Interview with Laura Woods

Ooopsy — been so busy that I didn’t have chance to line up a blog chat for yesterday, so many thanks to Laura Woods for agreeing to be interviewed whilst jetlagged…

Laura, you’re currently studying on the MSc Library and Information Studies at City University, London – how’s that coming along?

Really well – I’ve finished all the coursework now so I’ve “just” got my dissertation to do. Have really enjoyed being a student again this year: I may have to find some kind of evening course to do once I’ve finished my Masters!

You’ve just got back from the US where you’ve been at the SLA 2009 Conference — was this your first time in the States and how was the conference?

I have been to the States once before, but it was when I was little and I don’t remember it all that well! The conference has been fantastic: I actually just got back into Heathrow this morning, so I’m pretty tired and jetlagged right now, but I’m absolutely buzzing with ideas.

Can you remember where and when you first used a web browser?

Must have been in secondary school, in the late 90s. Couldn’t tell you much about it, but I’m sure “using the Internet” was covered in our IT lessons. I do remember not really seeing the point of this Internet thing, since everything was so much slower and more effort than just using a pen and paper! I was a bit of a luddite until a few years ago, to be honest. I’m a complete internet junkie now though, as anyone will tell you!

Do you think libraries and librarians should adopt a cautious approach to new technologies, or should they be rolling up their sleeves and embracing it fully?

That one seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me! I’m very much in favour of diving right in and just experimenting. Actually, that was one of the points that kept coming up at SLA. One of the speakers I heard said something that really resonated with me: the fact that innovation will always increase the amount of apparent failures, because successes often only become apparent in the long term. I also think it’s really important that librarians keep up with new developments, because if we don’t then someone else will and it will harm our profession.

Are you currently using any mash-ups on your course?

Nothing springs to mind. That’s something one of our course leaders is really keen to introduce into the course next year actually, building on feedback she’s had from us this year. Just a shame I won’t be around to benefit from it!

Have you got a favourite mash-up?

I don’t really know to be honest! It’s all a bit of a new area for me. That’s something I’m hoping to get out of Mashed Libraries actually: find out what has been done and what could be tried.

Got a favourite beverage?

Mine’s a gin and tonic!

Laura blogs at and is @woodsiegirl on Twitter.


~ by woodsiegirl on 19/June/2009.

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