Back to the Basics in Researching

As a reference librarian, I worked with many library patrons who would ask where they could find books on specific subjects. I would show them how to find possible sources that could answer their questions.  Sometimes they would come back with a narrowed subject.  Then, we would look at other sources that could answer their more focused questions.  Other library patrons would take the sources presented to them and take the information from those sources as the only answers that they could find.  The library patrons who kept asking questions were developing their skills on how to be more effective in reading comprehension.  Unfortunately, the patrons that left with what they had, without further focusing on their subjects, would come back with questions for other subjects and keep asking me for the sources with the answers that they needed.  They did not learn from the first reference interview how to conduct basic research.  I wondered how I could help the novice researcher to be more effective in researching their questions.  I found 6 steps that could help.

Researching

There are actually 6 steps, which I have discovered, to be essential to help the researcher to be more effective in reviewing sources they had found.  These steps are based on a supportive network between library patron and librarian.  This could also be used in the supportive relationship between records manager and archivist (http://www.amazon.com/Skills-Students-Effective-Reading-Comprehension/dp/1515115143/ref=sr_1_3_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463020010&sr=8-3&keywords=lorette+weldon):

  1. Define how you seek information;
  2. Determine what information you need;
  3. Determine how you will get that information;
  4. Decide what information you want;
  5. Select the answer you need;
  6. Decide how you use your chosen information to answer your need.

 

To introduce the 6 steps, I have compared the research goals of the library patrons by comparing them to a researcher in a case study (https://www.udemy.com/learning-and-teaching-memory-and-study-skills).  This researcher uses the 6 steps by getting her support system (in this case, her family) to help her figure out answers to questions that she has asked.  The way she answers the questions have helped the novice researcher to understand how to search for sources in their subject areas.

 

The novice researcher could be: an information literacy student; an undergraduate freshman in developmental reading; first year library student; colleague from a non-library/archives background.  The case study is a fun way to help the novice researcher identify with working out problems through collaboration from within a department or class.

 

This emphasizes a supportive network that could exist in any work environment.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Professional Development, Professional Issues, Research, Uncategorized and tagged , , , on by .

About Lorette Weldon

Lorette Weldon is a Personal Health Records Librarian, independent researcher, author, and teacher in developmental reading and also in concepts/applications of information technology. With over 20 years of experience, she has spoken at conferences about SharePoint and Non-IT User usage. She is the author of the following books in relation to library management and SharePoint: "SharePoint Without Coding: My Notes for Embedding the Librarian"; "SharePoint Without Coding, Volume 2: My Notes on the Further Embedment of the Librarian"; "Research and Social Networking" ; "Librarians Using SharePoint 2010" all available through Amazon. She teaches the following Udemy Courses: Getting Parents and their Kids on the Same Page and Microsoft SharePoint for Non-IT Users. Weldon is currently a RMRT Steering Committee member. She is the founder, editor, and writer for the blog SharePoint Outreach at http://sharepointoutreach.blogspot.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s