Margaret Irons …Founder of

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

Naomi House’s interview with the Founder of, Margaret.

margaretiNaomi:  How did you come to work for (or start)
Margaret: had been on my mind for years. I even bought a domain name many years ago but it just never got off the ground.
Many conversations with my friend Barry and years later it came up again. Barry had successfully gotten up and running and it looked like it was time to get serious about

Barry Gildea is a fantastic web designer and a college friend. He can be contacted via his website here  It seemed like a no-brainer to collaborate on this project after years of discussing it periodically.  So last summer we got around to it again and was softly launched.  I have felt the need for such a site for many years. Ireland is a small country but there was never any one place to find work in libraries.

The advertising of library jobs was and is very erratic. Also any generic jobs sites in Ireland generally don’t have library related roles listed in the drop down menu. And with the downturn in the economy the advertising of jobs in print media seemed to just stop altogether. So it seemed that the job search for graduates was just getting more and more difficult.

There are many job sites for librarians in neighboring UK but no dedicated site in Ireland. So I decided it was time I set one up.
I qualified as a librarian in 2001 and since then I have been both an interviewee and an interviewer. An employee and an employer. I also have had recent graduates and interns working with me and felt that many graduates were at a loss as to where to even begin searching for work.

Working as a member of the committee of the Academic & Special Libraries Section of the Library Association of Ireland was also beneficial. During my six years on the committee I learned a lot about branding and communication. You can read more about that here.

I know it has taken me many years to get this off the ground but it’s finally here and I really hope it is helping to consolidate the search!

We are constantly working on making the site better for the user. So watch this space!

Ann O’Sullivan (colleague & friend) is currently updating and editing the site for me as I am on maternity leave.  Thanks so much to Ann for all her help. Here is a link to Ann’s profile on Linkedin  Hopefully the baby will let me have more time to work on the site again soon!

Naomi:  How can librarians help
Margaret:  Librarians can help by spreading the word.
We are on
Twitter @LibraryJobs

Also if fellow librarians could let us know when jobs are advertised in their home institutions that would be fantastic.  Just drop us an email to

Naomi:  Can you speak a little about your experiences with libraries?  Any favorite libraries or experiences with them?
Margaret:  One of my favorite libraries is probably the library of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. It is a beautiful space and houses collections of major Irish manuscripts, books and pamphlets. I am currently librarian at the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and therefore have a keen interest in the area.

Sadly though I find all libraries to be fantastic. The facility of housing and organizing information for others to use and learn from is brilliant.

I have worked in many different types of libraries over the years from medical to specialist research. All working on the same principles but with very different collections and audiences.

Naomi:  Favorite book(s)?
Margaret:  Wuthering Heights / Emily Bronte  What is it about this classic? If you haven’t read it then just do!  I’m more of a Bronte girl than an Austen fan it seems.  I dreamed of Africa / Kuki Gallman a book I picked up randomly in my public library when I was a teenager.  It’s a touching memoir filled with challenges, pain and much hope for the world we live in. Must read it again!  The book thief / Markus Zusak  Beautifully written and extremely touching. Read it before it comes out on film.

Naomi:  Are there any blogs or websites we should be following?
Margaret:  Libfocus a communal blog with a broad & open-minded take on the subject of library & information management.  Set up a couple of years ago by a couple of bright young things. It is now THE blog to follow in Ireland and soon the world…

Phil Bradley  The man just knows everything about internet searching.  I had the pleasure of working with him when he spoke at our Academic & Special Libraries Section, Annual Seminar a few years ago.

Naomi:  Any job hunting tips
Margaret:  Keep a close eye on of course!

  • Network, network, network. The library community is a very friendly and welcoming place. Go to events and mingle and get to know others. You will get a clearer vision of what is happening in the library world and may also even hear of a job that hasn’t yet made it on to


  • Think outside the box. There may not be so many ‘traditional’ library jobs at the moment but the skills you have learned can be adapted to work in many different roles.


  • Get someone to proof read your CV before you send it to a prospective employer. Update and refresh your CV on a regular basis.


  • Start your own blog. Document your experiences and practice your writing skills.


  • If you’re not on Twitter then join now. It’s a great networking and information sharing tool. You can get to know other librarians on there and get them to look out for jobs for you.


  • Make notes after interviews about questions you may have found difficult and work on them for the future.