Webinar ‘Reflections on research in practice’: follow-up

by | Dec 20, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Emilia Bell

The ‘Reflections on Research in Practice’ webinar, LARK’s final event for 2022, was held on 6 December. Many people were interested, but were unable to attend, so we are now pleased to share a RECORDING from the event. Many thanks to ALIA for posting it for LARK.

We were joined by three wonderful speakers:

  • Adrian Stagg (Manager, Open Educational Practice, University of Souther Queensland, Library Services)
  • Rebecca (Bec) Muir (Doctoral Candidate, Charles Sturt University)
  • Rowena McGregor (Liaison Librarian, University of Southern Queensland, Library Services)

The three presentations prompted reflection on the value of research as evidence
and advocacy and taking human-centred and reflexive approaches. 

Adrian’s presentation traversed the matters such as ‘ecologies of practice’ and ‘the methodology of friendship,’ while also bringing us a wonderful analogy with polar bears and icebergs that challenged us to “look for the things that mean the whole world to other people” in our own practice and research. This recognised human-centred approaches in both open education and research and the influence of our own experiences and values in practice. Adrian shared findings from his doctoral research that engaged with the influencers, barriers, and enablers in the ecology of open educational practice in Australian higher education, and the role this plays in advocacy. See Adrian Stagg’s slides.

Rebecca (Bec) spoke on the value of research and advocating for practitioner research skills and training in libraries, prompting discussion on how conducting research changes how we see the world. Drawing on LISRA research (Partridge et al., 2022), Bec identified the many challenges for practitioners around self-educating on how to research and finding support in this. Asking how we might advocate for the value of developing these skills, Bec connected the practical question of “What do we need to know?” to the outcome of “What will changing this data achieve, and what would be the benefit?” See Bec Muir’s slides.

Rowena talked through the role of reflective practice, and an initiative at the University of Southern Queensland Library that aimed to engage staff in a research project. Applying the What?, So what?, Now what? model, Rowena reflected on the experience of engaging library staff in the research project, the anticipated value of reflection to library staff, and how future projects might engage other stakeholders to provide support for this practice. Reflexivity was a key takeaway from this initiative, and this helped to explore the challenges of creating longer term engagement with reflective practice and bringing colleagues on board in research projects. See Rowena McGregor’s slides.

These presentations prompted great discussion on topics broadly covering developing reflective cultures in libraries, the value of research skills, autonomy and values in library research, and initiatives to foster reflection and inviting colleagues to participate and engage in both research and reflection. 

Partridge, H., Given, L., Murphy, A., & Howlett, A. (2022, May 16-19). Documenting research experiences in the Australian library and information sector: A survey of pracitioners’ views. [Conference presentation]. Australian Library and Information Association National Conference (ALIA 2022): Diversity. Canberra, Australia.


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