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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading….. for fun!!! – “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella

So the last couple of months have been, in Irish slang, MENTAL TED, so I have been lacking on this blog of late.

I am managing to read more, books that I have bought and am excited to read on my daily commute, who would have thought it would have made my TBR shorter to get the bus every weekday?

I am slowly getting used to having time to myself, and my social life, in the evenings and have started to have this thing called….. a life again? Strange, I know.

Last month I finished “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella, I read it in 3 days! I haven’t been that involved in a book, or had the time to be, for going on 2 years that were not academic so I was very excited to read it. 

I really enjoyed the writing style, and the topic was mental health of a teenage girl after intense bullying in her school (which every woman can relate too, teenage girls can be cruel). I have seen on the BookTube land that it is actually not getting the best reviews, due to the main character, Audrey, kissing a boy really quickly after not knowing him that long (even though she has very very bad social anxiety with new people).

In my opinion, I could tell that this book was written by an author who was coming from a place of reflection on the topic, that they had had experiences that they were describing previously in their younger years (as I have had some of these experiences myself) and when you are looking back at hard or good times, you tend to speed it up a little. I am not saying that you would lie or make up certain parts, but it is more of the “cream from the top” style reflection.

Audrey has had her breakdown, she is working towards healing in the book, so you do not see how hard she has worked to become the young woman she turns into, you only meet her in the middle/end of her journey with understanding her own mental health and how she is the only one who can build herself back up again.

I would highly recommend this book for readers of all ages!

I found this book by browsing through the stacks at my local library, so it didn’t cost me a penny to read.

Maybe you could find a book you love at your local library! Go explore the stacks!

Jade x

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

FINALLY!

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:

http://bit.ly/1Ka64hZ

Also here is my FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/UniqueLibrarian

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

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Bye for now!

Jade x

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

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 (http://bit.ly/165Qumt) 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! 

Research Collecting!

Tim Padfield Copyright Flowchart
Tim Padfield Copyright Flowchart

I received 32 FULL responses back from my public online survey last week, I am so happy about this! 🙂

Thank you to everyone who helped me get closer to my MSc in Library and Information Studies.
My dissertation for my MSc is on the topic of music copyright, and the survey is now visited and I have downloaded my data in a lovely looking Excel sheet (and EPIC looking Pie Charts) for my Supervisor for Friday.

When I mention the area to an information professional or library worker, they do tend to make the noise of air flying out of a balloon extremely fast.

The topic is very complex and new rules and regulations are being updated constantly within the library work and laws in the U.K.

The reason I chose this topic was due to my love of the Open Access forum.
I believe everyone should be able to access information for free, on any topic that they are interested in.

BUT!

The person who takes the time and effort to come up with the idea for the paper, research, collect the data and publish it, has gone to huge amount of effort and should be recognized Right??! RIGHT??!! What about musical scores?

Some people, not all please don’t think I am saying everybody does it, think that this pretty musical score is up for the taking. They can photocopy the whole thing and not have to worry about copyright. The composer is dead, so it doesn’t effect anyone and no one gets hurt.

Just think about it, you fall in love with a piece you hear during a seminar or a class you have taken for your BMus/Music degree. You take time out of your day to go and find it in the library, and you take it home. Slowly but surely you manage to learn it and play it whenever the mood strikes. You bring it back to the library and photocopy the whole thing. (This is the, this is not okay part). So…. you stole it. You might not think you did, but that is exactly what you did.
Now you can go on about how you couldn’t afford it, how you really needed it, and how you shouldn’t have to justify it if the photocopier is right there.
If you want to work in field of music, academic, professionally or any other which way and you become a composer or performer who is trying to live off of the craft, future you had just been robbed by past you.

Think before you copy, music is the same as any other discipline, you need to dedicate your time to it.

If you would like to know if the musical score it out of copyright, please see the image, it is a handy guide to ensure you do not steal anything! If this is confusing, why not ask the librarian or library assistants to help you?

Adding some more letters….

My undergraduate degree is from University College Cork in Music. It took four years, but I am so happy to graduated from the same uni as my mum!

I moved to Scotland to attend Robert Gordon University, to add a few more letters after my name. I am currently in the research stage of my MSc Library and Information Studies dissertation and am getting to grips with online surveys.

When completing my undergraduate, I never even thought about doing one. My topic was on music education in primary school children and who different approaches create different outcomes for my children’s over-all education. (So I asked teachers face-to-face about it all)!

It is scary, I felt sick hitting the share button! My topic is music copyright implementation in an academic setting.

I have been working on the survey for far too long, I made it “live” last night and I have to say, I am so happy about the responses so far!

If you are working in the MLIS/Libraries/Information Assistant sector and would like to help me getting more letters, please see the survey here:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1898197/Music-Copyright-in-the-Library-Setting

If you are working, or have previously worked in the area YOU are who I am looking for. All opinions matter, it is important that I capture the positive with the negative so please feel free to give out as much as you like! (It is anonymous)!

I think I should create some hashtag thingy…… ah….. #helpjadegetmsc? *cringe*
Ok… how about… #musiccopyrightMLIS ???? Thoughts? ANYONE?????