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EDUCAT  May 2009

EDUCAT May 2009

Subject:

Re: Whom do you pay attention to?

From:

Karen Weaver <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 29 May 2009 15:06:20 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

How would this be different for those working in academic and research
libraries ?

It is part of promotion and tenure processes and required among other
obligations as a faculty member at university and college libraries. ACRL
and ARL produce quite a lot of research publications routinely in the field
and have a very proactive membership within ALA.

For many of us working in academic libraries, its' that time of year now for
preparing Annual Reports which include much of these topics i.e. what have
professional staff *done* with themselves all year ?

some quick thoughts after work...
Karen
Karen Weaver, MLS, Adjunct Faculty, Cataloging & Classification, The iSchool
at Drexel University, College of Information Science & Technology,
Philadelphia PA email: [log in to unmask] / Electronic
Resources Statistician, Duquesne University, Gumberg Library, Pittsburgh PA
email: [log in to unmask]


On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 8:12 AM, Suzanne Stauffer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Do practitioners really "conduct most of the research?" I certainly did not
> do any research as a practitioner in public libraries, and didn't know
> anyone who did. Most of my colleagues were extremely dismissive of research,
> and never felt any need to conduct any. We weren't encouraged to do so by
> the library administration, it wasn't part of any job description, nor were
> we given any time for such activities.
>
> How are you defining "research?" Are you referring to questionnaires and
> surveys or something more? The closest I or any of my colleagues ever came
> to "research" was keeping track of the number of reference questions asked
> at the desk or the number of participants in library programs and turning
> those numbers into the administration.
>
> I would like to have had the time and support to conduct actual research as
> a practitioner. I would like to have collected useful data and analyzed it
> and used it for program planning and collection development, but there was
> absolutely no administrative support for it whatsoever. There wasn't any
> support from my colleagues, either.
>
> First I think we have to find some way to convince the masters students
> that research is valuable and should be part of their professional career.
> Most of our students are narrowly focused on the practical aspects of the
> program. We offer a research methods course once a year as an elective. A
> handful of students take it. We also offer a course in publication once a
> year; it also has just enough students to carry it. I had 5 students in the
> History of Books and Libraries course this year, and probably won't have
> more than that next year.
>
> I also think it we have to develop support within the profession for
> research. Students will only see research as important when they see that it
> will be part of their job description.
> Suzanne M. Stauffer, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> School of Library and Information Science
> Louisiana State University
> 275 Coates Hall
> Baton Rouge, LA 70803
> (225)578-1461
> Fax: (225)578-4581
> [log in to unmask]
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education
> & training on behalf of Janet Hill
> Sent: Thu 5/28/2009 5:09 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [eduCAT] Who do you pay attention to?
>
>
>
> This may be somewhat off topic for a group devoted to cataloging education
> .... but not TOTALLY off topic.
>
> I gave a paper last week, at a conference on The Ethics of Information
> Organization. As best I could tell, registrants included lots of students,
> lots of LIS educators, and not-quite-so-many practitioners, although it was
> a pretty good mix. At the reception on the first evening, I fell into
> conversation with one of the LIS educators, and we drew a number of threads
> from the day together, as he said something to this effect:
>
> <<I suddenly realized that in LIS schools, we lavish a lot of time
> individually mentoring our PhD students in research (how to frame a
> question, how to choose a method, how to follow up, how to target a
> publishing venue, reviewing drafts, etc.) but our MLS students get maybe a
> research methods class and a few projects to complete. And all the while,
> it is the practitioners who make up most of the profession, and who will
> conduct most of the research, and publish most of the papers, and if they
> are in academic libraries, they'll HAVE to do research and publication.
> And
> the same thing is true of preparing for or planning a career -- we mentor
> the PhD students intensively, but the masters students not nearly so
> much.>>
>
> And reflecting on that conversation, it brought to mind many previous
> conversations and thoughts from over the years. That although ALA
> accredits
> the masters programs, the schools that offer PhDs may define themselves or
> assess their worth based on the PhDs, or the faculty may have greater
> affinity for the PhD students, since overwhelmingly that is their
> background.
>
> Well ..... practicing catalogers and technical services managers (and all)
> have to do research and investigation and inquiry in real life, and many
> are
> required to publish. And the profession and discipline grow through
> contributions of those in the profession -- most of whom have the terminal
> professional degree.
>
> What's the balance? Do you prepare catalogers (and their ilk) for the
> possibility and necessity of research and publication, and for conducting
> it? Do schools that have both masters and PhD programs define themselves
> too much in terms of their successes in PhD "production" and overlook the
> real needs of practitioners for knowing how to do research, for
> understanding an obligation to contribute to the knowledge of the field
> through inquiry and publication?
>
> I'd be interested in your reactions, contradictions, information,
> verification, whatever.
>
>
> Janet Swan Hill, Professor
> Associate Director for Technical Services
> University of Colorado Libraries, CB184
> Boulder, CO 80309
> [log in to unmask]
> *****
> "For we are catalogers, and therefore the elect of God. To read is human;
> to catalog, divine." Charity Blackstock. Dewey Death.
>

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