Call for papers – #libwest18



The Western Region Section of the Library Association of Ireland is pleased to announce that our annual seminar will be held on the 11th  June 2018 in Ballinasloe Library.

Our Title this year is CHALLENGING TIMES.

2018 is a year of celebrations, commemorations and anniversaries and challenges still to overcome. It’s the year of data and privacy including GDPR and its implications for our work. It marks a hundred years of women getting the right to vote. It’s the year sign language was finally officially recognised as a language. It’s the year of Irish. It’s the year the Region of Galway Gastronomy is launched. To name just a few.

We look forward to hearing your views on Challenging Times in your workplace, and receiving your proposals

We are accepting submissions for 10 minute lightening talks, or 20-30 minute presentations. We also welcome poster submissions.

Please keep proposals to 300 words max and they should be emailed to with an outline of the proposed talk and a brief biography of the speaker.

The deadline for submissions is the 11th May 2018.

Further details will be posted on our blog

Feel free to contact us via email or on social media through the blog  or on twitter @wrslai


Annual General Meeting 2018

The Western Region Section of the Library Association of Ireland will be holding our Annual General Meeting in Ballybane Public Library, Castlepark Road, Galway on Monday 29th of January 2018. The meeting will be held from 11 am.

The last year was a busy and innovative year for the group with well attended events, a seminar and  the organising and running of the second iteration of their successful and important Rudai23 MOOC.

We look forward to another busy year in 2018. If you would like to join our team, or would like to contribute ideas for networking events please join us on Monday.

If you are interested in joining the committee, would like more information about the WRSLAI and its activities, or attend the meeting please contact us through our email :



AGM poster 18

Event: Technology Enhanced Learning Seminar, University of Limerick

The University of Limerick would like to invite you to a free seminar on 29 November 2017. This seminar is about technology-enhanced learning and innovations in CPD and might of interest to managers, learners or those interested in the digital skills being taught through programmes such as Rudaí 23 and the 12Apps.

The seminar will feature Chris Rowell, Academic Developer in Digital Enhanced Learning from London South Bank University who will discuss the 12 Apps of Christmas model which he created while at Regent’s University, London. Also speaking will be Michelle Breen, Academic Librarian in University of Limerick.

Michelle Breen is both a content creator and moderator of an online, skills-building programme called Rudaí 23. The course name translates as 23 Things and is based on the 23 Things model that was originally designed in the US in 2006  Rudaí 23 was first run in Ireland’s libraries in 2015 by the Western Regional Section of the LAI (Library Association of Ireland) and was updated and modified to include Open Digital Badges in 2017.

The free Rudaí23 course has participants from across Higher Education, libraries and the wider community and is a valuable CPD model in that it offers accredited learning at a pace that fits in to people’s busy lives.

This free seminar takes place at UL on Wednesday November 29th at 11am in the ITD Video Studio and you can book your place here

Winter Networking Morning #winterwest17


Ballybane Library in Galway City hosted the Western Regional Section of the LAI’s annual winter networking event, on the morning of November 20. The event was lively and very well attended and featured the launch of the online learning programme Rudai 23.

WRSLAI Chairperson Stephanie Ronan welcomed the group and then jumped right into a discussion with Rudai 23 participants Siobhan Carroll and Maud Conry, both Library Assistants from NUI Galway. Siobhan and Maud recently completed the Visual Communicator Badge, the first of a sequence of five available via the Rudai 23 CPD project (this is Rudai 23’s second iteration). Participants were awarded a badge after completing a sequence of ‘Things’, or online lessons that focus primarily on useful online tools and technologies, and writing up a reflective post about their experience in doing so.


Siobhan and Maud talked about the blogs that they created for the project. Siobhan started off by talking us through her blog, which she created as part of the first of Rudai 23’s ‘Things’. Called Art and Art History (at, the blog is intended as a showcase for Siobhan’s interest in art and art history, and began with a post about a recent Vermeer exhibition. Siobhan has since detoured into talking about the images, videos and more that she has created as she has gone through the Rudai 23 Things. She noted that her favourite tools so far have been Powtoon and Screencast-o-matic. Here is the Powtoon Siobhan made

Maud then told us about her experience in getting the Badge. She noted that, while Siobhan had had a certain amount of experience with a few of the apps used, she was coming at them completely new. She did find the pace of the Things somewhat challenging, but kept focused, and wound up enjoying it. She particularly enjoyed Photofunia, and everyone in the audience quite liked the photo she made with that (see it here scroll down about halfway). Maud’s blog, about movies, is available at


Niamh O’Donovan, Rudai 23 project manager, then took us through the ins and outs of digital badging, and what approach the Rudai 23 team have taken with them. Niamh described digital badges as an online method of validating and awarding achievements in education. The key word with badges is ‘open,’ that is, they are created by means of an open standard, and anyone can create and award them. What’s important is that the criteria for being awarded a badge is attached as metadata to the badge, as well as links to evidence of work completed. These are what make the badge valuable, helping them to demonstrate the gaining of a particular skill.

Niamh noted that the badges approach was taken after feedback from the first iteration of Rudai 23, after which participants said that it was tough trying to get through 23 Things to get their certification. The badges help break the course down into parts that participants can pick and choose among. Niamh also took us through the process of deciding on a badge provider (Mozilla’s Open Badges), getting funding to pay for them (many thanks to the LAI), and designing the badges (via tools like Canva, DesignApp, and IconsDB).


The final segment of the morning was an excellent workshop by Michelle Breen from the University of Limerick. Michelle came prepared to help everyone create a social media strategy, working from her own experience in doing so after having taken a course about it. With a structured brainstorming worksheet, Michelle asked us to think about specific audience segments that we would want to reach with social media, what social media platforms those specific audiences tend to use, and what kind of messages or content they would be interested in engaging with.

A lively discussion ensued throughout the exercise, with plenty of sharing of experiences from people coming from different library sectors. Michelle offered potential solutions to people concerned about a lack of support from different levels of management. She also answered questions such as how to keep up with content on platforms that are very popular with younger users, in particular — Snapchat being the central example — but where the content itself is ephemeral, i.e. disappears after no more than 24 hours! A great deal was learned from Michelle’s advice and by the experiences of different people in the audience. Watch out for the UL Library’s Elf on the Shelf social media campaign, coming up in advance of Christmas!

Plenty of food for thought from librarian colleagues across the west of Ireland to chew on as we get set for the chilly season. The WRSLAI’s next event will be its Annual General Meeting, in the New Year.

Happy holidays everyone!

Kristopher Meen, Academic Librarian, NUI Galway.

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 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

Closing date for submissions is Monday 22nd May.

For updates on registration and our speakers please follow our blog  or follow us on twitter @wrslai #libwest17