DREaM launch conference review, thanks and resources

DREaM project launch delegate folders and data sticks

DREaM project launch conference delegate folders, pens and data sticks

Thanks to everyone for their participation at the DREaM project launch conference last Tuesday 19th July.

We have now had a chance to analyse the conference evaluation forms and – along with feedback received by e-mail and over Twitter over the past few days, as well as conference reviews blogged by delegates – we are pleased to report that it was a successful day.

According to the 46 conference evaluation forms returned, amongst the most popular sessions was Hazel Hall’s introduction, rated by the majority of evaluations as “excellent”. Hazel Hall brought delegates up to date on the progress of the DREaM project with news of the forthcoming workshops, including the full programme for workshop 1 on Tuesday 25th October 2011 in Edinburgh. She also announced the Practitioner Research Excellence Award (details can be found on the Media releases page) to be presented by the LIS Research Coalition at the final DREaM project event on Monday 9th July 2012. She encouraged delegates to take a look at the new online community space that has been set up to encourage electronic networking amongst delegates between events.

Stephanie Kenna and Jenny Gebel at the registration desk

Stephanie Kenna and Jenny Gebel at the registration desk

Blaise Cronin’s opening keynote and Dylan Evans’ closing keynote were also were rated by the majority of evaluations as “excellent”. Delegates appreciated Cronin’s main message to look outside the immediate field for opportunities to develop research ideas, to collaborate, research and to influence. They were able to observe such an approach in action in the career trajectory of Evans, who has taken advantage of a number of links and serendipity to build a varied and interesting, if unconventional, career path.

It seemed entirely appropriate that, further to a request made to Hazel Hall by a student from outside the field of LIS, at the end of the day that delegates were invited to contribute to a research project on interactivity in research meeting design. (If you would like to contribute to this project, please complete the survey).

DREaM delegates chat beside the publishers' stands

DREaM delegates chat beside the publishers' stands

Most evaluations gave the One Minute Madness session “excellent” and “very good” ratings. Chair of the session Stella Wisdom hardly had an opportunity to blow the horn due to the excellent timing of the presenters. It was quite astonishing how much information was conveyed in the 60 second bursts. The impressed audience members tweeted encouraging and supportive comments on the session, for example: “Loving 1 minute madness. So much brilliant work esp on stories & narratives” (@bikerbid); “One minute madness was great – well done to all who took part” (@BLLizLewis). Check out the 15 minute video of the session to witness the high standard of the presentations.

Discussions in breakout session 2

Discussions in breakout session 2

The four breakout sessions were also mostly evaluated as “excellent” or “very good”. Delegate comments on the breakouts revealed how the session content had given them some useful ideas to follow up after the event. For those who attended breakout session 3 these ideas derived from a discussion of work which is well beyond the usual interests of librarians and information scientists. As one delegate tweeted “They are building a palace made of children’s milk teeth. This is not what I thought I would learn about today!” (@samanthahalf). The short time-frame for reporting back on the breakouts meant that there was no real opportunity for discussion in plenary (rated mostly “good”). Although this had been possible amongst groups and with individuals in the breakouts themselves and over tea, from the analysis of the evaluation forms it can be seen that delegates would have liked there to have been more time for discussion of the breakout outcomes. There is also an indication that the opportunity to attend more than one breakout session would have been appreciated by some delegates.

Paul Allchin lent a hand with the delegate packs as a member of the on-site team at the British Library

Paul Allchin lent a hand with the delegate packs as a member of the on-site team at the British Library

The convenience of the British Library Conference Centre (described as “lovely” by one delegate), its facilities and the catering attracted mainly “excellent” ratings, as did conference administration both before and during the event. Hazel Hall, Charles Oppenheim and Jenny Gebel particularly appreciated the positive comments from delegates on the organisation of the event, and would like to highlight here the great help of colleagues in the British Library in the conference preparations. Rossitza Atanassova did a fine job in her liaison role, and recruited a willing team of Paul Allchin, Liz Lewis and Adrian Shindler, who helped Hazel Hall and Jenny Gebel make the delegate packs and load the DREaM USB sticks with all the conference materials on Monday 18th July.

