Friday, November 30, 2012

"Outgrow" your Public Library?

Babies outgrow boo-boo bunnies, Skippy bears and cribs.  Toddlers and children outgrow their clothes,  and shoes, and favorite shows. They outgrow G rated movies, tiny furniture and finger-pointing reading. Sadly, they outgrow the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. The last hold out: they outgrow believing in Santa Clause. They move beyond training wheels and T-ball stands, as those are only meant to give them a helping hand. Little fingers stretch and lengthen, going from clutching a chunky crayon to the fine motor skills of playing an instrument like piano or guitar. Teens outgrow fads and trends, favorite colors and sometimes favorite friends. At times, teens' bones outgrow their body causing great growth pain in knees and hips along growth plates, if the rate of growth is too rapid.

In a rural region such as ours, children are bussed distances to community-based K-8 schools. These children really have to get along because they spend every school day from kindergarten through eighth grade together, as one class per grade for each school. That is more time than most adults spend with colleagues and coworkers. These children often outgrow the confines of that school and all it has to offer. They outgrow each that they are nearly desperate for high school to start, where these four little-world K-8 schools come together or collide as a new ninth grade class and everything has suddenly changed. Further bussing, larger different building, staff, administration, resources, even friends. Throughout those nine years, their public library has stayed exactly the same.

With all of that said, like many things in childhood, is it possible to "outgrow" your public library?

As part of my final for LIBR 285, I hope to construct a research proposal that might lend itself to shedding light on all of the possibilities for why our teens rarely or no longer use the public library in their small rural town. The survey is the first step, and it is am I.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dynamic Youth Services

First, I want to say that I really liked reading this book - although the more I read, the more I realized that I was not going to be able to complete a Programming Proposal for my final project as I had hoped. Clearly outlined in DYS, no one librarian can do it all - and trying to create a YA program in my school district by utilizing space and resources at our local public libraries (to defray transportation costs and ensure attendance of teens) is not possible - as most of our libraries do not have strategic plans, or vision/mission statements. These libraries (sadly) exist as a repository of book; they offer access to a few computers; they offer story time for little children.

 As a school district, I do have access to a mission statement for both the district and the high school. Our World Cafe last spring has led to committees, so we don't yet have a strategic plan, vision or market research - but it is being worked on. Good to know now.

My hope was to begin to provide programming using a mobile model, which could work effectively for things like gaming nights and such. All four of our town libraries either have a room within their library or a room within the same town office/community building they are located in.

Since transportation is the biggest issue for my YA students, I propose a mobile system where I transport all of the necessary components. I have a great start with an LCD projector and portable screen. My college-bound children in away so I also have access to a PS2, Dance Pad, and a number of popular video games still popular with our teens.

New plan: research proposal realizing the obvious, on average the last major change to any of our public libraries was in the smallest town with the construction of a combined new town office and library in 1991. All four have one librarian, only one of which has a degree and specialized library training, two have volunteers while the other two choose not to have volunteers (I've been trying to help them both for almost a decade now). Besides the books, nothing has changed.

I want to know why my teens really stopped visiting, or are they just saying they stopped. Are there reduced visits? Why? Parent control? Transportation? Quality of collection? Too old for story hour? What are their reasons? What would get them back?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NCTE conference

While I may have been away from my computer, and my SLIS courses, between November 15th and 20th - it seems I couldn't escape noticing connections to research.

Typing an oral history transcript during the flight (terrible fear of flying), I kept going back to how the island of Ireland was broken into two so that Northern Ireland would remain faithful to the United Kingdom, while the Republic of Ireland could begin its own governance. Originally four districts, Ulster was the most northern portion of Ireland. If, when the country split and it had been retained all of its district - there would have been a tremendous shift. For the first time, Catholics would have outnumbered the Protestants and been in clear majority. What would that have done? Changed everything. My oral history narrator shared how the housing authority, the police, and the political organizations like the Orange Men and the Apprentice Boys of Derry dominated the areas, controlled the housing placements, and created a greatly segregated country. Belfast is considered the "most segregated city in the world" and Derry, the hometown of my narrator, is not much different although not as noticeable to the outside and no"peace walls." He raised the question of terrorism and asked, "Was George Washington a terrorist?" He and his revolution was no different in allowing the United States to attain its freedom from the United Kingdom. Isn't that what the IRA did for Ireland?

