Speaker Biographies 2018

Morning Keynote:

Vicky Grant, Head of Library Learning Services, University of Sheffield

I am Head of Library Learning Services at the University of Sheffield and have recently led a participatory action research project to co-construct a model, framework and offer for information and digital literacy at the University. I have a specialist interest in the relationship between knowledge and power and the transformative potential of knowing in action. This has developed during my PhD research on health literacy which, under the supervision of Professor Brendan Stone, Deputy Vice President for Education at the University, is working with appreciative and collaborative approaches to patient empowerment, based on first person illness narratives and re-constructionist and anticipatory methodologies for change. I am a fully qualified teacher having successfully completed a MEd in Higher Education in 2011. However, my interest in libraries as sites of transformational learning remains central to my work and at the heart of my professional identity as a librarian, educator and facilitator of transformative change.


Afternoon Keynote:

Alan Carbery, Head of Academic Technology & Communication, Boole Library, University College Cork 

Alan Carbery is the Head of Academic Technology & Communication in UCC Library, where he oversees efforts to develop new technology-rich learning spaces and opportunities within the library. Alan has recently returned home to Ireland having spent over 5 years as the Associate Director of Champlain College Library in Vermont, USA, leading an award-winning programme of course-embedded information literacy instruction that reached every single undergraduate student at multiple points along their curriculum. Prior to his time in America, Alan worked in Waterford IT library and contributed to embedding instruction within the nursing and engineering courses.

Lightning Talks:

Kathy Bradley, Co-ordinator, Skills Centre, University College Cork

Kathy works in the UCC Skills Centre providing learning skills workshops for students. This allows the students to focus on their chosen area and engage critical thinking skills that underpin educational growth. Kathy returned to education as a mature student and has completed a BCL, and received the RDJ scholarship for an LLM.

Karina Curley, Student Learning Officer, Student Support & Development Service, Dublin  City University

Karina holds an MA in Adult and Community Education. She spent many years working in different educational settings including second level, special education, further and community education before joining DCU as a Student Learning Officer in 2010.  With her extensive experience working in Ireland and Africa, Karina is passionate about promoting social inclusion in education.  

Victoria Smyth, Humanities and Social Science Librarian, Dublin City University

Victoria is one of two subject librarians for the humanities in DCU. She gained an MSc in Information and library studies (RGU) in 2005 and has worked previously in the libraries of Trinity College and the Oireachtas, eventually landing in the library of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra in 2011.   

Dr Mike Wride, Academic Developer, Trinity College Dublin

Mike is currently working as an Academic Developer in the Centre for Academic Practice and eLearning (CAPSL). His current research interests are in philosophy of science education and creativity in teaching and learning and he is an adjunct Prof in Zoology at TCD. He holds a PhD in Physiology from the University of Alberta, Canada (1996) and in 2014 completed his MEd in Higher Education Teaching & Learning at TCD, through the School of Education.

Dr  Paul Flynn, Lecturer & Programme Manager TechInnovate, Director MSc in
TechInnovation, College of Engineering & Informatics, National University of Ireland Galway

Paul graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with BEng in Civil Engineering in 2001, and worked in the construction industry for almost a decade as a design engineer and project manager. Clients included IBM, Geodis and Mercedes-Benz. In 2006, Paul pivoted and began teaching mathematics at second level, and subsequently graduated from DCU in 2012 with a BA in English and History (first in class). Upon completion of a Professional Diploma in Education at NUI Galway (with first class honours), Paul then went on to complete a PhD in Education in 2016, also at NUI Galway. He is interested in the application of learning sciences through design thinking and new learning environments, and was attracted to the immersive nature of the TechInnovate programme, in particular the opportunity to identify and critically analyse potential new products and business opportunities in the agriculture domain.

Sinead Keogh, Librarian, Digital Services, University of Limerick

Sinéad has worked in the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick since 2006. Following roles in subject and research support, she now works in the Technical and Digital Services Department. As the Digital Services librarian, she manages the UL Institutional Repository (ULIR) and, more recently, the digitisation unit and UL digital library. This role has allowed her to work with academics and researchers engaged in different aspects of digital humanities, supporting their teaching and research activities. She is very interested in digital skills improvement and has worked on several projects to develop resources for this purpose. Sinéad holds master’s degrees in Molecular Cell Biology (NUIM) and Library and Information Science (UCD).

Kirsten Mulrennan, Archivist for Engagement, Exhibition and Outreach, University of Limerick

Dr Kirsten Mulrennan joined the Special Collections and Archives Department in the Glucksman Library in May 2018. She is responsible for outreach, exhibitions, teaching, as well as student and staff engagement. Kirsten is especially interested in embedding a range of both soft and specialised archive research skills into the university curriculum, including an understanding of the archival process, the effective identification of sources, handling and palaeography, qualitative research methods, critical thinking, archival ethics, and digital humanities.

Kirsten holds a BA in English and History from UL, and an MA in Archives and Records Management from UCD. In 2013, she graduated with Ireland’s first PhD in Archivistics, entitled ‘Issues in archiving historic medical records in Ireland’. Her career has encompassed both professional practice and academia. She has worked as an archivist in a variety of services, including the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (now UCD Digital Library), the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, the Military Archives, the National Archives, and ESB Archives. Since 2013, she has also been employed as an occasional lecturer on the archives MA at UCD.

Dr Ciara Breathnach, Lecturer, Department of History, University of Limerick

Dr Ciara Breathnach, FRHistS, is lecturer in history at the University of Limerick. She has published on Irish socio-economic, cultural and health histories. Author of The Congested Districts Board of Ireland, 1891-1923poverty and development in the West of Ireland (Dublin, 2005) and editor/co-editor of seven conference proceedings, she has published articles in Social History of Medicine, Women’s History Review, Urban HistoryMedical Humanities, Cultural and Social History, Gender & History, Social History, Medical History, Irish Historical Studies, Immigrants and MinoritiesHistory of Family: an International Quarterly, the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Historical Research: the Bulletin of the Institute for Historical Research and New Hibernia Review.  She is an Associate Editor of Medical Humanities.

Niall O’Brien, Teaching and Learning Librarian, Maynooth University Library

Niall O’Brien is currently a Teaching and Learning Librarian at Maynooth University Library and has also worked at UCD Library. He has presented at various academic library seminars and was the 2017 recipient of the LIR HEAnet bursary.