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Research for LIS Practitioners
Program, Biographies and Presentations
Friday 4 February 2011 at the Dixson Room, State Library of New South Wales
A blind date with knowledge (Gaby Haddow)
This introductory session provides an overview of how to go about research. It will focus on practitioner-based research, the importance of existing research literature and systematic processes. Real examples will illustrate how practitioner research contributes to the profession and information services. Drawing on their experience the group will develop some ideas for research projects and discuss different approaches and appropriate methods to apply to the projects. The session will conclude with some comments about how to manage research findings, resources required to complete a project, and ethical issues.
Dr Gaby Haddow is a lecturer with the Department of Information Studies at Curtin University. For three years she was on the Evidence Summary team for the journal Evidence Based Library & Information Practice and was appointed to the editorial board of the Australian Library Journal in 2010. Gaby's previous position as Humanities Faculty Librarian for Curtin Library has led to an ongoing collaborative project which is investigating library use and retention of commencing students. Her research interests include the communication of research to practice in librarianship and research assessment in the humanities and social sciences.
Research in the workplace: a study of client use of State Library of New South Wales spaces (Olwen Pryke, SLNSW)
Research is all about finding answers to questions or problems in a systematic and critical way. We all have questions or problems in our workplaces and we need them answered to make operational and strategic decisions. This session will provide an example of practical workplace research, an observation study conducted at the State Library of New South Wales, with a focus on the process, a critical look at the opportunities offered by this innovative project, and the lessons learnt.
Olwen Pryke has worked in research and evaluation since 2007 when she joined the State Library of New South Wales. Her previous experience includes work in arts administration and project management. She has worked for the History Council of New South Wales, has taught history at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, and has undertaken a number of historical research consultancies.
Two birds with one evaluation: how to assess your services and publish too? (Suzana Sukovic, Jane Van Balen, Ashley England and Janet Chelliah)
Client services are at the core of library work. Most services can't be measured by standard library statistics, yet it is increasingly important to demonstrate the value of what we are doing. In this workshop, we will consider some approaches to evaluation, discuss how to make evaluation projects effective for practical and publishing purposes, and how to maximise opportunities by working collaboratively. Issues of service evaluation will be considered by looking at some examples of projects from the UTS Library, particularly the project to assess the effectiveness of an information literacy program for undergraduate Nursing students. We will discuss various aspects of our experience with evaluating this program from co-ordination issues to the assessment of long-term effects on students' information literacy skills. Workshop participants will discuss how to resolve possible obstacles and make the most of their evaluation projects.
Suzana Sukovic has worked for a number of years on practical and theoretical issues related to digital technologies in academic environments. Her doctoral thesis explored roles of electronic texts in research projects in the humanities. Suzana has held a number of professional and academic positions at universities, including several positions at the University of Sydney such as Librarian, Digital Innovation Program Coordinator for the Humanities and Social Sciences and, currently, Research Associate and Honorary Research Associate at the Faculty of Arts. She has recently worked as Research and Policy Officer at the University of Technology, Sydney Library. Suzana is a member of the ALIA Research Committee. In her professional life, she enjoys research, teaching and crossing various boundaries.
Janet F. P. Chelliah
Since graduating in Librarianship from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ, Janet's career has spanned most areas of Client Services at the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Victorian College of Optometry & Vision Sciences, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and University of Technology, Sydney with opportunities for client liaison and collection management across a wide range of disciplines. Janet is a strong proponent of the value of professional development and mentoring in the widest possible context, across all departments and levels of hierarchy and working with each other and our clients as well as beyond library boundaries to test, change, innovate and reflect, learn, review to ensure the vibrancy of library professionals and services.
Ashley is a new graduate and employed in her first grown up job as an Information Services Librarian at UTS Library. She is particularly passionate about Libraries engaging with their community and has recently been part of a team who worked with staff and future students in gathering ideas for the 'Library of the Future'. If she's not at work, you will find her immersed in an epic battle against caterpillars who simply refuse to stop eating her cabbages, or attempting to perfect her olive oil and lemon cupcake recipe
Jane Van Balen
Jane Van Balen has been an Information Services Librarian at UTS since 2003 and for most of this time has liaised with the Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Health on behalf of the library. She has a special interest in Information Literacy and education generally and co-ordinates the extensive Information Literacy program for the faculty providing sessions for all levels of students and staff.
With a career in libraries and archives spanning over twenty years, Jane is currently completing a Masters in Music Pedagogy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music specialising in Voice.
