DREaM workshop series news

Following the success of the DREaM project launch conference the project team has been working on the workshop programme and keeping details of those who intend to register for the set of three workshops. Registrations for the workshops will open soon. In the meantime we are asking anyone who would like to pre-register to contact Hazel Hall. We would also be pleased to welcome those who share the interests of other members of the DREaM network to join the DREaM project online community.

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DREaM project launch conference materials now all online

We’re pleased to tell you that all the resources from last week’s DREaM project launch conference are now available. Please follow the links below for:

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.

DREaM launch conference speaker insight 3: Julie McLeod and Elizabeth Lomas

Julie McLeod

Professor Julie McLeod

Elizabeth Lomas

Elizabeth Lomas

In the third of our series of DREaM Project Launch Conference speaker insights, we catch up with Professor Julie McLeod and Elizabeth Lomas to get their perspective on the forthcoming event.

Professor Julie McLeod is the Professor of Records Management at Northumbria University.

Elizabeth Lomas is a PhD research student at Northumbria University.

They responded jointly to our questions to explain their hopes and dreams for the DREaM conference and the project as a whole…

What is your interest in the DREaM project and why are you participating in the launch event?

Reliable and accessible information, managed over time, is at the heart of a healthy society. Effective information management supports the well-being of individuals and organisations. It is therefore important that we keep progressing research within LIS and DREaM is a unique initiative bringing together pioneering research methods within the information domain.

What do you hope to achieve through your breakout session?

Northumbria University’s Information Management Innovation Research Group has pioneered the use of a range of cutting edge research methods in novel ways. We hope to showcase this, receive feedback on some of our ideas and encourage others to be innovative in the way they approach LIS research.

What are your hopes for the conference as a whole?

We hope to hear from leading researchers in the LIS field about their visions for the 21st century LIS research agenda and how we can exploit interdisciplinary research methods and technologies to do different research, do it differently and make a difference.

What are your hopes for the DREaM project as it gets underway?

That it can pioneer and showcase UK information research and develop new networks for future research.

Professor McLeod and Elizabeth Lomas will be leading a breakout session titled: “Extending your research methods repertoire”, in which they will explore less well-used methods for conducting research in the library and information science discipline, drawing upon real practical case examples of research undertaken at Northumbria University.

For further details about this session, please see the full conference programme.

DREaM launch conference speaker insight 2: Dr Dylan Evans

Dylan EvansIn the second of our DREaM Launch Conference speaker insights, we speak with Dr Dylan Evans, who will be presenting our closing keynote. In this interview, he shares his enthusiasm for the project, and why he believes LIS research is “sexy”.

Dr Dylan Evans is a Lecturer in Behavioural Science at University College Cork. However, he’s been seduced by a variety of subjects during his academic career, from linguistics and psychoanalysis to robotics and philosophy.

What is your interest in the DREaM project and why are you participating in the launch event?

I am a huge fan of interdisciplinary work and love collaborating with people from other disciplines. I think LIS researchers are ideally placed to facilitate such collaboration with others across subject and geographical boundaries, as well as disseminating research findings beyond traditional academic audiences, so I was delighted when Hazel Hall asked me to present a keynote at this conference.

What do you hope to achieve through your keynote?

I hope to get people excited about interdisciplinary research, and spark off some ideas about how to foster collaboration between researchers from disparate areas. I also hope to entertain people; it’s the last talk of the day, and people will be tired, so my aim is to send them home with a smile on their faces.

What are your hopes for the conference as a whole?

I hope the conference will provide a great launchpad for the DREaM project, and help to sow the seeds for a fertile researcher community. I also hope that it will serve as a springboard for extending LIS research practice beyond its traditional boundaries.

What are your hopes for the DREaM project as it gets underway?

I hope the DREaM project will help LIS researchers dare to dream about things they have never dreamed of before, and show the rest of the world how sexy LIS can be!

Dr Evans will be presenting the closing keynote: “The promiscuous researcher: flirting across disciplines and courting the media”, in which he will argue that variety is the spice of love. He will tell the story of some of his research relationships, and explain the thread that links the apparently disparate disciplines with which he has fallen in love, and why he eventually got divorced.

For further details about this session, please see the full conference programme.

DREaM launch conference speaker insight 1: Professor Blaise Cronin

We are rapidly approaching the DREaM Project Launch Conference on Tuesday 19th July, and the speakers and workshop leaders are busy preparing their presentations.

In the first of our series of preview posts, we ask our opening keynote speaker, Professor Blaise Cronin, to explain why he thinks both the event and the DREaM project are important, and what he hopes to achieve through his keynote presentation.

Professor Cronin is Rudy Professor of Information Science, Indiana University, US.

What is your interest in the DREaM project and why are you participating in the launch event?

This seems like an imaginative attempt to if not actually build research capacity within the field to at least set in train discussions that might result in (a) new forms of sustainable collective endeavor and (b) concrete collaborations that might not otherwise have come about. On a personal level, it affords me the opportunity to take the measure of current thinking in the UK and make comparisons with trends in the US.

What do you hope to achieve through your keynote?

Apart for not sending the audience to sleep, a number of things: (a) provide a conspectus of research strengths and weaknesses in information studies research; (b) demonstrate the need for rigor and scale; (c) show the increasing porosity and inter-disciplinarity of the field; (d) suggest some strategic investment opportunities.

What are your hopes for the conference as a whole?

To develop a level of enthusiasm that carries beyond the day and to come up with a number of actionable outcomes that, over time, take research in the field in a new direction or to a new level.

What are your hopes for the DREaM project as it gets underway?

That the dream doesn’t fade too quickly. To that end, I’d like to see thought given to ways of maintaing momentum after the funding period has come to an end.

Professor Cronin will be providing the opening keynote: “…And into the zone of quasi-rationality”, in which he will be providing a brief historical overview of LIS research before critically reviewing competence and practice in the field. For more details, please see the full conference programme.

Congratulations to international award winner Colm Talbot

LIS DREaM project

In May we announced that we were offering a bursary to an international delegate at the DREaM project launch conference in London on Tuesday 19th July 2011 (please see the blog announcement).

We are pleased to announce the name of the winner of this award as:

Colm TalbotColm Talbot
Information/Library Assistant – Richview Architecture Library
University College Dublin

Colm is interested in how we can adopt and adapt approaches used in other disciplines to provide greater insight in LIS research. He recently wrote up a dissertation entitled What are MLIS students’ needs, motivations and expectations? Developing MLIS student personas for his Masters degree in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) at University College Dublin (UCD). This research stemmed from an interest in how student goals were being met by the School of Library and Information Studies (SILS) at UCD. Colm is currently developing an article for publication based on this work.

Colm is especially interested in hearing the address by Professor Blaise Cronin at the DREaM project launch conference. He is also looking forward to the one minute madness session. He is keen to meet other LIS researchers from beyond his home country of the Republic of Ireland so that he can develop an international network of contacts who share his interests in LIS 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.