Library Research Symposium, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

McMaster University logoToday I’m presenting a research paper entitled ‘Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers’ at the library research symposium hosted by McMaster University in Canada. My invitation to speak at this event provides the first opportunity to present the initial findings from the DREaM Again project, which was completed in summer 2015.

DREaM Again is an evaluation of the impact to date of the AHRC-funded Developing Research Excellence and Methods project, the aim of which was to develop a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers (academic and practitioner). The project ran from January 2011 to August 2012, and was supported by the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition.

In June 2015 we invited those who attended three DREaM research methods workshops in 2011/12 to complete a survey. The survey questions focused on LIS work undertaken since the last DREaM workshop in April 2012. Respondents were asked to report on the use of the methods presented at the DREaM workshops; any new DREaM-inspired LIS research and publications, and their impacts; the influence of DREaM on individual career paths; and any on-going contact between those who developed relationships with one another over the course of the three workshops. Further data for the 2015 project were collected formally from focus groups in Edinburgh and London, and more informally through email contact with DREaM workshop participants. The main findings of the project are summarised in the PowerPoint presentation to be delivered today (available on SlideShare).

My paper on the DREaM Again project is one of three invited international contributions at the library research symposium. The other two cover (1) trends in German library education presented by Dr Gerhard Hacker, Professor and Chair of Library and Information Science at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences and (2) North American library and information science programmes presented by Dr Heidi Julien Professor and Chair in the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University at Buffalo.

There will also be short presentations from library and information science researcher practitioners on recently completed research projects and future proposed work. The topics to be covered in these short talks include privacy and public library internet terminals, the application of Disney customer service models to academic libraries, mentoring, and an evaluation of Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research.

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