The history of the LIS Research Coalition goes back to late 2006. Some 60 delegates attended an invitation-only workshop held at the British Library on 27 November 2006 in memory of Brian Perry, Director of the British Library’s Research and Development Department, 1984-1995. The papers stimulated a lively debate and delegates identified a number of research themes and pointers for the future of LIS research. The proceedings were published as a special edition of Library and Information Research (Volume 31 (97), 2007).

The outcomes of the workshop suggested there was a need for a real or a virtual structure which would enable the organisation, co-ordination and implementation of strategic Library and Information Science (LIS) research. Such a structure would also enable access to the information by the LIS profession. This in turn would engender more confidence that any research activity associated with their profession is available in an understandable and useable way. The organising committee reviewed the outputs from the day and proposed a way forward for discussion.

Outlines of three models for a coalition [PDF, 102KB] were drawn up and, over the summer and autumn of 2007, the committee consulted with a range of key stakeholders. Discussion focused on (1) how best to engage with the agenda, and (2) the desirability and practicality of establishing a coalition to provide support for research in library, archive and information science.

A second workshop for stakeholders was held at Universities UK, London, on 30 November 2007 to review the work of the committee.

Delegates supported the establishment of formal coalition, and agreed that an Implementation Group should be convened with the objective of establishing a Coalition. Following further work in 2008 and agreement of the five founding member organisations, the Coalition was formally established on 2nd March 2009. Work on implementing the plans of the Coalition began in earnest in August 2009 when Hazel Hall became the Coalition’s first appointment.

For further information please also see Kenna, S. (2008). Towards a coalition for research in library, archive and information science, Library and Information Research, 32 (100), 3-9.

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