The DREaM project launch conference Twitter wall

The DREaM project launch conference Twitter wall

Although not specifically asked to comment on networking on the conference evaluation form, this theme attracted a large number of unsolicited positive remarks. One delegate commented that the involvement of delegates before the event was “outstanding”. It is thanks to Bethan Ruddock (@bethanar) that a number of delegates in London on the evening of Monday 18th July were able to meet up before the conference itself the next day. Equally the work of our event amplifier Kirsty Pitkin (@eventamplifier) made it possible for the networking to extend beyond the confines of the British Library. Our remote delegates had access to all the presentations as they were delivered, as well as the CoverItLive session where a commentary on the proceedings and tweets were brought together. Delegates also made favourable comments about the interesting mix of researchers and practitioners who had registered, and the value of new contacts to follow up in the future. 68 people tweeted the #lis_dream1 hashtag over the course of the day. The 615 tweets included contributions from delegates at the British Library and a number of remote participants who offered their views on the conference sessions and the comments of on-site delegates. There is a Twapper Keeper for the #lis_dream1 hashtag where all instances #lis_dream1 are recorded.

badges

Badges for the data geeks and data queens at the DREaM launch conference

When asked to rate the overall value of the conference “excellent” was, once more, the most popular response. Delegates offered congratulations to the DREaM project team, remarking how impressed they were with the day and how much they had enjoyed it, not least for the “incredibly insightful” presentations, “excellent speakers”, “interesting topic areas”, all the new ideas “to take away and develop” and the networking opportunities. One delegate said “[It has been a] really useful day. Let us take steps to assure a network of LIS researchers and practitioners for the future as research and practitioners should ideally feed into each other”. While the rest of the UK was focused on James and Rupert Murdoch testifying at the parliamentary committee, Simon Barron tweeted “Forget the Murdochs. The real talking point today is library science research”! (@SimonXIX)

Events such as this only come together with much effort and support from a variety of sources. Everyone involved in the DREaM project is grateful for the support offered by the AHRC as its main source of funding. We are also grateful to the recruitment firms who sponsored places for five new professional delegates. We were pleased that three publishers Ashgate, Facet and Oxford University Press were able to join us on the day and for their contributions to the delegate packs. The “data geek” and “data queen” badges supplied by Leadership Directories were particularly popular with the delegates (and, we expect, their colleagues and children at home too!)

We have almost finished uploading all the resources from the day to the event 1 presentations page, and these will soon also be added to the DREaM online community site. A further announcement will be made once everything is online. If you are interested in delegate reviews of the event, a number are already available, and some are expected shortly. Please see the DREaM launch conference reviews page to read review blog posts, videos of delegate and session leader perspectives on the day, links to archived social media activity, and photographs from the conference.

RiLIES project final survey now available

We have launched a short online survey as the final part of the LIS Research Coalition’s RiLIES project. Update: this survey closed on 15 July.

Aimed primarily at UK-based Library and Information Science (LIS) practitioners, its purpose to is check our findings to date on the relationship between the output of LIS research projects and its impact on practitioners. (If you live in another country, or are an LIS researcher or student, we would still be interested in your answers, so please feel welcome to participate too.)

You can access the survey by visiting: http://bit.ly/RiLIES2

The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Please submit your responses by Friday 15 July. If you can, please pass the word on to your colleagues so that they have an opportunity to make a contribution too. Many thanks!

Valuing knowledge and expertise: reporting from EBLIP6

Salford University logo This week the sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference takes place in Salford, Greater Manchester. The LIS Research Coalition is pleased to be a sponsor of the event. Coalition activities at the conference include:

It was also possible for the last of the RiLIES project focus groups with librarians working in medicine and healthcare to be scheduled to take place at the conference.

The four winners of the sponsored places are reporting on each of the four days. Their reviews will be posted to this blog over the course of the week.