Sir Ken Robinson spoke of the changes we've seen all around us as research proves out old theories. For example, he had those over the age of 40 raise their hands if they had their tonsils removed. Many hands shot up because the medical solution to continuous colds and throat maladies was to remove that "extra flap of skin." There were almost no hands raised for those under 30 years of age because medical research proved that removing tonsils was no longer a recommended medical necessity. However, we are still teaching children using the same predetermined industrial timeframe (bells ringing, equivalent to first shift) using formats that have gone unchallenged for far too long. "Children in school right now will hold positions that don't even exist yet", but still we educate with 19th and 20th methodology.

Assembly of Literature for Adolescents of NCTE-ALAN: Breakfast with guest speaker and honoree Scott Westerfeld led to many laughs and great discussions about how he went about researching for his Leviathan series...told from the perspective of two adolescents: a would be heir to the throne and a young girl pretending to be a boy to fly with their military air service - both of whom lost their parents. The idea for incorporating all of these fantastical military machine graphics arose from the outrage of his American fans of the Uglies series when the series was published in Japan with pictures as a manga. Scott did a great deal of research and discovered that the newer 'technology of the camera' replaced so many professional artists who up until that time were held in higher esteem. In HG Well's War of the World, the illustrator/artist received top billing with larger, more noticeable font. When Scott challenged the idea of a crazy walking machine Keith (his artist) rendered, he was sent back original military drawing of just such a machine. The entire trilogy was created around research, of the time period, place, technology, political alliances, royalty & rebellion. ( )

Throughout the day, every other author who shared experiences about their writing also referred to the necessary research that goes into each book. They must build creditability with a reader, which is key so that when they toss in a bit of surreal or impossible, there can be a 'suspension of disbelief' and the reader continues on in his reading still accepting the narrator's storyline.

And I suppose, since every author has his or her own writing group, in research terms that equates to a focus group where elements can be tested and challenged. So that some bits and pieces of the story will become part of the final publication, while many other bits and pieces need adjustment or removal.

An educator who was to be the winner of an award during the Children's Literacy Assembly (CLA) - David Shannon celebration breakfast, who couldn't be there to accept because she was conducting research in Japan. Wouldn't that be fun to say. I'm invited to receive some prestigious literary award, "Sorry, I'll be in Japan." Her current research is centered around resources for children with ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder. By initially using focus groups and then individual sessions with children, their parents, and their educators - she is hoping to determine which reading materials are most beneficial and valid for those suffering from ASD. Her acceptance speech, presented on her behalf, included terms like authenticity, reliability, validity, qualitative, discourse analysis, and social construct. I searched through my notes and the conference program, and couldn't seem to locate her name anywhere. Unfortunately, I no longer have the 396 page program as it was either that or a signed copy of a book for my YA students. Clearly, not a tough decision! The online program, an exact replica of the print program only shows the chair, committee and honored author/guest. No mention of awards or award winners. (

Its funny how things come full circle, sometimes more quickly than anticipated. Big news in education in Texas. Can you imagine teachers using curriculums that show how the Boston Tea Party is considered an act of terrorism? Parents are outraged, so I've heard. My own husband challenged the notion. Which is really funny considering he was part of a militia reenactment group for a number of years so knows the intricacies of battle of that time period more than most people. (see NCTE: Thursday's notations)

Sleep-deprived yet high on meeting YA authors experience - is a great motivator talking with my students about reading and writing. Shared Chris Crutcher's story of how high school was easy. He found his brother's assignments for every paper in every class, organized and practically gift-wrapped. So, great grades for Chris (never caught), but it meant that he never ead books he should have. So, when he reached his late twenties and wanted to become a writer, he discovered "You can't ever be a writer until your a reader." He had to go back and read at age 30 what he should have been reading in high school; lesson learned (and shared!).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whittier Road to remain closed; FEMA grant pending nearly completed fish study

"Meanwhile, the town has applied for a $227,000 federal emergency management agency hazard mitigation grant to install bank-stabilizing root balls and boulders to fend off the river.
That process stalled after FEMA required the town to complete a biological assessment under Section 7 of Endangered Species Act, in order to determine the potential impact of the project on the local salmon habitat. That assessment, Jones said, at this point is 90 percent completed. Once the fish study is completed the grant application process can proceed.
Castonguay believes the town should find out if the grant is to be approved by mid-winter."

