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.
Yes, a lot of business was conducted at this year’s Annual Business Meeting. But the highlight has to be the awards!
Most exciting is the revelation of the Distinguished Librarian of the Year Award winner. Drumroll please! Our 2012 winner is Donna Barbour-Talley, MINNESOTA librarian extraordinaire! This year, capping a long career of service to the chapter and the profession, Donna served along with Michael Homan as the co-chair of the annual chapter conference. Watch for a story about Distinguished Librarian Donna in the upcoming issue of MIDLINE, the Midwest Chapter newsletter.
Also watch for essays in MIDLINE from Annual Meeting Scholarship winners Emily Ginier and Patricia Smith and from Professional Development Award winners Marcia Francis and Erin Kerby.
Suzanne Earle was the winner of the Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award for her work on the development of the End-of-Life Library at Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. This special library “…provides the professional and lay communities with knowledge regarding palliative care and end-of-life issues.”
New this year were the Research Awards presented by the Professional Practice Committee. These cash awards judged on study design, validity, reliability, presentation, and implications for library and information research were awarded to posters and papers reporting research results. The first place Research Poster Award was given to Ryan Rafferty for “Discovering the Impact of Library Instruction on First-Year Medical Students.” Second place was a tie between Barbara Gushrowski for “Building Competence: Self- and Peer-Evaluation of Information Resources by First-Year Dental Students in Problem-Based Curriculum” and Elizabeth Moreton for “Testing the Soil: Benchmarking the Information Literacy Skills of Nursing Students Performing Evidence-Based Research.” Two Honorable Mention Research Paper Awards were given to Mark Wentz and Melissa Rethlefsen for “The Significance of Disambiguated Authors in an Institutional Publication Database” and to Xiaomei Gu, Shawn Averkamp, Nicole Saylor, and Linda Walton for “Developing and Administering a Campus-wide Survey: A First Step in Assessing Data Management Needs.”
In her Keynote presentation this morning Ruth Holst spent most of her time discussing the evolving roles of hospital librarians. But in addition at the end of her presentation she discussed a recent study that provides food for thought on emerging roles available to librarians in the academic setting in support of research. The report written by “retired” librarians Susan Kroll and Rick Forsman A Slice of Research Life: Information Support for Research in the United Statesis available on the OCLC website. The report looks at the “current use of tools and services that support all stages of the research life cycle in institutions of higher education” in the United States. How can your library better meet the needs of researchers?