Last year, I worked with Jane Harvell on a new initiative for the MAIS students. Jane is Head of Academic Services & Special Collections at the University of Sussex Library and is very involved with UKSG. We also worked with Sarah Lowe, the E-Resources and Subscriptions Librarian and my colleague here at Brighton, to plan and deliver a session with the students which successfully brought together different practitioner perspectives. Jane and I wrote this up for the UKSG’s Insights journal magazine and it’s now published – available on open access. Check out the article at

We celebrated more student success on Thursday 13th Feb. The graduation ceremony took place on a day when the weather was kinder than it had been for weeks and – despite a bomb scare near Brighton Station – there was a good turnout.  The photos show some proud graduates!

Graham White, Dan Katz and Katharine Bennett - with some sparkly.

Graham White, Dan Katz and Katharine Bennett – with some fizz.

Stuart Lawson, Katharine Bennet & Jon Fowles

Stuart Lawson, Katharine Bennet & Jon Fowles

As in previous years, I’m looking for interesting placements for my MAIS students.

Each student is asked to conduct a piece of small scale research in a host organisation on some aspect of the service. This forms the basis for their dissertation but also the student is expected to provide at least an executive summary of the dissertation, concentrating on the findings and recommendations, for their hosts. Most students aim to start the placement either at the beginning of July or in October, depending on if they are full-time or part-time. Supervisors are allocated from within the academic staff at the University of Brighton.

See the attached guidelines for more information and please get in touch with me if you’re interested.

Audrey (

MAIS Placement guidelines for host organisations 2014

Some rather downbeat news. The University recently decided to withdraw the MA Information Studies course temporarily, taking effect from the academic year 2014-15.  This means that there will be no new students joining the course in October 2014 – although all the students currently on the course will be supported through to completion. The suspension is because of a proposed review of all the Postgraduate courses in Computing, the aim of which is to create a new programme of integrated modules and awards.  The MAIS team argued for resources to be put in place to maintain the course as it’s currently constituted so that it could run alongside the review, but this was not forthcoming. This is a real shame, since MAIS is one of the highest recruiting PG courses in the university and there is still obviously a market for it.

The PG review is being led by Lyn Pemberton, the Assistant Head of School responsible for the Computing Division.  She has made it clear that the aim at the moment is to have a pathway through the new programme which will have CILIP accreditation.  She’s also aiming to have the new programme up and running for the start of the academic year 2015-16.

So, hopefully a temporary blip!

It’s a while since I managed to get to Umbrella but I made it this year and I enjoyed it immensely. I found the quality of the sessions to be really high and I thought the format of the Focus and Spotlight sessions was really good. The plenary sessions I went to, which included keynote addresses and debates, were broad-ranging and stimulating. I was there as a speaker in one of the Spotlight sessions on Future Skills and Future Roles. Abi Luthmann and I were presenting an overview of the Public Library Skills programme we developed and ran last year and are continuing this year. Abi is Equal Access Manager with East Sussex Library and Information Service and she talks very eloquently about the success of the programme in East Sussex. Abi is also a former student, an added bonus! It was great to see former and current students at Umbrella, as delegates and speakers, and although I managed to catch only the tail-end (train delay!) of Ka -Ming Pang’s presentation on #uklibchat, I could see that it went down very well. If you want to follow up the Public Library Skills work we’ve been doing check out the July issue of Update (p40-41).

Open eveningWe’re holding an Open Day on 1st May in the afternoon and early evening. If you’re interested in an information or library related MA course then come along.  If you can’t make that day then check out the webinar option – details on the poster.  Alternatively, get in touch with me:


We celebrated considerable MAIS success at the Graduation ceremony today, on a cold but brilliantly sunny February morning. I managed to chat to all our  graduates and catch up on news and gossip. It was great to hear about employment successes and future aspirations. The photo shows Rebecca Howes, Sally Ann Clarke and Jannicke Lie doing the traditional hat-throwing. Well done to them – and to all the others. Rebecca_Sally_Jannicke


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.