Sponsored delegates at EBLIP6

Winners of sponsored places Alison Millis, Katrina Dalziel, Katie Fraser & Paolo Gardois

RiLIES looks at impact of research projects on academic librarians’ practice

On 20 June, the second of our three RiLIES projects focus groups took place as part of our work to understand the impact of research projects on librarians’ practice.

Peter Cruickshank, Stephanie Kenna and Jenny Gebel met with members of CILIP’s UC&R group at Regent’s College, London for a discussion with people in a variety of front-line and managerial roles in university and college libraries.

We started from the research question:

To what extent does the ouput of UK funded librarianship research projects influence the practice of librarianship?

Themes that emerged in our discussion included the types of research that are relevant to practitioners, and the role that students, chartering and revalidating staff have in keeping their colleagues up to date. The importance of face-to-face networking and informal links also came up, as well as how to make the best of the cost pressures which are limiting the numbers that are currently able to attend conferences.

The data collected will be analysed in full with that collected from the Perth focus group (with public librarians) and the final focus group which will take place in 28th June with medical/health librarians attending EBLIP6 on 28 June.

We also took the opportunity to raise awareness of the work of the LIS Research Coalition in general, and to encourage participation in the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project.

Thank you to Amanda Holyoak and the CILIP’s UC&R group for making it possible for us to hold our academic librarians’ focus group, and to all that took part for their contribution.

You can follow our progress through our twitter account: @LIS_RiLIES  – and please tell us if you’ve been using results from one of our five case study projects

Have you used these projects?

As we enter the final phases of the RiLIES project, there are still some opportunities for practitioners and researchers to contribute further to the project. One way is to tell us if you have experience of using any of the project outputs of the case studies that we have considered as part of the RiLIES project.

We are really interested in finding examples of the results of these projects being used in day-to-day practice, or as starting points for other research – such as the inspiration for new projects, or to help develop a report or paper (whether published or not, for example as part of a literature review).

The case studies we have used are:

  • The study on public library policy and social exclusion Open To All coordinated by Dave Muddiman and reported back in 2000.
  • The eValued project in which Pete Dalton and others developed a toolkit to support library and information services staff in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the evaluation of electronic information services (EIS). This work was completed between 2004 and 2006.
  • The Research Information Network’s (RIN) 2006 study into Researchers’ use of academic libraries funded by RIN and CURL and completed by Key Perspectives.
  • The Future of school libraries project carried out by Sue Shaper and David Streatfield for CILIP’s School Libraries Group. This reported its results in 2010.
  • The project entitled Evaluating the impact of clinical librarian services led by Alison Brettle and the North West (England) healthcare librarians group in 2009.

If any of these projects has made an impact on your practice of librarianship, or you have consulted the findings to develop a new project, or a report or paper, we would love to hear from you. Please use the contact form below to tell us. Please be assured that when we use this data in the RilIES project report, individuals will not be identifiable from its content.

If you do not have any experiences to share with us, it’s possible that your colleagues do, so please pass the word around your professional contacts.

Thank you!

RiLIES poll – summary of initial findings

As part of the RiLIES project we have just carried out a short initial survey on how LIS professionals find out about research project findings.
LIS RiLIES logo
We hoped to identify (1) the sources that are used by librarians to generate ideas for improvements in library services delivery and (2) any named LIS research projects that have been particularly influential in inspiring changes to practice.

If you took part, we’d like to start by saying thank you!

Here we share some of the results. Please bear in mind, however, that this is a self-selected and relatively small sample so the results cannot be considered to be statistically significant. Instead, we are using the findings to help direct further activities of the project.

Overall, 200 people took the time to complete the poll. Of these 175 have over 5 years experience, 173 are UK-based, and 155 describe themselves holding front-line or managerial roles. So we are pleased to have reached our core target demographic for the poll. However, although we had very good response from academic and health librarians, as the pie chart below shows, the number of public librarians who took part was disappointing. We’re now looking at other options for reaching this important librarian population.

