Recently I got an opportunity to attend the 86th ASIS&T Annual Conference in London. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Making a Difference: Translating Information Research into Practice, Policy, and Action.’
My research into the information experiences of serious leisure enthusiasts shows that they often engage in an ongoing learning journey related to their hobbies or amateur activities. Whether learning to play a musical instrument, grow bonsai, or engage in any other hobby. They actively seek, share, produce information and look for various learning opportunities. The motivation behind this relentless quest for knowledge and skill lies in the joy and fulfilment derived from their passions. In this process, they often form close bonds with libraries, which often become their favourite places because they offer resources and space, helping them with their leisure activities.… Continue reading “Avenues for Collaboration Between Libraries and Serious Leisure Enthusiasts”
Kay oddone, kasey garrison, krystal gagen-spriggs, monique shephard, lee fitzgerald & di ruffles
The Teacher Librarianship team along with several of our fantastic adjunct staff were thrilled to be able to engage in professional learning and networking at the recent International Association of School Libraries (IASL) conference in Rome, Italy.
Between us we presented six papers;
Understanding the World: How Australian teacher librarians define information literacy (Kay Oddone and Kasey Garrison);
“It was a real eye-opener”: Young adult literature and adolescent mental health (Monique Shepherd and Kasey Garrison);
Failure to flourish: Students and teacher librarians in Australia (Lee Fitzgerald, Alinda Sheerman and Kasey Garrison);
Transformative Learning (Di Ruffles);
Teacher librarians as influencers of reading cultures in schools (Krystal Gagen-Spriggs) and
From books to bots: Scaffolding ethical and critical use of Generative AI (Kay Oddone, Krystal Gagen-Spriggs and Kasey Garrison).
Flying into Australia, Beth made the most of her few days in Melbourne with visits to a number of different libraries: City of Melbourne Libraries, University of Melbourne Libraries, State Library of Victoria and Merri-bek Library.… Continue reading “Social Work in Libraries”
KBANZSL, the Knowledge Bank of Australian and New Zealand School Libraries, started off as the brainchild of project leader Mary Carroll. Almost a decade after the 2011 Australian Senate Inquiry into School Libraries and resulting report School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia (House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment, 2011), she reflected that it would be great to have a “one stop shop” for all things school library and teacher librarianship in Australia, and why not include our closest neighbours across the Tasman too? … Continue reading “Launch of KBANZSL.org”
The 21st century posits specific challenges for university graduates. These challenges include non-linearity between study and work; gap between current real-life work and what is being taught in higher education curriculum; expectations of multiple career changes; and everchanging labour market (Johnston, 2017). While relevant skills have been embedded into university curriculum to ensure graduates are ready to tackle the above challenges, many graduates do not yet know how to transfer skills from classroom to workplaces. Not all graduates are transferring skills and knowledge “automatically or tacitly” (Johnston, 2017, p.… Continue reading “Work placements through multiple stakeholders’ perspectives”
The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded over $200,000 to a team of LRG researchers in collaboration with the State Library of New South Wales and the public library authorities of Albury, Yass and Fairfield in Sydney. The project will run for two years, and investigate how the collective wisdom of community members can be best leveraged in the process of designing new public library spaces, be they whole new buildings or existing spaces in need of refurbishment.… Continue reading “ARC grant for co-designing public libraries project”
For those unfamiliar with Gough Whitlam and his short-lived reformist Labor Party government, 2023 is a milestone. Labor, under Whitlam’s leadership, came to power close to 50 years ago in early December 1972 after 23 years in opposition, and controversially dismissed in November of 1975. In its short tenure this government was to change the face of Australia forever by implementing a raft of seismic reforms.… Continue reading “E.G. Whitlam’s vision for Australia’s public libraries”
A recent study exploring how college students conceptualize the online information landscape has found that information literacy approaches relying upon a ‘static’ presentation of information, which is sought by the student, does not reflect the current environment where algorithms and information platforms push information directly to users (Head et al., 2020). As the nature of information access has changed, so too must our understandings of information literacy and how we teach it.
