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.

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Congratulation to the winners of sponsored places at DREaM project launch conference

The LIS Research Coalition is delighted to announce that its five sponsored places for new professionals at the DREaM project launch conference have been awarded to:

Paula GoodalePaula Goodale
Research Assistant – PATHS Project
The iSchool
University of Sheffield

Paula has recently graduated with an MA in Librarianship and is now working as a part-time researcher in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, where she is also registered for a part-time PhD. Paula is looking forward to the DREaM project launch conference because it will contribute to the conversation about evolving LIS research methods. She says “I hope that it will generate lots of ideas that I can immediately incorporate into my research practice, as well as highlight opportunities for extending my research into new areas, utilizing new methods for future projects. Having a digital media and multi-disciplinary background, I am aware of the wide range of research practices and I am keen to find out how some of these might be applied in LIS and perhaps how more traditional LIS methods can be adapted in areas of my current research that are outside of the mainstream.”

Samanta HalfordSamantha Halford
Subject Librarian (School of Engineering & Mathematics)
City University London

Samantha graduated with an MA with distinction in Library and Information Studies from University College London in 2007. She currently works as a subject librarian at City University and will be working towards a postgraduate certificate in academic practice next academic year. Samantha’s first professional post focused on supporting academics’ and students’ research and learning. Now she would like to turn her attention to developing her own research and writing. Samantha says “I would like to start making a contribution to the body of LIS research, and attending the DREaM project launch conference would be a wonderful opportunity to learn about best practice in methods and techniques from the beginning.”

Ray HarperRay Harper
Planning Officer
University of Sheffield

Ray has already embarked on his career as a practitioner researcher having recently published a paper based on his Masters dissertation project in the New Review of Academic Librarianship. He is also currently engaged in another project to examine the overlaps between LIS and knowledge management skills. In his role as Planning Officer at the University of Sheffield Ray analyses and prepares data for a range of departments across the institution. Ray says “I think that it is important for the LIS profession to positively engage with other professions because LIS practitioners and researchers have skills of direct application to numerous other disciplines, and can learn a lot from dialogue with those outside the traditional LIS ‘sphere'”.

Shreeti Rajyaguru
Clinical Information Search Service Officer
UHL NHS Trust Education Centre Library

Shreeti holds an undergraduate degree in Information Management and Computing and earlier this year started a new job as a Clinical Information Search Service Officer in the NHS. Shreeti is looking forward to contributing a fresh perspective on LIS research from her position as a new professional working in clinical librarianship. She is keen to join the conference as a delegate to “gain further exposure to the works of professionals in the area of library and information science as well as continue to build networks in the field”.

Charlotte SmithCharlotte Smith
Assistant Librarian
University of Cambridge

Charlotte completed her MSc dissertation last year and is currently working towards chartered member status of CILIP while in post as an assistant librarian at the University of Cambridge. Charlotte is a strong supporter of the goals of the DREaM project, particularly since social media has changed the ways in which we can gather and analyse data, as well as disseminate research output. Charlotte says “LIS researchers are branching out into informal domains to conduct research and this has the effect that such research may not be disseminated to the entire LIS community. This is why it is crucial that we develop a UK-wide network of LIS professionals which we all, if not belong to, at the very least have the knowledge of how and where to look for current research.”

The DREaM project launch conference takes place on Tuesday 19th July 2011 at the Conference Centre of the British Library in London. For further information about the DREaM project launch conference and registration, please see the DREaM project launch conference web site.

We would like to thank the sponsors TFPL Intelligent Resources, Sue Hill Recruitment and Glen Recruitment for supporting the award of the five places to new professionals.

TFPL Intelligent Resources logo

Sue Hill Recruitment logo

glen recruitment

Delegate place and bursary offered to international participant at DREaM launch conference

The main aim of the DREaM project is to develop a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers and – as such – we are looking forward to bringing together the UK LIS research community at our events. We also recognise that the involvement of international participants in DREaM events will provide excellent opportunities for UK LIS researchers to strengthen their links with colleagues from beyond the UK. We are therefore pleased to welcome delegates from abroad to the launch conference, should they wish to participate. Indeed, you may have noticed that three of our speakers and facilitators are based outside the UK: Professor Blaise Cronin from the US, Professor Gunilla Widén from Finland, and Dr Dylan Evans from the Republic of Ireland.

We are pleased to offer a free delegate place and a travel bursary of £100 to one of our international delegates at the DREaM launch conference at the British Library, London on Tuesday 19th July 2011. All interested in LIS research from countries beyond the UK – whether they be our close neighbours in the Republic of Ireland, or based at the other side of the world – are welcome to apply. The award will cover the conference fee, plus £100 to help with travel costs to the UK. The winner will be expected to source funding from elsewhere to cover additional expenses such as the balance on travel, plus subsistence and accommodation costs.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 6th June. Applications will be judged by members of the DREaM project advisory board in the same week, and the names of the winners announced afterwards.

To apply, please complete the application form.

Out of the comfort zone: DREaM project launch conference full programme published

Today we published the full programme for the DREaM project launch conference to be held at the British Library Conference Centre, London on Tuesday 19th July. Taking “Out of the comfort zone” as its main theme, the exciting schedule includes sessions that cover: the DREaM project itself; the trajectory of LIS research; research collaborations across disciplines; research approaches, methods and techniques; research dissemination (including working with the media); public engagement with research; and the building of a research network for LIS researchers in the UK. There will also be an opportunity for delegates to participate as speakers themselves in a One Minute Madness session, following the success of this format at the LIS Research Coalition conference in June 2010.

Registrations will open for the DREaM project launch conference in early May.

Sessions and speakers at DREaM project launch conference announced

We are pleased to announce that almost all the details of sessions and speaker names at the DREaM project launch conference at the British Library Conference Centre, London on Tuesday 19th July have now been confirmed. LIS DREaM logo Speakers include Professor Blaise Cronin, Dr Dylan Evans, Professor Hazel Hall, Dr Philip Hills, Professor Sara Rankin, and Professor Gunilla Widén. Conference delegates will also have the opportunity to take to the stage as one minute madness contributors. For further details please see the DREaM project page. Registrations for this first DREaM event will open in early May.