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May 8 / Roxanne Brazell

Start Thinking About Research Projects

SLIS Student Roxanne Brazell

SLIS Student Roxanne Brazell

As the spring flutters in and the weather is warming up, this is a good time to work on research projects, internships and practicums. I attended the “SLIS Job Hunting Skills” workshop online last Friday. One of the main points that stood out for me is that, “We are called on in our profession to write, publish, and present”. Public librarians focus on this from the perspective of writing and presenting usage reports to a Director or management committee, providing reference and instruction to their patrons, and developing marketing materials. Academic libraries have similar expectations, but include a librarian’s engagement in scholarly research and publishing.

You can get a jump start on this by planning out research projects you’re interested in now and working on them in small increments over the summer. It’s the most effective way to develop and complete a research project that you can add to your resume. There are a variety of options for research projects. Of course, you can present course related projects you have completed, but a research project demonstrates originality and helps you develop expertise on a chosen topic. It also needs to be more substantial than a literature review as research theories and methods need to be incorporated into your project. It would be advantageous to build on a current course project. Use one of your projects that you felt was not complete. A project that you wanted to learn more about or one where you obtained more research articles than you could read or fit into your original project. You will need a faculty member’s guidance, if you are performing independent research.

So, consider attending the session, “Do You Want to Publish or Present Professionally” on May 13th at 4pm in Room 315 or meet us online at Dr. Bob Holley and Professor Kim Schroeder will discuss publishing and presenting with us in the profession. Within SLIS you can also work on projects over the summer through a student organization. This can aid you in finding your career interest in the profession and enhance your research skills. There are several National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) projects that are a great way to collaborate with other students. It also provides an opportunity for you to write, present and publish a paper with other students. There are various “Calls for Proposals”, especially in the fall and winter terms, so working on a research project in the spring and summer gives you an opportunity to prepare well in advance, before you are met with a new academic year of LIS courses. Challenge yourself and create your niche in the profession with a solid research background. Not ready for a research project, then make sure you get the most of your internship or practicum experience.

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