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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.

Dissertation time

June 11th, 2009

Right, coursework is all handed in and there’s just the dissertation left to go in my MA. Still having a few health problems: I’ve managed to get on top of most things, but my vision is still proving a bit problem. I’m back at the computer having turned my brightness settings down low, but paper is proving a bit of a problem, so I’m trying to do what I can when I can (while getting various referrals to try and sort out my vision).

The most manageable task at the moment seems to be transcribing the interviews I’ve got so far (I’m a touch typist, and I transcribed a lot during my PhD etc. so I’m a fairly dab hand at churning this out). I would have preferred to type these up as I recorded them, so I was fresh from the interview, but was involved in about seven layers of coursework at the time. I typed up my first interview today, and it was quite interesting to go back over it and see the kinds of themes that came up.

Just as a reminder, I’m looking at the use of space in Sheffield University’s Information Commons with the student interviews, and the next stage of my research will be to interview staff and find out about their expectations for the IC, and how they compare with actual use. I need to do a bit of reading before the staff interviews, though, so holding on to see if I can sort out my eyes first!

The student data is really interesting, though. There seem to be lots of layers to the decision making processes of students when deciding which space to use: study preferences, aesthetic preferences, habit, social behaviour, territoriality etc. Should be fascinating stuff to unpick these a bit further and see how they interact / combine in different individuals.

Note: Image taken at LILAC 2009. I like the fact that the signs told Welsh speakers to use the door to escape in case of fire, but didn’t tell them how to open the thing. Of course, maybe the Welsh are just naturally good at opening doors.

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