Past, Present and Future – how the libraries of the IUA and RCSI have collaborated to deliver essential information resources to researchers

Arlene Healy (Trinity College Dublin) & Rita Pinhasi (IReL), Irish Research eLibrary (IReL)

In response to an invitation from SFI transmitted via the then Conference of Heads of Irish Universities (now IUA), the university librarians submitted a proposal in June 2002 for the development of “an electronic library or research information resource.”

The demand for an enhanced range of resources followed on from increased emphasis on research and the desire to position Ireland as an outstanding location for research by SFI and government departments. Following discussions between the HEA and the Irish Universities Association Librarians’ Group, IReL was established in 2004, initially to support research in Science, Engineering and Technology with an expansion to Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines in 2006.

IReL has established itself as a highly successful shared service and an essential element in Ireland’s research and education infrastructure in that time, delivering access for students and staff of all seven universities and the RCSI to over 30,000 journals as well as databases and e-books.

The presentation will describe the benefits of IReL as a shared service and its critical role in the universities’ and RCSI’s research and teaching infrastructure.  It will review the contribution to research performance, and highlight the benefits achieved through the collective bargaining power of the institutions and the availability of central funding.  IReL has evolved during a time of great change in higher education, in research, and significantly in Ireland’s economic fortunes.  The talk will explore how these have impacted on the service.  As IReL has evolved, so too has a wealth of valuable knowledge and expertise grown among the consortia members, which allows us to contribute to the ongoing debates on the development of scholarly communication models, including Open Access.

Finally, the presentation will look to the future and examine the next stage in IReL’s development, including changing governance structures and collection development plans.

Presenter Biography:

Arlene Healy

Arlene Healy is Sub Librarian, Digital Systems and Services (Readers’ Services Division) in the Library of Trinity College Dublin, where she is a member of the Leadership Team.   In her role, she provides strategic leadership for digital services and systems, including the Library’s underlying IT system, electronic resources management (including resource discovery user interfaces), digital library programme and web strategy.  Arlene represents the Library on the IReL Steering Group.  She previously chaired the IReL Monitoring Group, tasked with monitoring the value, use and impact of the IReL initiative.

Rita Pinhasi

Rita is Sub Librarian, IReL Manager at Maynooth University. In this role she works on all aspects of consortium negotiations, licensing, administration and finance. Previously she worked in University College Dublin Library and UCD Research Office, University College Cork Library, as well as St George’s, University of London, and cultural institutions in Hungary and Austria.

Rita’s main professional interests lie in the areas of national and international collaborations and trends in Open Access.


‘Size Does Matter…But Not in the Way You think.’

Crónán O Doibhlin (University College Cork) & Chris Pressler (Dublin City University)

With the transformation of library services and spaces, it is clear that there is a requirement for renewed focus on the management of and access to physical collections.  Despite the explosion of electronic resources, libraries are still handling an increased print publication rate and there is considerable demand from users for printed material.  Library spaces are also under greater scrutiny, as possible locations for new services, or for reasons of cost and sustainability.

Irish University libraries have traditionally struggled to deal with the storage demands of their physical collections.  Building and maintaining local physical collections of a depth to support future as well as current teaching and research is not sustainable within the scales of funding available.  No Irish library can afford to be comprehensive in the hybrid age.

A new strategy of greater collaboration and increased interdependency in the area of collection development and collection management is urgently required with the objective to provide mass access to massive collections within a national framework of shared services.

The CONUL Strategy 2016-2019 identifies two major projects:

  • Deliver a major project to assess the options for a shared storage facility in Ireland
  • Establish in the near-term an Irish Union Catalogue to provide holdings information on the national collections.

This presentation will discuss ways in which the implementation of a national collaborative collection development and management strategy could:

  • enable improved and informed decision-making regarding the retention, disposal, and redistribution of materials
  • provide evidence of the wider availability of individual materials and/or collections when considering disposal
  • support a more proactive and cohesive approach to collection management at a national level.
  • provide reassurance to end-users that libraries are taking into consideration potential longer term access needs

Irish Libraries are in a position to make size matter through national collaboration


Crónán Ó Doibhlin is the Head of Research Collections, Communications & Collection Services at UCC Library, where he is a member of UCC Library’s Senior Management Team and the Information Services Management Team at UCC.  His current core responsibilities relate to leading the development, organisation and management of Library Collections including Special Collections and Archives at UCC, the development of Digital Projects, Exhibitions, and External Relations, and supporting the University Librarian in his work with the Alumni Development Office, and Collection Acquisition.

He has also represented UCC Library on a number of national committees including CONUL Committees for Collaborative Storage and Collection Management, and currently serves on the CONUL SIG.


Learning to share: Managing and maximising CONUL’s research collections

Eoin McCarney (National Library of Ireland)

One of the key ambitions of the CONUL Strategy 2016-2019 is to improve the visibility of CONUL’s research collections through the creation of a CONUL union catalogue. This presentation will provide an update on progress in achieving this aim and outline the challenges of implementing a system that searches the holdings of multiple libraries, which use multiple resource description standards.

By examining other large scale collection management projects, such as the creation of a national bibliographic knowledgebase in the UK, it will also explore a range of collaborative services that could be investigated following the implementation of a union catalogue. These services include shared storage, collaborative collection development and digitisation. The presentation will conclude by outlining the potential benefits of these services for the CONUL research collection and by exploring possible future directions for collection management within CONUL.

Presenter Biography:

Eoin McCarney has recently joined the National Library of Ireland as Head of Published Collections. He has previously worked in UCD Library both as Head of Collections and Systems Librarian. His professional interests range from collection development and management to library systems.


The Research Data Alliance: Supporting Information Professionals and Researchers in RDM

Rebecca Grant (National Library of Ireland)

Journal publishers and funding agencies are increasingly mandating the retention and publication of the data underpinning academic research. In order to achieve this, researchers require support in the management, selection, description, publication and archiving of their data sets. Library and archives professionals have the training and expertise to provide support in many of these areas, and are based in established institutions which are embedded in the research landscape: the logical location for the management and publication of data sets.

Since 2013, the Research Data Alliance (RDA) has developed as a community-driven, global organisation which aims to builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. The RDA is formed of members who come together at six-monthly plenary sessions and address the challenges of research data management and sharing through the formation of working- and interest-groups. As of 2017, the Libraries for Research Data Group has the highest group membership in RDA.

As part of the RDA’s European Support Team, the National Library of Ireland is running a project to share the outputs of the Research Data Alliance with Irish library professionals. This project will contextualise and report on RDA’s outputs for libraries, and develop case studies to demonstrate how RDA’s work can help to address challenges in research data management.

This paper will give an introduction to the Research Data Alliance and how it can support information professionals in implementing research data management services in their institutions.

Presenter Biography:

Rebecca is Digital Archivist and Data Policy Manager at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). She is part of the European Support Team of the Research Data Alliance, where she contributes to policy and practitioner level engagement. As part of the NLI Digital Collections team, she is working on developing policy and workflows to enable the accessioning of digitised and born digital records in multiple formats, as well as streamlining data publication policy.

Since 2014 she has been a doctoral candidate in the School of History and Archives at University College Dublin, where her research is investigating the connections between archival theory and practice and the management of research data.


Developing RDM services at UCD Library

Jenny O’Neill (University College Dublin)

In 2016 UCD Library hired a Data Manager to coordinate and streamline existing Research Data Management (RDM) services and develop new services. The first step in developing these services was to better understand the needs and concerns of researchers on campus. In order to engage with those responsible for managing data on campus we distributed a survey, based loosely on the Data Assets Framework (DAF: www.data-audit.eu). The Data Assets Framework is provides organisations with the means to identify, locate, describe and assess how they are managing their research data assets.

The results of the survey then informed a follow-up workshop designed to elicit requirements for future services.  Discussions during the workshop focussed on the culture (or lack-thereof) of RDM, storage & IT security, data management planning; DMPs, ethics; legal, active data management and archiving of data. For each of these issues participants were asked how the library can support researchers, what format should the support be in, who else do we need to bring in (e.g. IT Services, Ethics etc.) and when in the research lifecycle is this support needed.  Representatives from UCD Research, Research IT and the Ethics Committee were also present, ensuring active and positive collaboration with key partners on campus.

The results from both the survey and workshop were distilled into a report on ‘Research Data Management Services’ which identifies key tasks for each of the issues described above. Examples include clear messaging around the important of RDM, funder specific checklists, more information about how and where to store research data during a research project and training in writing Data Management Plans (DMPs) both to researchers and project managers and research administrators. Further examples will be discussed during the presentation.

Presenter Biography:

Jenny joined UCD Library as Data Manager in February 2016. In this role she is responsible for research data management services within the Library, as well as data manager for the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA). She completed a Masters in Library and Information Studies in 2013. Since then she has worked for Trinity College Dublin as Data Curator for the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) before joining UCD Library. Her professional interests include research data management, digital curation and digital preservation. She can be found tweeting as @JennyOLibrarian and @ISSDA.


Building European Research Infrastructure for Social Sciences: The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives

John Howard (University College Dublin)


Established in 2002, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) aims to promote the scientific integration of Europe, and maintains a roadmap of pan-European research infrastructures and supports their development. Research Infrastructures are developed across a number of thematic areas, ranging from preliminary projects to landmark organisations that become formalised as European Research Infrastructure Consortia, or ERICs. Under the heading of Social and Cultural Innovation, the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA, a candidate ERIC) provides large-scale, integrated and sustainable data services to the social sciences by supporting high-quality, national and international research and cooperation. Through shared infrastructure and increased harmonisation of practices among CESSDA service providers, tangible benefits will be realised that advance research nationally as well as across European boundaries.

