Outcome 7: Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning

Graduates of the SLIM Master of Library Science degree program will be able to demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning by participating in professional development activities and disseminating new information to colleagues and patrons.

Artifact: Paper & Poster Session – “Social Reference in Academic Libraries”
Link to Paper
Link to Photo 1 of Poster Session
Link to Photo 2 of Poster Session
MLS Outcomes: 1, 6, 7
MLS Values: 1, 3, 4
LI 810: Research in Library and Information Science introduced us to practices of reading, understanding, designing, performing, and presenting research in library and information science. By studying quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods forms of research, examining the parts of a research paper and what they can tell us about the research in question, and engaging in analysis of research both in groups and individually, we learned to identify, understand, and evaluate it with a critical eye for its strengths and weaknesses. We studied research through the examination of paradigms, which are constructs that enable people to understand a topic through the lens of a given set of warrants, models, and practices. One such paradigm that was utilized and examined in this course was that of Evidence-Based Practice (Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, 2005), which is a corollary to the scientific method that is user-centered and seeks to root research in real-world problems for the benefit of individuals within a community. Within this context, the PICO-T model, a framework for a focused clinical question (Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt, 2007; and Houser & Oman, 2011), was applied to a library/information science problem.

This artifact had two manifestations: first, as a paper that reviewed current research on reference transactions as social interactions, and proposed an action plan to institute social reference concepts and tools as a means of improving reference practice in academic libraries. Second, the paper resulted in the creation of a research poster that was shared at a poster session with fellow students and library professionals. At this poster session I distilled the research in my paper to communicate how users respond affectively and cognitively to a reference interview, outline the challenges electronic reference tools face in facilitating that affective experience, and recommending ways in which to conduct virtual and face-to-face reference more effectively. This shows that I am able to analyze findings from the research literature of library and information science, and construct and share knowledge with colleagues and patrons about best practices based on evidence from research.

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