Practitioner research in an academic library: evaluating the impact of a support group
Walkley Hall, Elizabeth
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This paper explores how a support group has contributed to building a culture of research practice at Flinders University Library. The brief of the Research Working Group (RWG) is to develop a culture of research and professional reflection in the library’s professional staff. The RWG has three broad goals against which to measure its impact: to develop the professional staff's skills with regard to research engagement; to encourage analysis and investigation of the Library’s services and resources; and to engage more widely with the library profession and the wider higher education community through presentation and publication of research results. Professional staff completed a questionnaire examining their participation in research, their confidence in undertaking research, and plans for future research projects. The results were analysed with reference to the first goal of the RWG. The importance of practitioners undertaking research is increasingly being recognised as a core value in academic libraries. Many support groups for librarians undertaking research have been described in the literature, but few have evaluated the impact of such a group. This paper seeks to evaluate the impact of the RWG on the professional staff at Flinders University Library to date.