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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.

Staff interviews and other dissertation activity

July 4th, 2009

This week I have been conducting interviews with staff at the university, in order to construct a Theory of Change for the Information Commons project. In simple terms, this is a model of the expected outcomes for the project, and the steps that were taken by those involved to achieve those outcomes. The model will be compared with my student data to see which outcomes I have found evidence for, and where inconsistencies lie.

The Information Commons is a beautiful building, if relentlessly modern. I’ve posted pictures of the outside before, but here’s one of the interior, which I used as a probe in the student interviews. I might go round and take some pictures myself soon, as empty out-of-term building means no consent forms. The varying levels of use of the IC have impacted on my project in several ways. I had to conduct my student interviews during my coursework period, as exams were approaching, and getting students to give me a tour of the IC would have been unworkable at its peak use. Still, it put me ahead of the game, which I’m not complaining about that now.

When I first started this project I was more focused on the student part of my project than the staff aspect, but over the last week I’ve really loved doing the staff interviews and finding out about how the IC was put together. I was astonished to find out that it was in planning back in 1998 when I first came to the university as an undergraduate! My favourite bit is seeing how staff use some of the ideas and interests I’ve had in the MA in their jobs at senior levels. The opportunity to get involved in projects like the IC is something I’d love, and it’s made me even more enthusiastic about a career in academic libraries. I just need to find a job now!

Note: Photo was taken by Flickr user paolomargari and used here under Creative Commons licence.

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