This year, the NSW Department of Education launched the Information Fluency Framework (New South Wales Department of Education, 2022).… Continue reading “Understanding the changing nature of information literacy in education”
The Library Fair (図書館総合展) is Japan’s biggest exhibition on the theme of libraries, having started in 1999. Before Covid it was held annually in a convention center in Yokohama each November. Due to Covid it has changed to a hybrid style event, with online and small meetings in local venues.
In November 2022, four special online sessions will be conducted, both in English and Japanese, as part of an international project titled “Connect the World via libraries”. This project has been designed by HKSKH Ming Hua Theological College (聖公會明華神學院) with Japanese parties (Library Fair Committee, Rapidswide company) and the Charles Sturt University Libraries Research Group.… Continue reading “Library Fair (Japan) & “Connect the World via libraries” project”
Public libraries in many countries were quick to expand and promote access to their digital collections during the COVID pandemic, particularly during periods of lockdown. We analysed the usage data of two library networks in Greater Sydney and, as one might expect, the use of digital collections peaked during the New South Wales lockdowns. The graph below shows the normalised use of digital and physical collections from 2019 to 2021, with the two lockdown periods shaded.… Continue reading “COVID and the use of library collections”
In a national survey of Australian public library workers that is part of a broader project about libraries and people experiencing homelessness, 397 people answered the question “Does your library issue library cards to people with no fixed address?” This is how the responses look:
Reading is dead’ has been a refrain we’ve heard almost as much as ‘The book is dead’, but there’s little evidence to date that, like the book, reading, including leisure reading, is expiring any time soon. Of course, how we read is surely changing. We read text on screens not just for work and study, but increasingly for pleasure and interest. This is likely to have some effect on the way in which we read, and on what we read: whereas in the past ‘leisure reading’ may have conjured up thoughts of curling up with a paperback, nowadays it’s just as likely to be sampling a blog or a newsfeed on a ‘phone’ (though this could still involve curling up, perhaps).… Continue reading “‘I Can’t Afford to Buy All the Books I Read’”
Jane Garner, Kasey Garrison, Sabine Wardle, Karen Bell, Sarah Redshaw
Libraries are the original recyclers, and the reuse of books is a fundamental part of what libraries do. But libraries are doing much more to help support environmental sustainability. A recent research project funded by the Australian Library and Information Association and conducted by CSU academics Jane Garner, Kasey Garrison, Sabine Wardle, Karen Bell & Sarah Redshaw has led to the publication of the Greening Libraries Report*. The report explores how libraries in Australia and beyond support sustainability in their communities, and identifies six library case studies with exemplary green practices.… Continue reading “Planting the Seed: The Greening Libraries Report”
Headlines that speak of the horrors of war, of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our struggles to reduce climate change make it clear that students must be educated to be globally aware, creative critical thinkers, able to meet complex challenges and adapt to new situations (Celume & Maoulida, 2022; Cimatti, 2016; Trilling & Fadel, 2009). The recently published UNESCO report from the International Commission on the Futures of Education highlights the need for “a new social contract…grounded in human rights and based on principles of non-discrimination, social justice, respect for life, human dignity and cultural diversity” (International Commission on the Futures of Education, 2021, p.… Continue reading “5 Reasons we need Teacher Librarians and School Libraries in 2022”
As per our previous blog post from April last year, our research into the engagement of public libraries with people in the community continues. We focused on a couple of programs offered by ACT Libraries and interviewed parents/guardians of participating kids and the host librarians. The resulting qualitative and quantitative data was analysed in detail using thematic and statistical analysis techniques.
