Sunday, May 18, 2008

MLA 2008: The (Research) Culture of Libraries

As I walked around the MLA 2008 poster session this afternoon I noticed that there were a fair number of projects funded by small grants. It seems like five thousand dollars can fund a fairly basic project.

This observation blended nice into the title of a late Sunday afternoon session I attended entitled 'Developing a Research Culture in Your Organization." I arrived to the session late (sorry, Jerry! I missed your presentation!) since I was still down in the exhibit hall for the poster session and kept running into people. Social networking classic, if you will.

I arrived in time to see Susan Whitmore's presentation. Susan provided an overview of a NIH staff survey to uncover what the staff felt they needed in order to move towards a more research oriented organization. Using research to begin building a research culture.

What the research uncovered was the the staff really didn't understand research methods, and requested training. So, the library leadership brought in experts to teach research methods. I understand the presentation was focused on their process and not outcomes. Perhaps it is too early to tell. Still, I walked away wondering about the impact of the training. Has there been a culture shift? Does the staff think in research terms? How many new projects have there been? Was there an increase in research dollars?

I will need to catch up with her on the network.... Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had jotted down "ppt on mlablog" for this session. Anyone have the link?

Thanks for your post. It jogged my memory and reminded me to check out MLA's updated policy statement on research.