Thursday, 18 June 2015

Library as part of CONUL National Conference

The inaugural CONUL (Consortium of National and University Libraries) annual conference, which took place in Athlone from 3-4 June featured wide representation from across the Library. With eleven speakers in total across the two days of the conference programme, the Library was well represented among peers and colleagues from across the country. The conference thme was 'Innovation and Evolution: Challenges and Opportunities for 21st Century' and considered the broad challenges facing academic and research libraries in Ireland. The conference identified and debated such challenges and provide an opportunity for staff to network, learn, discuss and share their expertise and best practice.

Among the speakers from the Hardiman Library were John Cox, Ann Mitchell, Evelyn Bohan, Peter Corrigan, Monica Crump, Cillian Joy, Aisling Keane, Barry Houlihan, Ronan Kennedy, Marie Boran and Connell Cunningham. The issues address by this group in their individual and joint presentations included the planned physical transformation of the Hardiman Library Building; reading list services; the journey ahead to 2020 in strategy and planning; sentiment analysis of Library survey feedback; developing user reporting mechanisms for e-resources; digital libraries; special collections and archives in research.

Keynote speakers were Marshall Breeding, an independent consultant, speaker, and author. He is the creator and editor of Library Technology Guides and the online directory of libraries on the Web and also Sarah Moore, the Chair of the National Forum for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and Associate Vice President Academic at the University of Limerick. both speakers gave insightful and inspiring overviews and opinions on many aspects of the profession and areas being encountered, challenged or changing for librarians and institutions of national or university-based context.

The conference overall was a huge success and a wonderful opportunity for colleagues from across the country and across all institutions, services and expertise, working within libraries, to network and engage with the direction the profession, as well as our changing relationship with our users and collections, may take in the future. Well done to all at CONUL and we look forward to next year's conference!

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