I understand how some would consider this road repair a critical need that should be corrected immediately, mostly the neighbors and school district who are required to use an alternate route. But, I am struggling with this road repair plan for several reasons. 

First, this is not the first time the road banking has eroded and washed away. When they build a road against a steep river bank, a river that fluctuates greatly with rainfall and snow melt and floods every single year, they should expect issues. Stupidity should not be rewarded by allowing it to happen again and again. In my common sense world: if a road washes away; move the road! 

Second, this alternate route cost them $30,000, which is reasonable for a back road in Maine. $227,000 for a new road is NOT a reasonable pricetag!!!

Third, FEMA isn't some magical cash-making organization. FEMA is the tax dollars of those of us working, and in Maine right now - that equates to about 45% at last count. We are the second worst state in the country to try to make a living in. Is there a correlation? Is it because we tend to create priorities where common sense should prevail? 

Fourth, as a state we have spent millions of dollars removing old dams to support the salmon habitats in our rivers' waters. Over the past decade, college students have been hired each summer to catch, tag, measure and release these salmon in order to determine their migration and reproduction patterns. Imagine: earning $10 an hour to go fishing?! That said, I would like to know who is conducting the "fish study" that is "90 percent completed." Clearly, this is a gathering of quantitative data - as qualitative is not possible. So, then I begin to wonder how the data is gathered, by whom, and what motivations drive the gathering of this data.

Finally, $227,000 would employ 7.5 new full-time teachers ($30,000 Maine minimum) or purchase over 11,000 new YA books. That is nearly double of what we have in our high school fiction collection. 


Source: Daily Bulldog November 14, 2012 - available at 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Literature Review

I completed a complete, polished draft of my Literature Review this afternoon; I am both exhilarated and fearful. I sent a copy to a classmate in my Youth and Libraries group, as I am most comfortable with her support. Using the Patty Oey examplar helped me to organize my thoughts. And, for the first time in my life, I actually wrote an outline (nearly a month) before I wrote the paper.

As I usually do, I jumped into the research early and after a few false starts, I began to see a few trends. I expanded my search, not trusting that what I had was of a high enough academic caliber. I searched again, and again. I mined limp articles for their resources and sought those out as stronger support for a direction I was beginning to find for myself and my needs to answer some key questions. Once the outline was complete, I was better able to target gaps in the research to ensure I had gathered enough. Being particular, I tried restricting my resources to those that are of a scholarly nature and were peer reviewed. Based upon what we've learned in class, I can have much more confidence in the validity and reliability of research articles published in this manner.

I believe I learned a great deal about the interests and needs of young adults....and since I had an 8-10 page limit, I reduced the scope to the environment and resources best suited for young adults as students, social teens, and developing citizens. I have enough material to write another literature review covering programs and services for these same three personas of the young adult.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quantitative Research

Considering, I've read twice in a week, how school libraries and the staffing and resources they provide directly impact test scores of young adult students - I want to know what other factors might have contributed, yet weren't considered. How many volunteers do the schools have supporting classrooms and libraries. What sort of funding changes were initiated? Did anything else major change? (eg. the rollout of a one-to-one laptop program)

Also, I am curious as to the impact, looking only at test scores, of having our own K-8 school libraries cut to half time as of 2007. At the same time, the high school had been cut for two years, but brought back to 75% time with my transition from the classroom. What isn't fair, and could contradict my suspicions is that while our librarians (paid at the lowest possible rates) are only receiving half-time pay, most are spending a great deal of their own time (unpaid) in order the complete the duties of their positions. It has come to be expected, almost required, by the administration and school board. Over the past four years, I have spent countless evenings, weekends, and school holidays catching up on work that eluded me during the course of my daily schedule.

