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.

Professor Blaise Cronin announced as DREaM conference keynote speaker

We are pleased to announce that Dr Blaise Cronin, Rudy Professor of Information Science in the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, US has agreed to give the opening keynote presentation at the DREaM project conference this July. This is the first of five events organised for the AHRC-funded project. The one-day conference takes place at the British Library Conference Centre in London on Tuesday 19th July 2011. For further details of the programme, please see the DREaM project page.

Presentation to Stephanie Kenna at Online 2010

Each year the Council of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (one of the founding members of the LIS Research Coalition) awards honorary fellowships to individuals who have have rendered distinguished service in promoting the objects of the Institute.

Stephanie Kenna

In 2010 the awards were announced and presented at the CILIP Members’ Day held in London on 14th October. Amongst those honoured this year was Stephanie Kenna. Stephanie was unable to attend the ceremony on that day so instead her presentation will be made at Online 2010 at London Olympia today. Those attending Online 2010 are welcome to come to the presentation, which will form part of the LIS Research Coalition conference session, and takes place between 12:30 and 13:00 in the Gallery Rooms in the exhibition hall at Olympia. Stephanie’s contributions to library and information science are well known in the UK, as outlined in the citation below, and it is an honour for the LIS Research Coalition to participate in the celebration of her work today.

Stephanie began her career in librarianship when she joined the British Library (BL) in 1975. She performed a variety of roles before joining the Research and Development Department in 1988. Here she developed and managed the humanities and preservation research programmes, and established, as well as served as secretary to, The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust. In addition she was responsible for BL grants for Cataloguing and Preservation.

When the BL Research and Innovation Centre was closed down in 1999, Stephanie moved into different roles, establishing the BL’s fund for supporting co-operative projects and other grant schemes for cataloguing, conservation and supporting public libraries. She also undertook responsibility for the Full Disclosure and Reaching the Regions programmes. Stephanie then moved on to develop the BL’s regional strategy working closely with the public library sector.

In her final years at the BL, Stephanie played critical roles in establishing two national initiatives: first, the UK Research Reserve, and secondly the Library and Information Research Coalition. Although now retired, she maintains an active role with the Coalition.

Throughout her career Stephanie has also played an active role in CILIP, most importantly as a member of its Accreditation Board and Career Development Group. She remains active in CILIP in her retirement, currently serving on the Defining our Professional Future Project Board, and as a mentor to junior colleagues.

Stephanie’s long career in the BL has been an essentially outward-facing one. Both in the Research and Development Department and in her relationships work, she has played key roles in supporting and enabling the development of high quality library and information services across the UK. In doing so she has promoted and enabled professional development and high standards of professional practice. Fostering education, training, research and innovation in the practice of librarianship and information science was, of course, a key part of her work in R&DD, as well as more recently in the establishment of the LIS Research Coalition.

The respect with which Stephanie is regarded by her many colleagues and friends was shown by the large numbers of them who came from afar to attend her retirement party at the BL at the end of 2009. This is clear recognition of how throughout her career she has worked with colleagues in the UK or overseas to promote and support the provision or development of library and information services.

In recognition of that distinguished contribution Stephanie Kenna is presented for Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

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.

Conference taster: meet our speakers and facilitators

In the run-up to Monday’s conference, we have been interviewing speakers and breakout session facilitators to discover more about what they will be covering in their sessions, the key issues to be discussed by the LIS research community at the event, and their hopes for the day as a whole.

Michael JubbMichael Jubb, Opening speaker

“I’m going to say a little about how the Coalition came to be set up, what it is seeking to achieve, and the challenges it faces.

In terms of the LIS research landscape, the big research challenge is to do some rigorous analysis (not advocacy, though we need that as well) on the value of libraries and information services. That means looking hard at the relationships not just between inputs and outputs (the easy bit, though we need to get better at it) but at outcomes, in terms of learning – formal and informal – and research. That’s difficult, but we need to do it.

I’m looking forward to the chance to meet, discuss, and to find the points of intersection of interests and ideas.”

Andrew Dillon, Opening keynote speaker

“I’ll offer a sweeping view of a field that feels threatened yet promises so much, with suggestions to move us all forward!

I consider people – users, consumers, searchers, readers, and creators – to be the most interesting issue on the LIS research landscape. They are always what it is all about, and we should never forget it. I’m most looking forward to sharing ideas with a UK audience as it’s been a long time.”

