BookTube VS Libraries

I do not own a TV, of any kind! I am very proud of this and it does shock a few people when I mention it.

So I watch a LOT of YouTube, everyday, as I love the interaction I can have with other members of the community and even sometimes with the creator of the works.

BookTube is honestly my favorite part of the YouTube community, if you like having conversation about book recommendations or how you hated what happened to the characters in the book you just read, it is a great place to be a part of.

BUT! What annoys me is that a lot of the creators do “Book Hauls” and “Book Shelf Tours”, which can be interesting and honestly does my me jealous of their set up. Why aren’t they using the library if they love books so much? This has always been in the back of my mind when seeing my newsfeed/subbox/timelines/whatever the latest update will call it.

My partner bought me a book shelf and I love it!


As you can see, it is not full at all! That is because I loan the majority of my books out from my local library!

This is how I arranged my book shelf:

Bottom: academic books from my career thus far (mostly second hand to be fair)!.

Middle: read books that I love and will probably read again.

Top: TBR (to be read) books that I have been gifted or have bought with vouchers etc.

Slowly, picture frames and musical instruments have made their way into it, which I don’t mind as I love having somewhere to display them.

Although I do love the BookTube world, I am surprised that they do not recommend the local library more often. The books are FREE!

This is the idea that will be behind my own YouTube/BookTube channel.

What are your book shelves like? I had a bookcase, that was suitcase of books, before I was lucky to get this!

Do you use your local library? If not, why so?

Thanks for reading!

Jade x



Last week I managed to hand in my dissertation, I hit the final work count of 21,259 words (and an additional 11,000 for the research I collected myself)!

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out, I was really passionate about the subject and was very touched by the replies and responses I received from all of your MLISers and academics who wanted to let me know their opinions!

Anything, I can not name anyone as it is all about breaking the law (or bending it, as one interviewee said)!

I will start making YouTube videos from next week, to encourage all users that the library is not just about books.

Here is my channel:

Also here is my FB page:

And here is a picture of Steve Mills, the student union president who is amazing 🙂


Bye for now!

Jade x

BuzzFeed Books – Library Week

Some of you reading this will already know that my comment appeared on BuzzFeed about my local librarian growing up, here is the link to the article:

I really do enjoy reading BuzzFeed, people may think that our generation is all about the internet and “listing” everything, making them into sizable chunks due to our lack of DINOSAUR attention spans.

I am lucky to have grown up with technology, watching it grow and understanding by the mistakes of others to never put things online you do not want your family, friends or future employers to see (having your mother as your friend on Facebook is the best filter you could ask for)!

The local library I grew up with, compared to the fantastic resources that are in the town now (Mitchelstown, County Cork) was more a room in a council building. This did not stop the librarian from being kick ass.

My parents split when I was around 9-10 y/old. I took it hard (as every child does, that is NORMAL) and I found escapism in books. I bought my beautiful little Shit-Tzu Jessie (2001-2010) with my confirmation money (rural Ireland people) and she soon helped me with the changes in my life. My Mum was working three jobs and finishing off her degree full time (basically being SUPERWOMAN) and I was only allowed to go to the local shop and library, which were across the street from one another.

My hair is tame now, but my god it was NOT at that age. I had a flip scooter and a back pack I would put Jessie in. I was a moving target basically!!! I was bullied a lot, but I had a great circle of friends from primary school a town over who would visit me.

This was back in the day (1990s) where Walkmans were not a thing for 10 year old to have, and also everyone would stop and chat to me on the way. I would sneak Jessie into the library with me in my backpack, and try to have her all tired out from playing before I go there so she wouldn’t wriggle! On one particular hot day, I had Jessie a sleep in my backpack and was on my way to the library, I decided to leave the back pack open a little so she could have air and forgot to close it when I was going up the stairs to the library. I was browsing through the stacks when the librarian approached me and asked,

“Jade, do you have a dog in your backpack?”

To which 10 y/old me replied, “No…..” and at that exact moment Jessie popped her head out and barked an hello!

I thought I was going to get kicked out, I was so worried, but the librarian took her out of the back pack and hugged her and commented on how well behaved she was. She held her as I browsed in the empty library (it was the height of summer, and all of the other children were outside playing). Each day that summer I would bring Jessie in, not hidden anymore, and began to discover Shakespeare, Hemingway and “The Sleepover Club” books.

My local librarian that summer made me feel normal, and not like the outsider that the children who bullied me made me feel. If I got upset about how I was never invited outside to play, I would put Jessie on my lap and read something new I got from the library and feel better. Books are still my escape to this day. If I am in pain or stressed, they really take me on a journey away from my problems.

