Training, Events & Seminars (2008 – 2011) |

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Training, Events & Seminars (2008 – 2011)

Activities 2011


2011 Committee Members

Chairperson: Eileen O’Connor (Galway County Libraries), Secretary: Anne Wilkinson (Marine Institute), Treasurer: Olive Greaney (G.M.I.T.), Webmaster: Colette Harlowe (G.M.I.T.), Emer Donoghue (Galway County Libraries), Patricia Ffrench (NUIG), Ashling Hayes (Marine Institute), Tom Murtagh (Mayo County Libraries).


Committee Activities

The committee met three times during 2011. The focus of meetings was on developing a programme of activities aimed at providing a networking forum for those involved in libraries in the West of Ireland and on promoting continuing professional development of library staff.   In addition, the committee reviewed the proposed draft Memorandum and Articles of Association and contributed their views thereon to LAI Executive.


Networking Morning for Library Staff in the Western Region

The theme for this event was: ‘Collaborating and Sharing Resources’.  Networking was facilitated by establishing a 3-way video conferencing link between G.M.I.T. Galway; G.M.I.T. Castlebar; and ITSligo. The 21-attendees at this event, representing library staff in the Western regions, were distributed among the above three campuses.  The 2-hour event took place on Monday 21st March and was chaired by Eileen O’Connor.  Topics for discussion included the value of identifying and sharing relevant expertise/knowledge and how these resources could be channelled into opportunities for CPD training;  the potential for libraries to raise awareness of  and promote collections they may hold which are out of the ordinary, for example local history collections. The question of sustainability of libraries depending on local volunteers was discussed following a contribution from Corrundulla Community Library.


2011 Training Seminar

The seminar was entitled ‘Change Management – Taking control of digital technology in your library’, and took place on 27th June at the Marine Institute, Oranmore, Galway.  There was a record attendance of 46 delegates, with representation not only from libraries based in the Western region, but also those from Dublin, Kildare, Offaly, Kilkenny, Donegal and Limerick.

The Programme included eight presentations:  ‘Institutional Repositories for specialist libraries – the experience of the Marine Institute Library’ presented by Ashling Hayes, Marine Institute; ‘ – the creation of a web based information resource for landed estates research’ by Marie Boran, NUIG; ‘ RIAN – Online Repository of Irish Research Publications’ by Niamh Brennan, TCD; Doing more with less by going ‘e’’ by Monica Crump, NUIG; ‘Development of the e-book market – a bookseller’s perspective’ by John Treacy, International Educational Services Ltd.; ‘The EBook experience a year on – Collection Management and Development’ by Coleesa Humphreys, South Dublin County Library; ‘EBooks: perceptions and reality’ by Michelle Breen, UL; ‘SUMMON –one search engine for the whole library collection’ by Kathryn Briggs, G.M.I.T.   An evaluation of feedback contributed by indicated a high level of satisfaction with the seminar programme and presentation.  The event was supported by sponsorship from International Educational Services Ltd, and The Book Nest Ltd., Sligo.


Technology & WRSLAI

The WRSLAI section website was updated during 2011. It aims to be a one-stop-shop for all information regarding the section. This delivery mechanism is especially important when our committee welcomes new members and reduces the on-going workload for the secretary. On visiting the site, users will learn who we are, access our primary endeavours and encounter our current events and activities.


Activities 2010



Monday December 13th, 2010, NUI Galway Library.

Summer Seminar

Western Regional Section held a seminar called  Libraries and Recession: sharing resources & improving skills on Monday 28th June, 2010 in Tuam Public Library, Tuam, Co. Galway. The seminar explored two strands – Library cooperation and Ebooks for libraries

Library cooperation

Pathways to Learning: the origins and implementation of  Cork PAL (Valerie King,  Head of Customer Services, Boole Library University College Cork)

Music PAL (Pathways to Learning)  & PAL website maintenance (Robin Adams, Librarian, Trinity College Dublin)

RASCAL (Research And Special Collections Available Locally) (Siobhán Fitzpatrick, President of the Library Association of Ireland)


Ebooks for libraries

The development of South County Dublin Libraries’ Digital Books Service (Coleesa Humprheys, Librarian, South Co. Dublin Libraries)

Google Books – The Library Project (Susan O’Malley, Associate Manager Google Ireland)

The development of Clare County Libraries’ Digital Books Service (Anthony Edwards, Librarian, Clare County Libraries)

Kindly sponsored by: Book Nest, IES, Interleaf


Coffee Morning 2010

Theme: Service delivery – innovation, efficiency and user satisfaction

Our annual coffee morning was held on Monday March 22nd from 10.30am to 12.30pm in Joint Venues GMIT Library (Galway Campus) & GMIT Moore Library (Castlebar Campus). Participants were connected via video conferencing link


Activities 2009



WRSLAI AGM 15 December 2009

The Annual General Meeting took place in the Museum of Country Life, Turlough House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo on Tuesday 15th December.

