Some new research methodology books for librarians

review bøker bilde

My concentration is failing today, so instead of doing what I ought to do, namely reading some articles for my motivations study (oh, the irony), I am writing about some of the books I should have spent time on. It`s Friday afternoon, after all..

So, anyway..

Systematic reviews are popular with particularly the Institute for health sciences here at the university. So I thought I should really do one to gain a better understanding of the process and procedures to follow. One of the books I am looking into is a book called “Assembling the pieces of a systematic review: a guide for librarians” by Margaret J. Foster and Sarah T. Jewell (eds.). It is a very well-structured book with chapters covering everything step-by-step from what a systematic review is to summarising. The main points, such as asking good questions, designing a search strategy etc seems very well explained, and in orderly charts and tables, just as we librarians like it.

The next book I am going to dive into is “Systematic approaches to a successful literature review” (2nd ed.) by Andrew Booth, Anthea Sutton and Diana Papaioannou. This book is covering much of the same (of course), but does not look at it from a librarian`s point of view, but rather the scholars. It`ll be interesting to compare them.

The final book is one that I am embarrased to say have been on my desk for at least two months without being opened. It is not one of those books you read from A-Z, but rather a book to dive into when needed. It`s called: “Research methods in Library and Information Science” (6th ed) by Lynn S. Connaway and Marie L. Radford. I am particularly interested in the parts on grounded theory since I am looking into doing a study using that methodology, but I`ll certainly also be looking at their chapter on ethnographic approaces to qualitative data, which I find very interesting.

But before I really sink my teeth into any of these, I am going to have a weekend off, I think. Perhaps it will make me ready for articles on motivation on Monday morning. Have a nice weekend!

Seminar series at the library

sketchnotes bilde

Intro to Sketchnotes seminar

I haven`t been blogging for a while, partly due to the immense workload at the opening of the semester, and partly because I felt strongly about the last blog entry (about being an academic partner or a service provider) and I wanted to let it be the last on the blog roll for a while.

But now the time has come to say something about some activities in the library this autumn. Every now and then in previous years, we have hosted a series of seminars. The series has usually consisted of short seminars or workshops of 30-60 minutes and ranging in topics from useful tools for writing (ex. Google Drive and its like) and referencing (like EndNote) to databases and alternatives to Google. What we have experienced in the previous rounds is that people (both students and staff) are pragmatic with their time and efforts, and will only show up to sessions where they believe that they`ll have an immediate use for the contents. It is therefore much easier to get people to come to demonstration of useful tools, like EndNote and Colourbox, than broader terms like, Academic honesty and demonstration of databases.

When the library staff had our annual spring meeting to sum up the first semester, keep track of the year`s activities and follow-ups from the Christmas seminar, we decided on running a new series this autumn. We wanted to have more activities in the library and to host something that could show off the wide areas where the library have an interest. This autumn we decided to have a broader scope.

In September we were finally able to remove some empty journal shelves, and we suddenly had access to a very pretty white wall:) and we decided to buy a projector to be placed in the ceiling there. That meant that we, on occasion, could remove some of the tables in front of it and have our own little “seminar room” inside the library.

I had carte blanche when it came to topics in the seminar series, and it was nice to try to find something that could be fun and useful for our patrons. So far this autumn, we have had the following topics:

  • EndNote
  • Can Alzheimer be prevented? (by professor Øyvind Kirkevold)
  • Sketchnotes: visual notes for better memory
  • LaTeX: an introduction (by associate professor Simon McCallum)

Yet to come: Open Access Week (several seminars), Infographics and more..

It`s been really fun so far, and I hope that we`ll hit the mark with the coming seminars, too! It is always a little difficult to predict how many will show up, and at the LaTeX seminar we were running back and forth to find more chairs for the audience, while others have been less visited than at least I had expected. I do not think that we should only hold seminars where we “know” that a lot of people will show up. Sometimes success is not measured on the number of attendees, and if we want to have a wider scope, we must accept that not everything will have a high turnout. Still – it is fun when people show up. 🙂

Latex seminar simon

a crowd at the LaTeX seminar

simon mccallum latex seminar

Simon McCallum gave an introduction to LaTeX