I am just finishing off the final touches of my MSc in Library and Information Studies dissertation, and really hope I can be even a fraction of my childhood librarian. I have Tweeted the BuzzFeed article to the library, so hopefully she will see it, or a family member of hers.

Kindness goes a long way, believe me, it really did help me discover my look for books, music and art.

This blog is dedicated to the librarian from my childhood, wherever you are!

And also Roo English, you are an amazing young women, I am very proud to be your friend.


Me write good????

So since I have moved over to Aberdeen, I have updated and created CV’s for family and friends…. and I am actually good at it???

I have to be friends with them, as I then know their personality and can make it come out on paper and they are always so happy afterwards.

When my partner moved over here in June 2014, he brought his CV. It was basic to say the least. Still! It only took me 2-3 hours to get all the information into some sort of order and build up his confidence so he knew he could get a job (it only took him a week).

He is now working in “Beer Science” and he couldn’t be happier, but it took him very long to get to where he wanted to be.

The feeling I get when a friend looks at the new CV I have created for them and they are happy really lifts me up 🙂 I want them to be the best versions of themselves, but it is really hard to see that when you are looking at yourself. Someone reflecting on all your skills and strengths really helps when you are trying to land your dream job or just to get your first summer position.

My new saying this year is, “You want epic? BE EPIC!”

Don’t lose confidence in yourself, but acknowledge your weaknesses as areas you need to approve upon. No one is perfect.

Where have you been Jade???

So I have been very quiet on here for a good few months, I also change the settings to private.

I was feeling very stressed and needed to do this:

This is still 4,000 words short for my dissertation :/
This is still 4,000 words short for my dissertation :/

This, my readers, is my 23,000 word first draft of my dissertation for my MSc in Library and Information Studies from Robert Gordon University.

If you have been following me on here, you will know my topic, but for those of you just popping by, it’s basically about music copyright in libraries.

The word limit is 20,000 (+/- 10%). I did a LOT of data collection, surveys and interviews, which has made my appendix…. let’s just say it’s nearly at the double digits.

My current employers have been very supportive and have let me working on this paper during working hours (after I have all my duties done, of course) so I am very happy I made the investment in a Google Chromebook and have 1TB of storage to save everything onto and access where I need (as long as I have Wifi/Internet).

***This blog post is not sponsored by Google, I just want current and future students to know how awesome their products are***

I could not recommend using Google Docs/Drive highly enough, it really is amazing how you can ask someone to edit and proofread along with you!

So what I am doing now is planning a summer of an Irish Road Trip with my friend, Maid of Honour Duties, Kick Ass Graduation Parties….. AND I HAVE DECIDED TO GO FOR CALL FOR PAPER DEADLINES.

I am good at presenting my work and think I would kick some serious networking butt at these things. I just have to make sure my (FULL TIME) job is not disrupted too much in the process.

I think I have a problem, I just love learning 🙂

Sorry it took me so long to post again, I promise after my deadline (May 6th), I will be back in action on here.

Jade x

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree…

I am happy to announce, I have secured a job for the new year 🙂

It comes with a great pay jump, health and dental and even has holiday days that I can take to go home for a few visits!

This really has taken the pressure off for a while and made me feel really good about myself.

It isn’t in a library though…

I am aware that I am qualified in the area of Library and Information Studies now, but after working in a Public Library for nearly 6 months, I do not think the setting is for me.

I understand office politics, as it was forced upon me a few years ago, but working for a public library run by the local government can be a bit stressful. I found it difficult to adjust from my retail job into a “traditional” library role. I loved it, don’t get me wrong!

I just think I have out grown it, as I prepare to leave.

Everyone I work with is lovely, so grounded and genuinely nice people, but the sense that there was something else out there that I could do has been itching at me for a while.

My boss was very honest and said that my contract was unlikely to be renewed due to budget and also the need to have a L.A on the floor for which I work, which I totally understand. Sometimes it feels like I am trying very hard to look busy, and other days I am rushed off my feet.

I have managed to get a job in the oil industry, which I am very excited about starting!!! It will open a lot of doors for me and also be internationally recognized for my future plans (my partner and I would like to move to Canada before we are 30)!

As you can tell from my other posts, I will not be revealing where I will be working, as that is a private thing, but I will discuss my experiences of my new position and the career I am going to take in this area!

I am having so much fun writing this blog, thank you to all my followers and I hope you and yours have a fantastic Christmas break, whatever your traditions are!