Writing it up: getting your research out there (Mary Anne Kennan and Michael Olsson)
Once you've completed your research project - what then? Research needs to be written up, to be disseminated to those who will find it useful. There are many ways to disseminate research - reports, scholarly journals, practitioner journals, books, conferences, or via the Internet. How you decide to disseminate your research will depend upon the purpose of your research. Is your research on an organisational problem for internal eyes only? In that case a report may be the best form of dissemination. Will your results be useful for other practitioners? In that case aiming for a practice-based journal or a conference such as Online might be the best method of dissemination. Has your research been scholarly and rigorous and might it have a wide audience among scholars? Perhaps then a scholarly peer-reviewed journal is the best place to aim for. Or if your research is iterative and requiring continuing input from others, then perhaps then an open blog or wiki is the best option. This session will examine the different ways of disseminating research, and provide broad guidelines for selecting and writing for the best possible dissemination or publication outlet for your particular type of research.
Mary Anne Keenan
Dr Mary Anne Kennan is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University. Her teaching and research are broadly in the fields of information and communication in the digital environment. Her interests lie in exploring how new opportunities for multidimensional information flows, connectedness, social inclusion and participation arise from the interactions between people and technology. Prior to becoming an academic Mary Anne worked for 25 years in libraries and the information world in diverse positions, the most recent as director of the Frank Lowy Library at the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Dr Michael Olsson is a Senior Lecturer and the Graduate Coordinator, Information & Knowledge Management at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is an active researcher in the field of information behaviour/information practices research, with a particular interest in information sharing in academic, professional and artistic communities and in the relationship between theory, research and professional practice. His work has appeared in many of the leading journals in the field including Library and Information Science Research, Information Research, Library Quarterly and Libri, as well as major international conferences including Conceptions of Library & Information Science, Information Seeking in Context, International Conference on Knowledge Management, and the Annual meetings of the American Society for Information Society & Technology, Canadian Association for Information Science and International Communication Association. He is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the UTS Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre and is the Australasian Editor of the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.
AARL - supporting early researchers to get published (Bob Pymm)
Australian Academic and Research Libraries (AARL) is a quarterly journal focusing on research relevant to tertiary and research libraries of all types. It is a B ranked journal in the ERA rankings and is a good place to start for those who are still a little hesitant about getting out there in print. The presentation will cover the broad outline of the sort of thing AARL accepts, the refereeing process and the editorial support available for those relatively new to the business. It will also provide an outline of the process involved - from the idea, to print - the steps along the way and how to negotiate each step. You will hopefully leave inspired and encouraged to get out there, research and get into print!
Bob has worked in libraries and related cultural institutions for over twenty years. From 1993 to early 2005 he worked in for the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, latterly as the manager of their Collection Development area. Since 2005 he has worked as an academic at Charles Sturt University. Bob's PhD from the University of New South Wales is in the area of Australian popular fiction, its collection and preservation. He is particularly interested in the role of non-book materials - their acquisition, use and longer term preservation. Currently he is part of a group investigating web archiving and is conducting research into the use of e-books, the preservation of broadcast television materials and the broader issue of digital preservation. Bob is currently Acting Head, School of Information Studies at CSU.
Added value: turning your creative ideas or endeavours into a doctorate (Peter Macauley)
Do you wish to enhance your high level information literacy including increasing your critical thinking skills? Have you thought about making an original contribution to knowledge through a structured, supervised and mentored program of study? Or have you wanted to raise your profile and the profile of LIS and have an impact on your profession, and others? Do you ever think about publishing or presenting your work to the wider community? If you have answered 'yes' to any of these questions you may be ready to undertake a doctorate: either a PhD or a professional doctorate. Librarians make great doctoral candidates as you are already a knowledge worker with high level skills and knowledge and access to, and knowledge of, numerous resources. This session will discuss these issues and how you can increase your career opportunities and flexibility by embarking on the ultimate in Continuing Professional Development: a doctorate.
Peter Macauley is an Associate Professor in the School of Business IT and Logistics at RMIT University, Melbourne. Prior to his commencement at RMIT he had thirty years in public, special and university libraries. His research focuses on doctoral pedagogy, knowledge production, information literacy, scholarly communication and distance education and has published and presented more than eighty papers on those topics. He is the recipient of three Australian Research Council grants, Chair of the ALIA Research Committee and a committee member of ALIA's Research and Publication Standing Committee