Research by Design

Research by Design handout
Class Handout

Merge & Converge started off early Saturday morning with a coffee from the lobby Starbucks and then onto Lorie Kloda’s CE class – Research by Design: Proposing, planning, and carrying out a research project for the practicing librarian. The class delivered on everything the title promised. Having no prior research experience, I was happy to walk out of the class with a direction for a research project and feel more comfortable taking the first steps to starting that project.

It was a great way to start off the conference and get some library ideas flowing. The class was broken up with some lecture and then group activities, which worked extremely well for newbies just getting into the research arena. Being able to brainstorm with other librarians from across the Midwest was a great way to get multiple perspectives, focus ideas, and make the whole process seem much more attainable and less of an overwhelming, impossible goal.

The class started out with identifying a “burning question”; what had we been wondering and wanting to learn more about? From this burning question, in later activites we went on to hash out some of the finer details of creating a research proposal.

Having only taken one research course during my MLIS education, this class served to refresh some previously stowed away knowledge and stir up some motivation to take on completing some original research of my own.

Lorie also let the class know about the MLA Research Institute and provided attendees with additional resources to support their research goals.

The class made for a perfect fit with the conference theme Merge and Converge and I am looking forward to more as the conference continues on.

Free Lunch Sharing Round Tables at Merge & Converge!

Come learn and meet others at the Sunday lunch sharing round tables! These are free and open to all registered conference attendees. This year we have a combination of topics on librarianship, conference-specific, and just plain ol’ fun.

Here’s the list of table topics:
• Advocacy
• Apps of Interest
• Binge-worthy TV
• Community Outreach
• Consumer Health
• Data Geeks
• Des Moines Diversions
• Digital Collection Development
• EHRs
• Embedded Librarians
• Games, Gaming, & Gamers (2 tables)
• Hospital Librarianship (2 tables)
• Impact Metrics
• Is it working?
• Knitters Anonymous
• Lead From Where You Are
• Marketing & Media
• Nutrition, Cookery, & GMOs (2 tables)
• Productivity Hacks
• Research Reproducibility
• Spaces & Places
• Systematic Reviews
• Teach Better
• Wildcard (3 tables)
• Work/Life Balance

As you can see in the list, there are three conference-specific topics.

Get the inside story of Des Moines Diversions at this sharing table. Where’s the best food? What side activity is not to be missed?

Games, gaming, and gamers will provide you the opportunity to share your thoughts from our keynote speaker, Roger Altizer, Jr. PhD, on his presentation “Playing with Innovation and Scholarship, a Gamer’s Approach to Scholarship.”

The second conference specific table, Nutrition, Cookery, & GMOs, will prepare you for our panel discussion on Monday morning. The panel discussion will be on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). What are the consumer perceptions of food biotechnology? What is the environmental impact of GMOs? What are societal perceptions, attitudes, and purchasing behaviors?

Find your knitting and binge-watching TV comrades at those tables. Don’t hide your non-work obsessions.

Don’t see at topic that you want to discuss with others? Join one of the Wildcard tables. You pick the topic!

Finally, there’s a wide range of topics related to librarianship. Whether that is hospital librarianship, research reproducibility, or productivity hacks. Come hear what others are doing which may work at your institution. Share your own expertise and experiences with others. These are not the formal MLA Roundtables, but rather an informal way to chat with others with similar interests.

Find the map of table topics here. See you there!

Des Moines is Awesome: You’re Going to Love It!

We are happy to host you in Des Moines in 2016! There’s so much to enjoy about Des Moines, and we hope you take the opportunity to experience all that the city has to offer. To help guide you to some of our favorite places, be sure to check the “Things to Do” section of the meeting website. We’ve highlighted museums, art venues, historical stops, and locations to shop and eat. Need help? Please stop by the hospitality table during the meeting to get in person recommendations or ask one of the friendly Des Moines area librarians for help.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
By now you probably have heard that Des Moines is the hippest city in America, and one reason for this designation is the city’s amazing restaurant scene. To help you find places to meet up, we have a fantastic Google map highlighting drinks and dining close to the Marriott. Not sure where to go? Be sure to stop by the hospitality table during the meeting to get in person recommendations or ask one of the friendly Des Moines area librarians for help.

  • Are you in town Saturday morning? Don’t miss out the food and fun at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market.
  • Are you a foodie? The Des Moines Register compiled a list of The 50 Essential Restaurants in Des Moines.
  • There are some very tasty options located in the Historic East Village, a neighborhood located one mile east of the hotel. If you are not up to a scenic walk, you can arrange for a shuttle from the Marriott or try a ride with Uber in addition to taxi services.
  • Do you like zombies, great burgers, alcoholic milk shakes, or all of the above? Then, you have to check out Zombie Burger.
  • Try a beer flight next time. Choose your own adventure in 6 tasty brews. 📷@webbersean #nationaldrinkbeerday

    A photo posted by Zombie Burger (@zombieburgerdm) on Sep 28, 2016 at 7:15am PDT


    Des Moines is definitely NOT boring. To help you find your scene, check out the Greater Des Moines Nightlife and Bars Guide for suggestions and maps. Are you looking for live music, comedy, a wine bar, a craft brewery, or coffee shop? We’ve got you covered! Not sure where to go? Be sure to stop by the hospitality table during the meeting to get in person recommendations or ask one of the friendly Des Moines area librarians for help.
    If you need a ride to and from the festivities, you may be able to arrange for a shuttle from the Marriott or you can try a ride with Uber in addition to taxi services.

    Parks and Trails
    We love cycling in the state of Iowa – just ask an Iowa librarian about RAGBRAI. If you would prefer to take a biking tour of the city, or just like the option of getting around town on a bike, be sure to check out Des Moines BCycle. You can rent a bike for a day and a daily fun pass is just $6 and a bike station is just two blocks from the hotel.

    Are you a runner? Catch a Run in the City on this Three mile route.

    Whether you want to bike or run, you can pick your own custom route using The City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation interactive map of available trails.

    Finally, whether you like to bike, walk, or just enjoy a great nature trail, take the opportunity to visit Gray’s Lake. The 167-acre Gray’s Lake Park is located on the southwestern edge of downtown Des Moines, less than two miles from the Marriot hotel. The park is five minutes away by car, but if you don’t have your own transportation, and if you don’t have time to walk, you can arrange for a shuttle from the Marriott or you can try a ride with Uber in addition to taxi services.

    Gray's Lake Map

    Win Exciting Prizes at Merge & Converge in Des Moines!

    PrizesWould you like to win some free stuff at the 2016 Joint Meeting? We’ve got the details for you right here.

    Attend the reception on Sunday night from 6:00-9:00pm at the Iowa Hall of Pride. There will be door prizes and scavenger hunt prizes, but you must be present to win!

    Attend the Tech Forum on Monday from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. Tech goodies from WT Cox and McGraw Hill Education will be given away to a few lucky attendees, but you must be present to win!

    Want to donate to a worthy cause and have the opportunity to win some cash? Purchase tickets for the 50/50 Raffle that will benefit the Midwest Chapter. Look for ticket sellers wearing tags advertising the 50/50 raffle. Tickets can be purchased by anyone!

    Make sure you attend your Chapter’s Business meeting on Monday from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. Both Chapters will be giving out a free MLA membership as well as a free membership to their Chapter. You must be present to win these goodies!