In February 2015, North Carolina A&T hosted the inaugural Empirical Librarians Symposium. Emily Vardell, Leslie Thomson, John D. Martin III, and I led a panel on research methods for library and information science, covering focus groups, surveys, participant observation, and interviews. Resources from our panel, Conducting LIS Research: The Method in our Madness, are available on this site.
I was fortunate to be able to attend IFLA for the first time in August. This year the Congress took place in Lyon, France.
Sumayya Ahmed and I (ELIME-21 Fellows), along with SILS faculty Barbara Moran, gave a presentation about the newest ELIME-21 grant initiative. The Global Training Resources for Information Professionals (GTRIP) project is a repository of modular and interactive content meant to support ongoing training and staff development of librarians and information professionals in environments with limited resources. More information, including the full text of this paper, is available in the IFLA Library.
In addition, Josiah Drewry (Business and Economics Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill) and I shared the results of a systematic analysis of the library and information science literature, with a particular emphasis on the effects of the Arab Spring. The full text of the paper, The Effects of Political and Social Turmoil on LIS Research in the Arab World, is available through the IFLA Library as well.
Josiah Drewry (Business & Economics Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill), Mahmoud Khalifa (Library of Congress Field Office, Cairo, Egypt) and I have been working on a systematic review of the LIS literature between 2004 and 2013 in order to address the following questions:
What kinds of scholarly conversations have Middle Eastern and North African practitioners of LIS been having with each other, especially in peer-reviewed journals in Arabic and English?
What kinds of empirical research have they been conducting?
Are they addressing the recent political and economic upheaval in the region, and what of value can we relay of these discussions to interested academics outside of the field?
Are the trends in research and publishing in LIS across MENA reflective of trends across the global library and information landscape? Will our research reveal issues or trends that are specific to the region or particular countries or areas within the region?
The results of my academic integrity study have been published in Libri.
Click, A. “Taking something that is not your right”: Egyptian students’ perceptions of academic integrity. Libri: International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, 64(2), 109-123.
Abstract: This study explores the perceptions of Egyptian undergraduate students at The American University in Cairo, an American-style private university in Egypt, as related to academic integrity. The research questions were developed in order to discover how these students perceive the scholarly environment in which they learn, if they engage in dishonest behaviors, and if so, why. The qualitative results of this mixed-method study were collected via online survey and photovoice interviews, an ethnographic method in which participants take photographs in response to prompts provided by the investigator. In the survey, students were asked to define academic integrity and explain how they learned about the concept, and also respond to statements about the scholarly environment on campus. The photovoice participants took photographs in response to the following prompts, and others related to their research processes: something that shows how you feel about plagiarism, something that shows how you feel about cheating, something that shows how you learned about academic integrity. The results include the responses to 114 completed surveys, supported by the photographs and content of the eight photovoice interviews. The qualitative data was coded line by line, and larger themes were identified. Students indicate that their colleagues engage in academically dishonest behavior regularly, and pointed to poor time management, pressure for high grades, and helping friends as reasons for this. The paper argues that academic librarians are in a unique position to promote academic integrity on campus, and provides some suggestions for advocacy.
I have been collaborating with Claire Walker, Research & Instruction Librarian at Belmont University, to conduct a study on student perceptions of academic integrity. Specifically, we were interested in examining how and why students from different cultures differ in their perspectives on these issues. We collected data via online questionnaire from students at a private Christian university in the American South and students at a private American-style university in Egypt, and presented our findings in a talk called “Motivations, definitions, and the ‘plagiarism trap’: perceptions of academic integrity across cultures.”
I was selected as a member of the first cohort of Leadership Development Scholars by the UNC Graduate School. The program involves the implementation of a proposed professional development project, participation in a leadership workshop, and the creation of a personalized leadership development plan. I will be organizing and moderating a panel discussion with prominent leaders in library and information science, which will take place in March 2014.
The AMICAL (American International Consortium of Academic Libraries) 2013 Annual Conference took place June 12-15 at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. I gave a talk titled “Cross-Campus Collaboration for Academic Integrity,” addressing the ways that librarians, teaching faculty, administrators, and IT staff, can collaborate to ensure that undergraduate and graduate students understand academic integrity and develop necessary research and writing skills.
Claire Walker, Research & Instruction Librarian, and I used the photovoice method to conduct a comparative study about student perceptions of academic integrity issues at Belmont University and the American University of Cairo. We presented our findings at LOEX 2013, a library instruction conference, in a talk called “Picture This! Instruction Librarians Promoting Academic Integrity.”
Along with Claire Walker, Reference & Instruction Librarian at Belmont University, I gave a presentation called Authentic Teaching: Lessons from Instruction Librarians at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy. The Conference took place at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA on 6-8 February 2013.
Abstract: Librarians, like many scholars, often leave graduate school with little teaching experience or pedagogical training. Those who become academic librarians are immediately and regularly asked to teach information literacy sessions on conducting research and library resources, and can find themselves feeling unprepared and overwhelmed. Certainly the teaching experience of instruction librarians differs from that of faculty members, in everything from contact hours to course content. However, the lessons learned in library instruction sessions can often be applied to the traditional classroom, and the focus on authentic teaching benefits all types of instructors. This practice session will include discussion of deep modeling, transformative learning, and authenticity. Participants will learn about the use of these ideas in higher education pedagogy in a big picture context, work and learn in groups in order to apply these concepts, and take home a plan to develop individual authenticity in teaching.