There was no change in the committee except for the replacement of Kay McCormack (Galway County Libraries) by Tom Murtagh (Mayo County Libraries).

The AGM was followed by a presentation and viewing of the Haughey Collection at the Museum of Country Life, Turlough House.  This book collection contains about 4,000 books which were donated to the museum by the Haughey family.


Summer Seminar 2009

The Western Regional Section organised a Summer Seminar entitled:

In the beginning was the word: the evolution of the written word and the recording of knowledge

The seminar took place on Monday 8th June, 2009, in Castlebar Public Library

The presentations included:

Dr Mark Stansbury, Classics, NUIG introduced the study of script, or paleography, and the history of Irish manuscripts

Sinead McCoole (Curator) introduced the group to the new Jackie Clarke Library in Ballina, Co Mayo. In 2000, Jackie Clarke, a local business person and politican, bequeathed his large and diverse collection of early twentieth century Irish and local history archive to the people of Mayo.

According to Sinead,

“…[A]n exhibition [called] Ireland’s Newest National Treasure – Unveiled, will allow the public access to view this collection, out of storage for a limited period from August 30 until Friday 18 September 2009, at Pearse Street, Ballina, Co Mayo.”

Please contact Sinead directly for booking information:

Bernie Lally recently achieved her MA in Local History from NUI, Maynooth; after which her thesis was published under the Maynooth studies in local history series. Bernie researched Thomas Kelly’s Printers, using the printer’s own publication and census as her primary sources.

Mary Ann Bolger (WIT) and Clare Bell (DIT) introduced us to the exploration of the ‘classic’ Gaelic/Celtic/Uncial typeface. They argued that this typeface is used to distinguish an Irish identity under the subtle rhetoric of print typefaces.

Richard Hickey outlined the ongoing digitisation of  Tourist Surveys from the 1940’s in West of Ireland and local surveys.


Networking Coffee Morning

On Monday 6th April 2009, GMIT Libraries – Galway and Castlebar – played joint host to a networking coffee morning organised by the Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland.

For the first time, LAI members could attend a coffee morning in either library of GMIT Castlebar or GMIT Galway. Linked by video conferencing, the two centres discussed a robust agenda of issues: ranging from co-operative lending to membership queries.

LAI members attended from the following public institutions: GMIT Galway and Castlebar Campuses, Galway County Libraries, Mayo County Libraries, Roscommon County Libraries, National Museum of Ireland, Marine Institute and HSE (West).

Activities 2008


Networking Morning

The Western Regional Section held a networking morning for all members in Ballybane public library on the 12th May, 2008. 15 members from across the library sector in the West of Ireland were in attendance. As well as informal networking over coffee, themes for future training seminars were discussed.

Denise Duffy of UCHG library proposed Bibliotherapy as a possible theme and Una Mulligan of Galway County Libraries proposed Collection Management and Promotion as another possible theme. These proposals were discussed enthusiastically and there was a good exchange of information on these topics. The committee undertook to consider these proposals when organising future seminars.


AGM and Training Seminar

The WRSLAI held it’s AGM in Merlin Park Hospital Library on 1st December, 2008. The AGM was accompanied by a training seminar entitled “Breaking Barriers: Libraries and Social Inclusion Services”

Breaking Barriers: Libraries and Social Inclusion Services

Patricia Fitzgerald of Clare County Libraries gave a presentation on The WOW Transatlantic Reading Challenge, which is an international reading incentive scheme where libraries liaise with schools and other libraries on both sides of the Atlantic in association with the local police forces. The scheme was a response to statistics which reveal a link between low literacy and criminal conviction.

Miriam Leonard and Alastair Smeaton of Dublin City Libraries gave a presentation of The North Inner City Books Prescription Scheme. They outlined the preparatory work involved in getting the project off the ground; forging partnership links with the medical profession, the provision of staff training for dealing with customers with special needs and the selection of quality material to be “prescribed”. They also presented feedback on the scheme to date.

Siobhán Arkins of Galway County Libraries distributed the “Health and Wellbeing Reading List” produced by Ballybane branch library in conjunction with the HSE and a report from Books Prescription Wales.

Denise Duffy of UCHG distributed an article entitled “Bibliotherapy for mental health service users: a systematic Review” by Deborah Fanner & Christine Urquhartt which was recently published in the Health Information and Libraries Journal

Both presentations were of huge interest to those in attendance. At the feedback session at the end of the seminar, a number of people expressed an interest in setting up similar models in their own libraries.