The last day of September marked the last day of David Horner’s tenure at the University of Brighton. David had been here for 23 years and was well liked by colleagues and generations of students. We marked his departure with an informal get-together in the Watts building and paid tribute to his professionalism, dedication – and his unending ability to make us all laugh. David’s retirement signals the end of an era, since he was one of the university’s true intellectuals and we’re all going to miss him.

David in full flow at his retirement do - in front of a picture of his former self.

David in full flow at his retirement do – in front of a picture of his former self.











A couple of weeks later and Martin De Saulles and I welcomed the MAIS part-time students back for their second year of teaching. It was great to see them all and I look forward to working with them over the next year.

Helen Michaels with  Audrey Marshall and Prof Miltos Petridis.

Helen Michaels with Audrey Marshall and Prof Miltos Petridis.













Monday was celebration day. In the morning, we had the School prize-giving, where Helen Michael was awarded CILIP’s Henrik Jones prize. This is awarded annually to a student who has excelled in information retrieval. Helen conducted a search for Richard, a colleague in Computing, on a very complex and specialised subject. It was fitting that Richard was also at the prize-giving and he was delighted at Helen’s success.

Antony Groves and Julia Worley

Antony Groves and Julia Worley


In the afternoon, we had the Graduation ceremony at The Dome. Pictured here are Antony and Julia just after the ceremony, both looking delighted.






Congratulations all!

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).


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