The time has finally come – I just can’t put it off any more! I’ve been taking a break from studying whilst I settle into my new job, but I can’t really use that excuse anymore as I’ve been in this job for over a year now.
I’ve been researching ideas for my dissertation for a while now, and have been spending a lot of time reading, researching and thinking – now it’s time to do some real work. I’ve been talking to lots of people about my ideas; I must mention special thanks to Sarah Oxford from University of Worcester who I visited in the summer (for a totally different reason!) and really inspired me to start properly thinking about my dissertation and continue research in a similar area to her own.
I have finally narrowed down my topic to marketing in HE libraries in the UK, although I’m still refining the methodology. Having worked on a part-time basis with my boyfriend and his marketing business, I am interested in the strategic marketing side of things, as I feel libraries should probably be doing more of this. I’d like to find out what, if any, market research UK academic libraries are currently involved in, if they have a marketing strategy, and who holds responsibility for the direction of the marketing.
I’m also interested in innovative marketing methods, and hope to do a case study approach for a few of these. I would like to know more about how academic libraries in the UK are currently using social media, so one of these may be good as a case study (e.g. a successful library blog/Facebook/Twitter account) but from a marketing point of view rather than a technical point of view.
I submitted a dissertation proposal earlier this month but haven’t heard anything back yet. The working title is “Marketing UK Higher Education libraries: a current perspective”. I imagine there will be some alterations and suggestions for improvement, but I hope the research area is agreed in principle and that I can be assigned a dissertation supervisor soon. I have to be honest, I have found distance learning difficult – it’s great to be able to work at your own pace and when I was really keen to work through the Diploma everything was fine, but it’s been isolating at times, especially when home life or work life takes over and you lose motivation for studying. I went to the research study school to prepare for the dissertation in September 2008, which seems like a lifetime away now.
Hopefully I’ll be able to start work on my dissertation properly next year, and if you work in a UK academic library (and particularly if you have responsibility for marketing!) I may well be in touch begging for help!
This may well be my last blog post before Christmas – if so, Seasons Greetings to all readers and I hope you enjoy the festivities whatever you get up to. 🙂