Just remember, it’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, it’s who’s around it 🙂 Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Business-Lessons

Card Catalogues and I

As per ermigal’s (here is her witty and fun blog request a few weeks ago, I have been on a looking into the usage of card catalogs in my job to find out when the card catalog has been retired and the answer is……

I have not personally had to use it for a research inquiry, but anything that predates 1993 can be found on the card catalog. It is still available for viewing by members of the public, as the reserve stock (mostly predates 1993) is listed on the cards. Most of the items before that date are also on our Library Management System, which is what I tend to prefer.

Please see the photograph 🙂

My experience with card catalogues from my local library while growing up varies a little, I was allowed have two different town library cards and loved it! (I lived in one town over from my primary school town).
I was aware of the card catalogue being in the brown shelving unit behind the librarian’s desk in my home town, but she would always recommend titles or encourage me to move around the stacks myself to browse.
In my school town, which had a significantly bigger population thus library, there was a full row of the card catalog cabinets underneath the stairs that really was used a lot, for the older children who were doing research for their studies.
I recall once or twice the librarians (or library assistants) going to find information in the shelves for the patrons.

I am a browser, and was no in the study phrases of my life when the card catalogue was changed for the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), but to be completely honest…. I would ask the librarian at the desk for help and for recommendations.

When my Mother went back to university when I was a preteen, I was allowed into the library to sit next to her a color and read (yes, I was one of those children)!
For her to find the book she needed, she had to queue up to read the Dewey Decimal Classification books, which I have a photo from my module last year!

She had to know which topic she was looking for, what sub class it was and the ISBN.
Full disclosure: my Mum worked 3 jobs and raised me when mobile phones and laptops were a luxury, you could say she was a hard-worker!
She would look in the DDC and figure out the floor and stack she needed to go to.
I am very happy that I went to the same university nearly 10 years later…. when they had the OPAC and guided library tours that could help little first years who were lost.

Each library is different and the technological advances do tend to be *slightly* behind on the times, but its good to know that if the machines take over the world, there are some places that have original library techniques to guide us through!



Job Hunting and Application Forms – UGH!

My contract is coming to an end in the public library for which I work now.

It is sad, but I think that I have earned a lot a great skills and I can show them off on my CV (which I really should put up on here but I have to figure it out….)

You have found your dream job, you think you have the skill set required and your resume is the best one in the world……. but what about the cover letter?

I have this DOWN! I can sell my self to the best companies in the world right about now, but it hasn’t always been that way.

Application forms are awful, I do not care what any HR person says, they are so annoying and long and really make you drink a bottle of wine after you questions everything you have done with your and you amount to nothing! *insert silly meme here* Did you ever stop to wonder….. maybe they are hard for a reason? I take 2 days to fill out application forms that I want for a great job. Here are the steps I take:

1. Is there a save for later button? Great! I will be using that, a lot.
2. Is there a list of skills and/or desired criteria they are looking for? CTRL + C and CTRL + V that into the application questions section or a Google Doc.
3. Word vomit. Write my heart out. This is an amazing job yes, but you need to prove that you are an amazing as it. *Do not quote Whitney Houston “The Greatest Love of All”, I did this at 2am and read it back the next day, see? Save button!*
4. Now you have done that, reword the job description, synonymous all over the place!
5. Proof reader, someone besides you. Little things like “its” instead of “it’s” will be seen and you will be so happy you didn’t send it.
7. Sleep on it.
8. Now attack it will all your energy, envision yourself as that librarian in that science institute/teacher in that school/insert awesome job title to you here.
9. Read it over again.
10. Send it.

Applications can be easy, depending on which site you are using.

Cover letters are a bit more complicated….. And I find it more fun! *glutton for punishment*
No matter what profession you want you will have to use a computer, the internet and email.
You will have to send letters to people and show you know how the layout of a letter is supposed to be. Your cover letter is proving you can do this. Here is what I do:

1. Write out the correct layout for it, here is a link to a Google Doc I made as an example: Please do not leave the items in bold in that font settings, that is to show you!
2. Date it correctly, again I take 2 days to write one.
3. Again, copy and paste the job description and reword it.
4. Write about aspects of your CV which are tailored for this role, you are trying to sell yourself!
5. Proof reader, again to someone who will be honest and change the odd spelling mistake.
7. Sleep on it.
8. Read what you have written and see if it flows nicely, make sure you only have three paragraphs which speak about how you are well suited to the roll, make the fourth one about how the company is great and you would love to work with them.
9. Read it over again.
10. Send it.

