Supporting #LISRC10

We are really pleased to have some fantastic sponsors who have offered their support for our forthcoming event Evidence, Value and Impact: the LIS Research Landscape in 2010 at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday 28th June.

OCLC LogoOCLC Research is one of the world’s leading centres devoted to exploration, innovation, and community building on behalf of libraries, archives, and museums. OCLC Research is dedicated to helping libraries, archives and museums more effectively serve users of information, information systems, and cultural heritage collections.

http://www.oclc.org

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OUP logo

Oxford University Press is perhaps the most diverse publisher of its type. It publishes in many countries in a variety of different languages, for all levels, and across virtually the whole range of academic disciplines. The main criteria in evaluating a new title are its quality and the contribution it makes to the furtherance of scholarship and education.

http://www.oup.com

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Taylor and Francis Group logo

Taylor and Francis are academic publishers providing quality information and knowledge that enable customers to perform their jobs efficiently, continue their education, and help contribute to the advancement of their chosen markets. Their customers are researchers, students, academics and increasingly professionals.

http://www.tandf.co.uk

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The conference registrations for the six PhD student rapporteurs are provided thanks to the generosity of:

Logos of Glen Recruitment, TFPL and Sue Hill Recruitment

The sponsors of the six PhD student places

Glen Recruitment
TFPL
Sue Hill Recruitment

The involvement of our sponsors has been invaluable. Their support has enabled us to keep the cost of the event low, to offer sponsored places to some exceptional PhD students, and to bring in our live blogger, who will be helping us to reach a wider audience online so more people can get involved in the conference, and to create a lasting record of the event.

Many of our sponsors will be attending the event or providing literature for display, so you will be able to find out more about their work and talk to them about your needs and interests. The conference provides a great opportunity to meet representatives of these companies in person – whether to renew existing relationships or to forge new ones.

If you haven’t signed up to attend yet – time is running out. Registration closes on Friday 18th June. The full conference programme can be seen on the main conference web page, and you can click here to make a booking.

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Getting to know you

coffee cup with spoonThinking about signing up for the LIS Research Coalition Conference Evidence, Value and Impact: The LIS Research Landscape in 2010 and keen to see who else has already done so? Wondering who to grab for a really interesting chat during the breaks?

Social media has now made it possible to get to know your fellow conference delegates prior to the event so you can really make the most out of the networking opportunities at the conference. To make this as easy as possible, we have a few tips….

1. Follow the the lisrc10 Twitter List, which features updates from those who are providing their Twitter details when they sign up. This is a great way of seeing who is attending, finding out about them both professionally and personally, and of getting a conversation going before you arrive at the conference.

2. If you use a Twitter client, set up a permanent search on the conference hashtag #lisrc10 so you can see what everyone else is saying about the event. If you don’t use a Twitter client, read this post to find out why you should.

3. Use the hashtag #lisrc10 when tweeting about the conference. This will help like-minded people find you and your comments, which can lead to some great conversations and connections.

4. Follow @LISResearch for official announcements both in the run up to the conference and during the event.

5. Add your details to the conference LinkedIn page, created by one of our keen delegates.

6. Read the profiles of the speakers, facilitators and session chairs on this web site.

Of course, if you don’t use Twitter or LinkedIn, you can always introduce yourself by commenting on this post… Just make sure you include a link to your blog or web site so we can all find out more.

We hope that connecting online and getting to know each other beforehand will help you to have an even better experience of networking on the day, and help you to target the people of most interest to you for a chat.

A few conference places remain available, but online bookings close on Friday 18th June, so register now to secure your place.

The Professional Librarian and the evidence base

library shelvesMany readers of the LIS Research Coalition blog will have seen (or at least seen reference to) the recent KPMG report. This has generated some controversy within the libraries sector, and beyond. The report criticises the current model for spending on public services and advocates a “Payment for Success” system, which – it claims – will increase productivity and reduce costs across the whole public sector by changing the way services are funded to focus on the delivery of results.

The report singles out libraries as an area of public service facing funding challenges, with library usage declining and the cost per unit for lending a book becoming more expensive than the wholesale price of buying the book. The authors suggest that an appropriate solution would be to follow a North American model, whereby libraries are staffed by community volunteers. The report claims that such a move could save large amounts of money on “over-skilled paid staff”.

Needless to say there has already been a significant reaction to this section of the report. Former poet laureate and current chair of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Sir Andrew Motion, calls the plans “foolhardy, outlandish and potentially catastrophic” in a response for the Guardian. He goes on to stress that: “Good libraries, like good anythings, need expert people working within them. Maybe there is a role for some aspect of volunteering but all the central stuff must be done by people who are qualified to do it…”

CILIP has also been quick to outline the benefits of public libraries managed by professional staff at their web site and has launched a campaign asking for clear, compelling “one-minute messages” to promote the library and information community’s activities. School librarian Nicola McNee has responded to this call using Twitter and the #CILIP1 hashtag to challenge others to outline what they do and why we need skilled professionals working in our libraries. The response to her call has been analysed by Brian Kelly on the UKOLN Cultural Heritage blog.

Radio 4’s The World This Weekend probed the issue in detail and usefully highlighted the importance of looking at the end result intended by having a library in the community, with libraries described as being the “National Health Service of the mind”. You can hear the debate here.

