Follow #lis_rival for updates on Research Impact Value & LIS at Edinburgh Napier today

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Today we are hosting a one-day event on the theme of library and information science (LIS) research impact and value at Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart campus. My Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Bruce Ryan is the main organiser of this event.

We’re pleased that Research Impact Value and LIS (#lis_rival) has sold-out, and that we will have representation from across the LIS communities at Edinburgh Napier University today. Amongst the delegates to be welcomed are academic, health, national, prison, public, school, and special librarians, as well as LIS academics, professional body officers, and independent consultants.

The #lis_rival delegates will be exploring concepts and examples of the impact and value of LIS research to services delivery in practice. We have a great programme for the day, complete with a strong set of speakers and plenty of opportunity for networking. It is our expectation that our efforts today will strengthen links (and narrow gaps) between LIS research and practice, and lay the ground for future research-related support and collaborations across the sector.

Our confirmed speakers, and the themes of their talks, cut across several LIS contexts, with presentations on the impact and value of LIS research from individuals with experience of public, academic, special, and national libraries. New proposed initiatives to provide the necessary infrastructure for future support in the field will also be introduced, notably by Yvonne Morris of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and Professor Alison Brettle of Salford University. The slides for all but one of today’s presentations are available together in a single file on SlideShare, and below.

A further set of slides for the presentation by Stella Wisdom on playing and making in libraries can be accessed from the SlideShare account of the British Library’s Digital Research and Curator Team.

My own contribution will be on the impact and value of past investments at national level to support LIS research in the UK – notably the Library and Information Science Research Coalition (2009-2012) and the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project (2011-2012).  My slides (independent of the full set for the day) can also be downloaded from SlideShare as a single file from

The final programme for the event is provided below. To follow it remotely on Twitter, please check the hashtag #lis_rival.


Time Activity
10:00-10:30 Registration/coffee
10:30-10:45 Welcome and introductions
Bruce Ryan and Hazel Hall
10:45-11:30 Conceptualisations of LIS research impact and value: learning from the LIS Research Coalition and DREaM

Hazel Hall

11:30-12:45 Impact and value in practice

Paul Gooding will speak about the AHRC-funded project Digital library futures: the impact of e-legal deposit in the academic sector

Yvonne Morris will introduce a programme under development, and sponsored by, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to create a sector-wide research/evidence-based portal to support LIS practice, research and advocacy in the UK

Andrew McTaggart will outline recent work in Edinburgh to assess the impact and value of public library and information services delivery, with specific reference to the Summer Reading Challenge

Sara Wingate Gray will speak about a historical case-study of a UK public library, and the use of contemporary reader/library user qualitative interviews to flesh out concepts of public library value, philosophy and the specific role of imaginative literature

Stella Wisdom will discuss the British Library’s role in digital research collaborations on innovative game making/playing, and digital publishing

12:45-13:45 Lunch break and networking, to include the determination of the group discussion agenda (see below)
13:45-14:30 Exploring the impact value of UK public libraries through the analysis of longitudinal focus group data

Leo Appleton

14:30-15:15 Tea, with opportunity to visit the Edinburgh Napier University War Poets Collection
15:15-16:00 Group discussion

The identification of dominant themes that emerge from the presentation and discussions over the course of the day will determine the issues to be covered in the group discussion

16:00-16:45 Exploring the impact and promoting the value of LIS research in the UK: what next?

Alison Brettle

16:45 Prize draw for books on LIS research supplied by Facet Publishing and close

Speaker biographies

Leo Appleton is Director of Library Services at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is also a part-time PhD student undertaking a doctoral study entitled The value and impact of public libraries within the Information Society: their contribution to citizenship development. Leo was recognised by CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group as the winner of the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award in 2016.

Alison Brettle is Professor of Health Information and Evidence Based Practice at Salford University, and Chair of the CILIP Library and Information Research Group (LIRG). She is also Chair of the International Programme Committee of the 10th Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference, which takes place in Glasgow in June 2019. In 2011/12 Alison was a member of the DREaM project cadre. She also mentored the team that won the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award in 2012.

Paul Gooding is a qualified librarian with experience in broadcast media and higher education. He is currently employed as a Research Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of East Anglia. In 2011/12, when a PhD student at University College London, Paul was a member of the DREaM project cadre.

Andrew McTaggart is a Library Development Officer for Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services. Over the course of his career he has been involved with a number of award-winning programmes that have delivered value and demonstrated the impact of investment in public library provision.

Hazel Hall is Professor of Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. She led the implementation of the Library and Information Science Research Coalition between 2009 and 2012, and the DREaM project in 2011/12. She serves on the sub-panel responsible for Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management (unit of assessment 34) in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Yvonne Morris is a Policy Officer at CILIP with specific responsibility for higher and further education, schools, e-books, research, and copyright. Prior to joining CILIP she held a number of roles in academic and special libraries, and also has work experience in publishing. In 2011/12 Yvonne was a member of the DREaM project cadre.

Bruce Ryan is a Research Associate at Edinburgh Napier University. His research interests include information literacy and the role of public libraries in supporting hyperlocal democracy. Bruce spent 15 years working in educational publishing prior to joining Edinburgh Napier University.

Sara Wingate Gray is a Teaching Fellow on the Arts and Sciences (BASc) degree at University College London, where she has been completing her PhD (looking at the role of public libraries). She is a co-founder of the creative tech company Artefacto; founder of The Itinerant Poetry Library. In 2011/12 Sara was a member of the DREaM project cadre.

Stella Wisdom is a Digital Curator at the British Library with a remit to explore and promote new methods of research using both born digital content and digitised collections. With Masters degrees in both Librarianship and Museum Studies, Stella’s career to date includes appointments in national and special libraries and academia. Stella was an active DREaM conference participant, and chaired the One Minute Madness session at the launch event in July 2011.

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