I am aware of the repeating of the steps I have detailed, but I honestly do this EVERY-TIME I am applying for jobs.

Please let me know if you are liking the direction that my blog is going in, I am really enjoying writing about my experiences, hopefully they will help some other MLISers out there!

Transcribing Cringe-worthiness

Getting permission for interviews for your dissertation can be tough, depending on your topic.

I have been lucky enough to have positive answers from most of the academics I have contacted, all virtually. But of course, the reference interview needs to be recorded for checks required by your supervisor (or else who would believe what your wrote)?!

I have conducted three interviews in person and two via phone thus far for my research. Oh boy! It can be difficult to transcribe if the conversation goes over 10 minutes long.

Transcribing is so cringe-worthy the first few times! I hate hearing my voice on a recording and I have a nervous laugh which seems to be amplified by having a professional academic setting.

Here are the times it has taken me to transcribe my interviews:

First Interview – In Person – Time of Recording 22mins – Writing time 1hr 20mins
Second Interview – In Person – Time of Recording 15mins – Writing time 1hr 5mins
Third Interview – In Person – Time of Recording 26 mins – Writing time 1hr 45mins
Fourth Interview – Via Telephone – Time of Recording 18mins – Writing time 1hr 15mins
Five Interview – Via Telephone – Time of Recording 19 mins – Writing time 1hr 30mins

Shocked? Well if you haven’t conducted research before, and are about to, you are probably freaking out!

Here are my tips for getting through those first few interviews:

In Person:
Be early, this is obvious but when you are meeting someone for the first time for help with your research, you should really be early. They are taking time out of their working day to help you out. Showing up late is perceived as you really do not care about their opinion and do not respect them.
Plan it in advanced. Do not turn up to the place you are trying to catch people for and expect them to drop everything for you.
Confirm it with an email, yes the answered the phone and said they would, you need that email in your appendix.
Record it, if you have their permission. Always ask their permission at the beginning, so it can be recorded proof they said okay.

Via Phone:
Check your equipment! Make sure you have a test run, ask a friend or co worker to pretend they are being interviewed for a few minutes to let you check you can record whats going on. It can be nerve wrecking enough without the recording not coming out!
Ring at the time you should you would, no earlier or no later! Imagine if you are the person being interviewed. (Showing up too early for an interview in person it great, too early on a phone…. you are going to eat into their work time and annoy them).
Smile when you are talking to them, people can hear that.

Via Skype:
This is a difficult, you have to test this too. I have to use a laptop for the Skype application itself and my iPhone to record it. (I find it best to rest it on the keyboard, that way you can see it and you won’t start typing and annoying people).
WEAR PROFESSIONAL CLOTHING! (Yes, all the way down to your feet). It will make you feel more confident and you can take on the world!
Guys – gel or style your hair.
Girls – tie your hair back, you will play with it otherwise.
CHECK THE BACKGROUND! You don’t want a professor you admire seeing your posters above your bed or that weird stain on the wall behind you. Ensure it looks okay.
Do you live with people? Give them advance notice you are going to do this. You will need them to be quiet, or just ask them to go get some coffee?! (PAY FOR THE COFFEE)!
I am going to be conducting Skype interviews to some people from the States, so do the math and check the time zones. If it is 6am for you and it is their lunch break, get up at 5am so you know what you are going to say. Nothing it worse that yawning when someone is talking, it looks like you don’t care.

For all of these interviews:
Phones and digital devices on do not disturb, not silent, believe me I have done this and it did not go down well.
You are not grilling anyone, you are just asking their opinion on a topic, so be friendly and like them speak at length at about what they want to talk about.
Treat it like a normal conversation, do not be too strict with your questions.
Oh yeah, write your questions down! I use this great app called MicNote ( it’s free and it records the conversations perfectly.
It is free up to 10 recordings, and it only records for 10 mintues, so be careful and keep an eye on this. (I am going to buy the professional version when my trial runs out, its only £5.99).

Most importantly when it comes to research for dissertation, thesis, PhD, whatever level you are at…… Keep in contact with your supervisor. You need to have the channel of communication open. In the worst case, you need to have proof you attempted to keep that channel open. I am lucky to have an ace supervisor who answers my questions with yes or no and will elaborate if asked, and even meet up in person.

You are earning a piece of paper which shows how much hard work you did to achieve it, you are showing an employer that you used all of the skills mentioned above to reach the end-goal…… GRADUATION AND A PARTY!