Book Week Scotland 2015

This week is Book Week Scotland, which is a great event that is held in all book shops, libraries and wherever you might find books.

I have tried to promote the week at the FE I currently work at, which wasn’t really a hit, but I created a display!

Then I began to think, when I was in my “academic years”, from secondary to university to post graduate study, did I read for pleasure very often? I did, but not as much as I would have liked.

I was lucky enough to have friends in my undergraduate university that I had had from the age of 12, and who were also fellow bookworms, but we were the minority of our class. We liked to read for a past time and gave each other book recommendations, went to book stores together, even, loaning books to one another. We have that level of friendship! (Yes, I am a lucky girl)!

We are all working now, lawyers, doctors, accountants, executive assistants, library assistants…. And it seems that not all of us read for pleasure anymore?

I suppose our working week has made us tried, we stare at screens all day and we just wanted to relax when we get home or on our commute by listening to music, binge watching a TV show or checking on our Facebook feed.

Can that really replace a book? Have we exchanged the feel and touch of a hard or paperback cover for the cold small communication device that we all keep in contact with one another now we are on different parts of the globe?

I recently took part in a “Social Media Diary” as a research participant, which has made me reflect on my online usage immensely.

For 7 days I had to write down (on a Google Doc, so not even on paper) when I logged into my social media accounts, what I saw and how I felt about it.

After a day or two I noticed that I check my Facebook the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, which shocked me.

I began to use my phone less, and read in bed more, listen to Podcasts more regularly (I highly recommend the The Penguin Podcasts, very very interesting) and I picked up a book from my TBR shelf!

I picked up a Stephen King I bought in September called “Revival” and I am hooked. I read a lot of King’s works when I was a teenager, I loved being shocked, scared and sometimes terrified at the way he could make me feel about the characters inside his pages. I also loved the looks on my teachers faces when they saw what I was reading when I had the chance.

I suppose, in the profession that I am currently in, I need to have the passion for books that I had from an early age, that my friends did as well. Bookworms 4eva! I am lucky I can go through out fiction section and borrow a book and have the time to pick something  I know I will like, and have the time on my lunch break to relax and read what I want to read.

Not everyone is as lucky, but we should encourage others to try and fit in some time for reading, for fun.

You too can be a bookworm, it is more fun that is sounds!

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

If there are any topics you would like to write on, please feel free to leave a comment 🙂










Jade Justice – BMus & MSc Library and Information Studies!!!!

I haven’t written on here for a while!

So… I graduated 🙂 I have my MLIS!

I am not going to say it was easy and it didn’t stress me out, I cried, I laughed, I asked for help, I got my friends to proofread and I passed!

I can officially say I have a masters and that I can be a librarian, one day.

For now, after being in academia for 7 years, I have decided I am going to live my life and be happy, read more, laugh more, love more and make new memories! HAVE A LIFE!

There is a picture of me in my cap and gown with my degree, very happy with my other half, Aaron.

I have started to edit and create my content for my YouTube channel, which I am very very very nervous to upload, so it will probably take me a lot longer to upload it to the internet for everyone to see….

Hope you are having a great summer, congrats to all of the GCSE’s/A Levels/Leaving and Junior Cert results students and people who are going on any other type of journey! 🙂

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


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

The need for less usage of the Internet (for things we used to be able to do)

The irony of this title does not escape me. I am writing on the internet about how we should all use the internet less!

Statistics show that 36 hours 49 minutes is spent by each adult per month online, which is an increase from the previous figures by over 6 hours a month (Ofcom, March 2014).

My partner is always saying to me, “You use your iPhone too much! I am right here in front of you, talk to me!”

When I walk up in the morning, I use the alarm from my iPhone (and hit snooze far too many times) to summon me from my epic dreams and bring on the harsh reality I need to get up now. I am not a morning person. The second thing I do is check my texts and emails, followed by my newsfeed on Facebook. I have ran 4 apps, 3 which use the internet before I have even dragged myself out of bed and had a shower.

I live in a different country to my parents, so I do like to know everything is okay once in a while by using social networking sites, emails and messaging apps. My
childhood friends are also in regular contact with me through the same apps. I
have a lack of friends over here, in comparison to Ireland, and I really do
think it is because I do not connect with people as much when I have the
magically machine in my hand. The thing that annoys me the most is that I can
actually have a book I want to read on my lap, open ready to devour, and my
phone beeps. I check it, reply, like, share or what I see fit and then… It has been at least 30 minutes and I haven’t even got through a chapter.