The presentation will review the context, objectives, and work plan of CESSDA, identifying opportunities and challenges for social science data producers, service providers, and researchers, referencing the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA) as a case study of a national service provider.

Presenter Biography:

Dr John B Howard is University Librarian and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Informatics at University College Dublin (UCD); since July 2012 he serves as Head of the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA). He holds a concurrent position as Adjunct Professor of Informatics in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. He has previously held positions at Arizona State University and Harvard University.

Dr Howard has undertaken sponsored research across a range of disciplines, serving as PI or Co-PI on awards from the NEH, the NSF, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Irish Research Council, the European Commission, the Hewlett Packard Corporation, the Laura Boulton Foundation and others. He has served on the boards of the HEAnet, Digital Antiquity, the Laura Boulton Foundation, the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), and Stanford’s Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities.


The Establishment and Development of UCD Library’s Research Services Unit: Successes and Challenges

Julia Barrett (University College Dublin)


In order to meet its changing strategic mission, the Library of University College Dublin (UCD) was re-structured in 2012. Arising from this, a new unit, the Research Services Unit, was established. This pulled together some existing services such as the Institutional Repository, the UCD Digital Library (cultural heritage digital collections) and a fledgling bibliometrics service, and has created opportunities for the development and delivery of new and specialist services such as geospatial, research data management, digital humanities and support for academic scholarship beyond bibliometrics.  The Research Services Unit also took on the management and operation of the Irish Social Science Data Archive, a national service that ensures wide access to quantitative datasets in the social sciences.

This presentation will focus on the successes of the Research Services Unit and some of the key challenges, particularly those in the following areas: 

  • staffing roles and skills required to support the development of the Research Services Unit. The challenges here include a requirement for technical expertise against a backdrop of austerity and staff recruitment freezes. They also include the mainstreaming of previously niche library services and steps to achieve this
  • the development of services in a coordinated and/or collaborative way with other library teams and campus service-providers. The challenges here include understanding and meeting external drivers such as the overall UCD strategy (particularly the impact agenda) and funders’ requirements; increasing the Library’s relevance with other campus service providers; integrating services into the relevant parts of various lifecycles and workflows; and managing relationships with key stakeholders across the campus.

Presenter Biography:

Julia Barrett has worked in a range of roles across library services in Ireland.

In 2012 Julia was appointed to the position of Research Services Manager of University College Dublin’s Library’s Research Services Unit and Head of Research Services in 2016. The Research Services Unit is responsible for developing and delivering specialist and innovative services to researchers – including the development of digital repository services such as the UCD Digital Library and Research Repository UCD; maps and spatial information; ISSDA (Irish Social Science Data Archive); Research Data Management; and measurement of research impact. Research Services also oversees the operation of Archinfo, UCD Library’s fee-based information service to architectural practices.


Recent trends in research staffing at academic libraries

John Cox (National University of Ireland, Galway)

New research needs, global developments and local circumstances are demanding a broader range of interactions by librarians with researchers and are challenging previous staffing models. Doing more with less remains the mantra, but libraries are at a vital juncture and risk exclusion from emerging areas of contribution and from associated funding opportunities if their research staffing lacks agility, confidence and an evolving base of skillsets.

Changes in the way research is recorded and communicated, often incorporating datasets and other outputs besides formal publications, have created a need for expert advice by libraries on publishing, rights management, altmetrics and discoverability, including the development of social media strategies to promote research. The active involvement of academic libraries in digital scholarship has occasioned a more radical shift in the scope and nature of their engagement with research and researchers. Activities range from digitisation and metadata creation to digital mapping, data management and software development, representing a considerable expansion in coverage. Staffing trends include the involvement of librarians, archivists and IT professionals in library teams, greater collaboration across and beyond the campus and the creation of new posts which do not always require a professional librarian qualification. The concept of library as partner, not simply service, has also advanced, with library staff occupying a new space, located much more prominently in the researcher’s orbit at all stages of the research cycle.

There are many implications in terms of library staffing for research. Key questions include: what is in scope, how should staffing be organised for maximum impact, are functional or subject-based models more effective, and what skills need to be developed, sourced, attracted and retained? These issues will be the focus of the proposed paper which will also reference their influence on the development of a new research staffing model at NUI Galway Library.

Presenter Biography:

John Cox is University Librarian at National University of Ireland Galway. He has a particular interest in digital libraries, both through initiatives such as the digitization of the Abbey and Gate Theatre archives at NUI Galway and writings on library roles in digital scholarship. These include a recent review article on communicating new library roles to enable digital scholarship (http://tinyurl.com/z2k8zst) and an upcoming case study on a new research staffing model at NUI Galway Library, to be published in the New Review of Academic Librarianship in 2017.


Librarians supporting research in Wales: Collaborative staff development and capacity building

Beth Hall (Bangor University)

In April 2015, the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) established a new Research Support Group with the aims of developing a research action plan and a research strategy for WHELF. One of the main aims of the research group is to identify areas where we can work across Wales to support librarians who are transitioning into a role that more actively supports researchers.

I will describe three parallel regional events that we organised in May 2016 for subject librarians across WHELF. These events were not designed as traditional ‘chalk and talk’ training events, but as sessions where we could come together to share experiences. We were able to pool our thoughts, share experiences and work together to identify areas where we need more support, and identify areas of best practice.  We explored the role of librarians in supporting research; identified areas where we had concerns about taking more of a research support role e.g. lack of confidence, lack of time or capacity, not fully understanding researchers’ needs.  We also discussed mechanisms that we could adopt to help us in this transition. 

The regional events were a success and we are in the process of organising follow-up events for May 2017 where we will ask researchers to present about their day-to-day work and areas where they need support, and we will also hear from other members of University staff who support research.  Our aims with these events is to gain a better understanding of the researcher lifecycle and areas where our support will be useful, to explore different ways to promote our value to researchers, and to come up with strategies to better communicate to researchers the support we have on offer.

Presenter Biography:

Beth Hall has a PhD in Molecular Parasitology (Leeds) and an MSc in Information Studies (Leeds Met 2008). She has worked in many libraries including public libraries, and several years as a Health Information Specialist supporting systematic reviews and technology appraisals.  Since 2012, she has worked at Bangor University in North Wales.  As well as supporting academic staff and students in the Colleges of Physical and Applied Science and Natural Sciences, she has an additional role in co-ordinating Research Support across the Library and Archives Service. She received her CILIP Chartership in April 2016.


The Relevance of the Archivist in the Complexity of Commemoration: Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries

Kate Manning (University College Dublin)

In 2002, the late historian, Peter Harte, called for the writing of ‘a new revolutionary history’, that the Irish revolutionary period ‘needs to be envisioned as a chronological, spatial and thematic unity’ whereas it had commonly been ‘divided into the discrete units of the Easter Rising, the Tan War and the Civil War.’ He called for reconceptualising the period to include gender, class, community, elites and masses, religion and ethnicity, the nature of violence and power’ and so on. This kind of reconceptualization can only take place if the sources exist. The Irish revolutionary period is extraordinarily well documented and the intimacy and precision with which the period can be studied ‘makes Ireland one of the best historical laboratories in which to study revolution.’

This paper will explore the archivist’s role in Harte’s reconceptualization of the Irish revolutionary period in the context of the Decade of Centenaries and the meaning of commemoration and how this impacts on historical research. It will also reflect on Anne Gilliland’s and Michelle Caswell’s considered argument concerning ‘impossible archival imaginaries and imagined records’ concepts which counterbalance and provide resistance to ‘dominant legal, bureaucratic, historical and forensic notions of evidence that so often fall short in explaining the capacity of records and archives to motivate, inspire, anger and traumatize.

Presenter Biography:

Kate Manning is the Principal Archivist, UCD Archives within UCD Library. UCD Archives curates UCD’s archives; private paper collections documenting the modern Irish State; and many elements of the Franciscan manuscript patrimony. Kate took up a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 where she worked with leading archival theorist, Prof. Richard Cox.

Before moving to UCD Archives in 2001 as the archivist with responsibility for university archives, she worked as the Assistant Administrator and Records Manager for St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. She has served on the committees of the Irish Society for Archives and the Archives and Records Association, Ireland. She also served as Reviews Editor of the then Journal of the Society of Archivists. Kate is a participant in the 2016/17 Aurora Leadership Development Programme.


Broadcasting the Research Library: Using a radio show to market and promote UCC Library’s Research Services and Resources

Ronan Madden & Martin O’Connor (University College Cork)

In this “Show and Tell” we ‘tell’ people about Shush: Sounds from UCC Library, a weekly radio show broadcast live on UCC 98.3 FM, University College Cork’s very own dedicated campus radio station.

Shush: Sounds from UCC Library is hosted by two UCC Librarians, Martin O’Connor and Ronan Madden, who not only play an eclectic mix of music, but also use the show as a forum to market and promote UCC Library’s research services and resources. Radio offers a medium through which the Library can be promoted in a less formal way, engaging with the UCC community in a manner that may be novel to many.

Each show includes a feature on an aspect of UCC Library’s services: either an interview with a Library staff member, or a feature on a special collection, archival collection or online resource. Examples of topics featured so far include the CORA Institutional Repository for Open Access week, the recently acquired John Minihan Photographic archive, IReL and what it means, and the Library’s postgraduate skills module for PhD students.

The show is broadcast Live across campus every Monday morning to the UCC Community, and can also be listened to by up to 400,000 people in the Cork region and surrounding areas. The show is repeated Monday evenings.