Some findings

Even in this age of social media and e-books, face-to-face contacts (particularly informal networking) are still the key route to learning about new research results.

Even online, ‘traditional’ JISC discussion lists are considered as most useful (even more so amongst managerial and health-sector respondents). In fact they are reported as the leading alternative to face-to-face contact. As far as social media is concerned, practitioner blogs are popular, and in contrast, there is an emphatic lack of interest in virtual reading groups on platforms such as Second Life.

Twitter divided people. A significant number of academic librarian respondents, in particular, reported use of Twitter to both find out about, and report on, research projects. As would be expected, people who use Twitter are also more enthusiastic about it as a source of information. On the other hand, a significant number said that Twitter is blocked by their workplace. This is an issue within the healthcare and government sectors in particular.

Over half the respondents have used mailing lists in their own research work. Conference papers are the most popular route for reporting findings. Academic librarians dominate the more resource-intensive areas of creating peer-reviewed conference papers and writing research project reports. Our relatively high level of activity may, however, simply demonstrate that our poll attracted a more research-active demographic.

Offline, research reports and reading of (printed) news reports in journals are reported as being most useful.

The two graphs below summarise the popularity of sources of information as reported by the academic librarians:

… and healthcare librarians:

Please bear in mind, however, that the limitations of the poll data mean that we cannot do any more than note the variation in sources of information (and this is why we felt that a graph totalling up all the responses would be inappropriate at this stage).

One of the points of this poll was to draw on librarians’ collective inspiration to identify any gaps in our questions, and we were not disappointed! In particular, responses highlighted:

  • The role of professional bodies in networking professionals together.
  • The important role played by intermediaries (such as trainers) in turning research findings into useful information: consultants, trainers, conference speakers etc. and associated artefacts such as books/monographs or training course serve as intermediaries research results to practitioners, even if they are not strictly research-intensive in their own right.
  • The importance of a small number of individuals as information sources, in particular Andrew Booth, Alison Brettle, Phil Bradley, and the LIS Research Coalition’s Hazel Hall.
  • The use of RSS feeds for following multiple sources of information.

Next steps…

The results will contribute to the broad project aim of exploring the extent to which funded librarianship research projects influence library practice.

We have been able to identify some projects which we could potentially use in the case study phase of our work. Also, the results give a direction to potential focus group questions, and who we should involve in our future data collection exercises. For instance, the low number of public librarian contributions at this stage mean that we will have to find other ways to identify their needs and activities.

Finally – 64 people have said they would take part in future research – thank you! We may be in touch later on.

Hazel Hall and Peter Cruickshank

Online 2010: “the one when it snowed”

Snow!

By the end of the annual Online conference and exhibition each year a couple of themes emerge as dominant. Last year, for example, in the LIS Research Coalition’s review of the Online 2009, we reported that social media and the semantic web had been the key areas of interest. At Online 2010 conversations centered on a range of themes including linked data, the social web, the value and impact of information professionals, and mobile and cloud computing. However, at the forefront of many minds was the UK weather as it deteriorated over the course of the week. In the future we may well be remembering this event as “the one when it snowed”.

Online 2010 exhibition hall at London Olympia

Online 2010 exhibition hall at London Olympia

For visitors to Online from both the UK and beyond snow caused much disruption. There were few people at Olympia whose travel plans were not subject to delay or change for their outward and/or return journeys, and many who had hoped to attend Online 2010 simply did not make it to London at all. As a consequence there were some substitutions on the programme, both in terms of presenters and session chairs. Hazel Hall, for example, expected to deliver her own paper on news from the LIS Research Coalition and chair two others: (1) Winning hearts and minds! Breaking through social media barriers with presentations by Phil Bradley (now on Slideshare), Ulla de Stricker and Bonnie Cheuk; (2) Adding value to library and information services using social media with presentations by Kim Holmberg, Mervi Ahola and Janika Asplund, and Hervé Basset.
Presenters Angela Ashenden, Helen Clegg and Gordon Vala-Webb

Presenters Angela Ashenden, Helen Clegg and Gordon Vala-Webb

In the event, she chaired an additional session – Social media in action: driving forward IM and KM with presentations by Gordon Vala Webb (now on Slideshare), Helen Clegg and Hugo Evans, and Angela Ashenden – and was on standby for other duties should they have arisen. This session has been reviewed by VIP in a posting entitled “Infopros and social media 1: culture or toolkit?“.

