National award for Strathclyde Information Science alumna

An alumna of the University of Strathclyde has won a prize awarded by the UK’s professional body for librarians.

Elizabeth Carney, who gained a Masters in Information and Library Studies (ILS) from Strathclyde in 2019, is the joint winner of the 2020 CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Student Prize. The prize is awarded for exceptional achievement in the field of library and information science studies, either in academic achievement, professional potential or support and development of other students.

As well as the £300 CILIP prize, Elizabeth has won two Strathclyde awards. She received the department of Computer and Information Science’s (CIS) ILS prize on her graduation and is to be awarded Strathclyde’s CILIPS student medal later this year. In addition, she won the CILIP Library & Information Research Group’s Student Award in 2020.

Elizabeth Carney

Elizabeth said: “I am honoured to have received the CILIP Student Prize and for my work and dissertation to be recognised in this way. I would like to thank CILIP, the prize judges, and also my lecturers on the course for their support throughout the year and for putting me forward for the award.

"Studying ILS at Strathclyde was a fantastic experience where I learned a lot about the information profession that I will be able to take forward into my career. I also had the opportunity to widen my professional experience and networks through two placements. More than this, there was a real sense of community at Strathclyde, particularly amongst my classmates and lecturers, and I have made connections, friendships, and memories that I will always cherish.”

Elizabeth was nominated for the national award by Dr Diane Pennington, Senior Lecturer in Information Science and ILS Course Director, who commended her for her dissertation on library anxiety in the health library context.

Elizabeth was then invited to submit a 1000-word essay on how she felt her course had enhanced her professional practice in relation to her personal performance, the organisation in which she works and her wider professional context.

Library anxiety refers to feeling scared, overwhelmed, and confused by a library environment. This can occur for many reasons such as the large size of some libraries or a lack of experience of using libraries. Past research has found that library anxiety is prominent amongst university students trying to navigate academic libraries. Having felt this herself as an Undergraduate, Elizabeth was intrigued by the concept and was keen to explore it for her dissertation.

Elizabeth now works for the University of Glasgow Library and CILIPS. She jointly won the CILIP award with Simon Cloudesley, who recently gained a Masters in Library and Information Science from University College London and now works at the Bodleian Library.