Whilst the report forms part of the run up to a public consultation it seems to have support from the new government. Once again we are reminded that it is only with a robust evidence base that claims such as those made by KPMG might be refuted. The LIS Research Coalition was established last year to facilitate and strategic and coordinated approach to LIS research. One obvious way of developing the evidence base is for LIS stakeholders from across all sectors – and particularly those involved in practitioner research – is to work with the LIS Research Coalition. At the end of this month there is a great opportunity for us to gather together to achieve this at the forthcoming LIS Research Coalition conference on Monday 28th June at the British Library Conference Centre. Here we will be able to discuss the issues in more detail and set the future agenda for adding to – and exploiting – an evidence base the demonstrates the value and impact of LIS. The deadline for signing up to attend the conference is Friday 18th June, so you will need to be quick to secure one of the remaining places.

The librarian as researcher

Over the past few months the LIS Research Coalition has been involved in a number of conferences and meetings, as can be seen from the listings on the Events web page. Last week attention focused on the Librarian as Researcher event organised by the Yorkshire and Humberside branch of the University, College and Research (UC&R) group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). As well as those who attended in person, a number of people followed the day’s proceedings on Twitter by watching the hashtag #ucryhres and corresponding with those tweeting, including @LISResearch. Miggie Pickton, who presented at this event, kindly agreed to contribute a guest blog posting on the day for the LIS Research Coalition web site.

Miggie is Research Support Specialist at the University of Northampton. She has been a great supporter of the LIS Research Coalition in the first year of its implementation. Miggie has served on the programme committee for the conference which takes place later in the month on Monday 28th June at the British Library, and is the one behind the organisation of the one minute madness session at this event.

Over to Miggie…

We all enjoyed a fun-filled day on practitioner research in York last Thursday, participating in the ‘Librarians as researchers’ event hosted by UC&R Yorkshire and Humberside. In the morning Jean McNiff of York St John University put us all through our paces as action researchers (yes, we actually did a piece of action research there and then) and then Sheila Corrall from the University of Sheffield’s i-School presented a set of convincing arguments for embarking on a higher degree in LIS. Professional doctorates appeal – a structured programme with lots of relevance to the day job – but, as yet, there not many professional doctorates available for LIS professionals in the UK.

Slightly awed by this exalted company, I was there banging the drum for practitioner research. But why would practitioners want to do research? The group came up with lots of reasons….

Research is good for the individual:

  • It is interesting – an opportunity to explore something in more depth, learn something new, satisfy your curiosity
  • It encourages you to challenge yourself, to move out of that comfort zone, develop new skills, become reflective, stretch yourself
  • It adds variety to the job – research involves a change from routine, an opportunity to do something different, work with new people
  • It involves making a personal connection with work
  • It increases job satisfaction
  • It enables you to do your job better
  • It supports professional development
  • It enhances personal profile and improves career prospects

Research is good for the service and the organisation:

  • It provides evidence of value and demonstrates impact
  • It underpins strategic improvement and other decision-making… and on the way research can help to solve problems and improve service
  • It leads to greater engagement with service users through:
    • Understanding their perspective
    • Showing that you’re interested in their needs
    • Doing what they do (promote the library as ‘academic’ department and the librarian as credible researcher)
  • It increases staff motivation and dynamism
  • It enhances organisational reputation and achieve recognition (within and beyond the institution)
  • It brings financial benefit – by generating income or discovering ways to reduce costs

Research is good for the profession:

  • It provokes conversation and debate (and not just within LIS – with other disciplines too)
  • It creates and disseminates new knowledge and good practice – furthering professional excellence (as CILIP would have us do)
  • It provokes positive change
  • It develops an engaged and vibrant professional community
  • It enhances the profession’s reputation and profile
  • It defines our professional future

And with all that is going for practitioner research, we’d better get on with it, taking advantage of continuing the conversation at other professional events that provide research support and opportunities to consider its context in LIS practice, such as the LIS Research Coalition conference at the end of this month.

Coalition conference newsflash 8

Photograph of Kirsty McGill

Kirsty McGill

Amplifiying the LIS Research Coalition Conference 2010

The LIS Research Coalition Conference 2010 will be “amplified” online by Kirsty McGill, Creative Director of training and communications firm TConsult. We asked Kirsty to introduce herself and explain what she will be doing at the event…

I suppose I can best be described as a live blogger or event amplifier – I help to capture the conversations going on inside the conference room, and help those outside to actively participate from far and wide. I’ve previously helped to amplify various UKOLN events including the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW 09) and the 5th International Digital Curation Conference. I am a digital writer by background and currently contribute to the Transliteracy Research Group.

During the conference, I will be tweeting and blogging to provide you with tweeted highlights and summaries of each session so you can keep up to speed with what is being discussed. I will also be looking for volunteers to interview with my trusty flip cam – so let me know if you are attending and would be happy to share your thoughts and reflections on the event with the world!

This blog will form the centre of the action, so if you are already subscribed the the RSS feed, you just need to sit back and wait for the updates to come to you. I will also be launching a Netvibes page for the conference, where you will be able to follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter (don’t be put off if you don’t use Twitter – you will still be able to join in!) You will also be able to see pictures from the event and find out what others are blogging about the conference.

I have to say that the part of this event that I am most looking forward to is the One Minute Madness, partly because I am interested to find out more about current research projects, but also because this looks like it will be the most challenging session to amplify!

More details about my amplification activities, including links, will be released in the run up to the event, so watch this space!

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.