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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Knowing when to QUIT… reading a book!

There is nothing more frustrating than spending time in your local library or bookshop, finding something that catches your eye, taking it home and diving in….. but hitting your feet off the bottom!

Of course I am not physically jumping into a book like in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (yes I am that old).

I am speaking about trying your hardest to read a book that you just can’t get into, you don’t like the writing style, the plot is boring or simply you do not like! I would try again, and again, to get through a book I had, renew it at the library two or three times to get through it. It was so frustrating and I didn’t want to read at all, which of course is not a place I want to be!

I was watching my BookTube videos and it was in the comments that I saw some had decided to have an “100 page rule”. This was very interesting to me, especially since I was only reading library books to help my budget (I was just finished my undergraduate degree and wanted to buy a new car) and my TBR shelf/pile was getting out of control.

So I did it! I decided if a book was too tiresome or a chore that I would not read past 100 pages.

It freed me.

I gave away the books I couldn’t get through to charity (after giving them another chance of course) and found myself falling in love with reading again. Gone were the days of dragging a book around from place to place in the house that I felt I would never finish! It closed in on my TBR and my library books were making it back without needing to renew.

I was able to look up recommendations and discovered the Young Adult (YA) genre of books, which blew my mind.

I went deeper and had a phase of dystopian fiction where I read all the trilogy of “The Hunger Games” in a fortnight.

The little girl who would get the maximum of books from the library and read them all, even though I was not doing as such, was back… well her giddiness and appetite for reading was back.

It is hard, I am not going to deny this, I was reading what I thought I would love and be fantastic, “Armanda” by Ernest Cline. (His first book is amazing, honestly I have read it three times, and I thought I would love this one too, it’s called “Ready Player One.” Check it out at your local library)!

And… it didn’t live up to my high exceptions. It is well written, the plot makes sense, the “in” jokes for geeky games and film buffs were there, but I guess what was going to happen!!!

It was too much like a film I had seen and it was driving me up the wall. I renewed the book three times and have had it for 2 months from my local library. Last weekend I said, at page 96, that was that. I might come back to it someday, but I just couldn’t do it, and that’s okay. This doesn’t mean I hate it, or it is written badly, I just didn’t want to read it right now.

Instead I went to my TBR shelf and picked up “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. I read this in a week! 🙂

Again, I guessed the ending, but the emotions poured out of the page and I teared up a little towards the end.

It is about a a posh, upper class family, who holiday on an island every summer.

There is an accident, that the main character, Cady, is involved in, but we don’t know what it is until the very end.

She has a brain injury so she can only remember very small bits of information, and we get to see her put the pieces back together while she heals and learns how to deal with the outcome of her memories coming back.

It is fantastic. Some parts feel like you are reading her thoughts and other parts you are not sure if it is a memory of a reflection or a poem!

I would highly recommend it for someone who is looking for a book to read on holidays, as it is 242 pages and it doesn’t involve a lot of thinking, great for the commute!

So ditched that book that has been lurking in your handbag that you can’t get your mind around, pick up something else and give it 100 pages, if it catches your interest you won’t even see the page numbers fly by!

I hope you are all having a great week so far!

If you have any questions or any suggestions for books for me to read, please comment or contact me on all the socials.

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

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

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

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.
6. READ THE JOB APPLICATION AGAIN.
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: hope.ly/1vPw0bi 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.
6. READ THE JOB APPLICATION AGAIN.
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!

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?????

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.

Education VS Experience

Many colleagues that I have had the pleasure of working with, are not qualified in the area of Librarianship. It goes without saying that these workers are fantastic at their job and I hope I could be comparable at some stage of my career, but it poses the question, does experience out weight the education?

I have worked a lot of different types of jobs, which on one hand makes me desirable. I have the skills sets needed to work with the public, but what type of public is that?

I worked as a “Deli Girl” for most of my undergraduate, graduated and waiting-for-my-postgraduate-to-start years. It was in my local supermarket and I really had no idea what I was doing at the start. I had worked in a deli previously but it took a bit of adjusting. I was given the easy tasks at first, then all of a sudden; I could close up on my own and had enough hours to fund a car. I left my steady job a few times (as most of my peers before me) and they took me back. They understood I wanted to grow and learn different skills, and never judged me for it.

I am forever grateful for my deli job, it showed I could have a work life balance to employers in career style roles.

I have a few younger family members and *fabulous* friends who are currently beginning their third level education. What they all seem to think is that the piece of paper will be worth it in the end, and they will get the “dream” job.

If only that is how life works.

I have friends who have graduated and who have gone through college/university without working, in any sector. At the time when I was in my undergrad, I was jealous. Looking at their CVs now… I feel sorry for them.

My generation is going through what seems to be a never-ending-circle of “experienced qualified employees needed” (but we do not want to give you any experience). Some people have to work in a sector that is not reflective of their studies, to LIVE.

They obviously would love to work in the sector they are qualified in, but love doesn’t always pay the bills.

When it comes to the Education VS Experience debate, I am truely on the fence. I am one of the lucky ones that had time to volunteer to gain experience and work in the deli. A graduate in any discipline could come out of university with 1:1, has never worked with the public and has no social skills. Each graduate is different, each person is different.

Employers are going to have to start making changes, they need to at least give people a chance to prove themselves.

Do your best, be nice, and you will get there.