Who am I?

As in: (1) Who is this stranger posting to Researchofile?; and (2) “What am I a scholar of?” (Luker, p. 64)

I’m very, VERY behind on posting, and it’s all because of Luker! Let me explain:

You see, I’m a bit of a slow reader, especially if what I’m reading is something that is essentially a loosely structured novel. Luker’s writing, for example, with all the anecdotes and salsa dancing metaphors, is very difficult for me. Structure, that’s what I like. I like rules and regulations, headings and sub-headings, bullet points, figures, tables, and pictures. In other words, I like Knight. (I also like Creswell, but more on that later.) But I hit a bit of a roadblock with Assignment 2 (something about my framework, not sure what, wasn’t making sense to me) and decided to go back to Luker and give her a more careful read. I had some questions, and perhaps Luker had the answers for me.

Page 64 is where I found what I needed. Luker said, “decide what you are; (…) what are you a scholar of.” You need to know this to develop a proper frame for your research question, she added, and “how you frame your question is something of a key importance” (p. 67). This resonated with me, so much so in fact that I decided to take a step back and regroup.

A few sources proved particularly helpful. Marcia Bates’ article titled “An Operational Definition of the Information Disciplines” (available online via Marcia Bates’ website at http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/) gave me a listing of all of the i-disciplines and some background on how this list was developed. Things are complicated in our field so I also read Brian Cantwell Smith’s critique of Bates’ “The Invisible Substrate of Information Science” (http://www.ischool.utoronto.ca/system/files/pages/docs/itable/BatesAnnotated.pdf) next, just to get some additional context. The Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences was terrific, of course. And finally, I must also mention Creswell’s “Research Design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches” (2003), where he talks at length about the thinking involved in the process of designing research. How do you select a proper methodology for your research? What theoretical perspective is behind this methodology? What epistemology informs all of this? This was a good complement to Knight’s Ch. 1.

And so here I am now, very, VERY behind on my blog work. I must admit though, Luker really did make me think about what it is that I like about LIS and where I , so perhaps this was a good investment of my time after all. (And now, no additional side projects for me for the remaining of the semester!)

I still have a bit of writing to do, so off I go now – but talk SOON! J

Agnes

Knight’s Thoughts and Luker’s Daisy

Hello there, fellow researchers,

I’m playing catch-up in terms of writing about our readings.  I’d prefer not to skip to the present straight away because I’m really into some of the concepts from the first week.  Bear with me while I take you back.

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Two of the concepts that have stuck in my mind these last few weeks are Knight’s concept of writing-as-thinking and Luker’s Bedraggled Daisy method.  I am aware that there are acute differences between the two methods, but I find that both of them are based off of the same action: putting pen to paper.  

I find brainstorming most effective when I am combining writing, drawing and swearwords (which belong in their own category).  I tend to use the two methods interchangeably but I haven’t found one to be better than the other.  As a matter of fact, I have found that since the act of writing requires a pause after each thought so that I can actually capture it in a comprehensive form, my hand has never quite been able to catch up to my brain.  Even at my best, I still lose track of at least one idea.  

At least, I did – until now.  

Richard’s post about Channel 16 (and an errant re-run of Mad Men that I saw two weeks ago) inspired me to start thinking about methods of communication and I realized that I had completely neglected what I suspect used to be an amazing brainstorming tool.  I’d like to announce that I’ve started using voice note recorders on all my various devices to capture my thoughts before they fly out of my brain.  And yes, this does mean that I’ve become one of those tools who talks into their cell phone like it’s a mic.

In my opinion, the best way to put thoughts in order is if they’re all there.  Listing my potential research interests into a recorder requires less self-consciousness and I don’t stop after each one to question whether or not it might be a suitable topic.  I just talk until I’m done and then transcribe them.  After I see them all laid out on paper, it becomes easier to draw connections and overlaps between ideas.  It’s also reassuring to know that I can play the sound clip back if I need to.

Now, if only I could pay someone to do the transcribing for me…

Yours in research,

Laura

Late to the Cocktail Party

Hello everyone,

My name’s Laura and I’m a first-year MI student with a concentration in LIS.  I’m aware that I’m pretty late to the party at the moment, and I have no real excuse for that except that the last two weeks have been jam-packed with extra-curricular organization.  As a result, all of my blog entries are currently scribbled on bits of paper and I’m just getting them together now.  In order to make life easier for the people reading this, I’ll be writing out several of my overdue blog entries, rather than forcing you all to read four weeks’ worth of thoughts in one go.
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Let’s start with potential research interests.  My BA is in English Literature, and I have an extra-curricular background in arts administration, with a sprinkling of sex-positive advocacy.  I’ve always been heavily involved with the latter, whether it’s operational volunteer work or self-started projects.  I also have a general interest in how people perceive themselves and their surroundings (self-described extroverts/introverts, etc).

Worryingly, I don’t really recognize any of my interests as being instantly researchable and that’s one of my main concerns for this class.  I feel as though what I do, what I study and what I want to know more about don’t mesh together as well they should (or as well as I want).

Since coming into the program, I’ve only just started to realize the potential for research in LIS, but I have no idea if my topic will have anything to do with it.  Introverts in the library?  The existence of reading addictions? (my thoughts: false) Only time will tell.

Yours in research,

Laura