10 Gifts for Librarians (curated by a librarian)

The other day on Twitter I spotted a link to a list of gifts for librarians. Well of course I clicked through but as often happens I was underwhelmed with the list I found. So I decided to create my own list. I already have a Pinterest board that I pin library related stuff to and I also looked on Etsy, which is my absolute favourite place to look for quirky, unique and handmade gifts. So without further ado….

1. Vintage Library Card Catalogue from Prosser Bros Vintage

ProsserBrosVtg Vintage Library Card CatalogueAnd I mean a real, actual card catalogue. I want one. I want one so bad. If you love the librarian in your life this is what you will get them.

2. A vintage glasses necklace from Vector Cloud

Vector Cloud Vintage Glasses NecklaceVector Cloud don’t have this necklace in their shop at the moment, but you can do what I did and ask Amelia to make a custom necklace for you. I *love* mine.

3. Leather Book Necklace from Nicopapergoods

Nicopapergoods Leather Book NecklaceSwoon!! Have you ever seen anything so lovely? It’s a real actual book, with a lovely leather cover and blank pages inside – as a necklace. Stunning.

4. Love Your Librarian Womens Pullover from Alison Rose

AlisonRose Love Your Librarian Womens Pullover,I want one. That is all. They also do the same motif on a tote bag, a women’s tshirt and a men’s tshirt. But I really love the look of this jumper, as I don’t really wear tshirts.

5. Stitching in the Stacks from Cooperative Press

Stitching in the StacksI’m a knitter and a librarian. This book was written for librarian knitters just like me. The book is available as a print book or a pdf.

6. Embossing stamp from Exlibris

ExLibrisShop Embossing seal or round stampIf you own a book it’s nice to put your name on it, provenance of books is very important as every librarian knows. This stamp allows the recipient to emboss their books with their very own ‘Ex Libris’ seal. Fab! (‘Ex libris’ means ‘From the library of’ in latin. You’ll find it written inside a lot of antiquarian books.)

7. Vintage Inspired ‘From the Library of’ Personalised Self Inking Stamp from Rosso Stamp Co.

RossoStampCo Vintage Inspired From the Library of Personalized Self Inking StampIf you don’t want to shell out for an embossing stamp, why not get an ‘Ex Libris’ ink stamp. There are lots to choose from on Etsy and this one is personalised with the recipient’s name.

8.Library Card Notebooks from Meow Kapow

MeowKapowShopHow about these cute library card notebooks? There are a lot of versions on Etsy but I particularly like these ones because the pages inside are blank.

9. Personalised pencils from Nevina & Thom

NevinaandThom customised pencilsIt’s not nice to write on books in pen (library patrons are you listening!?), so why not get the librarian in your life some personalised pencils. This is also a nice idea for archivists, who also use pencils daily in their work. Myself and a librarian friend got these for our archivist friend and boss and I’m pretty sure she liked them.

10. Old Books Scented Soy Candle Frostbeard Studio

Frostbeard Old Books Scented Soy CandleEvery librarian loves the smell of books. Fact. I think it’s in out genes or something. I haven’t actually smelled these candles but I love the idea of them.

PS. Caroline from Libraries and Labyrinths has also suggested fabulous faux book covers for e-readers from the British Library.

If you have any further suggestions leave them in the comments please.

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Library Association of Ireland Career Development Group Open Day

Phew what a title, and something of a departure from my usual blog posts but I hope you’ll bear with me.

Semester two of my Masters in Library and Information Studies has started back and it’s time to get focused  Focused not just on my classes but also to get focused on getting a job when I finally have to re-enter the real world. With that in mind some of my friends and fellow students and I attended the LAI CDG Open Day. The LAI CDG is the Career Development Group of the Library Association of Ireland. Their Open Day 2013 focused on alternative careers for librarians and information professionals and was a really great event.

2013-02-02 14.03.04The day kicked off with Edel Kelly from INOU (Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed). I hope I won’t be an unemployed librarian for too long once I finish the course, but realistically this is inevitable. Edel explained how the social welfare system works in Ireland and also some of the services available for those looking for work. I was also delighted to find that once we have finished our full time lectures we will be available for work and will hopefully be eligible for social welfare, as well as JobBridge internships if I don’t find work within 3 months.

Next up was Tina Byrne from Arcline, a company that specialises in archives and records management. She explained that librarians with cataloging skills would be very useful to them for many of their projects. These projects can last from 2 weeks to 2 years. From my point of view this kind of project work, while not the ever sought after permanent job, would give me the opportunity to work on a range of projects and with a range of people. She said they were looking in particular for librarians with MARC21, AACR2, LCSH and experince in various LMS. They would also look for an interest in rare books and historical collections as well as those with language skills, particularly Irish . Once classes finish in April I will definitely be contacting Arcline with my CV.

The day ended with a talk from Brian Donovan, the CEO of Eneclann Ltd. He spoke about digitisation, publishing and management of archives. He also referred to the extent of the genealogy market and of making various data sets (e.g. the Petty Courts records) available to the public. He spoke of the importance of digitisation in the coming years in this field. This is an area that I have a particular interest in, as well as the technical background that (I hope) will stand to me when it comes to looking for a job. Although librarians don’t need to be programmers they do need to have a good understanding of what the possibilities of the various systems are, as well as the ability to produce clear specs for projects.

SAMSUNGI have to say that I left Pearse Street Library on a bit of a high. So much of what I heard about resonated with my own personal interests, as well as with my Capstone project on Open Data. The Open Data movement strives to make data sets open to the pubic and giving the public access to these records. It was great to see that there are non-traditional roles for librarians and that there are commercial companies looking for people with these skills sets. It has helped me think about my skill set and how I can position myself when it comes to looking for a job from April. Right now, back to the books. This stuff isn’t going to learn itself.