Friday, July 16, 2010

Chapter 15 Research

Research should be a key component in every discipline. It helps to define how we are changing, what impact we are having on our patrons and what can we do better. Research is ultimatly learning about something that you want to know more of.

Ron Powell states that "virtually every definition of profession indicates that it should have a solid theoretical base of knowledge as its foundation: it follows that if a profession is going to advance, its practitioners must be engaged in creating new knowledge relevant to that profession."(p.176) As our profession is changing we need to establish a solid way to help support who we are and why we should exist. Powell also stated that a study showed "that over 90% of LIS practitioners regularly read research-based journals"(p.177). There is a desire for quality based information that will help us understand what we need to do to improve ourselves. I like finding out what we are doing right and change what is not working. I want our library to be an amazing space. I also want our students to learn what they need to succeed, to be able to move up to the next level. Without state standards to guide me, how will I know how I am doing. We need to promote developing methods of research that can determine what impact we have on student learning.

As our profession changes we need the ability to qualify and quantify our existence with facts and figures not "assumptions" and "past-practices"(p.176). I can not assume my students are learning how to use a database without asking them and evaluating the data. I can't assume that a student understands my directions on how to use an iPod until they create a podcast. From there the information needs to be shared. I think that collaborating our research findings will defiantly make us a stronger profession willing to understand who we are.

Powell, R. (2008). Research. In Haycock, K. & Sheldon, B. (Eds.), The Portable MLIS, Insights From the Experts (pp.168-178). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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