Professor Hazel Hall opened the LIS DREaM project launch conference with a review of the DREaM project to date, and details of plans for four further events in 2011/12.
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Hall welcomed the 86 participants to the British Library, with particular thanks to those that had travelled from as far away as Finland, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Turkey, USA and Aberystwyth.
In introducing the event, Hall provided a context for the LIS DREaM project within the wider work of the LIS Research Coalition, and discussed the project’s goals, outlining proposed events and online community work.
The main goal of the DREaM project is to develop a network of library and information science researchers, with a particular aim to engage practitioners with this network. Hall highlighted that LIS researchers have a reputation for only networking with each other within our sectors, but not across sectoral boundaries and across disciplines. For this reason, she hopes the DREaM project will help to encourage LIS researchers to think more about collaborating outside the field and build the foundations for long term collaborations.
The project will offer three workshops, followed by a concluding event in London in 2012. The workshops will introduce people to research approaches they might not have considered before, and will include various activities, such as an unconference half hour, games and practical tasks. The first workshop will take place on Tuesday 25th October in Edinburgh. Details of this workshop can be found here.
Hall emphasised that the project aims to create a “cadre”. A cadre is group professional revolutionaries committed to support change. The project team felt this was a good word to describe the sustainable network for change they hope to build in the community.
Hall concluded by describing their efforts to build a DREaM online community – including a Twitter list, Lanyrd page, and the newly launched Spruz community. She expressed the hope that this will be an active discussion forum and a source of useful materials for those who want to get involved with the developing cadre. Hall also formally launched the Library and Information Science Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award, which will be presented in July 2012 to either an individual librarian or information scientist, or a team that has made a substantial contribution to LIS research since 2009. The award winner will receive £500. For full details or to make a nomination, see the media release about the award.