Meet the DREaM conference sponsors

We are grateful to the following organisations for their generous sponsorship of the forthcoming DREaM project conference on Monday 9th July:

Ashgate  
Facet Publishing  
Glen Recruitment  
Library and information Science Research Group (CILIP)    
Sage  
Sue Hill Recruitment  
TFPL  
Wiley  
Advertisements

“What’s not to like about DREaM?” asks Sue Hill

Sue Hill Recruitment logoSue Hill, Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Information Professionals, has contributed a guest blog post on Sue Hill Recruitment’s involvement as a sponsor of the DREaM conference. Sue writes:

What’s not to like about DREaM? It is an event you know you WANT to sponsor and/or to be part of. We are delighted to be doing both. Donald Lickley from Sue Hill Recruitment will be attending and reporting back to the team and doubtless tweeting from the spot. If I wasn’t intending to spend the day recovering from my wedding the day before I would be sitting, listening and watching how everyone copes with ‘One minute madness’. I’ve done presentations of five minutes and three minutes and very recently two minutes, but I have yet to experience a frightening horn being blown at one minute. Good luck in chairing that Mike! (And how many times have we heard a thirty minute talk that only had one minute of value in it?)

The DREaM program of events comes to an end with the concluding conference (#lis_dream5). Charles Oppenheim says he hopes that ‘a new generation of enthusiastic and competent LIS researchers will emerge and be self-sustaining through what will be, in effect, a community of practice.’ We couldn’t agree more and we are proud to be associated with that aim.

Registrations for the DREaM conference close today, Monday 2nd July. To book your place, please submit your details to the conference registration page.

Online registrations for the DREaM conference close today

Online registrations for the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project conference, which takes place at the British Library conference centre on Monday 9th July, close today (Monday 2nd July). We still have some places available for librarians, information professionals, researchers, academics, practitioner researchers and students – indeed all interested in library and information science research and its use in practice in general, and in particular anyone keen to follow and join the debate on:

  • The value and impact of libraries and information services
  • The evidence to demonstrate the value and impact of libraries and information services
  • The development of a UK network of researchers and library and information practitioner-researchers

For just £95 the exciting DREaM conference programme includes:

  • Keynote presentations by international expert on value measurement in libraries Professor Carol Tenopir, and best-selling author, broadcaster, medical doctor and academic Dr Ben Goldacre
  • Papers on the DREaM project by Hazel Hall, and the DREaM network by Louise Cooke
  • An open panel discussion on how a UK network of LIS researchers can be sustained, led by Charles Oppenheim with contributions from the conference speakers and panelists Jo Alcock and Carla Basili
  • A series of delegate-led “one minute madness” presentations covering a range of work across all library sectors, chaired by Mike Clarke of Camden Libraries
  • Presentation of the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award by Dr Ben Goldacre to the North West Clinical Librarian Systematic Review and Evaluation Group
  • Access to the conference exhibition including stands from Ashgate, Facet, Sage and Wiley
  • Post-conference networking drinks reception and prize draw
  • All refreshments on the day: at registration, in the lunch and tea/coffee breaks, and at the post-conference networking drinks reception

See the full programme at http://bit.ly/DREaM5_prog. Book your place now at http://bit.ly/DREaM5. Registrations close today: Monday 2nd July.

DREaM conference special issue of Coalition newsletter now available

In 2012 we are issuing regular newsletters to keep the LIS research community informed of the work of the LIS Research Coalition. The newsletters will be mailed to relevant listservs, and a copy of each one archived on the newsletters page.

The fourth newsletter, which is a special issue devoted to news of the forthcoming DREaM conference at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday 9th July, is issued this week. Our top stories are:

  1. Last chance to book! Registrations for the DREaM conference close on Monday 2nd July
  2. DREaM conference keynote speaker Ben Goldacre features on the Radio 4 Today programme
  3. Sponsored places at the DREaM conference: the winners
  4. Speaker previews of DREaM conference sessions now available
  5. Coming up soon on the Library and Information Science Research Coalition web site

Meet the bursary-winning new professional and PhD student delegates at the DREaM conference

We are very pleased to announce the names of the 10 winners of the travel bursaries offered to new LIS professionals and full-time PhD students to attend the DREaM conference at the British Library on 9th July.

