ASL 2017 - Plenary Speakers

Dr Brid Mc Grath
Laura Rooney Ferris
Michael Ferris_edited
Maria Ryan
Liam Wylie
Sarah Anne Kennedy
Simon Perry

Thursday February 16 Speakers 

Maeve Gebruers - Irish Traditional Music Archive


Maeve Gebruers, from Cobh in Co Cork, is the Printed Materials & PR Officer with the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA). Maeve’s qualifications include a Master’s degree in the History of the Book from the University of London. Since joining ITMA in 1997, she has specialised in the care of the Archive's printed & manuscript collections of Irish traditional song, music & dance. In recent years she has added the role of Public Relations officer to her job title and now manages ITMA’s events programme & social media accounts. She is currently studying (Part-time) for an MA in Archives & Records Management in University College Dublin.
Twitter: @ITMADublin / @MaeveGebruers 

Title: Reels in the Attic: the ITMA Story that reached millions 

The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) like all libraries and archives constantly works to increase access to its collections. Primarily our goal is to ensure that anyone with an interest in Irish traditional music is given the opportunity to engage with ITMA. But we are also conscious of the need to demonstrate to our funders through meaningful audience figures the value which is derived from investment in our work.  As PR Officer I am often engaged in conversations which include ‘How can we increase footfall to our premises?’ ‘How can we reach potential donors?’ ‘How can we let more people know who we are & what we do?’  ITMA invests staff time & resources to increase audiences in many different ways: social media, performance/information events, lecturing, field recording, publishing, etc.. This case study,based on the remarkable story of a 101 year old music collector from Longford, Anne Gannon demonstrates that if the ground work that had been done in establishing web & social media platforms, they can pay extraordinary dividends. Every library has a story to tell and ITMA’s experience shows that when you find the ‘right’ story and it will do the work for you.


Maria Ryan - National Library of Ireland 


Maria Ryan is the 2016 web archivist in the Digital Collections Department of the National Library of Ireland. A qualified archivist, Maria graduated from University College Dublin in 2012 with a Masters in Archives and Records Management and has worked on The Abbey Theatre Digitisation Project in the National University of Ireland, Galway, before joining the National Library of Ireland’s digital collections team to work on the largest web archiving project undertaken by the NLI to date.

Twitter: @Maria_Brid 

Title:  The National Library of Ireland- Building and Promoting the Irish Web Archive 

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has been thematically archiving the Irish web since 2011. By creating the web archive, we are ensuring the preservation of a record of the online life of Ireland. This case study will examine the NLI’s efforts to engage with the general public and promote this new and innovative collection.

In 2016, we undertook our largest project to date. “Remembering 1916, Recording 2016” focused on recording the online repersentation of both the events of 1916, including the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, and the commemorations of 2016.

A specific aim of the project was to further engage with our users and the general public. We have increased awareness of the NLI’s web archive by launching a social media campaign across Twitter, Facebook and our blog. As a result, we have seen an increase in the numbers of people using our web archive collections. 

We collaborated with our colleagues in galleries, museums,libraries and archives nationwide and also academics from different disciplines. They suggested websites that should be included in the web archive. 

This case study will also examine the process and outcomes of our community collecting programme. This programme is encouraging the general public to submit suggestions as to what website they felt best remember the events of 1916 and what website reflected life in Ireland in 2016. A selection of these websites will be preserved and made available in the NLI’s web archive.  


Johanna Archbold - RCSI Library, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


Johanna is the Customer Services & Communications Coordinator in RCSI Library, with responsibility for service desk teams and services and internal and external communications for the Library including online platforms. She has previously worked in the National Library of Ireland and the Library & Research Service in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Outside libraries, Johanna held a Research Fellowship in Trinity’s Long Room Hub on the Creativity, the City and the University, worked as Enterprise Programmes Research Officer in the Irish Research Council and in Information, Education and Outreach management areas for BLOCK T, a start-up creative enterprise in Dublin. Johanna has a PhD in 18th century print culture in the Atlantic World (TCD), a Master’s in Library and Information Studies (UCD) and a Certificate in Data Management and Analytics (DBS). Tweeting at @RCSILibrary & @Johanna_speaks

Title:  Surveys & Smileys at the RCSI Library: UX on Double Duty 

The RCSI Library embarked on its first major UX project to address two key questions which we wanted to address in March-April 2016 as we planned our new Library space due to open in 2017. 1. How can we generate evidence for the architects on how students engage with current and future new library seating areas?