Podcasts of the show, and the Library features, are created on Soundcloud, a music and audio social media platform. As well as the ‘telling’ we will ‘show’ people how other social media platforms are utilised to further disseminate the show and to promote UCC research facilities, specifically through the use of a Wordpress Blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Presenter Biography:

Martin O’Connor

Martin is a member of the Collection Development & Management team at University College Cork Library. He has published and presented in the areas of library promotion and marketing, collaboration, social media, library exchanges and user engagement.

He is a long time member of the Libfocus blogging team. He runs the Irish music blog, The Blackpool Sentinel. He is also part of the Shush: Sounds from UCC Library team.

Ronan Madden

Ronan is the Acquisitions Librarian at University College Cork Library, and was formerly a Subject Librarian. He has published and presented in the areas of information behaviour and information & digital literacies. He is also part of the Shush: Sounds from UCC Library team


Born in the USB: Digital collecting at the National Library of Ireland

Della Keating (National Library of Ireland)

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) collects, protects and shares Ireland’s literary and documentary heritage. In the 21st century this heritage exists increasingly, often only, in digital form. While the NLI’s mission is unchanged the challenges posed by today’s environment are new and require development of new practices and strategies. This presentation will discuss how the library has addressed born digital content from an organisational perspective and also describes different stages of progress on born digital collecting from the established NLI Web Archive to new pilot projects for unique born-digital content.

The challenge of collecting and delivering digital content is compounded by reductions in staffing levels across the Irish public sector. To develop and sustain digital collecting the NLI responded through organisational change by locating technical and curatorial resources within one new Digital Collections department. This approach maximised the curatorial and technical skills needed to develop the web archive and initiate pilot projects for unique collections. Since 2011 the NLI has been preserving websites of Irish interest on a thematic basis with over 1,200 sites now in the NLI Web Archive. In 2016 the library’s largest web archiving project to date, Remembering 1916, Recording 2016, formed part of the NLI’s commemorations programme. We will explore how this provided new opportunities for public engagement and promotion.

The NLI holds outstanding unique textual, visual and cartographic collections in physical format. To develop capacity to preserve and share unique collections in born-digital form the library is undertaking pilot projects managing the full life-cycle of collections, from scoping to online delivery. The early stages of these pilots are described and the importance of collaboration with internal and external stakeholders for digital collecting is highlighted, whether at initial pilot project stage or, as with the web archive, at a point where outreach opportunities are exceptional.

Presenter Biography:

Della Keating works in Digital Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and is an archivist. She has worked on web archiving in the Library since its initiation in 2011 and prior to that worked in different sections across the Library, as well as the National Archives of Ireland.


Researching Rex: The Liam O’Leary Archive and Ireland’s Film Heritage

Joanne Carroll (National Library of Ireland)


The Liam O’Leary Archive is a one of a kind collection relating to the history of Irish film and cinema. It was started by Liam O’Leary in the 1970s, after he was asked to produce an exhibition for the Dublin Arts Festival in the Douglas Hyde Gallery: ‘Cinema Ireland, 1896-1976’. Originally started as a resource to research the exhibition and O’Leary’s other work in film (including books, lectures and articles); the Archive became a lifelong endeavour to record and preserve all aspects of Irish film and cinema.

The paper will provide an overview of the Liam O’Leary Archive and will focus on one aspect of the collection; the Rex Ingram materials. Born in Dublin, Rex Ingram was an actor and silent film director; Liam O’Leary researched and produced a biography on Ingram, gathering original archival materials and also creating records through the research, creation and publication of the book. The paper will look at the wide variety of materials which resulted from the book’s publication, giving a snapshot of the types of materials in a research collection such as the Liam O’Leary Archive; including correspondence, photocopies, photographs and audio-visual archives.

Presenter Biography:

Joanne is the archivist for the Liam O’Leary Archive; a collection held in the National Library of Ireland. The project to preserve and catalogue the archive is in collaboration with the IFI Irish Film Archive. Joanne also worked on the digitisation and metadata cataloguing of the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection for the Digital Repository of Ireland in Trinity College Dublin. She completed a Masters in History from the University of Aberdeen in 2009, followed by a Masters in Archives and Records Management from University College Dublin in 2011.  Joanne’s interests include the access and preservation of digital and non-traditional archives, including audio-visual materials.


Case HAMK Unlimited: Publishing portal as a tool for skills development

Maria Lassila-Merisalo (Häme University of Applied Sciences)


Higher education in Finland is in ferment. Fusions are taking place, and the future of the dual model is uncertain. Universities are looking for the best possible strategies to thrive, or at least survive, in the changing environment.

The role of the libraries is also changing. For instance open science requires new competencies from the library staff as well as co-operation throughout the organization.

This presentation discusses HAMK Unlimited, a publishing portal which has been developed at Häme University of Applied Sciences HAMK. The portal includes four individual publications: Magazine, Professional, Journal, and Scientific. The portal is being operated and developed in collaboration between library, communication services, IT management, and media studio. HAMK Unlimited was launched in April 2016 and officially published in August. So far 79 articles have been published.

The leading thoughts of HAMK Unlimited are openness and accessibility. It is published on WordPress. All the contents are open access, and Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA is used by default. Besides text, audio and video publications are also invited. Text-to-speech technology is used on all textual publications. All articles can be commented on and shared easily in social media services. 

All articles published in HAMK Unlimited go through preliminary review conducted by either an internal editorial board or, in the case of the peer-reviewed HAMK Unlimited Scientific, external referees. It can already be seen that HAMK Unlimited has improved the quality of HAMK publications. It also serves as a tool for HR management, as it gives staff members an opportunity to develop their skills gradually and goal-directedly. The staff members are being offered workshops which include writer education complemented with information on open science, science communication, and other important topics. HAMK Unlimited has already been benchmarked by another Finnish university of applied sciences.

Presenter Biography:

Maria Lassila-Merisalo (PhD) is a project manager at Häme University of Applied Sciences, where her main task is to develop publishing activities. She has a PhD in Journalism, and she is an Adjunct Professor in Journalistic Writing at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research interests include narrative journalism, interaction between fact and fiction, journalism profession, and most recently science communication, publishing and information literacy. She has published several articles in international journals and books.


A Golden Age for collaboration? Applying the Research Data Lifecycle to Iberian Books

Audrey Drohan & Orna Roche (University College Dublin)


For over 20 years, researchers have been indexing all known copies of books printed on the Iberian Peninsula, or in an Iberian language, between 1472 and 1700. This project has resulted in a growing catalogue of important bibliographic data, itemising the volumes and their geographic spread, and identifying works that have been lost.

By working with the researchers, UCD Library have been able to convert this data into a fully searchable and accessible multilingual digital resource, with added value analytics in terms of data visualisation. This successful collaboration has let to further funding opportunities, extensive revisions, standardisation and augmentation of the data, and a mutually beneficial working relationship between UCD Library and important global researchers.

UCD Library has harnessed its in-house specialist expertise to advise and support the researchers throughout the later phases of the research project, aligning the data development to the now standard Research Data Lifecycle.  This alignment, along with the technical expertise of the UCD Library, has ensured that this unique collection of data is curated and preserved into the future. It also ensures that raw data is available to future researchers undertaking subsequent research analysis, who wish to track the spread of Iberian books throughout Europe and New World during The Golden Age.

Working with the researchers through the various stages of the data lifecycle has enabled UCD Library to evaluate the support services being offered to researchers, whose grant money often facilitates the creation of data, but not the long term viability of that data. This Show and Tell will align the Iberian Books project with the Research Data Lifecycle and explore the lessons learned and the challenges of supporting researchers in a modern academic library.

Presenter Biography:

Órna Roche is the Metadata Librarian for UCD Library, with responsibility for metadata policy and procedures, as well as metadata creation, for the UCD Digital Library. She originally joined UCD as a cataloguer, and worked extensively with UCD Research Repository, before taking up her current role in Research Services.  Órna has a background in film and video production, and was the librarian in the IFI Irish Film Archive, having previously worked on the Save the Treasures of the Long Room project in TCD. Órna holds an MLIS and an MA in Film Studies from UCD.

Audrey Drohan is the Senior Library Assistant – Digital Initiatives for UCD Library, and works with the UCD Digital Library, and the Irish Social Sciences Data Archive (ISSDA). Prior to this, she worked on the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA), and has been involved with digital libraries for over eleven years, with particular interest in cultural heritage collections, and copyright. Audrey holds a Graduate Diploma in Computing from Griffith College Dublin, and an MLIS in Digital Libraries and Information Services from Borås University, Sweden.


The postgraduate research student’s user experience (UX): How can libraries support researcher skills development more effectively?

Helen Young (Loughborough University)


Scholarly communication is going through great times of change which show no sign of slowing down. Whilst the academic journal remains central in many disciplines to the research lifecycle, the ways in which this content is discovered and managed are changing. Loughborough University Library and Taylor & Francis share similar interests but from different perspectives in the interactions between the postgraduate research student (PGR) and the academic journal.  How can we ensure that this interaction is a positive, fruitful experience?

As a way to enhance their insight, Loughborough University and Taylor & Francis undertook a joint project to capture the postgraduate research student’s User Experience (UX) in using information in their work. In 2015 and 2016, 10 research students kept diaries and attended focus groups where their views, experiences and approaches in finding and using information were captured. This paper will focus in on two specific areas of the results: 

The routes the PGRs took to the information materials they needed; identifying how and where librarians or library services could intervene to make this process more efficient; how the PGRs developed their information skills; reflecting on how libraries could more effectively support researcher development in this area.

As well as deepening their understanding of the PGR experience and how to support it, attendees of this paper will learn how the collaborative nature of this project benefitted all parties involved, as well as the richness of the dataset, so they can consider if it is an approach that would be beneficial to themselves.

