Meet the DREaM conference sponsors

We are grateful to the following organisations for their generous sponsorship of the forthcoming DREaM project conference on Monday 9th July:

Ashgate  
Facet Publishing  
Glen Recruitment  
Library and information Science Research Group (CILIP)    
Sage  
Sue Hill Recruitment  
TFPL  
Wiley  

“What’s not to like about DREaM?” asks Sue Hill

Sue Hill Recruitment logoSue Hill, Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Information Professionals, has contributed a guest blog post on Sue Hill Recruitment’s involvement as a sponsor of the DREaM conference. Sue writes:

What’s not to like about DREaM? It is an event you know you WANT to sponsor and/or to be part of. We are delighted to be doing both. Donald Lickley from Sue Hill Recruitment will be attending and reporting back to the team and doubtless tweeting from the spot. If I wasn’t intending to spend the day recovering from my wedding the day before I would be sitting, listening and watching how everyone copes with ‘One minute madness’. I’ve done presentations of five minutes and three minutes and very recently two minutes, but I have yet to experience a frightening horn being blown at one minute. Good luck in chairing that Mike! (And how many times have we heard a thirty minute talk that only had one minute of value in it?)

The DREaM program of events comes to an end with the concluding conference (#lis_dream5). Charles Oppenheim says he hopes that ‘a new generation of enthusiastic and competent LIS researchers will emerge and be self-sustaining through what will be, in effect, a community of practice.’ We couldn’t agree more and we are proud to be associated with that aim.

Registrations for the DREaM conference close today, Monday 2nd July. To book your place, please submit your details to the conference registration page.

Online registrations for the DREaM conference close today

Online registrations for the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project conference, which takes place at the British Library conference centre on Monday 9th July, close today (Monday 2nd July). We still have some places available for librarians, information professionals, researchers, academics, practitioner researchers and students – indeed all interested in library and information science research and its use in practice in general, and in particular anyone keen to follow and join the debate on:

  • The value and impact of libraries and information services
  • The evidence to demonstrate the value and impact of libraries and information services
  • The development of a UK network of researchers and library and information practitioner-researchers

For just £95 the exciting DREaM conference programme includes:

  • Keynote presentations by international expert on value measurement in libraries Professor Carol Tenopir, and best-selling author, broadcaster, medical doctor and academic Dr Ben Goldacre
  • Papers on the DREaM project by Hazel Hall, and the DREaM network by Louise Cooke
  • An open panel discussion on how a UK network of LIS researchers can be sustained, led by Charles Oppenheim with contributions from the conference speakers and panelists Jo Alcock and Carla Basili
  • A series of delegate-led “one minute madness” presentations covering a range of work across all library sectors, chaired by Mike Clarke of Camden Libraries
  • Presentation of the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award by Dr Ben Goldacre to the North West Clinical Librarian Systematic Review and Evaluation Group
  • Access to the conference exhibition including stands from Ashgate, Facet, Sage and Wiley
  • Post-conference networking drinks reception and prize draw
  • All refreshments on the day: at registration, in the lunch and tea/coffee breaks, and at the post-conference networking drinks reception

See the full programme at http://bit.ly/DREaM5_prog. Book your place now at http://bit.ly/DREaM5. Registrations close today: Monday 2nd July.

DREaM conference special issue of Coalition newsletter now available

In 2012 we are issuing regular newsletters to keep the LIS research community informed of the work of the LIS Research Coalition. The newsletters will be mailed to relevant listservs, and a copy of each one archived on the newsletters page.

The fourth newsletter, which is a special issue devoted to news of the forthcoming DREaM conference at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday 9th July, is issued this week. Our top stories are:

  1. Last chance to book! Registrations for the DREaM conference close on Monday 2nd July
  2. DREaM conference keynote speaker Ben Goldacre features on the Radio 4 Today programme
  3. Sponsored places at the DREaM conference: the winners
  4. Speaker previews of DREaM conference sessions now available
  5. Coming up soon on the Library and Information Science Research Coalition web site

DREaM keynote speaker Ben Goldacre on BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Dr Ben Goldacre (copyright Rhys Stacker 2009)

Dr Ben Goldacre (copyright Rhys Stacker 2009)

This morning Ben Goldacre – author, broadcaster, medical doctor, academic and keynote speaker at our forthcoming DREaM project conference at the British Library on 9th July – gave an interview on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme. In it he discussed a report from the Behaviour Insight Unit of the Cabinet Office which suggests that government policy initiatives should be subject to the same kind of randomised control trials used to test new medicines and new ways of doing business.

The interview is available online on the Today programme’s web site. Ben writes about the report on the Bad Science web site in his posting entitled Here’s our Cabinet Office paper on randomised trials of government policies. Read it.

