Tuesday 25 April 2023

Cartooning the LILAC Conference 2023 by Clare Trowell, Marshall Librarian

 I was thrilled to participate in LILAC 2023, hosted by us here at University of Cambridge last week. I relished the opportunity to share all the work Clair Castle and I have put into 'Cartooning the Libraries' over the last few years and we really enjoyed running our workshop on the first day of LILAC: "Cartooning the Library: why and how to use Applied Comics for Information Literacy!". We were oversubscribed but, even with a packed room of 50 participants, we managed to whizz through a little theory before giving everyone a good 40 minutes to think of an IL subject to cartoon in groups of 6-7.

 We even had a brief period where everyone could view the amazing Comics participants produced and we managed to get some feedback on our Cartooning Postcards to feed into our research into the impact of using Applied Comics for Information Literacy. 

We were encouraged to decorate our LILAC delegate badges, so, of course, Clair and I cartooned ourselves onto ours

Here are a couple of our favourite outputs - a digital comic by James Clay

He even cartooned us digitally:

Comic about ChatGPT by Holly, Stephanie, Karin, Susan, LC and Philippa:

A terrifically angst-ridden and sketchy library comic [anon]:

Here is a some of the feedback we got, which we are now analysing:

All in all we got great verbal feedback from people who attended and they had had a lot of fun. We felt we did not really have enough time for the workshop and we would like to run it again, perhaps via Librarians in Training for Cambridge Librarians - Watch this space!

I was also absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for the Ross Todd Journal of Information Literacy Award for my Project Report on Cartooning the Libraries, published in 2021. I did not win the award but I am still honoured to have been considered.

It was also a great honour to be the local Information Literacy Award Judge for LILAC23, along with Dina Martzoukou (Aberdeen) and Katie Wise (Berkshire NHS Trust) and the award went to Louise Speakman for her innovative project, "Systematic Review Conversations":

We, the judges, commented, "This work presents an important initiative for tackling the development of health information literacy. The 'Systematic Review Conversations' programme provides a key communication channel for sharing expertise with an external audience, and several successful events have formed part of the initiative. Opening the material to a wider audience via the YouTube Channel provides a needed accessible route to learning about the process of searching, evaluating and synthesising health information for the purposes of informed decision making for all, breaking the barriers of institutional silos and opening a route to online sharing and collaboration. We are looking forward to how this programme progresses in the future."

Well done Louise!

It was also great to be giving the award at the Zoology Museum at the networking evening in the shadow of the great whale skeleton, along with an awe-inspiring opportunity to look at the museum after hours and all its fascinating exhibits. 

I also enjoyed the rest of the conference as an attendee, where I was inspired by some of the great and wonderful ideas and information literacy teaching that is going on everywhere. There was even a session on how easy it could be to create and broadcast podcasts - great fun but I don't think that will ever be in my skillset. I do think I may listen in to "Copyright Waffle" or other offerings on pedagogy as a development activity. 

Generally, the themes of LILAC23 were around critical librarianship, as well as accessibility, diversity, equality and inclusion. We had a great keynote from the young professionals panel looking at how institutional and professional differences in the perceived value of information literacy, perceptions of librarians' teaching roles and how access to training, technology and resources can create barriers to involvement in IL instruction. There was an interesting and wide-ranging discussion about racism, ableism and how other forms of cultural oppression affect our field. Maria King, who is the subject librarian for Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier, gave the second keynote presentation and explored how accessiblity affects libraries and education. There was quite a bit of surprise in the room when she explained that we should be using identity-first language e.g. 'autistic person' rather than 'person with autism'. She also talked about the deficit model and the fact that we should not diminish groups with specific needs by emphasising it is good for everyone. I really felt I learned a lot from this keynote.

However, the final keynote on the last day, given by Regina Everitt, was everything a keynote should be - totally inspiring. Regina is Assistant Chief Operating Officer and Director of Library, Archives and Learning Services at University of East London. Her Keynote address was called, "Pivot ponderings: musings about one library's role in supporting tech-enhanced learning." Regina talked us through her experience of navigating the library service through the various Covid pandemic lockdowns we all experienced and she really interrogated the thinking behind online services versus hybrid and dual delivery - and all the pitfalls therein with trying to deliver effective blended learning for a diverse population. It really made me think and reflect about what we all went through with the added experience of dealing with the very particular student population Regina manages, focused on careers-first. There were clearly many differences from my experiences here at Cambridge, but also many points of recognition with the difficulty in navigating this period and an encouragement to reflect on this has and will continue to influence my pedagogical approaches going forward.

All in all there were so many great lectures and workshops and I cannot flag them all but I would like to give a mention to the paper, "The information practices of the homeless" by Andy Lacey, who reported on his qualitative research project with Spires Homeless Centre, London as a site of homeless information practice and information literacy education, based on his MA dissertation at UCL. This paper really made you think about how even learning and getting information can be privilege-laden in our context of HE and how issues such as trust can have a serious impact on what information might be available to you. 

In conclusion I had a great time, especially at the conference dinner (great food), in great company and I learned so much about my own IL practice and those of the wider LILAC community. Can't wait for next year.

Thursday 3 November 2022

Tracking your borrowing activity using My Library Account in iDiscover

 At the start of every month you should receive a BORROWING ACTIVITY SUMMARY email. It should look something like this:

This is nothing to worry about - it is simply a reminder to let you know which books you have out on loan. Although the email shows a due date for the book all your loans will automatically renew and you can keep the books for as long as you need to. Either until you have finished reading them or until the book is requested to be recalled by another reader.

Do be sure to bring the book back if this happens. We do not fine you any longer but you could find yourself blocked from borrowing if you do not bring the book back when you are requested to do so.

