Interview with Brenda Turnbull

Following on from yesterday’s natter with Laura, we’re chatting today with another of the LIS students who’ll be attending “Mash Oop North” — Brenda Turnbull…

Brenda Turnbull

Brenda, you’re currently studying on a MSc Information and Library Management course at Liverpool John Moores University — what first made you want to take that course and what’s LJMU like as a place to study?

I used to be a Systems Analyst but wanted to do something different. I tried teaching adults for a while, then after having my fist child I got a job as a part time library assistant within a public library, I had a couple of different roles whilst there and really enjoyed it. One of the Librarian’s suggested doing the course, Liverpool was the best option as the course could be taken part time and it concentrated on one topic (two if you were full time) for 5 weeks.

I did my first degree in Computer Studies there, so it was great to go back and see how it had all changed.

I’ve really enjoyed studying at LJMU. The staff have been really helpful and it was great that I was able to suspend my studies for a while and then return to exactly where I left off. I thought the Library at Aldham Robarts was really good, but this summer it is being refurbished so it should be even better when I return in September to complete my MSc. Liverpool is such a great place to be, but then I would say that, being a scouser myself!

Does the course include any modules on Web 2.0 or Library 2.0, and are you using any Web 2.0 software as part of the course (e.g. a blog or a wiki)?

The course did not have a module about Web 2.0 or Library 2.0 and when I first started the course in 2006 it wasn’t mentioned at all. However since then elements of Web 2.0 have been included across the curriculum by using blogs, forums and podcasts. We also looked at how Web 2.0 utilities and could be used within libraries.

Here’s a sneaky job interview type question! Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

I’d like to have gained my MSc, possibly even achieved Chartership. I would also like to be using elements of my course that I really enjoyed such as information literacy, knowledge management and information architecture, and combine my past experience of being an analyst/programmer and trainer with my information skills. I’d like to be involved in leading innovative projects using technology to enhance the user experience within the information industry.

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

Yes I think it was not long after we’d got married in 1996. We’d set up the PC in the spare room with the modem, I remember how noisy the modem was.

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

I think we should be getting involved by trying new things and looking how things we do now could be improved or altered by new technologies. I don’t think we can afford to do nothing. My seven year old came home last night telling me all about the Wiki he has set up, he’s already done a blog and they regularly post their home work on the school forum.

I can understand the caution though especially as there are not enough resources available in the current climate to put effort into something that may not work, but how do you know until you try! We can start out small.

Have you got a favourite mash-up?

Yes but I’m afraid it’s food related. It would have to be my husband’s “Tatty hash” – it’s great any time of the year but especially welcomed after being out in the cold.

Got a favourite beverage?

That would have to be tea.


~ by Dave Pattern on 20/June/2009.

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