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!

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).

Sally Ann Clarke and Mandy Williams were the proud recipients of CILIP’s Henrik Jones prize this year. The prize is awarded to the student(s) who demonstrate the best performance in an information retrieval module. The photo shows Sally Ann and Mandy after the ceremony in the Huxley Building, with myself and Marion Huckle from CILIP.

I officially took over as Chair of the CILIP SE Branch at the AGM on Thursday 26th May. I took over from my colleague Juliet Eve, so we’re keeping things in the University of Brighton family. The next year is going to be one of change, with CILIP’s review of Branches and Groups currently under way – but we’re up for the challenge. The speaker at the AGM was Phil Bradley, CILIP vice-President, but speaking to us more as future-watcher. He sees the future as one of opportunity for information professionals – if we’re prepared to grasp it and adopt the role of thought leaders. See more of Phil at

I gave a talk last week to CILIP Sussex based on a book I am writing for Facet Publishing. The slides and my talk are below:

… is re-connecting with the authentic and passionate parts of your self, and communicating that to others. Advocacy was the theme of this year’s CILIP South East Branch AGM, held jointly with CILIP in the Thames Valley at the Town Hall in Reading on May 4th. About 30 of us, from a very diverse range of libraries, participated in a workshop run by Linda Constable. Linda is Chair of the Judging Panel of CILIP Libraries Change Lives and Vice-Chair of CILIP Community Services Group. She has a wide range of experience in the library and museum sectors at national, regional and local authority level and is an activist working with CILIP to advocate the value of librarians and libraries. Linda provided a user-friendly introduction to advocacy, covering the:

What? campaigning, communicating, championing, marketing

Who? all of us, at whatever level

When? for 2 minutes, for 2 hours

Where? ‘like Martini’ – anywhere, anytime

How? face-to-face, email, twitter – whatever is appropriate to your audience

We then role played an ‘elevator pitch’ – what would you say if you had 2 minutes in the lift or at a work social event to promote yourself and your service to a chief exec, or any kind of colleague (frame your message; what is important to them; how do you contribute to the organisational goals; ask them what they want!). Linda then introduced us to the CILIP Campaigning Toolkit, and flagged up the CILIP Manifesto, and we participated in group discussions by sector on ‘telling the library story’. We had a lively and useful afternoon, finishing up with suggestions as to how the South East Branch can take some of the issues around advocacy further in the work do across our five sub-branches.

… this and other related issues were discussed by myself and a group of enthusiatic participants at a CILIP in Sussex event held at University Centre Hastings on Tuesday 20th April. The workshop was on Doing research in your own organisation; as well as covering the basics of getting started on a research project (writing a proposal, selecting methods, putting it in the context of the literature), we discussed the pros and cons of carrying out a research project where you work, the merits of different methods and the need for more creativity in library research (diplomatic speak on my part for my ‘ban the questionnaire’ campaign!!). It was particularly nice for me to see some former students from our MA Information Studies course, as well as one who started my ten week Research Methods module today.

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