Thursday, 26 January 2012

Meet your Academic Services Librarian #3

This term we will do a series of posts introducing you to the members of the Academic Services Team. This time it is the Psychology librarian.

Karl Drinkwater
I'm one of those people who came to Aberystwyth to do a qualification (in my case an MSc in Information and Library Studies) then stayed, because it was easier than trying to catch a train out of the town. That was over thirteen years ago and I have been working as a librarian at Aberystwyth University ever since. My areas of specialism include information literacy (how we find, evaluate and use information); electronic resources; resource discovery systems; social media; and support for international students. I am also the librarian for the Psychology Department. Until recently I worked part-time as an e-learning technologist for JISC RSC Wales too.

As an undergraduate I studied joint honours Classics and English (First Class), both amazing subjects for giving broad overviews of the context for our culture. It saddens me that few universities now teach classics as a separate subject, since it was so interesting to be able to study language, art, architecture, history, literature, drama, poetry, philosophy, all on one course. I specialised in ancient Greek language and culture, since all that Roman history and Latin language was too modern for me.

In June 2011 I was one of the recipients of the Aberystwyth University Learning and Teaching Fellowship. I'm hoping to get my FHEA status in the near future (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a peer-reviewed form of professional recognition - I got my Associate status in 2007).

Kayaking on the Ystwyth

When not working for Aberystwyth University I write fiction: sometimes literary fiction about life and relationships; sometimes fiction about zombies or tentacled aliens wielding chainsaws. It depends on what mood I'm in. My writing blog can be found here. I also love exercise (running, cycling, kayaking, swimming, a bit of yoga); computer games; being in natural places; beings with fur, scales or feathers; and zombies. I have been a vegan for over 20 years. I'll chat with you in Welsh if you speak slowly.

On the way to Ynys Gifftan (the island in the background; Portmeirion beyond)

Also see: a day in the life of a librarian.

Some library-related publications and talks
  • June 2011: Making information skills interesting: gaps, beanbags and congas. Collaborative talk given at WHELF Gregynog Colloquium 2011.
  • April 2011: Working in Academic Libraries - A focus on current professional issues. Talk given as a guest speaker on the topic of how we can support learners by promoting information literacy and using appropriate technologies.
  • Winter 2010: E-book readers: what are librarians to make of them? Article in Sconul Focus.
  • Summer 2010: Mind the GAP - avoiding pitfalls with Good Academic Practice - An attempt to take information skills out of the library. Co-written article in Y Ddolen / Information Wales (51), pp9-11.
  • March 2010: E-books Exchange of Experience Day. I gave two presentations at this Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum event in Cardiff: one on how e-book readers can support students and another on the use of e-books as research and teaching tools in further education colleges.

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