EVIDENCE BASED RESEARCH

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This weeks readings are based on articles about evidence based research (EBR), even if they don’t carry out the research themselves, many librarians use this method in the workplace and it is called evidence based practice (EBP). In this blog post I will focus on the article by Eldredge, this was primarily a literature review of published and unpublished works in this field. This article was very useful as I wasn’t familiar with EBR, the article outlined where this methodology derived from and how it is implemented in the workplace. I think this article is pretty straightforward as easy enough for a new comer to the field to understand but I think it would be even easier to follow if it had some models like the picture above were used at the beginning of the text. The author does give an example of when librarians used EBR in reviewing its collection but I think it would be better if they included another example. This article extends on what I have already read however, I would have to do more reading on this subject to be confident in my ability to use this management methodology. Overall, I found this subject interesting and would like to explore this subject in more depth in the future.

Eldredge, J. (2006). Evidence-based librarianship: The EBL process. Library Hi Tech, 24(3), 341-354. doi:10.1108/07378830610692118

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LEADERSHIP AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

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The two chapters we read for this weeks reflection focused on two different but interrelated issues. The focus of chapter thirteen was the differences between leadership and management and how you can foster and develop both of these skills. Chapter fifteen focused on diversity within the organisational structures as well as within the collection and services the library provides. It is difficult to define diversity in one sentence as it a much more complex issue. A simple way to break down what diversity means is as follows:

D – different styles, disabilities

I – individuals, intellegence

V – variety, veteren status

E – education, economic status, ethnicity

E – race, religion

S – sexual orientation, social class

I – immigration status

T – thought process, traits

Y – youth, years (Evans & Alire 2013 p. 370)

This model can act as a useful checklist when trying to plan a project to check that it will be successful with the diverse clientele that visit any institution or library.

Overall, these chapters support other readings I have done on these topics but chapter fifteen gave me a deeper insight to how the public libraries in the USA try to incorporate diversity into the management system. I found the chapter about diversity more interesting because it raised a lot of questions related to the library sector in Ireland. Up until the start of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland was a very homogeneous society and in some ways has been resilient to change. Gender and sexuality issues are now being discussed openly as well as an increase in the number of foreigners living in Ireland. These are just two examples of the many things that have changed in Ireland over the last ten years but it is not clear how these needs are being incorporated into the management systems of our public libraries or other institutions.

While working on projects in the future I will be more conscious of addressing diversity in the planning and implementation stages of the project.

Evans, G. E., & Alire, C. A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals. London: Facet Publishing.

Chapters 13 and 15.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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The two articles we read for this week focused on the skills needed for effective project management in the IT sector. Bouraad summed up his article in the conclusion by claiming that it redefined the role and responsibilities of the operations manager. His article sums up these roles in such a clear and concise manner that it should be mandatory reading for any operations manager, especially at the beginning of their career. Randolph’s article was a more detailed case study of how effective IT project managers at utilising knowledge reuse within an IT consulting company.

Both authors addressed critical issues within a project management environment. Bouraad clarified the responsibilities of the operations manager, which always need to be clarified no matter how much experience the person has to maintain efficient running of a project. Randolph highlighted that knowledge repositories generally didn’t address the needs of junior project managers and that more needs to be done to address their knowledge needs.

In Randolph’s case study it seemed that the people in the case study were working as individuals even though they were part of a team, it would be useful if the author addressed this issue in his recommendations for the company. However, I think this article highlights that practice makes perfect, as senior project managers used company resources more effectively to find solutions to their problems.

Both texts support other readings I have done on this topic. Bouraad’s article clarified what I need to do to fulfill my role as project manager in future projects.

Bouraad, F. (2010). IT project portfolio governance: The emerging operation manager. Project Management Journal, 41(5), 74-86. doi:10.1002/pmj.20083

Randolph, A. B., & Petter, S. (2009). Developing soft skills to manage user expectations in IT projects: Knowledge reuse among IT project managers. Project Management Journal, 40(4), 45-59. doi:10.1002/pmj.20130

UCD SYSTEMATIC REVIEW LIBGUIDE

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For this week’s post I am reviewing the UCD Systematic Review Libguide. As I mentioned in last weeks post, I wasn’t familiar with libguides before this assignment and I have never carried out a systematic review before so it was my first time to look at this particular guide.

If I was asked to carry out a systematic review tomorrow I wouldn’t have a clue what to do. In the past I would have used Google to help me find a solution to my problems but really the UCD Systematic Review Libguide is the best place to start. As you can see from the picture above, the guide defines what a systematic review is and gives the students step by step instructions on how to carry out their own research in a clear and concise manner. The best feature of this guide is that it defines what it is in the introduction, thus making it more accessible for first time users who are not familiar with what a systematic review is.

The guide has multiple links to useful sources under the ‘Guides/Manuals’ tab. These are excellent links but I think it would also be useful to add some links to social media sites related to the field, such as blogs. I think this would make the libguide more interactive and its a good way for students to follow whats going on in the field.

At the bottom of every page in the guide we can see that the web page is regularly updated meaning that the contact information is up to date if you should need to get in touch with any queries. Overall, this is a very comprehensive libguide but it feels a bit static compared to the UCD Applied Social Science Libguide I reviewed last week. That guide had links to the UCD Library and department Twitter news feeds, even though I’m not a Twitter user it gave the guide the impression of being more up to date.

http://libguides.ucd.ie/systematic/intro

http://libguides.ucd.ie/appliedsocsci/intro