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Librarians As Researchers-Miggie Pickton

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Presentation given by Miggie Pickton at event run by CILIP University College & Research Group, Yorkshire and Humber branch - Librarians as Researchers: Getting Your Voice Heard.

Presentation given by Miggie Pickton at event run by CILIP University College & Research Group, Yorkshire and Humber branch - Librarians as Researchers: Getting Your Voice Heard.

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  • Thanks Miggie, yes, as information professional, research could/should be an important part in our service and development.
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  • yeah, i viewed your presentation and i realized research should be part in our daily jobs.
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  • 5
  • Picking up from previous talks... (Huge generalisations here)
  • 10
  • 20
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  • 35
  • 45
  • 50 LISRC minute madness
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  • Transcript

    • 1. Librarians as researchers Combining research with the day job Miggie Pickton UC&R Yorkshire and Humberside ‘ Librarians as Researchers’ Event 27 th May 2010
    • 2. Outline
      • Why me?
      • What do we mean by research?
      • Why bother with practitioner research?
      • Research and the practitioner:
        • Doing it
        • Sharing it
      • The manager’s role
      • What next?
    • 3. Why me?
      • Qualified 2005 (‘born again librarian’)
      • Day job: ‘Research Support Specialist’ within a converged library/IT dept
      • Responsible for:
        • Supporting researchers at The University of Northampton
        • ‘ Coordinating and managing ’ applied research within Information Services
      • Current projects:
        • KeepIt: digital preservation and repositories (JISC funded)
        • Research data management project
      • Joint Editor of Library and Information Research
      • PhD (long time ago) in Geography
      • ... my perspective is that of a practitioner, not an academic
    • 4. What do we mean by ‘research’?
      • Academic research:
        • Purpose is to create new knowledge (or confirm existing knowledge)
        • Problem solving or curiosity driven
        • Grounded in disciplinary context (literature, theory, methodology, interpretation)
        • Every step justifiable/evidenced
        • Produce outputs of publishable quality – peer review
        • Audience: other scholars, policy makers, practitioners
        • Make an ‘impact’ (especially with REF in mind)
    • 5. What do we mean by ‘research’?
      • Practitioner research:
        • Focused on current problem or need
        • Pragmatic approach to theory and methodology – often investigative or evaluative
        • Results inform practice – support decision-making for immediate benefit
        • Limited external dissemination
      • Innovative practice
        • A driver for research?
    • 6. Why bother with practitioner research?
      • What are the benefits:
        • To the individual?
        • To the organisation?
        • To the profession?
      • Discuss in small groups (10 minutes) then feed back
    • 7. Benefits to the individual
      • Interesting – opportunity to explore something in more depth, learn something new
      • Challenging – develop new skills, stretch yourself
      • Variety – a change from routine, opportunity to do something different, work with new people
      • Increase job satisfaction
      • Support professional development
      • Enhance personal reputation
      • Improve career prospects
      • ...
    • 8. Benefits to the service or organisation
      • Gather evidence of value / demonstrate impact
      • Engage with users:
        • Understand their perspective
        • Show interest in their needs
        • Do what they do (library as ‘academic department’)
      • Support decision-making
      • Improve service / solve problems
      • Increase staff motivation
      • Achieve recognition (within and beyond the institution)
      • ...
    • 9. Benefits to the profession
      • A means of furthering professional excellence (CILIP, n.d.)
      • Create new knowledge
      • Provide an evidence base for practice
      • Provoke positive change
      • Develop an engaged and vibrant professional community
      • Enhance reputation
      • ...
      CILIP (n.d.) A CILIP policy for information and library research
    • 10. Doing it – what to research
      • You may already have a pressing need, but if not:
      • Evaluate service performance e.g. are current services for academic staff meeting identified staff needs?
      • Identify gaps in service provision and recommend measures for filling these e.g. could more be done to support international students?
      • Measure impact/effectiveness e.g. of a new approach to information literacy teaching
      • Investigate potential new services e.g. use of mobile technologies for alerting or accessing resources
      • Identify good practice elsewhere and introduce it to your own workplace e.g. advocacy for the institutional repository
    • 11. Doing it – establishing context
      • Read around your subject in professional and scholarly publications
      • Attend professional events (like this) and conferences e.g. CoFHE & UC&R conference 21 st -23 rd June; LIS Research Coalition conference 28 th June – for information gathering and networking
      • Join special interest groups: UC&R , LIRG or establish your own e.g. East Midlands Research Support Group
      • Check out the LIRG Directory of research and researchers (and add your work to it!)
      • Subscribe to mailing lists and use RSS feeds for alerting e.g of funding opportunities, research news
      • (Selectively) use Twitter or other social networking tools to raise own and others’ awareness of ongoing projects
    • 12. Doing it – how to start
      • Make a case for a new project – convince your line manager of the need for it
      • Support departmental/organisation priorities (keep it relevant)
      • Write a research proposal (courses and guidance are available e.g. Eve , 2008)
      • Collaborate with partners (e.g. academic staff; colleagues from other support departments; professional colleagues from other institutions – anyone with whom you have shared goals)
      • Submit a bid for funding – externally (e.g. HEA, JISC, LIRG) or internally (e.g. L&T awards, Roberts funding)
      Eve, J. (2008) Writing a research proposal: planning and communicating your research ideas effectively. Library and Information Research , 32(102), pp.18-28.
    • 13. Doing it – how to make it happen
      • Don’t rush into it – be clear with your aims and objectives; plan carefully; pilot your methodology; consider at the start how you will analyse the results
      • Involve colleagues - bounce ideas around; test the methodology; collect data; data analysis...
      • Time and timing - your own time/workload management is crucial, but timing is important too (think of the academic cycle – is the project feasible now?, are participants available?)
      • Ask for advice from academic colleagues (especially if your institution has a LIS department); consider finding a mentor
      • For bigger projects consider bringing in extra help e.g funded research assistant or intern
    • 14. Sharing your work
      • Choose your target audience carefully - immediate colleagues; service users; broader profession; funders; policy makers – and produce outputs appropriate to that audience
      • Present your work formally and informally:
        • Internal meetings, workshops, poster displays, newsletters, etc
        • Upload a research report to your library website
        • Present your work at a conference (poster, paper, ‘minute madness’)
        • Write a journal article - Library and Information Research has a policy of actively encouraging new authors and practitioner research (other journals are available  )
        • Consider a book chapter or even a book
      • Where do you find out about research? – put your work there!
    • 15. The manager’s role
      • Management support is key
      • Managers can support research by:
      • Allowing staff time for research activity
      • Encouraging and supporting requests for training and development
      • Advising and supporting bids for research funding
      • Promoting a culture of research informed practice
      • Promoting practitioner research internally and externally
    • 16. The manager’s role
      • To embed a research culture into the library workplace:
      • Departmental strategy and planning
      • Job descriptions
      • PDR process
      • Dedicated role (e.g. Research Support Specialist)
      • Research forum (e.g. Research & Innovation Group – regular meetings and online in iSpace)
    • 17. What next?
      • Think about how you might use what you have learned today in your own role:
      • What are you doing already that is different or innovative, and how might you share this practice with others?
      • What research project might you undertake to support or improve your service?
      • How might you promote or contribute to your own library’s research culture?
      • How might you share what you have learned today with colleagues?
      • How will you convince your managers to support you?
    • 18. Thank you Miggie Pickton [email_address]

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