So, I'm thinking:
  • review the five years prior to the reduction in hours to determine benchmarks, as well as high, average and below average ranges of test scores (in each of the four K-8 schools)
  • review the five years prior to the reduction in hours to determine benchmarks, as well as high, average and below average ranges of test scores (for each grade in high school)
  • review five current years with the reduced services (in both staffing and resources) to determine impact on student assessment (in each of the four K-8 schools)
  • review two years (2007-2009) with reduced services to determine impact on student assessment (for each grade in high school)
  • review four current years with increased services (in both staffing to 75% and resources) to determine impact on student assessment
  • all to look for patterns and correlations between staffing, funding and test scores
  • must consider degradation of student success and what other factors might have led to how Ivy leagues schools accepted some of our students between 2000-2004 and MIT 2006, but it is no longer attainable for acceptance into by our students since 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Full-Time School Librarians Boost Test Scores

For the first time in nearly a decade, the state of PA commissioned a study that showed a direct positive link between having certified school library media specialists available to students in grades three through eleven and improved reading scores. And, for the first time ever, the data also supports that school librarians can greatly improve students writing test scores, as well.

Similar results were recently posted in the American Libraries November/December 2012 pg. 23: "Australia: findings from Softlink's annual Australian School Library Survey have revealed a positive link between literacy results and school library resource levels. The April 2012 survey found that students attending schools that received above-average levels of library funding and staffing placed a higher than the national average on National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy test scores. - Softlink.

On first read, this looks impressive - and supports their logic that a stronger financial support will provide greater returns. But then, I began to wonder:

  • what other factors were not mentioned? 
  • I understand that to be a good writer, one must be a good reader - but what else changed? 
    • were there new summer reading programs (to prevent reading loss)?
    • was the complexity of the tests consistent with prior tests?
      • switching from CAT testing to NWEA will NOT equate
  • If every school had a certified school library media specialist:
    • did they also have larger budgets to purchase update materials?
    • did they retain all of their teaching staff?
    • were there any curriculum changes?
    • was the Common Core initiated prior to the testing?
    • was there a shift in the socioeconomic status of those students tested?
    • did the test takers parents achieve a higher level of education than previous test takers?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Research is EVERYWHERE!

Just like when you buy a new car and suddenly notice how many others purchased the same make and model...before the purchase, however, you paid little mind to what others drove.

Research is the same for has always been around, but only recently have I been awakened to the abundance of it. I find myself challenging the intent behind it, wondering who funded it, wanting to explore the methodology, interpreting the results, and confirming how the application of what was learned can help bring about positive change.

For example, a week or so ago, one of my students shared a research study conducted in Japan that found that people who viewed photographs of kittens and puppies (as opposed to cats and dogs) were more relaxed and more receptive to input such as new learning. My first thought - where did they get this crazy idea. My second: people are starving around the planet and this is what millions of dollars are being spent on instead. Hmmm...

Another study shows how struggling readers, especially those just learning how, can better learn to read aloud in a less threatening environment by reading to a dog instead of peers. While other children, who notice errors may respond and upset or embarrass the struggling reader, a dog can be a patient and non-judgmental listener. This study was the impetus for programs to spring forth in public libraries around the country, promoting special reading times just for this purpose.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Live action research...

A middle of the night thought this week: I realized that one of my favorite positions (a 5pm to 2 am shift) was in fact a research and development project put into action. I shall explain...

I was hired by Nike at the end of the summer in 1982 for a special position that was going to last until the following summer...there were 15 of us in all. We worked in a separate building with its own security - a walking bridge over the Saco River that was tenuous at best, and keypad entry with only 20 people having the code.

Over the first few weeks, two of the guys tested different mil rates to determine the exact thickness necessary to hold without waste or greater expense. The job was to work a pair of machines that took ordinary rolls of two-layer plastic that molded and cut them into heel shapes. The seam had to be thick enough to hold during inflation, yet thin enough to still feel comfortable in a fully-constructed shoe.

There were six teams of two women, one to inflate a little plastic heel to be inserted into a sneaker and one to seal the opening made from the inflation. Our first weeks were spent learning the correct angle to hold the basketball needle attached to a pressurized tank of air. Every time a heel shape exploded upon inflation, we had to put it aside - labeling which person inflated and attempted to seal the hole left. That part of the process was to press a pedal allowing two opposing steel rods energized and hot to meet and melt the plastic in between, ensuring the needle hole was part of the meld. We had to randomly test, applying pressure with mallets to see if the weld would hold up and the heel stayed inflated. If it failed, it was labeled and placed in a different bin. We had a bin for each step in the process, in addition to a bin for each worker as sometimes it wasn't the machine setting - but the person working it.