I have made friends with people by discussing topics in cafés and have met up a few times in person and it has been great. Since I have had a Facebook, we have the initial talk in the café then “Add me!” chat which had lead to a lack of a follow up
conversation IRL (in real life) and the human connection that I know if I do have not, I get very down.

A few weeks ago, the internet at the library I work at was down due to back weather (it was awful)!

Patrons were frustrated and the library has been pulled back into “15 years ago!” as one user put it. Has it been that long since it was open access to all to the magic machine that if you know how to work it can answer all your questions? Note how I wrote, if you know how to work it correctly, as it really is difficult for new comers to the technology of today to grasp how to use some operating systems and gadgets.

Where I work, and I presume in most modern libraries, when the network crashes, none of the user access computers work. No one can log on to even create a work document. Staff are also in this difficult situation all their appointments and to do lists are in the calendar in their email account that they are locked out of. This is problem for modern day offices, there is not way around it as a lot of the work we do is collaborative and on cloud systems. I have to admit I do like the library this way, it is like my childhood before they put in that one PC in the corner you had to book a week in advance. Patrons were reading book and looking through the stacks.

It was not a slow day in the library whatsoever! Regular users were browsing the stacks and picking up items to read! The micro-film machines were all in use and the questions were all based on the stock we had there and then and the patience for the search were increased. It was really a breathe of fresh air as a MLIS student (aiming to get my dissertation in by January 2015, thus the lack of consistency of posts) to see that everything we had been taught was really geared towards the new digital library and the usage of the internet as a tool for learning, and not just cat videos and sending silly messages about cat videos to one another.

There is a way around the usage of internet in social aspect. I like calling people, I always have. I am chatty, no one will debate on that one. I have turned my conversations with people into threads online and emojis I think fit the topic. I have reduced our friendships to text on screens and alert tones from iPhones.

I have a call plan for 5,000 minutes a month. I rarely use 100.

I need to change that.

Working with the public

When I applied to Library School last year, I was adamant that I was going to work in an Academic Library within the Arts Department. I did not care what University or Institution is was going to be, as long as I ended up there. I was leaving my car, dogs, extremely supportive; family, boyfriend and friends in Ireland to hop on a plane and go to a country I had never been to.

Here I am, a year later in my first paid library assistant role, and I am in a City Public Library.

Upon reflection, I have always enjoyed working with the public. I have been in part-time or full-time roles in the customer service sector since the age of 16 (with breaks here and there for study purposes, thank you parents)!

I did not know that my skill sets were really geared towards a public library setting, until I was given the fantastic opportunity to work as a Summer Relief Library Assistant. If you had told me a year ago that I would be working where I am, I would have told that I would never do that!

Returning to full-time education after a two-year gap (I graduated in 2011 from U.C.C with my BMus, and went back for my MLIS in 2013) has humbled that little stubborn, fresh-faced, ‘driven’, 20-something girl and has really turned me into an independent woman who can actually do this.

It was really a confidence issue with me, I did not think I would be able to handle the vast types of information enquiries that are thrown at you every day. For example, the KPI’s can be questions on the local voters role, researching family history, how to correctly send away a CV for a job and then… and only then will I consider the traditional “stacking the shelves” that I was constantly told that I was getting a Post Graduate degree in. (And also, the “You need a degree for that?”)

I will share a story with you from my job this week, which has actually help me establish that I want to work within the Public Libraries Sector for the rest of my career.

I had signed up a new library patron who did not have much English a few weeks previous. They arrived in upset and asking for help, as they had been kicked out and had been homeless for a few days. I was a bit overwhelmed at the challenge and asked for help from other L.A’s and Librarians to cover the desk for me. After a few internet searches and Google Translate, I was able to help the patron fill out a form they needed to submit for emergency housing. They left with a smile on their face and being positive, which is all I could ask for. I went out for my lunch date with my partner and came back for a research meeting (off the clock) with a colleague in the department I worked with. As I was leaving, the patron had bought me roses and left them for me.

This made me feel very conflicted. The gesture meant so much to them, due to their cultural background, and I have never been given flowers from someone apart from my parents. (I checked with management and due to the gift being under £10.00 I was able to accept them).

Every time I think about them, I smile.

They are in my flat (which I have been living in for 3 months) next to my pet fish in the kitchen and…. I am really grateful for it.

It has made me realise, when I am trying to help people every day, no matter where they are from and what that information need is, I am making a difference.

I am in the right profession, and I am helping people. Not in a “I am soooooooooooo great so I am”, but as a simple fact. I can do my job. I can do it well, and I love it!