LIS DREaM Launch Conference

Professor Charles Oppenheim with keynote speakers

I recently attended the LIS DREaM launch conference about developing research excellence and methods in library and information science. I wrote a blog post about my experience, but now I’ve had chance to reflect on the day I’m going to share my reflections using the basic method I learnt during 23 Things for Professional Development¬†– what? so what? now what?

What?

The launch conference brought together LIS researchers, practitioners, academics, and students from across the UK and further afield. I hadn’t expected such a large turnout and it was great to see so many people interested in improving the standard of LIS research. The event included keynotes from influential researchers from within and outside the subject, and a number of breakout sessions focused on specific areas of research; methods, collaboration, networking and dissemination. We also heard more about the LIS DREaM project from Hazel Hall, and delegates had the opportunity to share their own research in a series of one minute madness session.

So what?

As a relatively new researcher, this event was a real eye opener for me – I had no idea there were so many people researching the field! I’m sure there were also many others who couldn’t make it too, so there’s a lot of us out there interested in LIS research. This was very pleasing – definitely made me realise there is scope for collaboration within the field bringing people from different backgrounds together.

Coming from a practitioner background as an academic librarian, something that is always at the forefront of my mind is considering the value of research to practitioners. Although I’m currently not working in a librarian role, I try to keep up-to-date in developments and use practitioner blogs and conversations in person and online to understand the current concerns and consider research that could help librarians. One of the main aims of the LIS DREaM project is to bridge the gaps between researchers and practitioners and I’d definitely like to see more of that in practice.

Now what?

The event came at a perfect time for me – the cycle of research means that this period of year is often the time for assessing previous work and considering future work. It helped me reflect on where we need to go with LIS research, and consider ways of ensuring research is of relevance to practitioners (and hopefully of interest to other fields too). I’m definitely interested in moving away from the ‘cookie cutter’ style of research (same studies with slightly different participants) to deliver some innovative research.

I hope to attend the LIS DREaM workshops if possible as I would like to learn more about different research methods and their suitability for LIS research – I found the breakout session on different research methods at the launch conference really interesting. I’d also like to build links with other researchers and practitioners so that we can ensure that future research is positioned to meet the needs of today’s library and information workers, and is disseminated through the right channels.

I’m feeling really positive about the future of research in LIS, and hope I can be a part of making a difference. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with developments, I recommend following the @LISResearch and @LIS_DREaM Twitter accounts, and if you’re interested in following the research I’m involved in, I tweet for my workplace – @evidencebase.