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Two Ulster University graduates have been awarded the Allen & Overy trophy for excellence in Librarianship as part of a two-year programme that enhances the skills of information professionals.

Geraldine Colgan from County Wicklow and Claire McCartan from Downpatrick are the seventh and eighth participants to receive the prestigious award, which is part of the Library and Information Management Postgraduate Diploma course at Ulster University.

The honour is presented annually to the student who achieves the highest marks on the popular course, which is delivered online to help professionals to fit studies around their working lives.

This award is supported by International law firm Allen & Overy in collaboration with Ulster University and the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) who accredit the course.

Sarah Fahy, Global Head of A&O Research and Library, said:

“This course offers a diverse range of studies and skills development that are both key to help the modern librarian progress further in a varied and challenging career. Allen & Overy is proud to support this initiative and we continue to encourage talented people to join our profession. Exceptional library and information managers just like Claire and Geraldine are of great importance to organisations such as A&O and we congratulate them on this accolade.”

The online based programme develops strong library, research and information skills techniques that are all designed to increase career prospects in this important sector.

Dr David Barr, Head of the School of Education at Ulster University, comments:

“The Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Management at Ulster University is the only course of its kind in Ireland as it offers professionally accredited study to individuals working within the library and information sector regardless of their geographic location through an innovative e-learning environment. Thanks to our well-established relationships with professional bodies and the wider industry in this field our graduates are equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed and meet the needs of this important sector.

“We are delighted that our students benefit from this on-going partnership with Allen and Overy, both in terms of their professional development as a well as the achievement of personal success that this award imbues”.

Award winner, Geraldine Colgan said:

“Ulster University provided the right balance of blended learning to enhance my skills and knowledge in the field of Librarianship. It has been hugely beneficial and has really given me a deeper understanding of my work in the public library sector. The librarian’s skillset must constantly evolve to keep up with the demands of this dynamic environment.”

Joint winner Claire McCartan added:

“I am absolutely delighted and would like to thank Allen & Overy for their continued support for the Library and Information Management course at Ulster University. Libraries support communities whether they be academic or social and enable the development of skills and advancement of knowledge for all. They are vitally important and the course at Ulster University helps to ensure that they continue to be the best resources possible.”