Presenter Biography:

Helen Young is the Academic Services Manager at Loughborough University Library where she is responsible, with her job-share partner, for overseeing the work of the Academic Services Team, which liaises with and supports all of the University’s schools and departments. Helen has a particular interest in research support, including researcher development, and has previously been a subject librarian for a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including law. She is currently a member of the East Midlands committee of ARLG (Academic and Research Libraries Group), and has been a committee member of the European Information Association, Vice-Chair of the UK European Documentation Centre committee, as well as a member of various BIALL (British and Irish Association of Law Librarians) standing committees, contributing to a number of library and information science publications.


“All the Feels”: Using emotion to promote research resources at the National Library of Ireland

Katherine McSharry (National Library of Ireland)


As part of its contribution to the Ireland 2016 programme, the National Library digitised the papers of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, making 23,000 digital objects freely available online. Marketing and promoting this rich research resource took a number of forms, including a significant media partnership with the Irish Times and the NLI’s first substantial engagement with local radio, linked to a series of collections-based podcasts.

This presentation explores the ways in which these particular activities were structured to create rich connections between the public and the archival material as means of building engagement. It maps how the content selection process surfaced the human stories contained in the collections, and shows how this emphasis on stories encouraged a memorable relationship with the archive by fostering emotional responses in users. It shows how this sense of emotional connection was further deepened by a suite of delivery mechanisms which included voiced readings and videos offering individually mediated interpretation of the research resources – and how these mechanisms helped to promote a sense of excitement about the research possibilities.  

The presentation concludes by evaluating the impact of these activities, and how the NLI is applying the learning around building emotional connections to further promoting resources for research.

Presenter Biography:

Katherine McSharry obtained her MLIS in 2002, and has since worked as Special Collections Librarian in UCD Library, and on exhibitions and digital projects at the National Library of Ireland. She is currently Head of Outreach at the NLI, with a portfolio that includes exhibitions and public programmes, learning activities, public affairs, and marketing and communications.


Research Data Management:  Increasing the impact of data and the need for data preservation (with examples from Kigali Genocide Memorial)

Dawn Hibbert (University of Northampton)


Research Data Management (RDM) is largely driven by funders, although some publishers, e.g. Nature, now require a statement in relation to the underlying data.  Yet the vast majority of our academics have limited knowledge of RDM, seeing it as the next “compliance” requirement.   How do we ensure that data being collected and analysed is not lost from one generation to the next? 

This presentation will look at one key reason for data to be preserved with a real life application.  The 1994 genocide in Rwanda saw approximately one million people killed over 100 days.  Whilst most of these people remain nameless, some information has been preserved.  The genocide memorial in Kigali documents the lives of some of the victims, including children.  One room is filled with photos of lives that were lost.  However, no-one remembers their names or personnel details, and after the initial impact, the photographs inevitably fade from memory.  In the next room there are A1 size photographs of children, with a few small pieces of data written under them – the child’s name, favourite food, age and how they were killed.  It is these pictures that leave people haunted and unable to forget.  The photos are no different from others, but having data with these photos adds far more value to them.  It is this room that undoes the hardest of hearts.

It is essential that we get better at not only preserving our data, but in presenting it, to make a difference in our world.  A vast amount of rich research is being conducted and billions of pounds are spent on research each year.  Yet much of this research needs to be re-done rather than being built upon.  This presentation will highlight the value of RDM and digital curation.

Presenter Biography:

Dawn Hibbert is currently the Head of Research Support at the University of Northampton, where she is involved in all aspects of research support, including research data management, open access, ethics and the REF.  Dawn previously worked as the Open Access Research Advisor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Edinburgh University, introducing the College to open access, creating and providing training and workshops for staff.  Setting up processes and reports for monitoring increases in open access outputs and managing a project to source and upload as many research outputs from REF 2014 as possible.  Dawn then took on the role of Open Access Advocacy Librarian at the University of Strathclyde, where she created and implemented a successful strategy for maximum compliance with HEFCE’s Open Access Policy, whilst overseeing an RCUK budget of £260K, seeing a substantial increase in the use of this fund and in compliance.


Ask the Audience: Identifying what library services are important to the research community at DCU

Jack Hyland & Lisa Callaghan (Dublin City University)


Dublin City University (DCU) completed its ‘Incorporation Programme’ on 30th September 2016. The programme saw the coming together of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education and Church of Ireland College of Education with DCU.

As a consequence of the incorporation process the opportunity arose for the Library to move from a two department structure to the creation of four new Directorates. One of the new Directorates, ‘Research and Teaching’ brought together the Subject Librarian Team with the Library’s Research Communications Librarian and saw an increase in the level of support at Library Assistant/Senior Library Assistant level.

The two main aims of the Research and Teaching Directorate are to:

– Build and manage relationships/partnerships with Faculty, Schools, Centres and relevant campus units to inform service developments and initiatives in the areas of research and teaching

– Promote Library services and resources and deliver targeted and tailored services and supports to the research community

One of the first key projects for the Directorate was to conduct a review of the roles and responsibilities within the team with a view to enhancing its service portfolio. The first stage of this review comprised a survey of the expanded university’s 500 research and academic staff to ascertain the importance of a range of existing (e.g. bibliometrics, systematic reviews and open access publishing) and emerging (research data management and supporting monograph and journal publishing) library services and supports relating to their teaching and research activities.

This presentation will:

  1. Present the findings of the survey
  2. Describe the Directorate’s review process with reference to trends in this area internationally
  3. Describe the changes to the Directorate’s structure and our redefined roles
  4. Outline our strategic priorities in engaging, supporting and collaborating with the university’s research community. 

Presenter Biography:

Jack Hyland is a subject librarian in Dublin City University. He is also a member of the CONUL Conference organising committee and the DBS Business Review editorial board.

Lisa Callaghan is Science Librarian at DCU Library, and works with the schools of Biotechnology, Chemical Sciences, Health and Human Performance, Mathematical Sciences and Physical Sciences. Before joining DCU Lisa held positions in a number of special libraries including Enterprise Ireland. Lisa is currently a member of CONUL Teaching; Learning group and the MyRI group.


“Are we communicating effectively, and fully engaging with our research community? – A case study at Maynooth University Library”

Frank Brady & Ciaran Quinn (Maynooth University)

Maynooth Library has long supported researchers in a number of ways, not least by the Subject Librarian Team and since 2013 the appointment of a Research Support Librarian. Current points of contact include personal consultations, research skills training and bibliometrics support.  Despite the success of many of our programmes there was a sense that some researchers were disengaged with the services on offer. The research community is a broad and diverse group with many different potential needs, so it’s important that we feel confident that we are communicating effectively with as broad a base as possible.  It was also clear in our day to day contact with researchers that many were comfortable and confident  that they are searching in the best way and using the best resources so anything that will increase our contact with them, and allow us the space to offer them different and perhaps enhanced research skills  was worth seeking.  With this in mind we decided to do some action-research using focus groups and an online survey. The aim of the research was to see if we could identify any unmet needs thus enabling us in the future to communicate and engage more effectively with our researchers. The findings identified a number of distinct unmet needs of Researchers which will inform how we communicate with them in the future. We’d like to present the results of the focus groups and surveys as a lightning talk.

Presenter Biography:

Ciarán Quinn is Research Support Librarian & Librarian for the Research Institutes at Maynooth University. Prior to this he was the Faculty Librarian for Science and Engineering. Before joining Maynooth he held positions in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin Institute of Technology, Tallaght Hospital and the Health Service Executive Libraries.


“Putting the band back together”: Synergy in Research Support

Fran Callaghan (Dublin City University)


The establishment of the role of Research Communications Librarian in DCU and its subsequent move to a new Directorate (Research and Teaching) in 2016 has enabled the Library to build, in a more strategic way, its key relationships and partnerships with other campus units and services. This strategic approach is key to the delivery of quality and timely services to the DCU research community.

This presentation aims to illustrate how effective collaboration with other key university stakeholders succeeds in delivering timely, holistic and integrated services to the research community.  It will outline the work of the Library with partners such as the university’s Research Office, the Graduate Studies Office, and the Quality Promotion and Institutional Research Office. Successful outcomes of such partnerships include a new standards based Current Research Information System (fully integrated with the pre-existing Institutional Repository), the development and delivery of a data management planning training module (in support of research integrity) to new and early career stage researchers, and the establishment of a bibliometrics working group (and subsequent training/rollout of the SciVal platform to research leaders, managers etc)

Presenter Biography:

Fran Callaghan joined DCU in 2011, initially as systems librarian, and soon after became the Institutional Repository manager and IReL librarian. He became full time Research Communications Librarian (with responsibility for the Institutional Repository, Data Management, Bibliometrics, and Open Access) in 2015, a post he has held since.


Supporting Research through Metadata and Access

Nicole Arbuckle (Backstage Library Works)


Without good metadata and access, even the most useful of research items may not likely be found. In a day where shelf browsing is down and internet research is up, a deficiency in access prevents a user from finding that key item for their research and results in a game of hide-and-seek. We need to develop the rich metadata and access needed to reveal our hidden collections.

Presenter Biography:

Nicole Arbuckle has been at Backstage Library Works for nearly 12 years and is directly involved in cataloging and metadata creation for libraries. She has worked with many libraries and publishers over the course of her time at Backstage. She holds degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah and is a certified Project Management Professional.