Anne BriceAnne Brice, Research evidence – breakout session facilitator

“I think research evidence is important because we need to be able to answer the most important questions that our users, practitioners and funders have, and to be sure that we are doing the best we can with the resources we have. It needs to support decision making, expand our understanding and be seen as an essential tool in how we develop and improve our services.

I am looking forward to meeting delegates from all parts of the LIS community, to sharing ideas and solutions, and to having the time to focus on the issues around research evidence without the usual interruptions! Participants at previous workshops have identified a range of barriers to finding and using good quality research evidence, relating to the nature of the evidence base itself, the skills needed to do and use research, or to the working culture or environment. We hope that the breakout sessions will provide an opportunity to hear from lots of different perspectives, and bring different types of knowledge and experience together.”

Michael SteadMichael Stead, Research impact and value – breakout session facilitator

“In my role as a manager in public libraries, the value of research is in its effect on the decision-making process. Good quality research helps me and my colleagues to make the right decisions. In the current economic climate, it’s vitally important that we are as well-informed as we can possibly be: using the right research helps us to do that.

This a great opportunity to find out about the approach taken to research activities across all sectors of the information professions, and I’m confident that there will be a lot of valuable discussion in the breakout sessions. I would personally like to learn more about sources of research funding and how other professionals make research mesh with the day job.”

Val SkeltonVal Skelton, Research impact and value – breakout session facilitator

“I work as co-editor for Business Information Review, which is an international journal for all those who work within organisations helping them achieve maximum value from information – whether externally sourced information or internal knowledge/information/ records. Our aim is to publish articles of practical relevance to our readership. Our contributors include practitioners who work in all sectors. We also publish articles by academics and students, whose research brings insight into the achievements of other organisations and which we believe can stimulate ideas in our readership. For example, our June issue includes an article on creativity, chaos theory and KM, derived from work undertaken for a masters degree. A second article shares the experience of students who participated in a ‘customer driven knowledge factory’, and demonstrates how our readers can engage with internal customers to build knowledge and expertise.

Our readership is constantly focused on how to demonstrate the value and impact of the services they provide to their organisations. Any developments in this area are of critical importance to the journal and to the profession.”

Professor Charles OppenheimCharles Oppenheim, Closing keynote

In the interests of suspense, you will have to wait and see what Charles is going to say in his closing keynote. We feel that we need to keep some surprises for the day! You will be interested to know, however, that aspects of Charles’ presentation will be driven by delegate contributions at the conference on Monday. He did say: “I think the lack of funding and support is the key issue right now; demonstrating value and worth is the key research area that needs to be addressed. The networking opportunities and brainstorming is what interests me the most about this conference.”

You can find out more about all of our speakers, facilitators and session chairs by reading their profiles.

We look forward to hearing delegate views on these themes at the British Library on Monday. For those attending remotely, look out for tweets with the event hashtag #lisrc10, and we’ll watch out for your ideas coming through as you tweet your own contributions to the conference debates.

Why do we still like to attend professional events in person?

In these days of webinars, virtual events and amplified events, there are still lots of reasons why attending a conference in person has its benefits. Here are some of the reasons we are looking forward to actually being there for Evidence, Value and Impact: the LIS Research Landscape in 2010

  • The opportunity to hear speakers of international repute in person: the event programme gives the full details.
  • The potential to engage in discussions, and to ask questions of experts.
  • The chance to hear about live research projects: our one minute madness session gives delegates the opportunity to take the stage.
  • The networking opportunities, including meeting new, like-minded people, as well as renewing established relationships. Based on the delegate list so far, we will be welcoming a great mix of really interesting people on the day. The full range of LIS sectors is represented with: practitioners attending from the academic, public, corporate and medical libraries; representation from members of the Coalition member bodies (British Library, CILIP, JISC, MLA, RIN and SHALL); LIS academics and researchers; PhD students; independent LIS consultants; and publishers. The majority of delegates already registered are UK-based, but we do have some who are travelling quite a distance to be with us on 28th June from the US, Africa and Asia. We are advising those registered to get to know some of the other delegates ahead of the conference by following our tips. Just make sure that you don’t miss out on a conversation with that person whose work is particularly interesting to you.
  • The chance to meet sponsors in person to get a better understanding of their products and services and what they could do for you and the service that you deliver.

