01 May 2011

PG Cafe Forum

I recently gave a 15 minute presentation about my research to the university's Postgraduate Cafe Forum. These sessions provide an opportunity to meet and discuss with fellow research students from a wide range of different subject areas, so the first part of the presentation aimed to provide a brief overview of the field of information studies and librarianship.

I discussed some aspects of the modern library collection, moving beyond print to digital materials - ejournals and ebooks - and to new types of content, such as research data and online teaching resources. I also introduced the concept of social enterprise, describing how this has developed in the UK since 1997, and why social enterprise makes a particularly interesting area of study in relation to library collections.

Finally, I discussed my three proposed research methods for my project. These proposed methods need to be reviewed by the Information School's ethics board, so they may well change following any recommendations made by the board. However, at the moment I'm hoping:
  • to conduct a case study of British Library collections for social enterprise;

  • to carry out catalogue searches for social enterprise material on publicly-accessible catalogues for a range of different types of library;

  • to carry out interviews with a small sample of people involved in using, creating or maintaining library collections for social enterprise - for example, social enterprise practitioners, academics and researchers, and librarians. This would be followed by a survey of a larger sample of stakeholders, to see if any of these findings can be generalised to the wider population.
Overall, I think the presentation went well - and although my concerns about my reliance on a script still apply, in this case using PowerPoint slides provided an alternative focus for my attention!

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