Our one boss could assist with every position and was also part of quality control.

Every morning, one corporate type (R&D) person would arrive and test every one of the heels that we produced and inflated - with a repetitive pressure tester. The rejects (aka blowouts) were placed in one box; the still inflated into another.

Because our inflation teams kept our work separate, the testing would show which teams held better and machine adjustments would be made to the all of the other machines to try and make them match.

Once we had mastered the production, and a very high success rate (still inflated) - the process was ready to be mass produced and placed back within the confines of the factory. For our efforts, each of us had been paid well, kept it a secret for nearly a year, and got one of the first pairs off the assembly line once they were incorporated into the new sneakers.

We had just created the Nike Air...and had no clue how this would all work until Michael Jordan stepped in to put a marketing face to our new product, and Nike sales shot skyward.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Maine Leaders Predict Gen Y Change State - Robert Long

     "The next wave of Maine homebuyers will value cellphones more than cars and prefer to live in communities where they can walk to work, shop and socialize, according to Evan Richert, former director of the State Planning Office.
     Speaking to a crowd of more than 400 municipal officials, business leaders, development professional and planning specialists Tuesday during a GrowSmart Maine summit at the Augusta Civic Center, Richert said to the maturation of Gen Y - which he defined as people born between 1983 and 2001 - will alter the way Maine communities grow and function in the coming decades.
     About 301,000 Mainers - 23 percent - fall into the Gen Y category, compared with 381,000 baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, according to Richert.     "In 2006, the leading edge of Gen Y was just entering young adulthood," Richert said. This is a longtime market that we are talking about." Richert listed four key changes that have occurred since 2006, when GrowSmart maine first released "Charting Maine's Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places." The great recession, higher gas prices, greater online connectivity and the initial influx of Gen X into the "household information" market are driving changes in how Maine communities should prepare for the future, he said.
     "Wherever they go, they will demand choices - technology in affordable homes, places where they can experience life in a different way than the low-density suburbs," Richert said, citing data compiled by the Urban Land Institute.
     GrowSmart Maine had commissioned the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program to complete the comprehensive report on how Maine could adapt government, education, business and other institutions to position the state for success in the 21st century.

 - Lewiston Sun Journal -- October 24, 2012 -- B7 & B8 -- 104 Park Street, Lewiston, Maine 04240

Imagine the potential for community libraries. If we have a new generation of citizens who prefer to walk within their social neighborhood, then they will be moving closer to its cities and municipal services. A community library within walking distance, near the markets and restaurants they will frequent means convenience. A community library that offers open wi-fi means those residing close enough can benefit by accessing the Internet through their servers, thereby saving money by not using as much bandwidth with their own provider or even being able to avoid having another provider relationship and the associated expenses.

A community library with musical cd's and movie DVD's mean one less expense borrowing from NetFlix services or Redbox or even not having to purchase the most recent movies from the all-powerful Wal*mart. While some of the Gen Y are nearing their teens and the services a community library could provide to support their youth development, the upper end of the age range of Gen Y are nearing college graduation, beginning their professional careers and becoming parent-able within the next decade. For both of these groups, they could could participate in a community library's programs and services such as storytelling, story hours, activities, movie nights, and gaming - they could become the mentors and adult role models so desperately needed by the younger of Gen Y. Community libraries could partner with other municipal services to provide support to help mold their future community leaders and citizens.

Being within walking distance means more frequent access to the community library. Convenient and extended hours means adapting to the working schedule of the typical Gen Y and providing services around their hours. A community library's meeting room or auditorium is a value-added feature that could enable a telecommuter working from a home nearby the ability to host meetings in a convenient location where all of the expenses associated with that space are already paid for (ie electricity, heat, Internet). Some libraries do have policies about using space for profit-ventures, so one couldn't run a business out of a community library, but colleagues meeting to share information and resources isn't any different than students working together on a school project.