2. How can we generate buzz and excitement among our community of users about the new library?

We surveyed various UX methodologies to see what would best suit our space, time and resource capacity in terms of budget, team and research questions. By using a mix of interactive and observational UX techniques, presented as a discrete Library campaign, we put UX to work. This case study will address the successes and challenges of this ‘double duty’ approach to using UX methodologies to provide evidence on the one hand and to deliver engagement on the other, and highlights lessons learned in the process

Friday February 17 Speakers 

Frank Brady and Pauline Murray - Maynooth University  


Frank Brady is the Faculty Librarian for Science & Engineering and Faculty Librarian for Theology in

Maynooth University. 

Pauline Murray is the Faculty Librarian for Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy at Maynooth


Title:  The Sociable Librarian: Connecting and Creating Communities 

This session will address advocacy for Subject Librarians. The session will

mention how we have gone about raising the profile, marketing and communication skills of

Subject Librarians since we began to implement the Library’s Strategic Plan 2016-2018.

One of the key goals mentioned in the plan is Outreach. The goal is to strengthen and align our

engagement with the campus and the wider community. As part of that process we felt the need

to raise the profile of Subject Librarians and as a team ourselves, we were conscious of a definite

need for this.

Areas that will be mentioned are the Pop-up Library, Coffee Mornings for staff and our roles in

Events and Exhibitions. All three areas are a simple and cost-effective way to raise the profile of

Subject Librarians and our resources and to enhance library promotion. They promote a positive

image and challenge stereotypes of the library in the University. They help us discover new ways

to engage, interact and progress.

Simon Perry -  IT Carlow 

Sue Ramsbottom - Defence Force Librarian

Title:  Marching together in an academic world : project collaboration between the libraries in IT

Carlow and the Defence Forces. 

Transformation through Collaboration is a project funded by Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement

of Teaching and Learning ( IT Carlow Library with the Defence Forces Library

successfully secured funding through this initiative with the help of IT Carlow’s Centre for Teaching and

Learning. Our project titled “Digital Literacy in the Defence Forces:  building a digital library toolkit”

developed a series of online tutorials to support the information literacy needs of members of the

Defences Forces undertaking Degrees and Masters through IT Carlow. The project gave library staff from

both libraries a unique opportunity to collaboratively create these resources for a distinct cohort with

tailored needs. This presentation will give an overview of the development of this project, and will focus on

the challenges, the technical requirements, skill enhancement, and outcomes of this work. 

Dr Bríd McGrath -  Library and Information Consultant; Visiting Research Fellow, School of Histories and

Humanities, and School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Partner,

McGrath Barrett and Associates. 

Bríd has worked as a Library and Information Consultant for 30 years. She established

many libraries, especially in the health and social services sector and provides information

consultancy, research, training and facilitation services to a wide range of clients in the

state, voluntary, educational and private sectors. Bríd lectures in information literacy and  

palaeography in T.C.D., and is a partner in the library training partnership McGrath Barrett

and Associates. 

Bríd is an acknowledged expert on early modern Irish parliaments and towns and has

been awarded prestigeous research fellowships in Marsh’s Library, Centre Culturel

Irlandais (Paris), Edward Worth Library, Moore Institute for Research in the Social

Sciences and Humanities (N.U.I.G.), Huntington Library (San Marino, California) and Harry

Ransom Center for the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin.

Bríd publishes widely on librarianship, information sciences, social research and early

modern Ireland. She tweets

@mcgrathbarrett and her linkedin profile is


Title: Research fellowships as a means of marketing your library, promoting research and

creating communities of readers: one Irish librarian’s experience. 

Research fellowships are an established means of promoting scholarly collections and libraries, encouraging research and increasing the use of unique resources.  They are also a remarkable marketing tool for libraries, as they promote the greater use of collections and especially scholarly publications based on libraries’ special collections, as well as their general resources, increase citations for library manuscripts and rare books or audio-visual resources, and draw national and international attention to libraries’ collections, services and expertise.  While poorly developed in Ireland, they have an enormous potential to raise libraries’ profiles nationally and internationally, promote research based on unique collections or in line with organisations’ research objectives, enhance libraries’ reputations, provide new information about collections and resources and develop communities of library users and researchers.  As those awarded research fellowships already have considerable expertise in their own subject areas, they bring this knowledge to contribute to explaining the library collections and resources and make discoveries which are of value to the library, as well as the scholarly community.