How the partnership between the Library of Trinity College Dublin Digital Resources and Imaging Services and the ADAPT Centre is inspiring and supporting research

Declan O’Sullivan (Trinity College Dublin)


This talk will present how the TCD Digital Resources and Imaging Services (DRIS) department of the Library has been inspiring and supporting research at the Science Foundation Ireland ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology. In particular the talk will present how the interaction has been structured, the challenges that have been overcome and future plans for the partnership.

In order to illustrate points in the talk, a number of partnered projects in the area of Linked Data will be presented.  Publishing bibliographic records as Linked Data (LD) offers new opportunities for libraries to create meaningful links between objects of disparate collections. The Digital Resources and Imaging Services (DRIS) department of the Library of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) hopes to move towards publishing the bibliographic data of their digital collections as LD in order to increase their visibility on the web. The projects have spanned a wide range of challenges in the Linked Data area, including creation of bibliographic data as MODS-RDF, uplifting of existing bibliographic data into MODS-RDF, interlinking LD resources, and user-interface for library staff to generate and manage Linked Data.

The ongoing partnership between ADAPT and DRIS has been mutually beneficial. By collaborating with DRIS, ADAPT has gained access to reliable metadata datasets and close interactions with library expertise to advance the state of the art and state of practice in Linked Data infrastructure and user interfaces. By collaborating with ADAPT, DRIS has had the opportunity to learn from the extensive metadata standards crosswalk development activities, build valuable knowledge in cataloguing interface design, and have had the opportunity to participate collaboratively in the educational process with the School of Computer Science and Statistics.

Presenter Biography:

Dr. Declan O’Sullivan lectures at TCD’s School of Computer Science and Statistics, is the Head of Intelligent Systems, a co-champion of the Trinity Digital Engagement interdisciplinary theme, and an SFI Principal Investigator at the ADAPT Centre, TCD.


You’ve Got Mail! Supporting research through an online transcription project

Aisling Lockhart (Trinity College Dublin)


Under the conference topic ‘Research and Unique and Distinctive Collections’, I propose to describe  a transcription project I initiated in 2008 involving a collection of 279 personal letters spanning almost forty years of the correspondents’ married life. John D’Alton (1792-1867), antiquarian and barrister, was born in County Meath; his wife Catherine D’Alton (nee Phillips) was a Roscommon woman. They lived in Dublin in 1818 after they married. The entire transcription was published online in 2016. I propose to talk about the work involved in a transcription project of this nature, a brief summary of the content of the letters, their importance from a socio – historical point of view, as well as the palaeographical challenges involved in the transcription. In particular, I would like to talk about the immediate impact the publication of the letters on M & ARL’s online catalogue has had. I also propose to speak in more detail about how the completion of this transcription project has provided members of the research community with access to a valuable and rich historical archive. The project has also made a contribution towards promoting research and learning as part of the Trinity College Dublin Library Strategic Plan 2015-2020. I believe that this talk will highlight the valuable contribution of the para-professional members of research collections in inspiring and supporting research.

Presenter Biography:

I have been working in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library for over 15 years. My initial position was Library Assistant, and in recognition of my developing experience and improved skill-set, my title changed to Reading Room Services Executive. My day-to-day work in the Reading Room mainly involves supporting the research community, as well as participating in various archival projects within the Department.  In 2016, I completed the Professional Certificate in Archives Management Course in University College Dublin, obtaining a distinction as my final grade. I was also involved in the transcription of World War 1 diaries and letters as part of a World War 1 diaries online exhibition project entitled ‘Fit as Fiddles and as hard as nails; Irish soldiers’ voices from the Great War’.


A Baroque Collection in the National Gallery of Ireland

Andrea Lydon (National Gallery of Ireland)


Sir Denis Mahon’s Library and Archive.

In 2010 the art historian and collector, Sir Denis Mahon (1910-2011), gifted his entire library and archive to the National Gallery of Ireland.   This remarkable gift considerably enhances the research resources relating to European art available in Ireland.

Sir Denis Mahon’s library and archive covers art from classical times onwards. Italian art is strongly represented particularly the baroque period while British, Dutch, French and Spanish art also feature prominently. The library collection includes many rare and antiquarian volumes which are regarded as key sources in the study of European art, particularly Italian art. Many of the books were previously unavailable to researchers in Ireland. The library also boasts several large bound volumes of prints after Carracci and Guercino. In addition there are artists’ monographs, catalogue raisonnés, exhibition catalogues, sales catalogues, journals, conference proceedings, guide books and pamphlets published between the 16th-century and the present day.

The collector’s archive consists of a vast accumulation of correspondence and academic notes relating to collections and individual works of art, in particular Italian art and artists. A substantial fototeca of photographs, prints and glass plate negatives is of significant research value. There are papers relating to the extensive his family history including details of the Mahon, Browne and Vesey families of Castelgar Co. Galway, and Westport Co. Mayo.

The paper will provide details of the challenging relocation of this cornucopia of books and documentation from London to Merrion Square, Dublin. It will shed light on the content of this little known collection and the challenges processing a collection of this nature has presented.   In will also discuss the support the collection is providing for research, exhibition and education projects in the Gallery as well as its importance for art scholarship nationally and internationally.

Presenter Biography:

Andrea Lydon has over twenty years experience working in libraries.  Before joining the National Gallery of Ireland she held positions in Dublin City University and Trinity College. She has held her current role as Head of Library & Archives in the National Gallery of Ireland  for over 15 years.  During that time she has developed the role and function National Gallery of Ireland’s Library & Archive Department.  Today it plays a fundamental role in the operation of the institution supporting the work of the Gallery’s curatorial, exhibitions, conservation, registration, education and research staff, in addition to actively contributing to the public exhibition and education progammes.  She is also involved in digital developments and is responsible for managing the Gallery’s website.


The National Folklore Collection online: A UCD Library project to support researcher access to a unique collection

Andrew Slattery (University College Dublin)


The Library of the National Folklore Collection is housed in University College Dublin.  It is a unique and important research asset, housing one of the largest collections of books, periodicals and off-prints relating to Irish and comparative folklore, ethnology and related fields in the world. While it is heavily used by a relatively small group of researchers, the extent and quality of its collections are not widely known. This is largely due to its lack of an online catalogue.

This presentation will illustrate some of the highlights of the collection and describe a project which will ultimately create online holdings for the 54,000 items held in the collection.  

The project which has been running for the past six months involves Library Assistants from UCD Library’s Collection Services Department downloading bibliographic records onto Sierra, our library management system. The librarian in The National Folklore Collection library; who has in depth and specialist knowledge of the collection, and of the Irish language then completes the cataloguing of each title. This project has proven a cost effective way to describe and make visible what is a valuable collection for researchers interested in Irish folklore and Irish studies.  

Presenter Biography:

Andrew joined UCD Library as a Library Assistant in September 2000, where he worked in Reader Services and Collection Services, subsequently moving to the Collection Services department on a full-time basis.  Later, he was appointed Senior Library Assistant for Business and Law, until the role was dissolved.  Since September 2015, he has been Senior Library Assistant for Collection Development and Description, working closely with UCD’s team of Collection Development Librarians.  Andrew’s Library Assistant team is responsible for the processing of book material, and Andrew’s role is primarily planning and supervising medium to large scale projects involving monograph material.


Teaching research skills for unique and distinctive collections: Experiences at Maynooth University Library

Barbara McCormack (Maynooth University)


Academic institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits associated with using primary resources as tools to enhance research skills and an appreciation of the dynamic hands-on teaching sessions facilitated by these collections. A recent report published by Research Libraries UK (RLUK) suggests that libraries and archives can harness the potential of unique and distinctive collections to engage with the research community by adopting a multifaceted approach involving advocacy, the delivery of relevant services, and creative presentation. RLUK also recommends the development of key, strategic relationships with academic departments and the provision of research skills sessions during induction or orientation programmes. A study completed by JISC and the British Library in 2012 suggests that ‘Generation Y’ doctoral students across all disciplines are slow to engage with primary source materials, preferring instead to utilise secondary, largely text-based resources, a fact which has significant implications for their research output. At Maynooth University Library we are actively involved in embedding and exploiting UDCs into the academic curriculum in an effort to improve research skills and to encourage research into our collections. This is achieved through the delivery of tailored information literacy sessions focussing on identifying, accessing, and evaluating primary sources. This approach empowers students to access primary sources at MU Library and beyond, enabling them to interpret textual and material objects in the context of specific research questions. An in-house survey recently undertaken by staff in Special Collections & Archives at MU Library confirms the benefits of this approach. This presentation will outline current initiatives at MU Library to enhance research skills in the area of unique and distinctive collections. 


  • Jisc and British Library, 2012. Researchers of Tomorrow: The research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students.
  • Research Libraries UK, 2014. Unique and Distinctive Collections: Opportunities for Research.

Presenter Biography:

I am currently the Special Collections Librarian at Maynooth University Library with responsibility for the historic Russell Library and the state-of-the-art Special Collections Reading Room in the John Paul II Library. I have experience in a wide range of public and private institutions including: The British Library, Trinity College Library, the Irish Taxation Institute, and Fáilte Ireland. I have completed courses on ‘The Medieval Book’, ‘Letterpress Printing’, ‘European Bookbinding, 1450-1820’ and ‘The Book in the Ancient World’ at the London Rare Books School. I am a volunteer at the National Print Museum and the National Science and Ecclesiology Museum.


Exporting official publications from a DSpace archive and converting to MARC for upload to the British Library and University Library Management System

Michael Goodall (Queens University Belfast)


The Library at Queen’s has a substantial and significant print collection of Northern Ireland official publications collected under National Archives and earlier HMSO guidance that the Library should be treated as a deposit library for Northern Ireland official publications. Print publication of official documents has now largely ceased and for the period 2015 onwards the collections at Queen’s have been supplemented by the creation of a digital archive of Northern Ireland official publications. Documents gathered from Northern Ireland official websites are added to the archive for long term preservation at Queen’s and many of the archived documents and associated catalogue records are also supplied to the British Library, supporting its commitment to preserve digital works under the UK’s Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013.