This year I am starting a three-year project funded by the Australian Research Council that will allow me to explore how public libraries can best support people experiencing homelessness or insecure housing. The project has the following aims:
To understand the service, resource and environmental needs of the Australian homeless community that could be met by public libraries in our urban, regional, and remote contexts.
To understand the attitudes and concerns of public library staff, and non-homeless library users in Australian urban, regional, and remote contexts relating to the homeless community being present in their libraries.
A/Prof Mary Carroll, School of Information and Communication Studies, Charles Sturt University.
This blog post is really a continuation of a previous post from December 2021 which discussed research into the establishment of early colonial library collections in Australia. This research looks at three elements of public libraries—their collection—their systems and– their space and decoration. This post will look explain why we should consider the public library as imagined and realised through its space and decoration.
Thirteenth—The intended Library. May every Inhabitant of Colony unite in promoting the general diffusion of useful Knowledge! (Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1813). ‘A toast’, 30 January. p.2).
The notion of the Public library is one we often assume is understood in the same way internationally. In contemporary literature the notion of the public library is characterised as being a third or community space providing a positive place for communities to come together and to freely access information and resources and address disadvantage. … Continue reading “A reflection on the origins of Australian public libraries”
The project started in January 2021. Up to now, various topics of online tours and online talks have been conducted by professionals like librarians, faculty, archivists and with students using IT tools and various learning models.
Outcomes of the project:
Change challenges of new age to new worldwide powers: With these online tours and talks and international connections, we have developed a worldwide “outreach digital library” together by combining library resources, e-services, user education and use of various IT tools e.g.
Academic libraries are increasingly required to demonstrate the impact of their services. Therefore, measuring library impact has become more critical than ever. As Iroaganachi and Nkiko (2016) stated, impact measurement “serves the purpose of assuring the parent institutions that the library needs the same relative share of the institutional budget, even in the budget itself is shrinking” (p. 9). Evidence of impact can also inform the decision making of library managers.
Today, 11 November, is Remembrance Day – Armistice Day – which commemorates the official end of World War I with the signing of a Peace Treaty between Germany and the Allied Powers. Yet, it is well understood that the effects of war linger long after the cessation of armed combat. In the many years since the end of each of the World Wars, rich testimony of those who lived through them, both on battlefields and the homefront, has come to light.… Continue reading “Hidden archives of war”
In September 2020, four members of the LRG – Mary Carroll, Jane Garner, Kasey Garrison and Simon Wakeling – produced the first episode of SICS Radio. We had been inspired by a talk given by Lisa McLean, Station Manager of 2mce, CSU’s community radio station which broadcasts across Wiradjuri Country to Bathurst, Orange and the Central West of NSW. Lisa had described the opportunity the station presented for staff and students to create programmes sharing their work and ideas.
COVID has drawn attention to many things, including the way that nowadays libraries exist, and operate, not only in their physical spaces, but also very much online. However, not all their physical services and resources have digital counterparts, nor can they always be substituted with online counterparts that are completely equivalents. During the recent lockdowns and closures, libraries, especially public libraries, have provided their communities with as much continuity of service as they can, often coming up with creative workarounds.… Continue reading “Valuable real estate”
The State Library of New South Wales has funded a current research project where I am investigating the experience of reading in first-language for Australians whose first language is not English. I am exploring how it feels to read in your first language, why that experience is important, how well public libraries are able to support that experience, and I am gathering ideas from my participants about how their public libraries can do even better than they are now.… Continue reading “First-language reading and the role of the public library”
A recent publication by Emilia Bell and Dr. Mary Anne Kennan in the Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association reviewed literature on roles for academic librarians in the digital humanities. It drew on literature from the digital humanities, academic librarianship, and critical librarianship. The literature revealed shared values between librarianship and the humanities which are also related to the critical and theoretical foundations of the digital humanities. Critical librarianship provides a framework for roles that can contribute to knowledge production, not just to service provision.… Continue reading “Partnering in knowledge production: Roles for librarians in the digital humanities”
