New professionals and PhD students: register this week for a chance of a DREaM workshops travel bursary

DREaM logoToday we have been busy sending out application forms for the six £150 travel bursaries to support the participation of new professionals and PhD students in the three DREaM project workshops.

If you are a PhD student or a new professional (someone who has joined the profession since 2007) and have not yet had a chance to register for the three events, please ensure you do so this week so that there is time for us to send you the bursary application form and for you to complete and return it to us by the deadline of Tuesday 4th October at midday. You make your registration by completing this online form. You will then receive an e-mail as confirmation of your registration. (If you have any problems in registering, please contact Hazel Hall.)

The first workshop is on Tuesday 25th October at the Edinburgh Napier Craighouse campus (full programme details available). The second workshop will be held at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday 30th January 2012, and the third at Edinburgh Napier Craighouse campus once again on Wednesday 25th April 2012.

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Congratulation to the winners of sponsored places at EBLIP6

The LIS Research Coalition is delighted to announce that its four sponsored places at the Sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference have been awarded to:

  • Katrina Dalziel, Deputy Subject Librarian (Medicine), Swansea University (@Dalziel1)
  • Katie Fraser, Information Librarian, Leicester University (@katie_fraser)
  • Paolo Gardois, PhD Research Student, Sheffield University (@paologardois)
  • Alison Millis, Training and Outreach Manager, Library and Knowledge Services, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (@alisonmillis)

Winners EBLIP6

The conference takes place in Salford from 27th to 30th June 2011. The award winners will play an active role as members of the LIS Research Coalition rapporteur team at EBLIP6 and contribute reviews of some of the conference sessions that they attend to the LIS Research Coalition blog.

For further information about EBLIP6, please see the conference web site.

Apply for a Coalition-sponsored place at EBLIP6, Salford, 28-30 June 2011

The LIS Research Coalition is pleased to sponsor four places at the Sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference, which takes place in Salford from 27th to 30th June 2011. The places will be awarded to PhD students registered for their doctoral studies at a UK university and LIS practitioners based within the UK.

In exchange for the sponsored places, the award winners will play an active role as members of the LIS Research Coalition rapporteur team at EBLIP6, and contribute reviews of some of the conference sessions that they attend. Hazel Hall, who will be at the conference with her laptop, will add the reviews to the Coalition’s blog over the course of the event.

To apply for a place, please complete an application form (see below), ensuring that you select the one appropriate to your main status: PhD student or LIS practitioner. (If you are studying part-time while working, please use the LIS practitioner form and note your part-time student status on it.) We are interested in receiving applications from candidates who combine a keen interest in LIS research with an ability to grasp the key points of a discussion quickly. Members of our rapporteur team need to be able to synthesise points concisely in writing in order to communicate them effectively to a wider audience. Thus how you express yourself in your application for a sponsored place is as important as your reasons for wishing to attend the conference itself.

NB the awards cover the conference registration fee only. Therefore successful candidates will need to access funding from elsewhere to cover additional expenses such as travel, subsistence and accommodation. Suggested funding sources include the award winners’ home institutions/employers, and the support offered by professional bodies. For example, students will be encouraged to apply for a UKeIG Student Conference Grant. The registration page on the EBLIP6 web site lists a number of other sources of funding that are of relevance to students and practitioners alike.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 2nd May 2011. Applications will be judged soon afterwards and winners notified by the end of May.

Any queries about the awards should be addressed to Hazel Hall.

Application forms

EBLIP6 Conference Award – PhD student application form
EBLIP6 Conference Award – practitioner application form

New Generation Thinkers – A call to Library and Information Science

Are you a Library and Information Science Researcher who would like to tell the world about work in the domain?

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has contacted the LIS Research Coalition to ask us to help identify the next generation of public intellectuals. Could you be the LIS equivalent of scientists Brian Cox, Jim Al-Khalili or Marcus de Sautoy, and work with the BBC to share the passion for your subject with the population at large? If your profile meets any of the following criteria, you are eligible to apply for a chance to develop your own programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers and, of these up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers:

  • You are currently undertaking an AHRC-funded postgraduate or postdoctoral award, or working as a postgraduate or postdoctoral member of an AHRC-funded research project, OR
  • You are currently undertaking a PhD in one of the disciplinary domains of the AHRC (LIS is one of the AHRC domains), OR
  • You are within eight years of the award of your PhD, OR
  • You are within six years of your first academic appointment.

It would be fantastic for LIS to be represented in New Generation Thinkers, the pilot talent scheme for emerging academics with a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship to a wider audience, and who have an interest in broader cultural debate. To find out more and make an application, please see the New Generation Thinkers page on the AHRC web site. The deadline for applications is 10th December 2010.

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 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.