My presentation will focus on the technical parts of the process from exporting the records to processing and formatting the records into marc21 format and also marcXML for use within the library and exporting to the British Library. This process utilises native DSpace functionality as well as a number of custom written PHP data processing scripts.

Presenter Biography:

Michael Goodall currently works as a Systems Analyst in the Bibliographic Services department of Queen’s University Belfast. He is responsible for managing a range of services including authentication systems for access to the Library’s electronic resources. In addition, Michael has also created a number of bespoke systems to increase efficiency between teams in the library, improve the service that we provide to users as well as enhancing the service we provide to external stakeholders including our hosted libraries contracts. This is also in conjunction with improving the departments green credentials.

With prior experience working as a Systems Analyst in the utilities industry and retail sector, Michael has a wealth of knowledge and ideas on how to tackle any challenges and improve work practices. When he is not in work, Michael is a keen supporter of Ulster and Ireland Rugby, as well as being a member of a pub quiz team.


Open Access: Beyond Compliance

Dawn Hibbert (University of Northampton)


HEFCE’s OA policy has forced the biggest change upon UK HEI’s in terms of open access, with the requirement for all journal articles and conference proceedings to be made open access within set timeframes in order to be eligible for submission in the next REF.  Action has had to be taken by all UK HEI’s to ensure that their next submission to the REF can include all the articles that the HEI will submit.

But how do we ensure that all the research being made open access is actually able to be found? To be easily accessed?  Has open access become merely about being a set of requirements?  If HEFCE took away the requirement for open access in the next REF would our academics still see value in open access? Is a 2 year embargo period really acceptable for our research outputs?  Are smaller HEIs being penalised by not having the funds to pay for immediate “gold” open access?

This presentation looks to highlight the benefits of open access whilst showing ways in which our academics can gain maximum visibility of their research.  How Library/Repository staff can assist in this process and ways in which smaller HEIs are able to benefit from open access without an increased access to funds.  It will look at academics changing attitudes towards open access, embargo periods, and whether they perceive there to be value in making their research open access.  Do academics consider the cost of article processing charges in their decision making process?  It will provide some practical and easy to apply changes to workflows that will increase the visibility of research outputs, and bring open access back to being about being “best practice” rather than compliance.

Presenter Biography:

Dawn Hibbert is currently the Head of Research Support at the University of Northampton, where she is involved in all aspects of research support, including research data management, open access, ethics and the REF.  Dawn previously worked as the Open Access Research Advisor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Edinburgh University, introducing the College to open access, creating and providing training and workshops for staff.  Setting up processes and reports for monitoring increases in open access outputs and managing a project to source and upload as many research outputs from REF 2014 as possible.  Dawn then took on the role of Open Access Advocacy Librarian at the University of Strathclyde, where she created and implemented a successful strategy for maximum compliance with HEFCE’s Open Access Policy, whilst overseeing an RCUK budget of £260K, seeing a substantial increase in the use of this fund and in compliance.


How does Open Access research sit in a Citation network?

Guillaume Rivalle (Clarivate Analytics)


During the last decade the open access publishing model has grown substantially and open access journals have become important carriers of scientific content in their disciplines. A basic research question in relation to the increasing availability and publication of research work in open access journals is how the scientific impact of open access publishing is evolving and how it compares with the publication practices of traditional subscription journals. Clarivate Analytics will present a recent study that investigates the patterns in the impact of papers published through top open access journals in comparison to conventional subscription journals over the past 10 years. 

In this study we examined the number of citations received by the publications of top open access journals and compare these with trends in the citation rates of top subscription journals over the past decade. As top journals, we considered journals ranked within the first journal impact factor quartile. This study further explores the citation behavior of the open access journals in various broad scientific disciplines to identify the patterns in the citation rates of journals in different categories. Additionally, the number of highly cited papers published in open access journals is compared with the highly cited papers published in subscription journals over the past 10 years.

Presenter Biography:

Guillaume Rivalle holds a PhD in Chemistry from the Manchester Metropolitan University and started working 15 years ago for Clarivate Analytics (formerly the I &P Science business of Thomson Reuters) as polymer specialist. His first assignment was to help build the company’s patent content in the Derwent database. He then specialised in scholarly publication discovery and bibliometric analysis. Guillaume now manages a team of solution experts across Europe.


Publishers in Partnership: Creating a broader environment for sustainable scholarly sharing

Gemma Hersh (Elsevier)


With the proliferation of funder mandates for green open access, funders, institutions and publishers are looking at ways in which they can work together to overcome the shared challenges of implementation.  Publishers and industry partners are developing and piloting services designed to leverage existing infrastructure; minimise cost and effort; and enhance discoverability and access to the best available version of articles through linking.  Elsevier will provide a lightening talk on the partnerships it has established with institutions to support their needs, in particular its ongoing pilot with the University of Florida. We will also talk about the publisher-industry partnership, CHORUS, and its work to support US funding agencies implement their policy with minimum cost and effort but maximum potential success.  Elsevier is one of a number of publishers who has already begun surfacing accepted manuscripts on its platform, publically available after an embargo period on the above services will provide an opportunity to discuss further areas of collaboration for success and will be placed in the context of creating a broader environment for sustainable scholarly sharing.

Presenter Biography:

As Policy and Communications Director at Elsevier, Gemma Hersh is responsible for developing and refreshing policies in areas related to open access, open data, text mining and others.  

Gemma also frequently travels around the world to meet with government, institutions, funders and others to build, strengthen and maintain relationships and to discuss areas of mutual interest. In the UK Gemma sits as publisher representative on the UUK OA Monitoring Group.

Before joining Elsevier, Gemma was Head of Public Affairs for the UK Publishers Association and has worked in the creative industries both in government and in industry for the last seven years. She holds an MPhil in Politics and Comparative Government from Oxford University, but her real love is History, in which she holds a First Class Degree from Kings College, London.


Development of a MODS-RDF Cataloguing Tool for the Digital Resources and Imaging Services of Trinity College Dublin

Lucy McKenna (Trinity College Dublin) & Marta Bustillo (University College Dublin)


Generating bibliographic records as linked data (LD) offers the opportunity for libraries to publish and interlink metadata on the semantic web (SW). This can expose library resources to a larger audience, increase the use of library materials, and allow for more efficient searches. The Digital Resources and Imaging Services (DRIS) department of the Library of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) hopes to move towards publishing their bibliographic records as LD and, therefore, require a tool that allows for the creation of records in RDF – a model for representing and exchanging LD on the web as structured data.

Although libraries are publishing LD in increasing quantities there remains many barriers to librarians making full use of the SW, including that many tools used for generating LD are aimed at technical experts. This project explored a means of overcoming some of these barriers through the development a MODS-RDF cataloguing tool for use in the library domain. MODS is a highly flexible XML metadata schema that can be used to catalogue cultural heritage materials, and MODS-RDF is an expression of this schema in RDF.

A user-centred design approach was followed when developing the tool. As such, DRIS was involved in all stages of development, including requirements gathering and interface design. Usability testing was also conducted with DRIS, the results of which indicated that many of the initial requirements were met and that DRIS is interested in developing the interface further. 

By developing a bespoke tool that allows DRIS to produce MODS-RDF records, the library will be able to interlink with other LD resources. This could allow library users to access a web of related data from a single information search, making the research process more efficient and potentially inspiring new research through the linking of disparate collections.

Presenter Biography:

Lucy is PhD candidate in the ADAPT Centre within the School of Computer Science and Statistics in Trinity College Dublin.


Research Output of Academic Librarians from Irish Higher Education Institutions 2000-2015

Terry O’Brien (Waterford IT)


The purpose of this paper is to quantify, review and analyse published research output of academic librarians from 21 higher education Institutions (University and IoT) in Ireland.  A mixed approach using an online survey questionnaire, supplemented by content analysis and extensive literature scoping were used for data collection.  Factors inhibiting and predicting the likelihood of research publication are identified.  Motivations, barriers and collaboration are examined.  Qualitative perspectives from survey respondents are offered.  The survey response was 30%. The main findings are presented and contextualised.  There is evidence of moderate research growth and publication rates among the Irish LIS community; Open Access pathways are increasingly accepted.

The paper has original value with both exploratory and analytical perspectives.  This is the first comprehensive national study of this cohort; it adds value and a new perspective to the existing literature on academic librarians’ participation in scholarly endeavours and communication. 

The presentation will outline the man findings of the research with particular emphasis on predictors for research, inhibitors to research, research culture and a wide ranging discussion on whether a research-practitioner community of practice is emerging. Routes to publication including open access, place of publication and themes for publication are also discussed.  This presentation will be based on an article published in New Review of Academic Librarianship (2016) Volume 22, 2016 – Issue 2-3: Librarian as Communicator http://www.tandfonline.com

Presenter Biography:

Terry (Clonmel, Co. Tipperary) graduate of UCD (1992, 1998) and UL (1993). Doctoral candidate at University College London,  former Emerald Literati Award for Excellence winner and LIR bursary recipient. Published extensively and presented widely (LIR, IIUG, EIIUG, SL, LAI, LILAC, CorkPAL, EU). Former member of the LAI Executive Board, Terry is a member of the An Leabharlann editorial board since 2010. Has also worked in local government, FoI and Data Protection and as a European Union transnational Projects Manager.  Worked at WIT since 2001, holding post of Deputy Institute Librarian since 2005.