Twitter

Those who follow @LISResearch on Twitter will have watched our tweeting from sessions where Hazel was a member of the audience. If you would like to see the full archive of conference tweets, it is available from the Online10 Twapperkeeper set up by Karen Blakeman.

A session tweet on the tweet wall

A session tweet on the tweet wall

From here you can get a flavour of the event, as well as links through to speakers’ slides and some blogged reviews of individual sessions and the conference as a whole. At the event itself there were a number of screens around the conference that displayed the Twitter activity in real time. Tweets referred to the sessions, exhibitors and – inevitably – the snow. As well as hosting the screens, UltraKnowledge kept a record who was most active on Twitter. @LISResearch topped the chart.

Paper highlights

Of the sessions that Hazel attended she particularly enjoyed the discussion of “Web squared” as the successor to Web 2.0, illustrated neatly by Dion Hinchcliffe in the opening keynote paper. Here Dion used a table to compare Web squared’s characteristics with those of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

Conference chair Stephen Dale and keynote speaker Dion Hinchcliffe

Conference chair Stephen Dale and keynote speaker Dion Hinchcliffe

Bonnie Cheuk’s efforts with social media to protect staff from information overload generated by the “e-mail high five” were entertaining and illustrated the challenges of culture change when implementing social media in the work place. There were three strong presentations from Euan Semple, Lee Bryant and Brian Kelly in the Social media and leadership session on the Tuesday morning, with Euan’s focus on how to move people away from po-faced attitudes to social media, and Lee’s discussion of how information professionals should have a stronger involvement in an area where corporate communications staff often have a hold. Librarians working in higher education are advised to review the video of Brian Kelly’s presentation on the value of cloud services, accessible from his UK Web Focus site. The conference sessions also gave access to many case studies from which librarians and information scientists could learn about good (and sometimes less than optimal) practice in information services delivery.

Ake Nygren spoke about social media and public libraries

Ake Nygren spoke about social media and public libraries

Some of the free sessions were of particular interest, not least because the presentations drew heavily on research evidence. For example, the content of Wednesday afternoon’s Social media spotlight papers by Jakob Harnesk, Hervé Basset, Stephane Goldstein, Geoff Walton, Ake Nygren, and Tomas Baiget derived largely from the results of research projects.

The two papers that followed in the gallery area of the exhibition hall by Annie Mauger of CILIP and Anne Caputo of SLA were also based on the output of research projects. We were particularly pleased when Annie restated in her presentation CILIP’s recognition of the importance of evidence-based research to library and information science.

Congratulations

Hazel was pleased to join in celebrations of success at Online 2010. On the Tuesday afternoon, and just before he was due to take the stage, it was announced that Phil Bradley had been elected Vice President of CILIP for 2011.

Phil Bradley (photo credit Dave Pattern)

Since Hazel was chairing the session in which Phil spoke, she had the honour and pleasure of making the first face-to-face public announcement of Phil’s success.

Later in the afternoon she attended the presentation of the award of Information World Review Information Professional of the Year 2010. Unfortunately the recipient Dave Pattern had been unable to make the journey to London due to the snow, so Karen Blakeman accepted the award on his behalf. For further information on Dave’s well-deserved success, please see the blog post by Brian Kelly. On the Thursday lunchtime we were also pleased to see Stephanie Kenna receive her honorary fellowship of CILIP.