A recent publication in the Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association describes the findings of the first of two phases of a major research project undertaken by members of the Charles Sturt University Libraries Research Group. The project team is lead by Dr Jane Garner and Dr Simon Wakeling, with the publishing group comprising researchers from the School of Information Studies: Professor Philip Hider, Associate Professor Hamid Jamali, Dr Jessie Lymn and Dr Yazdan Mansourian, and Dr Holly Randell-Moon from the School of Indigenous Australian Studies.… Continue reading “‘Steady Ships’ in the COVID-19 Crisis: Australian Public Library Responses to the Pandemic”
In recent years there has been a growing interest in assessing the impact and engagement of public libraries. Our research is taking a step in that direction by assessing the impact of two library services—provided by Libraries ACT—for young children and their families: (1) Giggle and Wiggle and (2) Story Time. We are studying the impact and engagement of these programs across four domains including educational, social, cultural, and economic. Our assessment will look at the gains in knowledge and skills of children as linked to the six variables identified by National Early Literacy Panel being strong predictors of later literacy development.… Continue reading “Assessing the impact and engagement of public libraries’ services for young children and their families”
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Every library user has a story to tell about their experience of visiting a library. Even people who don’t visit libraries have their stories about libraries and why they don’t use them. These stories are a rich source of data for Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of people’s lived experiences and perceptions of libraries. Nonetheless, there are few opportunities for people to narrate and share their stories of libraries, and as a result, most of them remain untold and unheard.… Continue reading “Qualitative approaches in library research: The art of listening to the untold stories”
Guest post by Dr Danny Kingsley, Visiting Fellow, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
By now, most people in the academic space have heard of the term ‘open access’, even if understanding of what the term means and levels of engagement or enthusiasm vary. We are a group that is undertaking what we thought would be a straightforward study – an analysis of open access policies in universities in Australia.
The cynic might be of the view that what public libraries set as their official ‘vision’ or ‘mission’ is intended as much for the benefit of their political overseers as it is for their publics. Nevertheless, many public library authorities do publish some sort of statement about how they see themselves contributing to their communities, about their role. Many of these statements can be found somewhere on their website, albeit sometimes in a rather remote corner of it.… Continue reading “Missions and visions: Do public libraries have a consistent picture of their role?”
I recently published a paper in the Journal of Documentation (Mansourian, 2021) to report the findings from a research project that I have done from 2018 to 2020 in the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University. In this project, I explored various information activities of serious leisure participants to discover and depict their information seeking and sharing patterns. My research approach was qualitative in an interpretive paradigm, and I used semi-structured interviews to collect the data. Then I used thematic analysis method to analyse the collected data and identify the concepts and categories.… Continue reading ““It’s something I always wanted to do”: Serious leisure, self-actualisation and social engagement”
My research program is about serious leisure. If you have not heard this term before, you might find it puzzling. This even may look like an oxymoron. How come something is serious and leisurely at the same time? However, it is not as absurd as it looks. Serious leisure includes all forms of hobbies, amateur or voluntary activities which require long term commitment and some specific knowledge or skills.… Continue reading “I watch the birdwatcher: An introduction to serious leisure”
Value and impact are terms that are sometimes loosely defined and used. Assessing and providing evidence of the value and impact of libraries is something that many researchers and practitioners, at least over the last two decades, have tried to address. The reason for great attention to value and impact has been partly the pressure on libraries to demonstrate their value and impact in order to justify their budget or investment by stakeholders. Terms such as value, impact and outcome have been used sometimes interchangeably without clear differentiation.… Continue reading “Defining the value and impact of libraries”
There’s an oft-cited question that gets asked when delving into the bowels of academic library special collections – “just what is so special about special collections?“. For university libraries especially, the special collections (or rare books, or manuscripts, or many other titles) are where some of the most socially, culturally and economically valuable parts of the library’s collection are held, and also some of the most diverse and controversial.