If you would like to hear Ben speak in person, there are still some places available for the DREaM project conference on Monday 9th July at the British Library, but hurry – registrations close next Monday.

Re-engaging with research: some thoughts from the Library and Information Research Group

Ronan O'Beirne

Ronan O’Beirne

Ronan O’Beirne, Chair of CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group – LIRG and member of the Board of Directors of the LIS Research Coalition – has contributed a guest blog post on the research and librarianship, and the role of LIRG. If you would like to meet Ronan, he will be at the British Library on Monday 9th July to attend the DREaM conference, and to chair the LIRG AGM, which follows the formal sessions of the DREaM conference. Ronan writes:

The Library and Information Research Group – LIRG, a special interest group of CILIP – believes that research, in all its many manifestations, should be an essential dimension of librarianship.

Indeed LIRG believes that research can be an important and powerful weapon in the librarian’s arsenal and, as such, we champion the use of research across all sectors of the profession. More specifically, and through its various activities, LIRG aims to raise the profile and to influence the direction of research within the world of libraries. Founded 35 years ago in 1977, the group continues to be engaged with three main aims:

  1. promoting the dissemination of sound research methodology and results;
  2. assisting in the development of emerging researchers;
  3. enabling networking between researchers.

Of course back in 1977 there was no such thing a tweeting or blogging, but a company called Apple was incorporated in the US and – in response the Commodore PET, with 8kb of RAM – came to be the first “all-in-one” computer. From then on everything changed utterly and the terrible beauty of the Internet was born. The library profession and the substance of what the library does, or is, fundamentally changed.

A necessary question that follows this is how has research changed? Academic and scientific research can be seen, with the notion of mode 2 knowledge production, to have become more context-driven and solution-focused. Knowledge itself has become the product of research and its “transfer”, within an increasingly market-driven higher education, forms the unit of production upon which is based a new “academic capitalism”. Models such as the triple helix see government, academia and private business exploiting research. Where might LIS research fit in with models such as these?

More recently, with the abundance of networked information systems, the ability to disseminate research globally with the press of a button has challenged traditional scarcity models of publishing and given rise to new forms of scholarly communication. Certainly librarians continue to play an important part in innovations such as open access journals and institutional repositories.

Yet, while the impact of the Internet and technology on research approaches has been profound, the nature of LIS research has perhaps not kept pace. Indeed, in his keynote address at the launch of the DREaM project Blaise Cronin lamented the quality of LIS research and noted that very much of what might pass as research is not research that can be usefully applied. He uses the term “theoretical bricolage” to illustrate how the results of the many “cookie cutter” research projects fail to contribute to theory, and seem to take a piece of theory from here and from there in an almost haphazard way.

From a social justice perspective more qualitative research is needed, particularly in relation to the public library, and also with regard to the need for a greater emphasis on digital literacy and citizenship. Public libraries – and for that matter school libraries – so often accused of not engaging with research, may be excused because frequently “the research game” is sold to them from a singularly higher education academic viewpoint. Moreover, as the evidence-based policy-making of today’s neo-liberalism manifests itself in a managerialism intent on counting the cost of everything within the public sector generally, public librarians specifically will tell you that within local authority library departments datasets on, for example, numbers of book loans become the evidence used to justify library closures. Such an approach is a poor advertisement for the research that actually needs to be undertaken in public, school and college libraries. There has to be a hope and expectation that through a range of different research approaches we might get to a deeper, more honest understanding of our profession.

We know from the response to our regularly held events that there are many enthusiastic researchers within our ranks keen to make a positive contribution to the knowledge. If issues such as those mentioned above interest you, then take a look at the LIRG web site or dip into our open access journal Library and Information Research (LIR) to get a better insight into the work of this group. I’m sure you will be surprised.

The 2012 AGM of the The Library and Information Research Group will be held on 9th July at the British Library at the end of the DREaM conference. All-comers are welcome.

LIRG offers opportunity to apply for DREaM conference bursaries to all

The Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) invites applications for two bursaries to attend the DREaM conference. All are eligible to apply, whether or not they hold membership of LIRG. The closing date for applications is Friday 22 June.

LIRG is pleased to provide two bursaries to cover registration at the DREaM conference on 9th July 2012 at the British Library. The awards will cover the conference registration fee (£95).

Applicants should provide a brief statement (up to 50 words) outlining how attendance at DREaM conference will impact on their professional practice. The two best statements (as judged by two LIRG committee members) will receive the bursary.

Closing date for applications: Friday 22 June.

Conditions: applicants will be responsible for meeting their own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs (if required).

To apply for the bursary, please e-mail the following details to the LIRG Awards and Prizes Co-ordinator, Alison Brettle at lirg.awards@gmail.com:

  1. name
  2. e-mail address
  3. employer details

Please include a statement on how attendance at the DREaM conference will impact on your professional practice (50 words maximum).

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