Other reviews

This review of Online 2010 can only reflect the perspective of one participant and, as such, it is limited. For a fuller picture it is worth checking the reviews of others who have reported in detail on individual sessions, as well as the conference as a whole. The blogs postings from the Conference Circuit by Donald T Hawkins provide a good overview starting with Welcome to Live from London – Online Information 2010, as do the posts by Val Skelton and Kat Allen at InfoToday.eu. Val’s summary of What we learnt at Online Information 2010 is particularly interesting. Individuals who have blogged their own experiences of the conference include Mareike Guy and Onlineability. Nancy Davis Kho’s review for VIP focuses on the exhibition, and FreePint’s photos from Online are worth browsing. There are also links to blog postings and photographs from the conference and exhibition on the SLA Europe web site. We look forward to seeing further reviews of the conference in the print media in early 2011.

New Generation Thinkers – A call to Library and Information Science

Are you a Library and Information Science Researcher who would like to tell the world about work in the domain?

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has contacted the LIS Research Coalition to ask us to help identify the next generation of public intellectuals. Could you be the LIS equivalent of scientists Brian Cox, Jim Al-Khalili or Marcus de Sautoy, and work with the BBC to share the passion for your subject with the population at large? If your profile meets any of the following criteria, you are eligible to apply for a chance to develop your own programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers and, of these up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers:

  • You are currently undertaking an AHRC-funded postgraduate or postdoctoral award, or working as a postgraduate or postdoctoral member of an AHRC-funded research project, OR
  • You are currently undertaking a PhD in one of the disciplinary domains of the AHRC (LIS is one of the AHRC domains), OR
  • You are within eight years of the award of your PhD, OR
  • You are within six years of your first academic appointment.

It would be fantastic for LIS to be represented in New Generation Thinkers, the pilot talent scheme for emerging academics with a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship to a wider audience, and who have an interest in broader cultural debate. To find out more and make an application, please see the New Generation Thinkers page on the AHRC web site. The deadline for applications is 10th December 2010.

Conference review, thanks and resources

Thank you to everyone for their participation in the LIS Research Coalition conference on Monday.

Conference review

The analysis of the conference evaluation forms (49 returned from 81 participants) shows that the event was very well received as a valuable, stimulating and enjoyable day, particularly for making contact with other LIS researchers, learning about on-going projects, and inspiring individuals’ commitment to pursuing their own research objectives. From the LIS Research Coalition’s perspective, the event provided a great opportunity to address its aims related to bringing together information about LIS research in the UK and encouraging dialogue across the members of the LIS research community. Added to this, discussions during the day – particularly in the breakout sessions – have helped identify priority areas for investment of Coalition resources in the coming months.

The majority of delegates who completed the conference evaluation forms rated the conference as a whole as “excellent” or “very good”. The most popular sessions were Andrew Dillon’s opening keynote speech and the set of one minute madness presentations, both of which were rated “excellent” by the majority. Andrew’s presentation attracted comments such as “great keynote” and “excellent – really interesting and fascinating speaker”. There was much enthusiasm in the comments on the one minute madness session which, in a way, reflected the gusto with which the delegates participated in this activity: “One minute madness worked really well – enjoyed this very much. There should be one at every conference!” “One minute madness was brill. How amazing that it actually worked!” Michael Jubb’s introductory presentation was also well received, with the majority rating this session either “excellent” or “very good”. The most common rating for the breakout sessions was “very good”, and for Charles Oppenheim’s closing keynote, described as a “great finale” in a delegate tweet, it was “excellent”.

The choice of venue was also very popular with the delegates: the majority rated the convenience of the location, its comfort and facilities and the catering as “excellent”: “I was very impressed – plush, great air-con, gorgeous food and handy for King’s Cross. Perfect.”

Those who were involved in the conference administration were pleased that most delegates rated the arrangements as “excellent”, both prior to the conference and on the day itself. Particularly appreciated was the additional “social” information provided in advance of the conference which, it is believed, contributed to the friendly atmosphere of the event.

Feedback from our virtual participants, of which there were at least 29 actively following the conference by watching #lisrc10 on Twitter or interacting with the CoverItLive site, also showed enthusiasm for the proceedings of the day.