I have many friends whose children were born in the early part of Gen Y range...and those employed  in more tech-savvy fields prefer work schedules that greatly differ from the industrial schedule of their parents or their parents' parents. No longer a 7 am to 3 pm or even a 9 am to 5 pm schedule. Those I know in this group prefer a 3 pm to midnight or a 5 pm to 2 am schedule. As one with experience for a 5pm to 2am schedule, I can say it was my favorite schedule I've ever had. It better matched my natural biorhythms of young adults. As more and more of our workforce is in collaboration with colleagues in varying timezones around the planet, it makes sense that schedules adapt. And a community library can adapt right along with it, especially since they equate to nearly a quarter of the population the community library is supposed to serve.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

data analysis...

Accepting Dr. Kevin Morrell's supposition, I am lucky to have at least a "nodding acquaintance some common statistical tests" conducted in quantitative research and data analysis (slide 33).
It was also interesting to see Morrell's reference to the caution that should be exercised when using the word 'signifcant' when one is writing relating to research, as it is a "quick way to show up ignorance" (slide 23).

Going back to some research articles that I've read over the past year, the term seems to be used more frequently than I would expect. Is it because that researcher is so passionate with his or her study, and the results, that no other term would suffice? I can also now note that not only do they use the term, but they use its strength to their predictions or inferences that they draw from their data.
I found it interesting that it is critical to have a pre-research or sampling, when I have not really found much evidence of this being done with many of the articles I've read ("ready, fire, aim" Morrell, slide 22). How does this impact the overall research?

And most curious, how would the data present a different result if all non-responses were counted. I notice in my articles that they were mentioned, but it did not clearly indicate if they were coded and analyzed as part of the whole.

Of this week's sources, I did find Poynton's presentation short, but very helpful in its format and language. I had to review Morrell's slideshare multiple times - and it made the most amount of sense after reading our overview a second time and Poynton's presentation. Reviewing Chapters 8 and 9 again were helpful, as it put it more in context with other resources and the language is becoming familiar (not yet comfortable or natural).

I attempted to download and test out Poynton's EZAnalyze software, but having a state-issued Mac with controls set by my school district - I was not able to install and utilize the software. I am hopeful that our technology department, the gatekeepers of all things evil and risky, open it up and help me next week. We shall see...

Friday, October 12, 2012


"I'm finding similarities with the idea of a pre-interview to be fascinating, as it is exactly what I'm learning in my Oral History class. It is important to build a rapport and trust in creating this unique kind of relationship. While at the same time finding a balance to be comfortable before the interview or research, without mistakenly thinking I've been upgraded from an 'outsider' to an 'insider' in the process."

While passing through our state's capital city this week (about 80 miles from home), I noticed two teen inmates being escorted into the county courthouse. They were in teal jumpsuits and sneakers without laces, instead of adult orange jumpsuits, and were handcuffed, shackled and connected to each other. They wobbled like toy robots until finding a rhythm that allowed a slow forward progress. Both were talking and laughing...neither looked frightening in any way, with the exception of the armed sheriff's deputy and all the steel chains and noise associated with them.

And then I would one go about a pre-interview with one of them? Build a rapport? Could that person ever really be anything more than an "outsider"? Would it require prior experience as an inmate to build a bond? Or simply someone who will listen? Without judgement?

How did their circumstances come to be so that we shared about three seconds of time in a relatively close space (and will probably never meet again)? Did their family fail them? Did their community fail them? What would they suggest as a means to keep other teens from their fate? Once settled, what do these teens need to help alter their youth development so that they can become contributing citizens to our population?

Being an adult already seems like the opposite side for so many of our teen population, when I observe reactions of adults around teens - or those especially who try avoiding interacting with teens...and it upsets me how so many of those adults are quick to judge a teen based upon his or her appearance. Some of my favorite teens, those who have the biggest hearts and most solid moral compass are covered in piercings and tattoos. They are the first to offer assistance for anything, they are last to leave someone in need, they speak their mind often in whispers and only to a select few. They are emotional...they are human, and need interactions.

Sidenote: I've met one of the librarians at the Maine State Prison...her sense of humor surpasses the best comedians I've ever seen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Oral History questions...

It seemed a challenge, but I generated a list of questions for my narrator for our first (MIHC) oral history interview to be conducted within the next week or so. His childhood was rich with recorded information (about the turmoil and civil war), so the intent of this interview is to glean a different perspective - that of a child, and what it felt like as a teen to watch peace finally come to his country.