In addition, all this stimulation comes without any work distractions. The best way to get all of this, is to be there with us at the British Library on Monday 28th June.

However, we do recognise that there are those who would really benefit from this event, but simply can’t get to us. One such person is Ruth Baxter, who was recently commenting on Jo Alcock’s blog post Librarians as researchers. Unfortunately, Ruth cannot join us at the conference as she is not within a commutable distance: she is based in Australia.

For people like Ruth, we will be amplifying the live event using online media such as Twitter (event hashtag #lisrc10) and this blog. It will be possible to actively participate remotely, as we will be monitoring online comments, and will pass on questions to the speakers, as appropriate. You can get involved in the online discussions whether you are at the British Library with us on the day, or many miles away. The time difference may prevent Ruth getting involved in real time, but she has said that she will definitely be watching the virtual feedback when she is awake, so the discussions could be carried on after the event.

Registration for participation in person closes today, so if you would like to make a booking, please click through to the registration page.

Coalition conference newsflash 7

Logos of Glen Recruitment, TFPL and Sue Hill Recruitment

The sponsors of the six PhD student places

Thanks to the generosity of three of the leading LIS recruitment firms – Glen Recruitment, TFPL and Sue Hill Recruitment – the LIS Research Coalition is able to offer six sponsored places at its conference at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday 28th June 2010. These will be for PhD students currently engaged in LIS research. Sponsorship will cover the conference fee for each of the six students who win an award.

For further information about the awards, and how to apply, please see the page that details the sponsored conference places for PhD students.

Coalition conference newsflash 6

Registrations for the LIS Research Coalition conference to be held at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday June 28th are now open. We are looking forward to welcoming a broad range of LIS research stakeholders for a productive day on 28th June during which delegates will add to their knowledge of the LIS research landscape, including the work of the LIS Research Coalition, while also increasing their awareness of:

  • the diversity of LIS research opportunities
  • research funding sources
  • potential research collaborators
  • means of increasing the relevance of research efforts
  • avenues for publication of research output
  • research development opportunities for individuals and groups
  • techniques for integrating research activities into everyday work practice

Our speakers and facilitators offer research experience in: public, academic, special and corporate libraries; the health service; business; publishing; consulting; training; charities and higher education. (Further details are given on the main conference page.) Delegates are also offered the option of taking the stage for a 60-second slot by participating in the conference’s “one minute madness” session.

We are also pleased to announce that the specialist events management firm Event Logistics is providing the Secretariat for the conference. The contacts at Event Logistics are Richard Hart and Adele Bates, and they can be contacted at lisrc10@event-logistics.co.uk.

We are all looking forward to gathering the LIS research community together in London on 28th June.

Coalition conference newsflash 5

Val Skelton

Val Skelton

Val Skelton, editor of Business Information Review, has kindly agreed to join the LIS Research Coalition team as a facilitator at the conference at the British Library Conference Centre in London on Monday 28th June. Val is known to the LIS research community for a variety of information and publishing roles held during a career of over 20 years in the industry. These positions range from the commissioning editor for library and information science at Bowker-Saur to the Head of Training and Learning at TFPL.

Professor Andrew Dillon to present opening keynote paper at the LIS Research Coalition Conference 2010

Professor Andrew Dillon

We are delighted to announce that Professor Andrew Dillon will be presenting the opening keynote paper at the LIS Research Coalition conference at the British Library Conference Centre, London, on Monday 28th June 2010.

Andrew Dillon is Dean and Louis T. Yule Regents Professor of Information at the School of Information, University of Texas, Austin where he also holds appointments as Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Information, Risk & Operations Management. Since graduating from University College Cork and Loughborough University, Andrew has held appointments in a multitude of departments or schools, including cognitive science, computer science, instructional systems technology, psychology, management information systems, curriculum and instruction, informatics, and library and information science. He has been an active researcher for 20 years, writing 100+ papers on many aspects of people and their interaction with information technology with emphasis on digital document design, reading and writing, the effect of aesthetics on user response, and the development of reliable and valid design methods.

In his opening keynote presentation at the LIS Research Coalition conference, Professor Dillon will speak on international perspectives of UK LIS research, taking into account the conference themes of evidence, value and impact.

Professor Dillon’s home page is at http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon/, and he posts to his blog at http://sentra.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon/blog/