Conference thanks

Of course, an enormous amount of effort goes into planning a conference such as this, and we owe thanks to all involved. First we are very grateful to the conference sponsors. A special vote thanks is due to our speakers, facilitators, chairs, student rapporteurs, and the brave one minute madness speakers for their contributions on the day, as well as the hard work devoted to preparing for their roles. We should also recognise that without the commitment of the conference programme committee, we would not have enjoyed a range of sessions that was – as one delegate remarked – so “well-designed from the point of view of the flow of different events/formats and from the point of view of engagement/participation”. There are also two individuals whose work behind the scenes deserves special recognition. Stephanie Kenna, amongst other things, contributed much to the marketing of the event. Stella Wisdom managed communications between Event Logistics and the British Library. Stella also liaised with the AV team to ensure that all the speaker presentations were in order, and prepared the tailored handouts that helped guide us through the process of accessing the British Library’s wireless network.

Conference resources

We have spent the past couple of days writing up the conference sessions and posting materials to the Coalition web site. Our live blogger Kirsty Pitkin of T-Consult Ltd worked at amazing speed to edit the video footage and provide the drafts of session reports for Hazel Hall to edit. Those who have agreed to write their own reports of the event, for example for colleagues or for publication, will be particularly pleased to see the full list of resources now available below (also accessible from the conference web page). We will add links to other conference outputs, for example reviews in the professional press and individual participants’ blogs, as these are published.

All the PowerPoint presentations from the conference are also available from the LIS Research Coalition’s Slideshare site. Video footage from the day, including delegate interviews and the one minute madness session, is available from the LIS Research Coalition’s Vimeo site.

Introducing the student rapporteurs

Our sponsors have generously supported six PhD students to attend the LIS Research Coalition conference as student rapporteurs. The rapporteurs will be undertaking various duties on Monday 28th June, including helping to distill the various conversations and debates of the day so that we – as a community – can consider how to tackle the priority issues related to LIS research in practice.

The students are all keen to share their research and to network with experienced LIS researchers throughout the event, so please do try to talk with them if you are attending. Here is a brief introduction to each of them to give you a taste of their wide-ranging interests.

Liz Brewster (Twitter: @lizzyab)
Department of Information Studies, University of SheffieldPhD Title: Strategic aims and service user needs in bibliotherapy schemes in UK public libraries

Liz’s research examines the impact of bibliotherapy schemes in UK public libraries. These schemes use books to help people with mild to moderate mental health problems. Liz’s aim is to focus on user experiences of bibliotherapy schemes, with reference to their strategic aims. The research will identify potential gaps in service provision, with suggestions for service improvement. As part of her research, Liz is examining: cost effective ways in which bibliotherapy can be administered in partnership between health and library sectors; evidence-based librarianship; and efficient methods of evaluating and benchmarking bibliotherapy schemes, in which ‘soft’ outcomes can be difficult to measure.

Liz says “I find working closely with library service users an enriching experience, and appreciate the chance to discuss this type of research with a varied spectrum of the LIS community. The conference seems to focus on a number of issues highly pertinent to a new researcher, and I feel it would be encouraging to participate in discussions concerned with impact, evidence and funding.”

Charlie Inskip
Department of Information Science, City University (Twitter: @CharlieInskip)PhD Title: Communicating meaning and meeting information need within the music industry

Charlie writes a monthly column on music and LIS issues for CILIP’s Update magazine. He is particularly concerned that the LIS research landscape is constantly shifting to accommodate changes in funding and evaluation, which affects those – like himself – who are approaching the end of a AHRC funded PhD and are looking for new opportunities. Charlie believes that attending conferences such as this one provides an excellent opportunity for new researchers to gain inside knowledge of these developments, and enhances their value to the wider LIS community.

Charlie says “The conference agenda themes of evidence, value and impact are highly topical and relevant across today’s research world. I am keen to increase my understanding of the importance of these issues and the impact they may have on the career development of new researchers such as myself.”