Taking pride in my research skills, ever improving, I devoured books and scholarly articles and local publications (new and old) to develop a sense of the history of Ireland. I dove into the deep end, and I lost sight of my narrator. I created questions built around the history I had read about; I was prepared to wow him (did NOT do purposefully) with my new knowledge so that we could hold a conversation. But, an oral history is not a is not a documentary. It is similar to a dance, where the leader is supposed to be the narrator. My background research is designed to help me ask better follow-up questions; it is designed to allow me to help him if he loses a particular detail that could distract him to the point of derailing the whole interview; it is designed to make the narrator more comfortable in our relationship as narrator and interviewer. Every oral history recorded is a reflection of this relationship.

So, I need to start again...and here's is my base point, so far. After the biographical questions, about family and where he attended school...I asked:
  • Have you taken advantage of the freedom of movement to travel in any of the EU countries?
    • where have you been?
    • where would you still like to visit?
  • Can you share some of the history of Ireland (the island) and show how it became two countries: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?
  • Can you tell me more about the differences, as you understand them, between the IRA, IRB and other paramilitary organizations?
    • what types of action did they take?
    • what were the results of their efforts?
  • What was the root cause of all of this civil unrest?
  • Describe what a typical childhood day was like during "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland?
    • which factions were causing the civil unrest?
    • did you ever see any violence?
    • did you see evidence of violence - the aftermath? such as?
    • what was the primary method of violence?
    • do you recall any significant exchange with any of those men that you want to share?
    • looking back, did you understand their intentions in talking to you?
  • What did you see as the reality of the violence?
  • How did the media portray those instances of violence to the world?
    • how did that make you feel?
  • As a kid, did you feel safe on the streets during this time?
  • When did the majority of the violence stop?
  • What was it like for you family watching the peace process come together?
  • How did the signing of the Good Friday Agreement change your life?
  • What changes did you see happening in some of the larger cities around Ireland after peace was achieved (1998-2003)?
  • How did those changes affect your family?
  • What else changed or shifted?
  • What happened in Ireland and Northern Ireland when the economy started failing?
  • Last week, the Maine Irish Heritage Center honored Senator George J Mitchell for his role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland. When Mary asked that all Irish born join him for the presentation of the Claddagh award, what were you thinking as you approached the stage?
  • What did it mean to you to meet George Mitchell?
  • Did you speak with him?
  • How has moving to Portland, Maine changed your life?
  • Looking back, how do you think all of your childhood experiences shaped who you have become as an adult?
  • Which parts of your Irish history and experiences will you share with your own children?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Final three abstracts: a quality draft

Fisher, H. (2003). A teenage view of the public library: What are the students saying? Aplis, 16(1), 4-16.

This study examines the relationship between young adults and the public library in order to advise staff on strategies to improve services. To gather qualitative data, a written survey was generated and distributed randomly to fifty students each from grades 7 through 12 in a nearby high school. Broken into seven sections, the first section addresses a student’s use of the public library, while the second allows students to share their visions for an ideal library. Additional sections include referred use, resources and technology, library staff, and library environment. Of the 42.4% of students who use the library, most students agree that having the catalog available online should be the highest priority. Additional suggestions include having a cafĂ©, a comfortable YA area, more student friendly staff, and programs that are well promoted. There needs to be a mutual understanding that public libraries should support students’ academic needs to become a place teens want to visit. This study also shows a need for both the public and school libraries to work together, supporting each other for the betterment of services to their shared patrons: the teens.

Alessio, A. & Buron, N. (2006). Measuring the impact of dedicated teen service in the public library. Young Adult Library Services, 4(3), 47-51.

This study was intended to evaluate libraries with new teen services in order to compare them with libraries that had programs in place for five+ years. A survey was distributed by direct mail, email and as a handout at national library conference. The data collected is considered more anecdotal than statistical due to the professional connected to those responding. Results of the 225 respondents, showed that over a third had a full or part-time teen librarian. This had the greatest impact on increases in circulation, partnerships and teen programs. Nearly half had a full or part-time shared librarian, with almost as much success as the teen librarian. In addition, nearly 93% worked in partnerships such as community organizations sharing resources and supporting each other’s programs. While teen services appear to be on the rise, budgets specific to young adults materials and programs is still a rare exception in a public library budget. This study shows the importance of having professional librarians working with teens, and that working in partnerships can improve services for teens.

