For our Masters program in Library and Information Studies in University College Dublin, rather than doing individual theses, we are encouraged to undertake Capstone projects; independent group work. Even the mere mention of the words ‘group work’ tend to inspire levels of fear and sweat in the average person. Knowing this was a project that needs to be completed to acquire the Masters degree, as well being a group of people the next nine months would be spent in close contact with, it’s safe to say that it was not an aspect of the degree most of us looked forward to.
And then the light broke from the clouds and shone in my eyes, much like the light from my phone when I got the WhatsApp message asking me to join what would later be known as, Team Sunnydale.
Hanna Bush, Ali Hayes-Brady, Micheál Byrne, Dermot O’Leary, Megan Guthrie and Samantha Lyons, previously seen in ‘Scavenger Hunt where we pretended to be the A-Team and sang about meatballs‘. Dermot and Hanna came together with the concept of creating an institutional repository for the school of Library and Communication studies in UCD, wherein all Capstone projects and theses having been undertaken in the school would be made available as a type of online archive.
Now that the new year and semester are well underway, we have made some significant progress in our project. Using Google Drive to share documents, and email and WhatsApp to communicate, as well as having weekly meetings two hours in length we have managed to accomplish much for the middle of February.
Our Capstone co-ordinator, Amber, has had the pleasure of our company a few times now and our Google Drive has been organised and colour co-ordinated to within an inch of its life with schedules, due dates for assignments, meeting minutes, contracts, and agendas. This planning stage has given us leave to do two things; begin working on the Literature review much earlier than it is both due, and than any of us anticipated, as well as work towards a paper we would like to submit to the LIDA conference in June. I’ll let one of the others expand on the LIDA conference, a brain child of Ali and Hanna, where we will again focus on Institutional Repositories and specifically user and consumer research.
As a first post the intention was to introduce not just what it is we are hoping to accomplish, but us as a group. It’s all well and good to walk out of University with a great degree and two solid recommendations, but as we’re consistently being told, stand out from the crowd and use the internet to your advantage. One of the main issues with Librarian Studies does not come internally, but externally. How we are seen by the general public, which can be rounded up in two questions; ‘You need a Masters degree to do that?’ and ‘Oh, you must read a lot.’
With that in mind I close with the score of our first weekly pub quiz:
17 1/2 out of 20. First place, not too shabby.