Reflections on Practitioner Research: A Practical Guide for Information Professionals—eEditions PDF e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

“We exhort you to read this book... It is the first book we have seen that invites LIS practitioner-researchers to tell the stories behind their research findings."
—from the Foreword by Kristine R. Brancolini and Marie R. Kennedy

A practitioner-researcher is an information professional who may not have formal training in using research methods and is learning how to use these methods during their busy, complex job. Reflections on Practitioner Research: A Practical Guide for Information Professionals can help information professionals build an understanding of the research process as applied to our field and address the challenges of undertaking research as a practitioner, as well offer support and advice for all stages of a research project, from writing the proposal to collecting the data to disseminating the findings. Twenty-five chapters from a blend of novice and experienced practitioner-researchers are divided into three thorough sections: 

  • Section 1: Research Process. Grapples with various aspects of the overall research process, from topic selection to research design to time frame. How do you set a research agenda? What happens when your plans get derailed? How do you approach a topic that may be controversial?
  • Section 2: Research Methods. How information professionals use specific qualitative and quantitative research methods in their projects. 
  • Section 3: Relationships. Investigates the ways in which relationships form and how they can impact the research process, and strategies that can help make your collaborative efforts successful rather than stressful. 

Reflections on Practitioner Research attempts to capture the actual experience of doing research and the lessons that can be gained from that experience. Projects and studies are not always as linear or without hiccups as the published literature may lead us to believe, and this book shows and celebrates the complexity of information professionals using a research design by picking up these skills along the way.

Kristine R. Brancolini and Marie R. Kennedy

Lee Ann Fullington, Brandon K. West, and Frans Albarillo

Chapter 1: Adapting Your Research Design: When the Best Laid Plans Go Awry
Rachel Sarjeant-Jenkins

Chapter 2: Small Projects Add Up: Doing Research as a Sessional Librarian
Maureen Babb

Chapter 3: Figuring Out a Research Focus: The Experience of a Manuscripts Archivist
Jessica Perkins Smith

Chapter 4: Scaling a Project Up or Down to Meet Research Needs
Ruby Warren

Chapter 5: Advancing a Controversial Research Agenda: Navigating Institutional Dynamics and Politics
Jill Barr-Walker

Chapter 6: A Tale of Three IRBs
Justin de la Cruz

Section 2: RESEARCH Methods
Chapter 7: Survey Research: Useful, Valuable Findings Require Hard Work
Kristin Hoffmann and Selinda Berg

Chapter 8: Collaborating on Surveys: Reflections from an Archivist and a Technical Metadata Archivist
Michelle Sweetser and Alexandra A. A. Orchard

Chapter 9: Semi-Structured Interviews: A Team-Based Approach to Design, Implementation, and Analysis
Rachel Wishkoski

Chapter 10: Failure to Probe: Lessons Learned from a Novice Interviewer
Lauren Olewnik

Chapter 11: Conducting Focus Groups to Improve Library Outreach
Matthew Harrick and Lee Ann Fullington

Chapter 12: Using Visual Prompts in Research
Maura A. Smale and Mariana Regalado

Chapter 13: Observing and Evaluating Social and Emotional Learning in Library Youth Programming
Hillary Estner, Katie Fox, and Erin McLean

Chapter 14: Qualitative Content Analysis: A Reflection
Paul Moffett and William H. Weare, Jr.

Chapter 15: Using a Quasi-Experimental Design to Compare the Effectiveness of Live and Recorded Lectures
Lucie Olejnikova and Jane Bahnson

Chapter 16: Conducting a Mixed-Methods Research Project as a Team
Melissa Burel and Marlee Graser

Chapter 17: Utilizing a Mixed-Methods Approach in Research
Ilka Datig

Chapter 18: Evidence-Based Practice in LIS: The Systematic Review
Claire Walker Wiley, Meggan Houlihan, and Amanda B. Click

Chapter 19: Coding and Analysis: Deciding on Software Needs
Katherine Gregory

Section 3: Relationships
Chapter 20: Navigating Tenure-Track as a Female Faculty of Color: Challenges, Insights, and Personal Experiences
Michele A. L. Villagran and Shamika D. Dalton

Chapter 21: Navigating Your Research Project with a Mentor: The Proposal, Grant, and IRB
Matthew Harrick

Chapter 22: I Wouldn’t Do It Without You: Accountability Partners as the Linchpin of Writing Success
Sarah E. Fancher and Jamie L. Emery

Chapter 23: Partnering with Teaching Faculty on Research Projects
Brianna B. Buljung and Leslie Light

Chapter 24: When Two Homes Are Better Than One: Collaborating on Cross-Institutional Research
Hilary Bussell and Tatiana Bryant

Chapter 25: Reflections on Working in a Qualitative Research Team
Jessica G. Benner, Matthew R. Marsteller, and Xiaoju Chen

Recommended Readings from Contributing Authors

Editor Biographies and Contributor Information

Lee Ann Fullington

Lee Ann Fullington is an assistant professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, where, as the health sciences librarian, she helps students become skilled information seekers. She is deeply rooted in the Health and Nutrition Sciences programs and works with students to build their research skills using, among other resources, PubMed and NYC data sources, in support of their evidence-based curriculum. She received her MPhil in popular music studies from the University of Liverpool and her MSLIS from Pratt Institute. She has a predilection for qualitative research and her recent projects explore the experiences and needs of transfer students, graduate students’ usage of mobile devices for academic purposes, and the lived experiences of hard of hearing librarians.

Brandon K. West

Brandon K. West is the head of research instruction services and liaison to the social sciences at the State University of New York at Geneseo’s Milne Library. His research interests include examining the intersections of information literacy and online learning, applying instructional design principles to enhance student learning, and addressing LGBTQ+ issues in libraries. He has an MEd in educational technology from Grand Valley State University, an MLS from Texas Woman’s University, and an MS in curriculum development from the University at Albany. He was the lead editor of Creative Instructional Design: Practical Applications for Librarians, available from ACRL Publications.

Frans Albarillo

Frans Albarillo is an associate professor and reference and instruction librarian at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. His research interests include the information behavior of immigrant students, scholarly communications in non-English languages, and academic libraries. He received his MA in linguistics and his MLISc in library and information science from University of Hawai’i. His research has been published in Behavioral & Social Sciences LibrarianAgainst the GrainCollege and Research Libraries, and portal: Libraries and the Academy.