has potential to strengthen the sense of community within UCC library and amongst the library staff themselves.  We look at how social media is being used in conjunction with the show to engage, promote and build community. We tell the secrets of lessons learned, what to do, and what not to do.

We also have some great clips…

Lorna Dodd - Maynooth University 

Lorna was appointed Senior Librarian at Maynooth University (MU) in January 2015. She joined MU from University College Dublin (UCD) where she was User Services Manager. Prior to this, she was a Liaison Librarian in UCD for several subject areas across the Social Sciences and Science. In November 2015, Lorna was awarded an MU Teaching & Learning Fellowship for the GAeL (Graduate Attributes eLearning) project.

Lorna is currently the Honorary Treasurer of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) and represents MU on the CONUL (Consortium of National and University Libraries) Teaching and Learning sub-committee. Twitter: @LornaDodd


Title: The critical role of the Librarian in the development of a ‘critical skills’ community of practice 

This paper will describe how librarians at Maynooth University (MU) used the opportunity presented by a new curriculum to develop close working relationships with staff in MU’s Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL), academic departments and other key student supports to create a new ‘community of practice’.

In September 2016, MU launched an ambitious new undergraduate curriculum with a strong focus on ‘critical skills’ such as problem solving, reflection, critical thinking and information literacy. The path to reforming the curriculum was a challenging process which required staff from across the university to collaborate in new ways and create ‘communities of practice’. The inclusion and importance of information literacy in the new curriculum presented a unique opportunity for the Library to become involved and lead one of these new ‘communities of practice’. As librarians, we are accustomed to developing relationships across campus, negotiating academic cultures and bureaucratic structures in a way that other university colleagues are not. This paper will demonstrate how this experince as ‘sociable librarians’, alongside our expertise in information literacy made librarians key to the development of a new community of practice centred around critical skills in the curriculum at MU.

Aoife Connolly - PwC

Margaret Irons - School of Celtic Studies, DIAS

Aoife is a Senior Manager in the international professional services firm PwC, primarily focused on content management and operations Global Tax Networks & Markets. In her 20+ years with PwC Aoife has been Knowledge Manager and responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm’s Information & Research Centre, moving to a global role in 2012. Aoife was a member of the A&SL Committee 2007 – 2013, enjoying the role of Hon Treasurer 2009 – 2011. With a growing interest in content communication & social media she set up Librarian Links to share events and resources for Librarians in Ireland. Aoife returned to night studies in 2015 and completed a Diploma in Digital Marketing & Strategy in DBS - this broadened her skills and fuelled her interest in how we connect and collaborate.

Twitter @AoifeConnolly

Margaret completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Media & Communications at the University of Limerick in 1996. She worked in the area of genealogical research and libraries before obtaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Library & Information Studies from University College Dublin in 2001. Margaret subsequently worked in third level academic and medical libraries before taking up the role of Librarian in the School of Celtic Studies in 2006.

Margaret is a member of the Library Association of Ireland and was a committee member of the A&SL Section from 2007-2013, holding the role of Secretary from 2009-2011.

Having always felt that there was no definitive website to advertise library jobs in Ireland, Margaret launched in 2012. The site has gone from strength to strength.

Twitter @magsironelly, @SCSLibrary, @LibraryJobs

TitleBetter together: your village and your voice

At the Academic and Special Libraries Section AGM in 2007, Aoife Connolly and Margaret Irons found themselves becoming members of the A&SL committee. Fast forward 6 years and both decided to step down at the same time! But what happened in the intervening years? What have they done since? Were they #bettertogether?

Through their stories Aoife & Margaret will share the different paths that brought them to the A&SL committee, and beyond. Knowing that putting yourself forward to be part of committee is not always easy, they want to show how it can be done to the enrichment of your professional and personal life. Inspired by the conference theme Aoife & Margaret will outline how they became “Sociable Librarians” and the guises that title can take in careers and communities, behind the desk and out the door. This case study will focus on how as professionals we can come from different directions to form alliances, learn and share new skills making us #bettertogether and sending us forward with confidence and plans for the future. It will illustrate how finding your voice and your village can be daunting and dangerous – in the best possible ways. 

