I recently sent my dissertation into the wild to be examined, which leaves me in an interesting position of having “completed” a research project. Except like many things I have learned in the process I am not sure there is a completed research project.
As I was starting to draft what I intended to post for this week, I asked myself: “What is research?” We see and hear the term used by a multitude of individuals covering a wide variety of contexts or situations, often without a great deal of uniformity. This may leave us wondering if one perspective or definition is more accurate or appropriate than another.
Many of you reading this will know that I teach Information Literacy and that my own background before I moved into the field of academic librarianship was as a high school English teacher. Thus, my whole professional life I have been interested in the teaching and learning process. Now that I teach for SJSU SLIS, I have become especially interested in how vibrant learning communities can be cultivated in an online educational environment. Specifically, I am interested in examining how social learning theories can inform online pedagogy and how an awareness of these theories can improve online instruction.
Are responsibilities and skills related to distance learning in demand for librarians? Tacitly, the answer that comes to mind is “of course!” But, what do we really know about job trends involving distance learning responsibilities and skills in academic librarianship?
Last year I published an article in Library and Information Science Research (LISR), titled “Fusing research into practice: The role of Research Methods education”. In this article, I investigated the impact of research methods education on LIS practitioners’ professional practice and found the knowledge gained from the research methods course helps them critically evaluate published literature and apply it at work, provide better assistance to library patrons, produce valid and reliable data to facilitate decision making, identify problems at work and design/implement studies to solve them, and write for grants and publication.
Welcome to the SJSU SLIS Center for Information Research and Innovation (CIRI). As our activities at CIRI get underway, we wanted to invite the professional and scholarly community to join us in our research endeavors. We are eager to hear from you, and hope that you’ll consider partnering with us on future projects. We also encourage you to explore the CIRI website and check back with us frequently to learn about our latest research findings and activities.
CIRI projects involve research by scholars and students on a broad range of topics – digital records and curation, information access and use, LIS online learning, new literacies and learning, management and leadership, social dynamics of information, and technological innovation and change. CIRI’s work is guided by an international advisory board of leading researchers from the academy, government, and industry.
SLIS Student John Tilney’s thesis titled Containing Obscenity: The Gathings Committee, Moral Crusades, and Paperback Books won the University’s 2012 Outstanding Thesis Award. His faculty advisor was Dr. Debbie Hansen who provided the following summary.