Jean Parris of UWE

  • Graeme Brown – PhD student, University of Strathclyde, PhD title: “Place-making in digital space: public libraries and social capital”.
  • Aislinn Conway – Clinical Evidence Based Information Service (CEBIS) Specialist, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
  • Cate Eastwood – PhD student, Loughborough University, PhD title: “Research article abstracts in the social sciences: a genre-based analysis”.
  • Anthony McKeown – PhD student at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, PhD title: “Information and communication poverty in Northern Ireland”.
  • Kristin Meredith-Galley – PhD Research Student at Loughborough University, Loughborough, PhD title: “Do primary school libraries contribute to students’ information literacy skills?
  • Jean Parris – Campus Librarian, University of the West of England.
  • Tom Rogers – Information Librarian, University of Bath Library.
  • Rachel Steele – Clinical/Site Librarian, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Ella Taylor-Smith – PhD student, Napier University in Edinburgh, PhD title: “Participation space studies. How do interpretations of online and offline spaces influence (e)participation in community and civic life?”.
  • Lillian Tsang Phillips – PhD student, Northumbria University. PhD title: “Evolution of librarianship: the changing role of academic information professionals in the 21st century”.

Five of the people listed above – Aislinn, Anthony, Jean, Rachel and Ella – are all members of the DREaM project cadre, and attended all three DREaM workshops between October 2011 and April 2012.

Some of our bursary winners have shared the reasons why they are looking forward to the DREaM conference:

Rachel Steele says that the DREaM project has been extremely beneficial to her, both in the breadth and depth of presentations about some research methodologies that she had not previously heard of, and also in developing external relationships with other DREaM participants. These participants have stimulated her own work by exposing her to new ideas from their working contexts which will – in time – enable her to continually improve her job performance. She feels sure that attendance at the conference will deepen her understanding of research methodologies and allow for further interactions with conference participants which will be invaluable to her.

Lillian Tsang Phillips says that this is her first conference since she starting her PhD so she is really looking forward to meeting colleagues, exchanging ideas and gaining insights from experienced colleagues and guest speakers.

Lillian Tsang Phillips, Tom Rogers and Rachel Steele

Anthony McKweon says that having enjoyed participating at previous DREaM events, which provided the opportunity to network with other PhD students, learn from experienced practitioners, and discuss research and exchange ideas, he is excited about returning to the British Library on July 9th. This event will contributes to his personal and professional development by providing the chance to tell other researchers from the library and information community about what is he doing, get new ideas and see things from other contexts. He believes that learning about how other parts of the UK deliver library and information services is always worthwhile. He adds that he is particularly interested in Professor Carol Tenopir’s presentation on methods for measuring value and impact in libraries. He also has high expectations for the one-minute madness presentations, which he thinks should be very good!

Aislinn Conway says that she is looking forward to returning to the British Library Conference Centre, which has been the venue for two other DREaM events. She is impressed with the range of speakers on the programme, and welcomes the one-minute madness session as a platform for delegate presentations. She believes that the conference will bring together the people who have participated in the DREaM project to date, and looks forward to exploring its very worthy achievements.

Ella Taylor-Smith, Anthony McKeown, Kristin Meredith Galley, and Aislinn Conway

Kristin Meredith-Galley say that PhD work can be an isolating experience, particularly in the first year and that she is looking forward to getting out from behind the desk to join a community of practice at the conference, to exchange ideas, resources and to learn more about best practice in research. To her this is a great opportunity, not only to share her own research in this community, but also to share in the success and excitement of other delegates’ research.

Tom Rogers says that after working for a number of years on a variety of research projects in several different locations he decided that he wanted a career change. He moved into library work in January 2010. He spent about 18 months working as a Library Assistant at the University of Bath, completed a PgDip in Information and Library Management, and then looked for his first professional job. This came to fruition in January 2012, when he started in his current role and began working towards CILIP chartership. Professional library work involves him in variety and change and gives him plenty of opportunity to do the kinds of work that he finds rewarding. When asked why is he looking forward to the conference Tom said that he wants to learn more about the development of a network of practitioner researchers, and he is interested how this may help his professional development. He also wants to discover the main research themes and questions that conference delegates and speakers see as important and reflect upon how they compare to his own list of interests. He is hoping to learn about academic and practitioner research in areas such as: operations, marketing and strategy management in libraries; digital media and technology supported learning; learning and teaching of information and library skills; design of library spaces—technological and organisational, physical and virtual.

Graeme Brown

When we asked Graeme Brown why he was interested in the DREaM conference he said that he was attracted by the programme in general. However, what he is in particularly looking forward to are two presentations. He is interested in Professor Carol Tenopir’s opening keynote because there is a degree of overlap of her themes with parts of his own work. He is also looking forward to hearing Dr Ben Goldacre speak as he enjoys Ben’s discussions of evidence bases and methodologies in the Bad Science blog and liked Ben’s Bad Science book. Graeme says that he is grateful for the chance to attend the concluding DREAM event, learn more about what the project has entailed, and meet and learn from other researchers in the LIS area and beyond.

