This is the first in a series of interviews with each of our Gradam Comhdháil Luath Gairme (ECCA) winners for 2018. In these blog posts our winners will tell us more about why they applied for the award, and what they are looking forward to at the conference. The ECCA winners are sponsored by SLA Europe and SLA Divisions, and will be attending the 2018 Comhdháil CLS & INFO-EXPO in Baltimore this June.

Our first interview is with Bethany Sherwood. Bethany is currently studying part-time for the Information Science MSc at City, Ollscoil Londain, and works as a Library Assistant at the English Faculty Library, Ollscoil Cambridge. Her award is co-sponsored by the Academic Division.

 

Why did you pursue a LIS career?

I read English at undergrad and found that the most interesting questions I came across were asking why we were reading the books we were reading and who was deciding what qualified as literature. When I realised that libraries weren’t neutral spaces I knew I wanted to pursue a career in them. It’s been the enthusiasm of other library and information professionals that has further convinced me of the value and joy of working in a space where everything is questioned and contested. I love the passion and seriousness that underlies the profession; that open discussion and a commitment to professional development are standard rather than extras.

 

Can you tell us about your career so far?

Tá mé ag obair i Leabharlann Cambridge University Dámh ar feadh dhá bhliain go leith,,en,mar sin braitheann mé go cothrom nua,,en,Tar éis an chéimiú chuir mé iarratas ar chúpla oiliúint iarchéime ach ní bhfuair mé aon agallaimh mar ní raibh taithí oibre agam,,en,Bhí ádh orm roinnt leabharlannaithe a fháil,,en,an Libby Tilley iontach agus Helen Murphy ag an EFL,,en,a mhúin mé go leor faoi leabharlannaíocht mhaith agus go bhfuil mórán taithí úsáideach déanta agam ar mo bhealach,,en,Is maith liom go bhfuil an obair sin i leabharlann acadúil éagsúil,,en,Is féidir liom tús a chur le caibidil a dhéanamh ar phóipéar faoi bhoinn Anglo Saxon agus dhá uair an chloig ina dhiaidh sin,,en,Chuidigh mé le duine airteagal síos ar líne,,en,tugadh comhairle maidir le tagairtí,,en,rinne infographic,,en,agus shocraigh sé printéir,,en,Thosaigh mé an MSc in Eolaíocht Faisnéise sa Chathair,,en,i mí Mheán Fómhair,,en, so I still feel fairly new. After graduating I applied for a few graduate traineeships but didn’t get any interviews as I lacked work experience. I was lucky to find some librarians (the brilliant Libby Tilley and Helen Murphy at the EFL) who have taught me a lot about good librarianship and have pushed lots of useful experience my way. I like that working in an academic library is so varied, I can start cataloguing a pamphlet about Anglo Saxon coins and two hours later, I’ve helped someone track down an online article, given advice about referencing, made an infographic, and fixed a printer.

I started the MSc in Information Science at City, Ollscoil Londain, in September 2017. Is mór liom taitneamh a bhaint as an teoiric atá taobh thiar de chleachtas LIS,,en,agus a bheith mar chuid de phobal CityLIS,,en,Chuir mé iarratas ar ECCA leis an roinn Acadúil toisc go bhfuil mé buartha faoi luach leabharlanna a chur in iúl laistigh d'institiúidí acadúla,,en,Tá leabharlanna acadúla i bhfad níos mó ná leabhair agus spásanna oibre,,en,agus is maith liom an dúshlán a bhaineann le daoine eile a fháil chun é seo a fheiceáil freisin,,en,I mo ról reatha,,en,Tá mé freagrach as seirbhísí na leabharlainne a chur chun cinn dá úsáideoirí,,en,rud a léiríonn an dúshlán atá ag foghlaim cad is gá dár n-úsáideoirí,,en,cad ba mhaith leo,,en,agus conas is féidir linn é a mheaitseáil leis an méid a chuirimid ar fáil,,en,Is iad na leabharlanna acadúla an t-achar taighde,,en,agus ag an am a leathnaíonn an phunann leabharlainne chun cumarsáid scoláire a chuimsiú,,en, and being part of the CityLIS community.

 

Why did you decide to apply for an ECCA with the Academic division?

I applied for an ECCA with the Academic division because I’m passionate about communicating the value of libraries within academic institutions. Academic libraries are so much more than books and working spaces, and I like the challenge of getting others to see this too. In my current role, I’m responsible for promoting the library’s services to its users, which presents the challenge of learning what our users need, what they want, and how we can match that with what we offer. Academic libraries are the lifeblood of research, and at a time when the library portfolio is broadening to encompass scholarly communications, daonnachtaí digiteacha,,en,agus riachtanais mhéadaithe bainistíochta sonraí taighde,,en,Is áit spreagúil iad a bheith ag obair,,en,Táim an-áthas orm go mbeidh mo chuid spéireachtaí gairmiúla ag leathnú chomh suntasach,,en,D'fhoghlaim mé an oiread sin cheana féin le blianta beaga anuas trí dhaoine a chomhlíonadh ag comhdhálacha,,en,ag tarraingt as a n-eispéiris agus a gcleachtas gairmiúil i gcomhthéacsanna agus i gcultúir seachas mar a bhí ag mo chuid féin,,en,Is mór buíoch dom má tá ceist agam go léir is gá dom a dhéanamh ná logáil isteach ar Twitter agus tá líonra réidh de na céadta daoine a bhfuil suim acu agus daoine atá infheistithe sásta a n-eagna a roinnt,,en,Táim ag tnúth le níos mó daoine a chomhlíonadh,,en,agus go háirithe féachaint ar an dóigh a bhfuil leabharlannaíocht difriúil sa Stát Aontaithe,,en, and the increasing needs of research data management, they’re a really exciting place to be working.

 

What are you most looking forward to about SLA 2018?

I’m really excited to have my professional horizons broadened so significantly! I’ve learnt so much already over the past few years through meeting people at conferences, drawing from their experiences and professional practice in contexts and cultures unlike my own. I really appreciate that if I have a question all I need to do is log onto Twitter and there is a ready network of hundreds of interested and invested people willing to share their wisdom. I’m looking forward to meeting more people, and especially seeing how librarianship is different in the U.S.

 

Which sessions/speakers on the programme are excited most about?

Táim ag súil go mór leis na seisiúin atá ag díriú ar mhargaíocht leabharlainne agus tá súil agam go dtabharfaidh sé smaointe úr chun mo ról a thabhairt ar ais ag an EFL,,en,Táim ina lucht leanúna mór de Carla Hayden freisin,,en,agus mar sin táim an-áthas orm a chloisteáil léi an príomh-sheoladh a sheachadadh,,en,Gradaim Luath-Chomhdhála Gairme - Agallamh le Bethany Sherwood,,en. I’m also a big fan of Carla Hayden, so I’m really excited to hear her deliver the keynote address.

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Suíomh Dáta deireanach a nuashonraíodh Meitheamh 19, 2018 @ 7:42 pm; An t-ábhar Bealtaine Dáta deireanach a nuashonraíodh 28, 2018 @ 10:30 ag an