The day after the Librarians as Teachers event
was a similarly themed event focusing on a different element of the librarian role – Librarian as Researcher.
I wasn’t able to attend this event, but I followed it via Twitter thanks to @LISResearch and @lenocsor. You can see the tweets in relation to the event at the TwapperKeeper archive. Obviously, I didn’t get the benefit of attending the day’s events but I did get a flavour for the discussions and could follow up links mentioned and view presentations online.
I’m a keen advocate of research, making evidence-based decisions wherever possible. I’m involved in my own research as a librarian (for work-based projects and to inform elements of my job role), and I also spend my free time researching areas of interest -sometimes for articles, presentations or blog posts; sometimes just to increase my understanding.
One of the things I was really impressed by at LILAC 2010 was the emphasis on research-informed information literacy teaching, using both existing research and conducting original research to help make decisions about the approach to teaching.
Commitment to research by librarians is something I’d love to see more of, but I think all too often it’s overlooked as other activities take priority.
The librarian as researcher event examined the importance of research for practitioners, and I was particularly interested in Miggie Pickton’s presentation which you can see below:
As you can see, Miggie highlighted the importance of practitioner research for the individual, the organisation, and the profession. I fed my own views into this via Twitter, but was pleased to see my points (and many more!) covered by Miggie in her slides. I think it’s important to bear in mind the multiple benefits of research, otherwise it can be easy to overlook the value. Of course, research takes time and there are occasions where it may not be possible, however it should be an unusual circumstance to not research, rather than an unusual circumstance to do research, which I think may possibly be the case currently. I try to spend time researching (both from existing research and my own research), and have certainly found this beneficial in a number of projects I’ve worked on.
I was also interested to hear about the opportunities for publishing research – so far most of my publications
have been to professional journals and magazines, but only a couple have been through the peer-review process. Having heard more about some of the options for publication, it’s definitely spurred me on to think about where to publish my work in future, and given me some ideas for what to publish. I particularly liked Miggie’s point; Where do you find research? Publish your research there!
The event also featured a talk from Sheila Corrall about opportunities for research including an interesting option of a PhD through a practitioner route for professionals. I also found out about some more funding opportunities to look out for, and the Sheila Corrall Publication Award
aimed at new professionals – this is definitely something I’ll be looking at in more detail.
Being actively involved in research helps keep you up-to-date in your knowledge, and supports your own development as well as building upon the professional body of knowledge. It’s something I’m really interested in and I’m looking forward to following the LIS Research Conference
later this month.