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Katie Fraser's blog and website

I'm an academic librarian, working in the UK Higher Educational sector, supporting academics and students. Prior to this, I was a researcher, working with social and learning technologies.

My interests include the application of emerging and traditional technologies, research support in libraries, learning spaces, evidence-based practice and the professional development of library and information workers.

You can find out more about more about me from the links to the left. Note that the views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.

Two new roles

April 1st, 2016

It’s been a long while since I updated this blog, but I’ve always liked the idea of it charting my experiences right the way through from my graduate traineeship, so I’m not sure I’m ever capable of leaving it completely. There’s been a lot of changes as well as time passed since my last post, as I have moved through two new roles at a new institution.

Room hosting Engineering open access drop-ins

One of my first activities as a research librarian: Open access drop-ins for Engineering during Library Research Week.

I started working at the University of Nottingham in September 2014, following a restructure of the Libraries, Research and Learning Resources department, relieving me from my 5 year-long commute to Leicester! As part of the newly formed Faculty and School Engagement team, my role involved strategic engagement with the Faculties of Engineering and Science. My time in this role was fascinating, if short, giving me lots to reflect on around on community engagement and library leadership. My team wrote a paper on our approach, which we’re still hoping to publish – I’ll share news here if it emerges.

An increasing demand for research support from the library here has meant another change in our structure, however, and I’ve just shuffled sideways into another new role! In March 2016 I became a Senior Research Librarian, focusing on the Faculty of Engineering, in an expanded Research Support team. It feels strange to leave behind Science, my ‘home’ faculty from my pre-librarian days, but I’ve been enjoying learning about Engineering disciplines since I moved to Nottingham, there are plenty of familiar and shared elements to Engineering from my research background and previous roles, and I’m happy that both Science and Engineering will now be getting dedicated support.

Since the latest changes, I’m enjoying being focused on the delivery of services again, and pleased to be an official ‘research librarian’, given my long-term interest and enthusiasm for library support for researchers. I’ve also been able to revisit my interest in bibliometrics, satisfying the statistician in me. I’m looking forward to seeing where my new role will take me.

Ticking along nicely

April 23rd, 2013

It’s all been quiet for a couple of weeks, but suddenly everything seems to be making good progress again.

Yesterday I received the applicants for the De Montfort Frontrunner placement who’s coming to help me gather data on use of DMU learning spaces on campus, starting next academic year. We’re going to shortlist for the post on Monday, but having had a brief flick through the applications I’m pretty happy with the state of the field so far. I was super excited when the applications landed in my inbox, much to the amusement of my team!

I’m also making some headway with organising a second focus group for our investigation into communication with PhD students. As we want to reach out to students from faculties that our first focus group didn’t cover, it’s allowing us to be a bit more targeted in recruitment, so hopefully that will pay off in the response rates and we’ll get a nice solid number.

Things should move pretty quickly on both projects from here. I’ll post back with updates as more happens.

PhD communications project Update

March 14th, 2013

Last week we successfully completed our first focus group for our project looking at how Library and Learning Services communicates with PhD researchers.


We have some great data to look at, including the pictured PhD timeline, which was jointly created by the participants in the group.

Although it was clear from the feedback from a single group that the PhD experience diverged quite significantly according to factors such as discipline and supervisor, we’re keen to run  a second group. This would allow us to establish to what extent our local processes give students a particular character of experience, and hopefully extend our participant pool to all four of the facilities.

We’re also planning to include those who were unable to make face to face groups (including distance and international students) with a questionnaire based on the outcomes from the groups.

The approaching Easter holidays mark a good point to start analysis and plan next stages, so I’ll report further then.