This case study draws on Bríd’s experience of research fellowships in Ireland, France and the United States of America to demonstrate the value of research fellowships for Irish libraries.  

Liam Wylie  - RTE Archives  

Liam Wylie is the Curator at RTÉ Archives. He is responsible for the website and the @RTÉArchives social media channels. He has been the Content Producer for the project RTÉ 1916  In 2013 he won the FIAT/IFTA Most Innovative Use of Archive award and he was Content Producer for the RTÉ team, which received a special mention in the best transmedia experience for WW1 100 Years at the 2015 Prix Italia.

Title: Make a Connection Be Social With Your Collection     

Every day RTÉ Archives is making content available to a new audience. In this presentation we will share our approach to curation at RTÉ Archives. We will take you through how and where we publish. Demonstrate how we engage with the public. We will give examples of how we have gone about this and the impact it has made on our audience. What has worked well and what we thought might work better!

Finally we will give you a look at what we are planning to do next.

RTÉ Archives website :  Social Media Twitter Facebook Vine  @RTEArchives

Sarah-Anne Kennedy  - Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)  

Sarah-Anne Kennedy has been with DIT Library since 2006 and is currently the subject Librarian for Media and Law. She has worked in Libraries supporting the College of Business and the College of Arts and Tourism. She graduated from the MLIS in UCD in 2010. Sarah is interested in engaging and supporting students through blended learning and looking at ways of bringing the Library to the student. 

Title: “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein. Bringing the library to the student using an online marketing tool      


DIT Library Aungier St. are using Mailchimp to engage first year undergraduates with their
Information Literacy (IL) programme and also to market and promote Library staff and services.
Library staff have developed Library Learning which consists of 10 scheduled, tailored and branded
mailouts sent throughout the first academic year. Mailouts are authored by library staff in
collaboration with academic staff, the academic calendar and course content. Student supports
such as the Academic Writing Centre are also promoted. Library Learning came about as DIT looked at the overall first year experience. Student induction is moving from a once off event to a yearlong process and experience. Library Learning allows us to deliver information to the students throughout the academic year in a format that facilitates asynchronous learning and supports our existing IL program. The mailouts allow us to promote
our on and off-campus support services and places us among the community of supports available
to them within DIT. Instead of waiting for the student to visit the Library in person or online, we are reaching out to the student. The mailouts reach the student at a time that is relevant to their needs. Now the
Library is wherever the student is

Laura Rooney Ferris  - Irish Hospice Foundation

Michael Ferris - Library, Bar of Ireland    

Laura Rooney Ferris (BA, MA, HDipLIS) is Information and Library Manager of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF). Her current role involves the management and development of the IHF’s specialist library, information and web services. Prior to this Laura was assistant systems Librarian in the Library of Dublin Business School. Professional interests and experience include online content management, integration of new media and emerging technologies in information services, social media marketing and digital literacy. Laura has been a member of the Academic & Special Libraries Section of the Library Association of Ireland Committee since October 2012 and serves as their Communications Officer. She developed and is the producer of the podcast ‘Librarians Aloud’. You can find her ranting on twitter as @LauraRooneyF or not ranting on @ASLIBRARIES 

Michael Ferris (BA) is a library assistant at the Bar Council of Ireland law libraries. He has worked in the law library for over ten years working in member services, digitisation and web support. He is currently completing his Information & Library Studies qualification through the University of Aberystwyth distance programme. Michael is also a musician and has performed and contributed to recordings in the US and Ireland. He has a keen interest in DIY music recording, production and sound editing and is the editor and theme music creator of the ‘Librarians Aloud’ podcast.

When not playing music he can mostly be found watching and or talking online about Star Trek. He rants on twitter as @ferrismick1701  

Title: ‘Librarians Aloud'; Creating a DIY podcast to amplify librarian voices         


In September 2015 the first rough and ready episode of 'Librarians Aloud' was released on SoundCloud. Since then eleven new episodes have been released and thousands of listeners have tuned in from across the globe.     

Aiming to provide an outlet for guests to tell their library origin stories ‘Librarians Aloud’ features long form interviews with library and information professionals waxing lyrical about their journeys and adventures through the profession.  The presentation will share insights on podcast production, development and editing. We will also present the general themes that have emerged from the ‘Librarians Aloud’ interviews and the extent to which they represent a snapshot of the profession.   Clips and soundbites from past interviewees will be used to create a soundscape of the Librarians Aloud interviews. We will also address the potential for podcasts as an advocacy tool to present and amplify the voices of information professionals.