Did you know you can also check your library account via My Library Account in iDiscover. Just go to iDisc

over and login by clicking the link at the top right hand side of the screen:

When you click on this you will see this box come up
Click on the top box, which says Current staff and students of University of Cambridge select to Login via Raven. If you have not already logged in with your crsid and password you will prompted to do so at this point. Once you are logged into iDiscover you can access My Library Account via the dropdown menu next to your name (top right hand of screen):
Click on My Library Account to open up your record and you should see something like this:

 You can, of course, check this at any time convenient to you.

Friday 30 September 2022

Welcome to the Marshall Library of Economics

 If you are a new student, or a returning student who is unfamiliar with our beautiful library, you might want to book a tour and meet us over the next couple of weeks. There are various time-slots available but places are limited. Click here to Book a Tour of the Marshall Library

Alternatively you can watch our one minute video tour here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5AEaABou0A

Everything you need to know about Cambridge Libraries online services, including how to search our catalogue iDiscover can be found on the Library Essentials Libguide. There is a Quick start introductory guide to iDiscover too, which you will have received via your Economics or Development Studies Induction or via your student Moodle page.

We have a Marshall Library Comic to introduce the friendly library team and let you know about our many services, including Click & Collect for borrowing and how to access our live financial data terminals Bloomberg & EIKON: https://www.marshall.econ.cam.ac.uk/contactus/eikon-bloomberg-booking-form

JASPER, Marshall Library mascot, the #EconomicsCat with our Bloomberg Terminal

We look forward to meeting you soon

Look out for our famous Tea with Jasper events later in Michaelmas Term too:

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Writing in the margins: Mary Paley Marshall on International Women's Day 2022

 Mary Paley Marshall was Alfred Marshall's wife and the founder of the Marshall Library of Economics, after Alfred's death in 1924. She was the first female librarian and an accomplished economist and scholar in her own right. 

In 1871 Mary was one of the first 5 women admitted to Newnham College, where she spent 3 years studying for the Moral Sciences Tripos. Mary and a fellow student, Amy Bulley, were the first women to be allowed to take the men's Tripos. Even though Mary passed all her exams, as a woman, she was not permitted to graduate. Nevertheless she was invited to become the first woman lecturer in Economics at the University of Cambridge and she soon took over the teaching from her former teacher, Alfred Marshall.

In 1876 Mary and Alfred became engaged and they were married the following year. Due to limitations on marriage for Cambridge Dons at that time Mary and Alfred relocated to Bristol, where Alfred was offered a post. Together Mary and Alfred wrote the Economics of Industry, which was published in 1879 under both their names. The book was highly rated by John Maynard Keynes and other leading Economists of the day. Alfred, however, disliked the book and allowed it to go out of print. There was no evident protest from Mary about this. Later Alfred's own seminal work, Principles of Economics, was published in 1890 under Alfred's sole name. However, we are in possession of one of the proof books and we can see how much Mary contributed to the editing of this great work from her handwriting in the margins.

Take a look at a digitised proof book of Principles of Economics in Cambridge Digital Library here:


When Alfred died in 1924 he left many of his books and donated much of his money to the library. Mary acted as volunteer librarian and looked after the collection for nearly 20 years, until she retired at the age of 87.

Throughout her life Mary enjoyed painting and produced a bound volume of watercolours, which was passed to the Marshall Library for safe keeping.

Friday 26 November 2021

Referencing for Economists using the Cambridge Economics Libguide - Jasper's Xmas tip number 12

 If you are new to referencing in Economics take a look at the useful Economics Referencing Guide, which is part of the Economics subject Libguide. The Faculty of Economics recommends the Cite them right Harvard (Author-Date) referencing style, which is explained very clearly in the Economics Referencing Guide.

The Faculty do not mind if you use other referencing systems, as long as you are consistent. However, if you are new to referencing it can be really useful to start with this simple system. On the right hand side of the page you will see some clickable links, which show you exactly how to set out a reference for a particular type of resource

There is also a link to the Cite them right website, which has even more examples, videos and explanations about this Author-Date system.

We hope you have found Jasper's Twelve Christmas Tips really useful - Happy Christmas from Jasper and all the Marshall Library Team!

Libguides to help with Study Skills - Jasper's Xmas tip number 11

 Jasper #EconomicsCat recommends Cambridge Libguides for help with your study skills: https://libguides.cam.ac.uk/skills

The Study Skills Libguide page has everything you might need from Copyright advice, creating a Conference Poster, Good Academic Practice and Avoiding Plagiarism, Reflective Practice through to more specialist advice such as how to do a Systematic Review, Text & Data Mining and Reference Mangement. There are also Reference Management guides for particular software such as Mendeley and Zotero.

This could be really useful over the Christmas Vacation when you may be working on your own independent projects or essays.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Setting your Google Scholar Preferences: Jasper's Xmas tip number 10

Why not just use Google to find information?

Problems with just googling information include not seeing all the information, data and literature available. You need to search in various places to get a good impression of work already done on your topic. Jasper recommends searching for scholarly information on Google Scholar

It is advisable to set your Google Preferences in Settings before you start, to make sure you do not miss out on full text links to Cambridge subscribed electronic resources e.g. journal articles. To do so click on the three lines at the top left of the Google Scholar screen to open up the Google Scholar menu - scroll right to the bottom to Settings

From the Settings Menu go to the Library Links option, third option down the list.

Type "University of Cambridge" into the search box and tick the boxes for 

University of Cambridge - ejournals@cambrigde

Open WorldCat Library Search

Make sure you turn on cookies to retain settings on your devices and then click the blue Save button.

Now when you search Google Scholar if Cambridge has access to the articles that come up you will be able to click straight through for Full Text Access!