Making Open Access count: Creating standards to measure the use of Open Access resources

Joseph Green (University College Dublin)


The Open Access movement—by its strictest definition (the BOAI), promoting free unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed journal literature—has indelibly altered the scholarly communication ecosystem. Yet in an environment seemingly obsessed with metrics, impact, visibility and returns-on-investment, there exists no standard for measuring the use of openly accessible materials. Usage statistics for any open resource, ordinarily download counts, are highly suspect regardless of who provides them. This includes OA and (to a degree) hybrid journals, cultural heritage repositories, institutional repositories, data repositories and research platforms and extends to any statistical package including Google Analytics. We can neither compare nor aggregate usage statistics from any two systems. The main problem lies in the fact that up to 85% of open content usage can be attributed to non-human ‘users’—computer programs that crawl the web for content for both legitimate and nefarious purposes. Recently, Project COUNTER has convened a group of volunteer experts to address the problem, with a view to creating a set of standards for measuring usage that can be applied by any provider of openly accessible content. These standards will make it possible for academic publishers and other content hosts to give comparable usage statistics for open access resources. This will be equivalent to the existing COUNTER reports used daily by e-resource librarians for cost-per-click analyses and journal selection and deselection. Such a measure creates many interesting possibilities in terms of decision making around the different kinds of Open Access and restricted content for organisations that support research. Since it is driven by Project COUNTER, the only standards-setting organisation of its kind, and includes members from several large publishers, OpenAIRE, the DSpace, EPrints and Digital Commons development teams, data from Open Journal Systems, IRUS-UK and others, the effects have the potential to be quite far reaching.

Presenter Biography:

Joseph received an MLIS in 2005 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He worked in East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries for three years before moving to Ireland and working with the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) at University College Dublin. Joseph became UCD’s systems librarian in 2008. He completed a diploma in project management in 2009 and has been responsible for the UCD institutional repository since 2008. Joseph has published studies on Open Access usage statistics and leads the Project COUNTER Robots Working Group.


Facilitating User Engagement by Enriching Library Data using Semantic Technologies

Christophe Debruyne (Trinity College Dublin)


Both the Library and the ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin are exploring ways to leverage and facilitate user engagement with the publication of Library’s bibliographic records as Linked Data (LD). LD allows users to consume, explore and avail of the data through a clever combination of simple, standardised technologies; HTTP, URIs, and RDF.

In this talk, we present the results of enriching a LD representation of bibliographic records with a geospatial component. For this particular project, we transformed both the records of the “Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection” and a non-exhaustive dataset of mostly catholic Irish churches with their coordinates– graciously provided by the Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) – into RDF fit for LD. We then proceeded to explore ways of interlinking the two datasets, relating assets such as the sketches of stained glass windows and the churches in which they can be admired. 

The datasets and their correspondences were then used in two demonstrators. The first is a mobile application that directs users to churches in which Clarke’s work can be admired and providing the metadata curated by the Library. The second demonstrator shows how one can avail of the geospatial dimension provided by the churches to combine it with other geospatial or geographic datasets with lightweight, client-side processing of geospatial functions. For the second demonstrator, we combined the Library’s data with authoritative LD published by the OSi on data.geohive.ie. This allows a user to query, explore and analyse LD datasets.

There are still challenges in discovering correspondences between datasets, such as capturing provenance information, and methods for organising knowledge to deal with the intent of discovered interlinks. Notwithstanding those challenges, we feel we demonstrated the potential of LD and conclude this talk with future directions that steer towards another theme of this conference: skills for researchers.

Presenter Biography:

Dr. Christophe Debruyne is currently a Research Fellow affiliated with the ADAPT centre at Trinity College Dublin in the domain of Semantic Web and Linked Data. He currently conducts research in the fields of ontology and data mapping, and the governance thereof. Before joining TCD, he was affiliated with both the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and the Digital Repository of Ireland part of the Royal Irish Academy investigating Linked Data applications for the cultural heritage domain. He obtained a PhD in Computer Science with a dissertation entitled “Grounding Ontologies with Social Processes and Natural Language” in 2013 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he was also a part-time lecturer from February 2014 to September 2016.


Measuring Use and Impact: Assessment Strategies for Digital Library Initiatives

Evelyn McAuley (University of Limerick)


Emerging technologies continue to provide new pathways towards digital special collections and archives discovery, access, and use. In combining digitisation and web technologies, library professionals can re-create and re-imagine their unique and distinctive resources, building opportunities for participation and social engagement with new and diverse audiences.

But despite the rapid developments in digital scholarship and changing nature of primary source research, best practice guidelines for evaluating the impact of collections in the digital domain are slow to emerge. How do we know that we are connecting researchers with the resources that they seek? How do we know that we are maintaining relevance for the increasingly diverse audience we serve? How do we know how our digital collections are actually being used and by whom?

The ability to measure and articulate the value of digital library collections and services to research, teaching and learning, as well as within social and professional spaces, is becoming increasingly important for academic and research libraries. But evidence suggests that many project custodians lack the expertise to evaluate the efficacy of digital resources over time, and struggle with accurate reporting of use and impact of their digital libraries.

This paper will examine assessment strategies in the context of digital special collections and archives, including the current application of altmetrics and analytics to track the use and re-use of digital library content, gauge visitor behaviour and needs, and capture the fuller impact of holdings. It will consider resource awareness, types of use, frequency of citation, and the role of outreach and marketing. Finally, it will also suggest a core metrics framework for digital library programmes, with recommendation on specific quantitative and qualitative data requirements, as well as available tools to simplify its collection.

Presenter Biography:

Evelyn McAuley currently works as archivist for promotion and outreach within Special Collections and Archives at the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick. Her work involves promoting discovery of the University’s collections to faculty, students, visiting scholars, and others whose research benefits from engagement with Special Collections and Archives. Her previous experience includes archives and records management-oriented roles within both private and public settings.


The Irish presence in the Published Record

Lorcan Dempsey (OCLC)


The global diffusion of published materials is one way in which a country projects its identity. This presentation will present some findings from a new study of Ireland’s presence in the published record, part of OCLC Research’s continuing work exploring cultural patterns and trends through library bibliographic and holdings data. It will touch on materials published in Ireland, by Irish people, and/or about Ireland. Irish materials – and by extension, Irish publishers, Irish authors, and Ireland itself – form a significant presence in the published record; this talk will trace some of their distinctive characteristics and patterns of global diffusion.

Presenter Biography:

Lorcan oversees Research and Membership for OCLC, as well as coordinating strategic planning. His influence on national policy and library directions is widely recognized. He has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, the UK and the US.

Lorcan began his career in Dublin City Public Libraries, and received his library education in University College Dublin. Before moving to OCLC, he managed the UK higher education national investment in information services for Jisc. He is an honorary Doctor of the Open University in the UK and has twice received an ALCTS Presidential Citation for his work with OCLC colleagues. In 2010 he received the National Federation of Advanced Information Services’ (NFAIS) highest award, The Miles Conrad Award. He is a member of the Cambridge University Library Visiting Committee.


Be seen and be heard as a researcher:  Insights from three librarians on developing research skills, extending our community of practice and engaging in academic publishing

Jane Burns (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), Ciara McCaffrey (University of Limerick) & Mary Delaney (IT Carlow)


Across the Irish Higher Education library landscape there are numerous examples of library staff carrying out research activity.  This gives librarians an opportunity to step into the shoes of researchers and see the research cycle from a different viewpoint.  This activity takes many forms, from researching and evaluating library services and activities to researching areas of professional and personal interest.  In this presentation, three librarians will present key benefits and insights gained from librarians carrying out research.

(1) Jane Burns will speak about the value of developing Critical Research Skills and give an insight into key lessons learned thus far in her PhD journey.

(2) Mary Delaney will speak about the benefits that research brings to extending our Community of Practice and how research can bring opportunities to our libraries in terms of extending our networks and visibility.

(3) Ciara McCaffrey will share insights gained from engaging in academic publishing, particularly the challenges researchers face with publication, open access and communicating research.

Presenter Biography:

Ciara McCaffrey

Ciara McCaffrey (BA, MLIS) has held roles in the academic libraries at UL, TCD, DIT and UCC in a career spanning twenty years.  As Deputy Librarian in UL, she coordinates all cross-library management processes, namely HR, finance, quality, assessment, communications, legislative matters and library-wide projects.  She is a member of the CONUL Strategy Implementation Group and CONUL ANLTC.  She is an advocate of assessment and evidence-based librarianship and has conducted primary research that is action-oriented, with the aim of improving library services and informing practice.  As an output of this research, she has developed experience in academic writing, having published in peer reviewed journals three times, twice in ISI-indexed journals, with a fourth paper in press and has been a peer reviewer on one occasion.

Jane Burns

Jane is an experienced Library & Information Professional. Jane is a part time Lecturer at the School of Information Studies and the School of Education at University College Dublin. Her current role is Research Officer in the School of Nursing & Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  She is a published author and presents regularly at Conference nationally and internationally. Jane is a PhD candidate at University College Dublin in the school of Education. She is a winner of the 2017 Wellcome Images Award for her collaborative research Breast Cancer: Graphic Visualisation of Tweets. @JMBurns99

Mary Delaney

Dr. Mary Delaney is Head of the Library & Information Service at IT Carlow. Previously she held a number of roles at Maynooth University. She is particularly interested in how libraries align and partner with teaching, learning and research processes and in the strong role and impact of libraries in Higher Education.


