WRSLAI Winter Networking Morning

This year we are celebrating the launch of the second run of our online learning programme Rudai 23. This will be an opportunity to meet fellow Rudai 23 participants if you are participating in the course, or learn more about the course if you are interested in signing up.

We are also delighted to be the first Library Association of Ireland Section to be awarding Digital Open Badges for CPD activities. Digital Open Badges is a new and emerging field and you can learn more about their use from our Secretary and Rudai 23 Manager Niamh O’Donovan.

Also, if you’ve ever thought about putting together a Social Media Strategy for your workplace then you can learn more about what is involved from our Treasurer Michelle Breen. Michelle will share her experiences of putting together a Social Media Strategy for the Glucksman Library in University of Limerick.

Our networking events are a good way to meet other people in the information profession based in the West of Ireland. You will always receive a warm welcome, some good coffee and refreshments and come away inspired with new ideas and new connections.

This event is free. Please book your place via this link.



Rudaí23: A Free Online course starting September 2017

We are thrilled to announce that we are running another free online 23 Things course, starting in September 2017 . This is our second time running this course, and we are very excited to tell you about all the new things that we are including in this one.

Rudaí (translates from the Irish as ‘thing’) 23  is based on the 23 Things learning programme designed in 2010 by librarian Helene Blowers for the staff of the Charlotte Mecklenburg library, North Carolina. Our programme is designed to introduce professionals working in an information/library environment to new web tools and apps currently being used to promote libraries and enhance library service-provision worldwide. We will also introduce tools and apps used for  collaborating, networking and sharing your work.

This course is for anyone working in the information profession that might be looking for opportunities in continuing professional development, exploring the world of apps and web tools, networking online with like-minded professional and developing your online professional profile.

The program consists of 23 modules which will be delivered free and online via our website.  Participants can choose which modules to complete and earn up to 5 digital open badges:

Visual Communicator, Online Networker, Critical Thinker, Engaged Professional and CPD Champion.

The course will cover current issues and trends in the information profession as well as the use of web technology to promote your library and network with your peers.

Participants must complete a series of simple tasks such as learning how to use different presentation software like PowToon, or maybe you would like to know more about collaboration tools such as Basecamp. Learning includes reflecting so we ask you to write an online blog post about your experiences which in turn lets you earn the relevant badges.

This course, including the open digital badges that you earn,  is certified by the Library Association of Ireland and can be used in  your CPD portfolio.

We would encourage anyone interested in doing this course to speak to your employer about allowing time to complete it. Online learning is a valuable part of continuing professional development and can be a viable alternative to attending conferences or training if distance or financial constraints are impeding factors for you.

Please download the brochure attached to this blogpost which contains information on the time required to do the course as well as information on the module content.

Click here to download the brochure: Rudai 23 2017

Registration for Rudaí 23 will open on the 28th of August and the first module will begin on the 9th of September.

For more information email westernlibraries@gmail.com and follow us on twitter @rudaí23 @wrslai to receive updates and don’t forget the hashtags #rudaí23 #23things.

Rudai 23 promo poster

How to get to Sixmilebridge Library


The 2017 WRSLAI seminar will take place in Sixmilebridge Library in County Clare.

The library is housed in a converted church and is centrally located on Church Street in the middle of the village. There is pedestrian access from Church Street with free on-street parking outside.

If you are arriving by car from Limerick/Shannon turn left at McGregor’s pub (bright yellow colour) and continue past the Roman Catholic church then take a right to the library.  This is the main entrance to the library and there is free parking here also.

Sixmilebridge train station is less than 1Km from the village and is a short walk to the library.

For bus information please contact Bus Eireann on 061 313333, Monday to Friday.  Buses are not as popular as the train but if you do use a bus it will drop you off at the Centra in the centre of the village.

Please contact Tara Considine on 087 6443143 if you are having difficulty finding your way.

Annual Seminar 2017: Registration now open.

wrslai summer seminar

The Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland is pleased to announce that registration is now open for its annual seminar. The seminar is on Monday the 19th of June from 9.30am to 4.30pm in Sixmilebridge Library, Co. Clare.

We are very excited about this year’s theme: Diversity in Libraries. It is no secret that we provide library services to very diverse communities every day and that diversity is one of  the cornerstone of our library services. This make our jobs very rewarding but can also be challenging.

This year we have a full programme of speakers that will highlight some of the exciting and diverse library services that we provide in public and academic libraries, as well as presentations from speakers that will help us to improve and adapt to our community’s changing needs.

Highlights include a workshop with Vicky Donnelly from Galway One World Centre  whose work includes coordinating the Global Teachers Award, and carrying out global justice and diversity training with colleges, schools, youth and community groups around the country. The workshop aims to deepen our understanding of racism (and other forms of oppression) in the context of strengthening diversity in our libraries.

