Research News
December 14, 2015
School of Information Faculty Members to Serve as Lead Instructors for Third Institute of Research Design in Librarianship

The third Institute of Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL), a partnership between the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool), Loyola Marymount University (LMU) William H. Hannon Library, and the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), has been announced, and applications are now being accepted from academic and research librarians wishing to hone their skills as researchers.

Funded in part by a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, IRDL includes an intensive workshop from June 5 to June 17, 2016, where participants learn about research design from expert faculty members and write and revise their own research proposals, as well as mentoring and peer support in the year following the workshop.

Dr. Lili Luo, an associate professor at the SJSU iSchool, and Dr. Michael Stephens, an assistant professor at the SJSU iSchool, will be collaborating with LMU faculty members and serving as lead instructors at the June workshop. “For the third year of IRDL, we are able to improve the curriculum and the institute experience based on feedback from previous years,” stated Luo. “I feel proud to be part of the team that helps librarians enhance their knowledge and skills in conducting quality research.”

At the SJSU iSchool, one of the popular courses Luo teaches in the exclusively online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program is INFO 285 Research Methods in Library and Information Science, and she is also the author of a blog that supports practitioner research in library and information science. She is a strong supporter of the IRDL professional development program, and stated, “I believe IRDL is having a positive and long-lasting impact on librarians' research and scholarship, which will ultimately benefit their practice and services to the community.”

Stephens, who has written research articles on professional development, recently published a column about research in Library Journal and sees great advantages coming from a program like IRDL. Stephens explained, “IRDL enables academic librarians to pursue their curiosity and create new knowledge by way of research design and study. This not only benefits them but the profession at large.”

Scholars also reap great rewards from participation in IRDL. Jamillah Gabriel, an alumna of the SJSU iSchool (MLIS 2011) and a member of the second IRDL cohort, found that the research-design program gave her transferable skills that are useful in her work at Purdue University Libraries. “I think one of the most important things I gained from IRDL are the tools necessary to conduct research successfully and apply it in a variety of ways to what I do as a practicing librarian,” she commented.

As scholars are beginning to submit their proposals for the third IRDL, Luo praised the work being done by these engaged researchers. “Librarians participating in IRDL are all enthusiastic about research and working on interesting research projects,” she said, adding, “It's a great experience to get to know them and their research through IRDL. I even co-authored a paper with two IRDL scholars.”

More information about the Institute, and about how to submit a proposal, is available on the IRDL website. Applications for the third Institute will be accepted until February 1, 2016.