Liz Poirier
Department of Information Science, City UniversityPhD Title: Towards a theory of slow information: time, pleasure and consumption in theories of information behaviour

Liz’s research is concerned with human information behaviour, specifically how we cope, both individually and collectively, in a society characterized by increasingly overwhelming information environments. As information channels accelerate and proliferate, she asks how are we to navigate a successful path to relevant resources and how are those paths depicted in existing theories of information behaviour?

Liz’s experience as a librarian in the higher education sector is informing her approach. This made evident that some key assumptions in existing theories – whereby rapid speed and expansive volume are implicitly framed as the pinnacle of information seeking and use – were not always the primary goals for information users. She was prompted to expose this gap in the literature and explore why it exists.

Liz says “I did not embark on this PhD in order to pursue a life of pure academia, and I have always imagined a hybrid career where research and practice share equal billing, and provide fuel for each other in a reciprocal relationship. The Library and Information Science Research Coalition conference seems a perfect opportunity to explore how this might be possible.”

Hannah Spring (Twitter: @hannahspring101)
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, York St John UniversityPhD Title: Barriers to, and priorities for, research development in health librarianship

Hannah’s study takes the concept of evidence-based health practice and considers this in context with the LIS health research landscape. Whilst the Government agenda for health maintains a requirement for accountability and evidence-based health practice, the health librarians that support the research activities that underpin such agendas are not currently noted for placing focus on working to an evidence-based agenda within their own professional practice. Hannah’s research therefore has two strands. The first is an investigation into the reasons for, and barriers to, lack of engagement in research activity within the health-related LIS professions. The second is an investigation into research priority development, with the aim of contributing to the future strategic development of LIS health research.

Hannah says “Although my background and experience is specific to health librarianship, many of the issues I am investigating are entirely transferrable to a general LIS research audience. The areas of focus highlighted on the conference overview – such as techniques for integrating research activities into everyday work and practice (evidence-based practice), identifying research opportunities, collaboration and publication for instance – are all areas with which I closely identify.”

Charlie Major (Twitter: @vkwn)
Department of Information Science, City UniversityPhD Title: Objectivity and the Gene Ontology: how do biologists working within the e-science paradigm classify theoretical entities?

Charlie’s research project is focused on classification in a specific domain: the classification of ideas, objects and data in biology. He is interested in the schema biologists have developed to structure knowledge in biology, and to aid information retrieval. Charlie believes that the boom in bioinformatics and the trend towards e-science-driven methods beg interesting questions such as “Can a machine be a biologist?” or “Should biological classifications be constructed be consensus?” He is a LIS researcher with an active blog, and a belief that LIS research can be communicated to wider audiences in a style that is both interesting and (heaven forbid!) even funny and entertaining.

Charlie says“The LIS Research Coalition conference looks interesting to me because it puts the emphasis on translating research into practice. What’s the point of a bottle of wine if you haven’t got a corkscrew?
Secondly, the conference also cannot fail to get the LIS juices pumping with a session called ‘One minute madness’, although I am suddenly distracted by an idea for ‘Gong Show’-style challenge where researchers are voted off the lectern with a resounding clang should their presentations fail to keep an expectant audience’s interest.”

(One minute madness presenters will be relieved to hear that we will not be following up Charlie’s interesting proposal!)

Hui-Yun Sung
Department of Information Science, Loughborough UniversityPhD Title: Community engagement in public libraries

Hui-Yun’s research interests are located in community engagement and public libraries. Community engagement is an emerging area in the public librarianship literature, and may be one way to help explain how public libraries can effectively involve communities. Her research aim is to investigate the important elements that help make community engagement work in public libraries.

Hui-Yun says “I hope that by attending the conference that I will be able to identify research opportunities in the LIS for my future career from listening to keynote presentations and various speeches by both academics and experienced practitioners in relevant areas. In addition, I will learn how to translate my research outcomes into practice to make them more applicable for public library services.”

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