A ‘professional’ visit to CILIP

The CILIP New Professionals Day 2015 was held on the 9th October at the CILIP headquarters in London. Whilst I wouldn’t really consider myself to be quite an information professional just yet, I thought it would be a good experience to go along. The conference was actually aimed at people just like me who are new to library or information careers, or who are studying towards a qualification in the field. As such, I imagined it would be a very supportive and friendly atmosphere, and I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed. Plus, there were also free sandwiches, tea and coffee all day so, really, what’s not to like about that?!

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De Goya a gofres: knowledge organisation at the Prado

It’s always great when you can incorporate your interests and passions into your work. The assignment for the Knowledge Organisation module last semester required me to construct a classification system for the corporate knowledge of an imaginary establishment. This is sometimes known as a corporate taxonomy, and it’s really a way of organising all the different kinds of information needed to perform the functions of a particular organisation or department. The taxonomy should also provide a way to present and disseminate relevant information to those who interact with it, whether they are internal staff or members of the public. For the purposes of this assessment, we could either invent a fictitious organisation or use an existing one as a guide. This is where I got excited…! I had chosen the scenario of a cultural establishment open to the public, and thought that a museum would make a good example…

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Year one review

I can't bear to look! OK, I can...
I can’t bear to look! OK, I can…

*drumroll*

Yes, results are finally in and I’m relieved to say that I’ve passed the first year! I could exit now with a graduate certificate, but I’m opting to carry on to the next year for the diploma, and then hopefully onto the final year for the full masters. That means that in September it’s going to start all over again, but hopefully this time with a bit more knowledge and experience under my belt.

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A trip to Spain and little-known museums of Madrid

At last I can return to this blog! Yes, after another intense semester of work, finally all assignments have been handed in. Now I’m just waiting for the very last result for my last piece of work (fingers crossed!) which will finally draw the first year of my masters to a close. I’ll blog about that very interesting module specifically, and also my experiences and thoughts on the year, in a future post. For now it’s time to relax and unwind – which is exactly what I did on a short holiday in a country that I have grown to love very much. Here are a couple of selected images and thoughts on a couple of the less well-known museums which I visited there.

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Two worlds?

Sometimes it’s easy to see libraries, archives, museums etc., and by extension library and information studies, as somewhat of an outdated concept. Many feel that they are part of a previous, analogue age in which everything was physical, with very few computers involved in day to day processes, and as such are irrelevant to today’s electronic, virtual data world. This feeling is sometimes expressed in less than diplomatic terms. When I was first researching information studies with a view to starting this course, I came across this article from Forbes. The bold headline, proclaiming contemptuously “No. 1 Worst Master’s Degree For Jobs: Library and Information Science” isn’t exactly the kind of thing a budding information professional wants to see. Yet, when you dig deeper, the actual reasons for this pessimism turn out to be the fact that a) librarians work in libraries (umm…) and b) information professionals ‘only’ earn “$57,600 mid-career”. Well, I think we can all safely say that we didn’t decide to do this to get rich!

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Remembrance of libraries past (and present)

In my last post I talked about visiting a library to get ‘real’ books for my course. I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the SCONUL access scheme which enables distance learning students at participating universities to use library services at their local university. It’s an excellent service and very easy to register for, and all the better if the university teaches a similar course to yours and has a plentiful supply of books or resources. So, having received my authorising email and double-checked with the library, off I went to my local university, armed only with a bus ticket and a list of books.

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