Mapping Sound “Off the Map” at UCC: The Potential of Collaboration Between the Library’s Special Collections and the Musicology Department

Elaine Harrington & Jillian Rogers (University College Cork)


From the English Market to Merchant’s Quay, Cork City has a rich sonic history that musicology postgraduate students examine in UCC’s “Sound Studies” module. Similarly, UCC Library’s Special Collections has a unique collection of sources that, in encouraging consideration of intersections between history and geography, provides clues as to what locations in Cork sounded like in the past. In the last decade, libraries’ Special Collections have moved away from ‘show and tell’ presentations to more conscious engagement with academics, as evidenced by Bahde et al and Mitchell et al. At UCC, this trend has manifested in undergraduates using Special Collections in new ways: research-led teaching on Irish manuscripts and problem-based enquiry for studying short stories (Harrington, 2015). This “Sound Studies” module continues this trend by illustrating how a symbiotic relationship between researchers in Special Collections, music, and digital humanities, permits primary sources to offer a means to study, create, and map historical sounds. As such, this module provides a model for how libraries might become more embedded in teaching and learning within their universities.

In this presentation, we address the opportunities for research and teaching that UCC’s “Sound Studies” module has facilitated, focusing on the fruitful collaboration between the University’s Library Special Collections and its Musicology Department. This collaboration has enabled students to consider how music, sound, and sound practices have shifted historically in Cork through examination of UCC Library’s collection of maps, almanacs, tourist guides, and visitor accounts. Significantly, this interdisciplinary module offers an experimental space for students, librarians, and researchers to contemplate how primary sources shape the production of historical knowledge, as well as the creation of historically-informed soundscapes. In so doing, this module – a pilot for a larger project entitled “Mapping Sound in Cork City”- holds the potential to enable new, creative ways of addressing historical questions.

Presenter Biography:

Elaine Harrington

Elaine Harrington is Special Collections Assistant Librarian in UCC Library. This role includes managing and developing a team of three library staff through to facilitating user engagement of reference, early printed books and unique and distinctive collections. Elaine focuses on the ways users engage with Special Collections’ services and collections, and the necessary skills that are required for effective engagement. Her research interests include teaching as a valid form of research and scholarship, and libraries in a historical context. Elaine is an active member of the LAI’s Rare Books and Special Collections Group and a 2016 winner of the LAI CMG’s bursary for ‘Investigating Historical and Contemporary Classification Schemes Used in Irish Academic Libraries’.

Jillian Rogers

Dr. Jillian Rogers is a Lecturer in Musicology at UCC. Before coming to UCC she taught at Indiana University and UCLA, where she received her PhD in 2014. Jill’s work centers on how people have historically used music to cope with grief and trauma. Her interests in French modernism, affect and psychoanalytic theory, sound studies, and trauma and performance studies coalesce in her current book project, Resonant Recoveries: Music, Trauma, and Consolation in Interwar France, which examines how French musicians affected by the modern warfare and immense losses of World War I understood music making of all kinds as embodied therapeutic practices. In addition to teaching “Sound Studies” at UCC, Jill also teaches modules in 19th and 20th century music, opera history, and music and trauma.  


A journey of discovery: investigating student publishing at the University of Manchester

Simon Bains (University of Manchester)


Over two years, 2015-2016, the University of Manchester Library and Manchester University Press worked together to explore the potential value of student publishing services.  The work was carried out in two consecutive 12 month projects, both benefiting from internal funding from Manchester Institute of Education.  The funding placed this work within a wider University objective to do more to investigate and understand best practice in pedagogy, and to develop the University’s commitment to improve the research skills of its taught students.  The presentation will give an account of what was an interesting journey of exploration on a number of fronts: the views and needs of taught students in relation to scholarly publishing and wider dissemination; the issues associated with deciding either to create new journals or improve routes to established titles; the relationships between libraries and presses; and the variety of views and initiatives across the UK library/press sector.  It will also provide examples of the tangible outputs of the project, including online learning materials and a medical undergraduate student journal, the development of which revealed much about the issues for project teams comprising students, academics, librarians and publishers.  It will also reflect on the initial impact of the work, in terms of training module usage and student journal readership.  The paper will consider how this work fits within the larger context of developing library research support activities, and will look ahead to assess how it might inform strategy as the University of Manchester Library develops its strategic plan for 2018 onwards.  Finally, it will offer some thoughts on how such work might contribute to assessments of both research (the REF in the UK), and student experience and learning, as we begin to see the effects of the introduction in the UK of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Presenter Biography:

Simon Bains is Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian at the University of Manchester. His responsibilities include senior leadership for services in support of scholarly publishing, research data management and citation analysis, as well as a range of library-wide activities encompassing library building redevelopment, digital humanities, performance measurement and staff training and development.  Previously Simon was Head of the Digital Library at the University of Edinburgh, and Digital Library Manager at the National Library of Scotland.

Simon has worked nationally and internationally on a range of issues, with a focus on the impact of digital on research libraries. He is an active open access committee member for Research Libraries UK and Universities UK, and has recently presented papers on scholarly publishing issues for UKSG and ALPSP.


Searching Systematically For Your Research…Workshops at UL and UHL

Liz Dore (University of Limerick)


Increasingly an evidence based and systematic approach to searching the literature which already has a strong presence in healthcare is extending to include all discipline areas such as engineering, science, education etc. A search of the literature must be systematic ‘to be transparent, accountable and replicable’ (Gough 2012 p 116).

During the summer of 2015, the Librarians for Education and Health Sciences and Research Services at the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick, in collaboration with the Librarian in the Regional Medical Library, University Hospital Limerick, created a LibGuide for Systematic Reviews.

In June of 2016, the first workshop on ‘Searching Systematically For Your Research’ was held for staff at the Glucksman Library and 2 subsequent workshops were given at both the Regional Medical Library and the Glucksman Library.

The workshops aim to identify the appropriate resources to use for searching, understand the focus and functionality of resources, compile a search strategy and evaluate findings. They are also intended to encourage staff to adopt a more holistic and systematic approach to targeting and searching the best resources for their learning and research. There is a strong emphasis placed on attendees having adequate practice time during the workshop.

There has been good attendance to date and feedback has been positive with suggestions for further training include developing shorter topic specific workshops and online resources.

An online learning resource called ‘Searching Systematically’ has been developed and there are plans to design a pre-workshop type resource.

The collaborative approach to the workshops works well across both Library sites and is beneficial during the practical/questions and answers sessions.

For the future, developments include scheduling the workshops more consistently through the academic year and also to work on branding the workshops.

References: Gough, D, Oliver S, Thomas, J (2012) An introduction to systematic reviews, London: Sage.

Speaker Biography:

Liz Dore is the Librarian for the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick. Liz was previously Librarian for the Faculty of Science and Engineering also at the Glucksman Library.

Liz worked on the Literature Review for the All Aboard! Enabling and Empowering Staff and Students To Flourish in the Digital Age project. This work has helped to inform the current visual representation of what a framework for digital skills might look like and has also underpinned the content for the report -Towards a National Digital Skills Framework for Irish Higher Education – which was published in October 2015. Liz has presented on her work for the All Aboard Project at the CONUL Teaching and Learning Seminar 2015and LILAC 2016.

Her interests include improving the teaching and learning experience for students within the library and creating online supports for staff and students.


From the Archive to the Stage: Traditional song research at the NLI

Brid O’Sullivan (National Library of Ireland)


Since 2012, the National Library of Ireland has worked with artists Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert and a number of partners on a series of traditional song research projects.

This presentation will explore how traditional singers used the NLI for background research on many different subject areas, wrote new songs and performed the songs for a general audience in the library and in other venues. It will also consider the ‘Child’ ballad project where a group of singers researched the background stories to the Francis J Child ballad collection and presented the songs and the narratives behind them.

These research projects culminated in The 1916 Research project which was an integral part of the NLI’s commemoration programme.

The presentation will demonstrate how libraries can engage and support the research interests of this community. Such projects can also provide a platform for engagement and collaboration with other archives/libraries, cultural partners and national organisations.

It will demonstrate that the relationship built up through the first project between the artists, traditional singing community, Age and Opportunity and the NLI led to sustained engagement that culminated in the delivery of further projects.

Speaker Biography:

Brid O’Sullivan currently work in the National Library of Ireland’s Learning and Outreach section.


Opening up a Mapping Project Digitally

Aisling Keane (National University of Ireland, Galway)

NUI Galway’s Library is home to the Archive of Tim Robinson, who spent four decades mapping and interpreting the landscape surrounding Galway Bay. The focal points of the archive are a comprehensive index of town-lands that draw together information on the language of place-names, local historical, geological, archaeological and botanical information, and folklore from the area. The archive also includes a comprehensive collection of research and draft maps, and 84 boxes of manuscript material covering Robinson’s multi-disciplinary research, with original manuscripts of his books, field notebooks, and the records of local environmental activism in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

As a pilot project for the Library’s newly acquired digital exhibitions platform, Omeka, we sought to create an open platform which could present Robinson’s inter-disciplinary research on this unique landscape in a way that is inter-operable with other initiatives and projects.

The first phase of this project saw digitised objects from the Archive plotted on an Open Street Map, and almost 600 town-lands in this area delineated. The digital objects and related metadata can be viewed by clicking on the relevant town-land in this area. This required writing a script to convert open source data in GeoJSON to WKT.

The paper will cover our experience in this project, workflow, the platforms we used, and lessons learned. 

Speaker Biography:

Aisling Keane is the Digital Archivist at NUI Galway, and works as part of the Library’s Digital Publishing and Innovation Team to manage digital collections and promote digital scholarship. She is a professional archivist with an academic background in the humanities, and has previously worked at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Met Eireann.