With Library Ireland Week 2018 just around the corner (November 26th to December 2nd), Athlone Institute of Technology wishes to acknowledge the vital role libraries, and the staff who man them, play in the civic, social, cultural and academic development of its diverse student body.
Aside from being a conduit for knowledge, the library is also an important community hub around which the rest of the institute revolves.
This year’s theme – Librarians Transforming Lives – Week recognises the impact librarians have in shaping students’ minds and futures through the offering of helpful advice, a sharing of resources and facilities, and the holding of events. The library is a holistic, inclusive and supportive community that empowers students to take ownership of their own learning. This is a sentiment echoed by Institute Librarian, Jane Burns, who, borrowing a phrase from Albert Einstein, said: “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library!”
She continued: “My fellow librarians and I are subject specialists with a wealth of expertise across a broad range of disciplines. If students engage with us, we can help them in their academic endeavours, ensuring that they have the best college experience possible while still safeguarding their future success. We’re friendly, approachable and here to service the needs of our primary stakeholders – the students.”
As this year’s Library Ireland Week will coincide with the Students’ Union’s ‘Less Stress Week’, the library has decided to offer students amnesty on all library fines institute-wide. All students with overdue books are encouraged to return them and make use of this amnesty. There will also be a popup library in the Students’ Union to motivate students to engage with library services.
Commenting ahead of Library Ireland Week kick off, Students’ Union President Oisin Moloughney said: “The library plays an integral role in creating a strong sense of community on campus. We highly commend their amnesty on all library fines for the duration of the event and are looking forward to the pop-up in the Students Union!”
A goal of the events is also to help break down any perceived barriers to students accessing and using the library. It is vital that students see the library as the heart of the institute and make use of its facilities to ensure their academic and personal success. To aid in this endeavour, the library will also be running a series of competitions and games throughout the week to elicit student engagement.
Commenting on the importance of Library Ireland Week, Dr Philip Cohen, President of the LAI said: “This is an annual occasion to showcase – to our peers, funders and users – the many facets of library work. It allows us to celebrate success, to learn from others and to demonstrate how libraries and library staff make a difference every day…I am really looking forward to LIW and I encourage you all to make the most of the opportunities it presents.”
Elsewhere throughout Ireland, public libraries, special libraries, business libraries, health libraries, law libraries, academic libraries, prison libraries and government libraries will celebrate by showcasing their unique resources, running events and engaging in a nationwide social media campaign. Follow the conversation on social media using #LIW2018 and @LAIonline