Also on the programme is Dr. Anca Minescu from University Limerick. Anca is a political psychologist at the University of Limerick. She works in the field of ethnic relations, looking at people’s attitudes and interaction with different ethnic or political groups. Anca will speak about cultural diversity and will address a range of attitudes from group stereotypes to intercultural sensitivity and competence.

As always, we like to hold our seminars in a new venue every year. This year we will be holding it in the beautiful Sixmilebridge Library, Co. Clare. We will have a local historian on the day to bring us on a short ‘walk and talk’ to educate us on some of the local history of the area.

We will post more information about our speakers as well as travel information on how to get to the venue in the next few days.

The fee for the day is €60 or €40 for unwaged or students, this includes a light lunch.

Click here to see our full programme and to register. Looking forward to seeing you on the 19th. As always, places are limited so get booking.


Western Regional Annual Seminar – Call for Submissions

The Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland is pleased to announce that it’s Annual Seminar will be on Monday 19th of June in Sixmilebridge Library, Co. Clare. Our theme this year is Diversity in Libraries.

We would like to invite submissions from anyone working in the information profession to speak on this topic. If you are currently working with groups, conducting research or have an idea you would like to share that fits our theme then tell us about it. Diversity can include any of the following:  providing services to the unemployed – people with special needs  – adults with literacy difficulties – the elderly –  immigrants and refugees – adults, men and women – parents – toddlers – children – teenagers – crèches and preschool children – schools, primary and secondary. Any topics regarding social inclusion and libraries and serving our diverse communities are very welcome.

Please send your submissions in the form of a statement, detailing who you are, and a brief outline of what your presentation will be about to westernlibraries@gmail.com.

Closing date for submissions is Monday 22nd May.

For updates on registration and our speakers please follow our blog http://www.wrslai.wordpress.com  or follow us on twitter @wrslai #libwest17

WRSLAI Annual General Meeting

On the 30th of Jan 2017 the Western Region Section of the Library Assocation of Ireland are holding their AGM.


You are welcome to attend in person or dial in for the meeting.

If you would like more information or details feel free to contact the committee through email on westernlibraries@gmail.com

Storify from our recent networking morning.

A short selection of the tweets from our recent winter networking morning which was held in the Aidan Heave Library, Athlone, December 5th.

If you weren’t following the hashtag on the day this is a useful summary that will help anyone thinking of putting together a poster submission for upcoming conferences.

Best of luck if you do decide to take the plunge.

Winter Networking Morning



The Western Regional Section held a winter networking event the morning of December 5 at the Aidan Heavey Library in the Athlone Civic Centre.



After a half-hour of networking hosted by Aidan Heavey Library staff, with scones and hot-cross buns enjoyed by all, special guest and award-winning poster designer Laura Connaughton from Maynooth University gave a highly audience-interactive presentation about how to create an excellent conference poster. Connaughton noted that posters can be a great way to engage with an audience about one’s work or about a topic of interest. For those averse to giving talks in front of a crowd (which probably includes most of us), a poster presentation gives an opportunity to instead have one-on-one interactions with a smaller audience. The first part of the presentation focused on strategies to create visually engaging posters, with a host of tips from getting the spacing and font right to what works for layout and colours, with probably the biggest challenge for poster-makers being to pull back the right amount on text – it’s nearly a case of the less text the better! Connaughton then went through a series of posters for the audience to critique.


Connaughton’s presentation was followed by a conversation about library matters, with one current issue occupying the floor for most of the half-hour – the current Staff our Libraries campaign which has been taking place as a result of plans by local authorities to open up libraries for certain hours on certain days without any library staff. The conversation noted that despite unresolved issues relating to health and safety, of how to decide who is allowed admittance and who is not, and a lack of appropriate technological infrastructure to adequately support the staffless plans, that these plans have nonetheless been going ahead with worrying rapidity.


The event wrapped up with a tour of the Aiden Heavey Special Collection, given by executive director of the Athlone Library, Mr Gearóid O’Brien. The Collection includes the book collection of Heavey: rare books and documents that he gathered over the course of several decades, with a monetary worth into the millions of dollars. Notable works include first editions of Oliver Goldsmith, as well as a number of rare maps and atlases. Of note also are finely-bound books, including books with fore-edged paintings, images such as scenes from Dublin that show up when the book is closed and the pages are pressed together; and small but significant presses like the Dolmen Press. After being donated, the books were catalogued, and thus are accessible via the Heavey library catalogue and can be viewed by appointment.


The WRSLAI’s next gathering will be our annual general meeting, which will take place at some point soon after the New Year.

Kris Meen

WRSLAI Winter Networking Morning

There’s less that one week to go before our Winter Networking Morning. We’re starting to feel a bit Christmassy here in WRSLAI Headquarters and looking forward to sharing news and developments in the library world with all of you before the season really gets going.

In case you’re not fully convinced that the place to be next Monday the 5th of December is the Aiden Heavey Library, Athlone, here’s a little reminder.

The event is free but please register for catering purposes.

Click here to register.