C-EBLIP Wishes You a Happy Holiday Season

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

Since the first post on July 15, 2014, Brain-Work, the blog of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP), has published 26 posts from a variety of librarians from the University of Saskatchewan and from across Canada. I’d like to extend a big THANK YOU to all the Brain-Work contributors. Your posts have been thought-provoking, interesting, and diverse, and we can look forward to more of the same in the New Year.

Brain-Work will be on a bit of hiatus for the holiday season, resuming publication on January 13, 2015. In the meantime, please have a lovely December break. C-EBLIP wishes you a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2015.

SnowManHappy Holidays!

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

C-EBLIP announces the 2015/16 Researcher in Residence

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

Selinda Berg, an accomplished librarian and researcher from the University of Windsor, is the University Library’s 2015/16 Researcher in Residence. Based in the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP), Selinda’s term will begin in July 2015.

The University Library recognizes the critical value and importance of research as a key element of professional practice and actively supports librarians in their role as researchers. As part of our efforts to develop a research culture and the research capabilities of librarians, the University Library established the Researcher-in-Residence Program designed to help enrich the research culture at the University Library. C-EBLIP supports librarians as researchers and promotes evidence based library and information practice.

Of the Researcher in Residence appointment, Selinda said, “I am very excited to embark on my sabbatical and the many possibilities that lie with working with the U of S librarians and the Centre of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. While the sabbatical is very exciting, I really do feel like I won the lottery with this opportunity.”

Selinda Berg is a librarian at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry–Windsor Program and the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor. Concurrently, she is completing her PhD. in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University. Research has played a central role in her educational and professional career. At the core of her conception of the research environment for librarians lies the assumption that librarians themselves must take a lead role in developing a unique research culture that complements the environment and needs of practicing librarians. The initiatives that she has led locally and nationally (including the CARL Librarians Research Institute and Westerns Librarian and Archivist Research Support Network) reflect this thinking. Selinda’s professional service and research focuses on the development of professional identify in academic librarians, especially in relation to their identities as researchers.

C-EBLIP and the University Library are pleased to welcome Selinda, an active and engaged librarian researcher with a keen interest in building a Canadian librarian culture of research. For more information, visit http://library.usask.ca/ceblip/activities/researcher-in-residence-program.php or contact Virginia Wilson, C-EBLIP Director, virginia.wilson@usask.ca

C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers – A Synopsis

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP)

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice at the University Library, University of Saskatchewan, held its very first Fall Symposium with the theme of Librarians as Researchers.

Wow, I say! The speakers were inspiring, the food was excellent, the door prizes were fun, and the atmosphere was convivial. Let me give you quick synopsis of the day.

Registration opened at 8am with Carisa and Crystal checking everyone in and making sure everyone had what they needed, including an entry form for the door prize draws. At 8:45, I welcomed participants to the longest room ever (the Marquis Private Dining Room on the U of S Campus is a long rectangular space that turned out to work well for our group with plenty of room for the food and coffee table at the back). I was pleased to be able to introduce the Fall Symposium’s keynote speaker, Margy MacMillan from Mount Royal University, who spoke about the interactions between the what and the why of research. You can check out the keynote abstract and Margy’s bio right here. Margy’s talk involved some interactive work as we thought about and shared our first research questions as well as our most memorable research questions.


The day’s single-track session stream was a good format for this one-day symposium. Presenters had 20 minutes to speak and entertain questions. Session topics were broad and interesting, and the full range of abstracts can be found here. A feature of the symposium was ample time for connecting and networking. The morning break, lunch, afternoon break, and post-symposium social offered a chance for participants to talk and share amidst a plethora of food. My motto is: better too much than not enough. Although from my perspective, the food seemed just right! Ask any attendee about the granola bars.

After the sessions were finished and the door prizes were awarded (door prizes donated by the U of S Campus Computer Store, U of S Bookstore, University Library, and McNally Robinson Booksellers) symposium-goers retired to the University Club for a restorative beverage and even more food. It was an excellent wind-down to a wonderful day.

I’ve got a few thank yous to extend, so here we go. Thank you to:

  • Our 54 symposium attendees from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the US. It was wonderful to meet and see you all!
  • Keynote Margy MacMillan and all of our session presenters: fabulous job!
  • C-EBLIP Fall Symposium Planning Committee who joined me in constructing this caper: Carolyn Pytlyk, Charlene Sorensen, and Rachel Sarjeant-Jenkins
  • Session Facilitators: Carolyn Pytlyk, DeDe Dawson, Charlene Sorensen, Shannon Lucky
  • Registration and Set-up: Carisa Polischuk and Crystal Hampson
  • Photographer: David Bindle
  • Also to Finn’s Irish Pub, where we held the CARL LRI social on the evening of Oct. 14, Marquis Culinary Services, eMAP, FMD, Dean Vicki Williamson and the University Library Dean’s Office, C-EBLIP Members, and the University Club. (I hope I haven’t missed anyone!)

You can access the Storify of the day’s tweets here: https://storify.com/VirginiaPrimary/c-eblip-fall-symposium-librarians-as-researchers

Let’s do it again next year, okay?

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

First of all, I want to let you know that the Summer of Virginia as it pertains to the Brain-Work blog is just about over. Starting next week, you’ll be treated to weekly posts from our brilliant cast of contributors. But before I concede centre stage, I’d like to talk about the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers.

The Symposium is coming up on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 and will be held on the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) campus. The day-long event will consist of an opening keynote address by Margy MacMillan from Mount Royal University, single track sessions, and lots of time for networking (yummy food and social events, too). You can find the program here: http://library.usask.ca/ceblip/c-eblip-fall-symposium/symposium-program.php Registration (which will open soonopen now!) is complimentary, but we will be asking for you to fill out an online registration form for catering numbers and stuff like that.