Workshop Presenters 

Laura Connaughton - Maynooth University 

Laura Connaughton is Assistant Librarian for Library Information Services in Maynooth University Library as well as Subject Librarian for Celtic Studies.  Laura has a real interest in the development of Library and Information Services, particularly meeting the needs of next generation library users in a changing library environment.  She was the recipient of the 2015 A&SL best poster award and joint winner of best poster at CONUL 2016.  Laura has presented at national and international conferences.  @lozconn

TitleCafé Conversations - Using a World Café as a means to facilitate creative ideas in Customer Care

This workshop will present a case study of the application of the World Café model to facilitate discussion and learning around a topic of common concern – frontline desk services – for 61 staff from 11 Irish academic libraries at Maynooth University (MU) Library in October 2015. This was part of a one-day staff development event – MU Library Innovation Day. World Café, sometimes termed Knowledge Café, is now an established method of facilitating productive dialogue between a group or groups of people around an issue that matters to the group as a whole. Now a world movement, the methodology is straightforward and uses conversation as a key process to connect people, who may be from different organisations, age groups, cultures, continents etc. Café conversations draw on the wisdom and creativity of the participants to explore issues of concern to them and to confront real life challenges.

This case study will discuss the methodology of a World Café. It will also present and discuss the results from the event and actions and outcomes following on from the event.  It will also look at limitations of the event.

This was the first Library World Café offered to staff from all Irish university libraries. It provided a new experience for many of the participants and a different perception of how feedback could by elicited and knowledge generated and shared.  This case study will showcase the process, methodology and success of the day with tangible evidence as to how a World Café can facilitate creative ideas in customer care by the frontline staff.  It also gave the opportunity for professional networking amongst a specific community of practice in Ireland – frontline staff.

The event also inspired an article written by Helen Fallon and Laura Connaughton, available here:

Mark Ward - South Dublin Libraries

Mark Ward (@dogwithoutlegs) is a library assistant from South Dublin Libraries. He is currently undertaking his MSc in Library and Information Studies with Aberystywth University. He has written for LibFocus, and, most recently, for An Leabharlann. His recent poster presentation at DBS Library Seminar 2016 was awarded first place. He is the founder and curator of Ballyroan Reads (, a staff book review and stock marketing blog. He also started and facilitates CoderDojo Rathfarnham (@CoDoRathfarnham). He has a strong interest in social media and LGBT issues in libraries. He is also a published poet and cabaret performer.  

Title: CoderDojo and Libraries: Why Your Library Should Get Involved and How to Start Your Own Dojo 

Coding - the ability to understand and write computer programming languages - has moved from being solely the concern of IT students and practitioners, to an issue for all young people. It is a necessary language that allows children to flourish in this digital age and is now so important that government ministers are calling for coding to be taught in schools.
CoderDojo is a global movement of free coding clubs, delivered by volunteers, where children aged 7-17 can learn coding, programming and more. Despite being identified as a perfect setting to host a CoderDojo, few libraries run their own. 
This workshop examines what CoderDojo is, how it works in a public library setting (by investigating the case study of CoderDojo Rathfarnham), and the extant literature. It sets forth the reasons why your library should start your own Dojo and the value it could bring to your library, as well as putting forward a ten step guide on how to accomplish this, and discussing how academic, school and special libraries could avail of having a Dojo.

Esther Walsh - William Fry

Esther Walsh holds a BA (Hons) from University College Cork in English and Art History and a Masters of Library and Information Science from University College Dublin. She started working in libraries as one of three Graduate Trainees employed by Trinity College Dublin for 12 months in 2004 before commencing her MLIS. She returned to TCD once
qualified and worked in various different roles from Preservation Assistant in the Conservation Department to Assistant Librarian of the Information Service. Since 2011, she has worked in two of Ireland’s top law firms including her most recent post as Assistant Librarian at William Fry Solicitors. In her current role, Esther and her colleagues, deliver a first-rate research and enquiry service as well as providing a comprehensive information training programme for trainees to partners. @librarywalsh

Title: Lessons learned in creating e-learning guides for a law firm 

**Please note - for commercial sensitivity this session will not be live streamed & attendees are advised live tweeting, social media posting or broadcast of the workshop content is not permitted**   

The Library and Information team at William Fry are dedicated to providing first-rate information literacy training. Training busy people in a busy corporate law firm can be a challenge – time is a luxury! To accommodate this, the Library and Information team supplement traditional classroom training with desk-based training and with one-on-one
ad-hoc training sessions. In 2016 we enhanced this further by launching a series of elearning guides. These interactive training guides focus on a selection of legal information electronic resources. These guides can be accessed by users when their schedule allows and their learning can be monitored remotely to gain CPD points. Combining this new
training method with the conventional information literacy and professional development program gives end users and the library team greater flexibility when delivering training. This workshop will demonstrate the process behind the development of these training guides and the skills required, not all of which were learnt in library school