DREaM keynote speaker Ben Goldacre on BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Dr Ben Goldacre (copyright Rhys Stacker 2009)

Dr Ben Goldacre (copyright Rhys Stacker 2009)

This morning Ben Goldacre – author, broadcaster, medical doctor, academic and keynote speaker at our forthcoming DREaM project conference at the British Library on 9th July – gave an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. In it he discussed a report from the Behaviour Insight Unit of the Cabinet Office which suggests that government policy initiatives should be subject to the same kind of randomised control trials used to test new medicines and new ways of doing business.

The interview is available online on the Today programme’s web site. Ben writes about the report on the Bad Science web site in his posting entitled Here’s our Cabinet Office paper on randomised trials of government policies. Read it.

If you would like to hear Ben speak in person, there are still some places available for the DREaM project conference on Monday 9th July at the British Library, but hurry – registrations close next Monday.

Re-engaging with research: some thoughts from the Library and Information Research Group

Ronan O'Beirne

Ronan O’Beirne

Ronan O’Beirne, Chair of CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group – LIRG and member of the Board of Directors of the LIS Research Coalition – has contributed a guest blog post on the research and librarianship, and the role of LIRG. If you would like to meet Ronan, he will be at the British Library on Monday 9th July to attend the DREaM conference, and to chair the LIRG AGM, which follows the formal sessions of the DREaM conference. Ronan writes:

The Library and Information Research Group – LIRG, a special interest group of CILIP – believes that research, in all its many manifestations, should be an essential dimension of librarianship.

Indeed LIRG believes that research can be an important and powerful weapon in the librarian’s arsenal and, as such, we champion the use of research across all sectors of the profession. More specifically, and through its various activities, LIRG aims to raise the profile and to influence the direction of research within the world of libraries. Founded 35 years ago in 1977, the group continues to be engaged with three main aims:

  1. promoting the dissemination of sound research methodology and results;
  2. assisting in the development of emerging researchers;
  3. enabling networking between researchers.

Of course back in 1977 there was no such thing a tweeting or blogging, but a company called Apple was incorporated in the US and – in response the Commodore PET, with 8kb of RAM – came to be the first “all-in-one” computer. From then on everything changed utterly and the terrible beauty of the Internet was born. The library profession and the substance of what the library does, or is, fundamentally changed.

A necessary question that follows this is how has research changed? Academic and scientific research can be seen, with the notion of mode 2 knowledge production, to have become more context-driven and solution-focused. Knowledge itself has become the product of research and its “transfer”, within an increasingly market-driven higher education, forms the unit of production upon which is based a new “academic capitalism”. Models such as the triple helix see government, academia and private business exploiting research. Where might LIS research fit in with models such as these?

More recently, with the abundance of networked information systems, the ability to disseminate research globally with the press of a button has challenged traditional scarcity models of publishing and given rise to new forms of scholarly communication. Certainly librarians continue to play an important part in innovations such as open access journals and institutional repositories.

Yet, while the impact of the Internet and technology on research approaches has been profound, the nature of LIS research has perhaps not kept pace. Indeed, in his keynote address at the launch of the DREaM project Blaise Cronin lamented the quality of LIS research and noted that very much of what might pass as research is not research that can be usefully applied. He uses the term “theoretical bricolage” to illustrate how the results of the many “cookie cutter” research projects fail to contribute to theory, and seem to take a piece of theory from here and from there in an almost haphazard way.

From a social justice perspective more qualitative research is needed, particularly in relation to the public library, and also with regard to the need for a greater emphasis on digital literacy and citizenship. Public libraries – and for that matter school libraries – so often accused of not engaging with research, may be excused because frequently “the research game” is sold to them from a singularly higher education academic viewpoint. Moreover, as the evidence-based policy-making of today’s neo-liberalism manifests itself in a managerialism intent on counting the cost of everything within the public sector generally, public librarians specifically will tell you that within local authority library departments datasets on, for example, numbers of book loans become the evidence used to justify library closures. Such an approach is a poor advertisement for the research that actually needs to be undertaken in public, school and college libraries. There has to be a hope and expectation that through a range of different research approaches we might get to a deeper, more honest understanding of our profession.

We know from the response to our regularly held events that there are many enthusiastic researchers within our ranks keen to make a positive contribution to the knowledge. If issues such as those mentioned above interest you, then take a look at the LIRG web site or dip into our open access journal Library and Information Research (LIR) to get a better insight into the work of this group. I’m sure you will be surprised.

The 2012 AGM of the The Library and Information Research Group will be held on 9th July at the British Library at the end of the DREaM conference. All-comers are welcome.