So, a bit of background…the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) held its grand opening in July 2013. Just over a year old, the Centre is under the umbrella of the University Library, U of S. C-EBLIP’s mandate is to promote evidence based practice and to support librarians as researchers. We’ve done a lot of activities over the past year internally to support that mandate. But I’ve always felt there should be some outward facing activities originating from the Centre, mostly because I’m a big believer of the work being better when it’s not done in a vacuum. The Symposium is one such activity. The Symposium is open to any librarian interested in the topic of librarians as researchers. With free registration, you just need to get here.

There have been recent initiatives aimed at developing a Canadian librarian research culture. I’m thinking particularly of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Librarians’ Research Institute (LRI). The LRI was held for its third year this past June at Carleton. Previous LRIs were held at the University of Regina, jointly presented by the U of R and the U of S, and at the University of Windsor. I attended the inaugural event and was very impressed with the content, the use of peer mentors to facilitate the institute, and the overall concept and drive behind the institute. Essentially, we’ve got a lot of librarian research expertise in Canada and we need to bring that together, share that knowledge, and move a librarian culture of research in Canada forward. I’m hoping that the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium will contribute to this goal. Bringing together librarians from across Canada to share research, experiences, thoughts, and potential roadblocks can only help to continue the conversations that are taking place about librarians in their researcher roles.

I’m really excited about the initial response to the Fall Symposium. Librarians as researchers seems to be a timely topic, and it’s one that I’m immersed in with my role as the C-EBLIP Director. I believe that librarians have so much to offer in the area of LIS research. We have the opportunity to research our practice, to take questions that come from our place on the ground and move them forward to provide ourselves and each other with evidence to take our practice to the next level. If the Symposium unfolds as I think it will, we’re going to have a day that will inspire and ignite us all and that will provide a feeling of support; the idea that no matter where we are, there are others like us who are doing the same type of work. And hopefully, the connections we make at the Symposium will be lasting, so we can jot off an email or pick up the phone and connect with a Symposium attendee for information, support, or maybe just a laugh.

If you have any questions about the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium, please do not hesitate to be in touch with me: virginia.wilson@usask.ca

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.

Welcome to the Launch of Brain-Work, C-EBLIP’s Blog!

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.

The Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) officially came into being on July 1, 2013, created by the University Library, University of Saskatchewan, for the benefit of the University Library. C-EBLIP’s mission in brief is to support librarians as researchers and to promote evidence based library and information practice. And while activities have been held over the past year particularly for University Library librarians (i.e. workshops, seminars, a journal club, and discussion groups) there are some activities that look outwards from the local context. C-EBLIP recognizes the benefits of engaging with librarians and libraries outside of our own milieu as a way to facilitate collaboration, sharing, and idea creation, as well as to contribute to the development of a national culture of research amongst academic librarians and libraries. If the messages and the methods stray further than the national context, so much the better!

That said, welcome to Brain-Work’s summer 2014 launch! Brain-Work, the C-EBLIP blog, is a multi-authored blog (although this summer you’ll mostly hear from me) broadly covering topics related to research, evidence based library and information practice, and librarianship. This blog is inspired by the London School of Economics’ The Impact Blog (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/) as well as Scholarly Kitchen (http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/) and other topnotch multi-authored, academic blogs. The blog title, Brain-Work, comes from a Sherlock Holmes quote in Arthur Conan Doyle’s book, The Sign of the Four. In it, Holmes states, “I cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for?” Holmes also asserts, in A Study in Scarlet, that “there is nothing like first-hand evidence.” So despite some of his more extreme character traits, Sherlock Holmes seems like a good muse for this blog.

Why a blog?

Academic blogging is becoming more popular and more prevalent. Martin Weller states that “in terms of intellectual fulfillment, creativity, networking, impact, productivity, and overall benefit to [his] scholarly life, blogging wins hands down.” (http://chronicle.com/article/The-Virtues-of-Blogging-as/131666/). Mark Carrigan reminds us that “academic blogging does not take place in a vacuum. It is grounded in existing research and expertise. The flexibility it affords allows this relationship to be a dynamic one – blogging can be underwritten by research conducted, in progress or is merely planned. It also provides a degree of space and freedom to extend beyond the realms of research.” (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2013/02/04/the-value-of-academic-blogging/) Librarians at the University of Saskatchewan are faculty members with requirements for research and publication tied to tenure and promotion activities and an obligation as academic citizens to create and disseminate new knowledge. This blog is an in-between space that allows for certain types of discourse that run beyond or prior to the traditional journal article or conference presentation.

The intent of this blog is to be a space for thoughts and ideas that perhaps are not yet ready for research or a more formal journal article. It will be a space for our voices to be heard, and a space that allows us to explore our ideas in a more public forum. Not only will it be beneficial to librarians internal to the University Library, it will also be an activity (like the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers) that turns outward and engages with people from outside of the University Library.

Raising issues, discussing current events and trends, mulling stuff over – all will be welcome on this blog. We are anticipating posts that have some depth and substance, and that can get readers thinking and ideally participating in a conversation. This blog will be written by folks internal to our library. As well, guests from other areas and other institutions will contribute blog posts. The guest posters will be designated as Adjunct Members of C-EBLIP. I’m pleased to announce that Frank Winter and David Fox, Librarians Emeriti to the University Library, and Denise Koufogiannakis from the University of Alberta are our first Adjunct Members and will be participating in Centre blogging activities. If you would like more information about participating as an Adjunct Member, contact me at virginia.wilson@usask.ca. Comments are welcome and stay tuned for the next posting as we anticipate a weekly Tuesday post.

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.