Williams, P. & Edwards, J. (2011). Nowhere to go and nothing to do: How public libraries mitigate the impacts of parental work and urban planning on young people. Aplis, 24(4), 142-152.

This study examines the impact of public libraries that provide space and resources specifically for young adults and their psychosocial development. Using a mixed methods strategies approach, librarian interviews were conducted in five of the ten case study communities. As a follow-up, two of the five libraries were selected for their best practices and semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders including teens, parents, other adults, staff and key community members. Results show the need for teens to have access to spatial, social, and developmental resources. Teens are often caught between being excluded from adult spaces while no longer fitting into children’s spaces. A public library can provide a safe place, access to resources, adult support, and social interaction. When a public library addresses teens’ needs, their development can have a significant long-term positive impact and it can help build a stronger citizenship.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Narrator Profile..and research associated

Conducted Narrator Profile (meeting for the first time) for an oral history project and this led me to even more research. In realizing that he is from Ireland, more specifically from Northern Ireland with a childhood filled with bombed out cars, soldiers and police heavily armed, and helicopters on a regular basis - this research has taken on a new twist. Some of the challenges include the fact that since the formation of the European Union, little to no records are kept of those migrating between countries. It is much easier to find statistical data for those immigrating to the United States.

I have found and tied the following so far to our overarching project to find, record, and protect the stories of Maine's Irish: new and generations past immigration, as well as those who helped to build Portland, Maine and our country.

Another major find, supporting my narrator's sharing about the heavy Polish immigrant arrival when ireland and Northern Ireland were in heavy development to become "the fastest growing population in the United Kingdom" (Cairns, D. & Smyth, J., 2009, p. 138) was the discovery of Trinity College-Dublin Sociology department is dedicated to being internationally known for their Migration studies, which are being conducted by both Professors and doctoral candidates. It can be found at: While it is heavy on research language, requiring me to read it multiple times, I am doing so without giving up. Interesting that I am able to understand the difference in data and methods, and am finding myself giving preference to those studies conducted in a qualitative approach instead of simple statistical data gathering offered as more of a literature review. I get it!

Before starting my Research Methods class, researching scholarly research-based articles would NOT have been at the top of my list. I was intimidated by the abundance, the language used, and the exclusionary feel of one who was not invited into the select group of those who publish. Now that I see that most research and articles associated are to open a dialogue, I feel invited to read, absorb, reflect and possibly contribute my own research to enrich the pool and our collective knowledge.

The new information I glean is often more current, and by mining their bibliographies, I am able to gather additional valuable resources that I might not have found on my own.

Sources for Background Research

"The sources for background are as varied as the narrators and will include conversations with Maine Irish Heritage Center members, historical documents, old newspapers articles, and their archives. Their archive includes original St. Dominic’s church documents dating back to its creation in 1833. Additional resources will include US Census Bureau statistical information, local, regional, state and national newspaper and magazine articles, scholarly research-based articles and essays, as well as regional, state and nationally published books. See Resources page for more specific titles, to reflect direction of current research."

Resources page:

Other resources include scholarly research-based articles and essays such as:
Cairns, D. & Smyth, J. (2009). I wouldn’t mind moving actually: Exploring Student
Mobility in Northern Ireland, International Migration, 49(2), 135-161.

Kirk, R. (2011). City of Walls: Letter from Belfast. The American Scholar, 80(4),

Moloney, D. (2009). Who’s Irish: Ethnic identity and recent trends in Irish
American history. Journal of American Ethnic History, 28(4), 100-109.

O’Kelly, C. (2004). Being Irish. Government and Opposition, 39(4), 504-520.

National-Irish publications including controversial titles such as:
Dolan, J. P. (2008). The Irish Americans: A history. New York, NY: Bloomsbury
Griffin, W. D. (1990). The book of Irish Americans. New York, NY: Times Books

Miller, K. A. (1985). Emigrants and exiles: Ireland and the Irish exodus to North
America. New York, NY: Oxford Press.

Maine-Irish publications such as:
Connolly, M. (2004). They change their sky: The Irish in Maine. Orono, ME:
University of Maine Press.

Mundy, J. H. (1990). Hard times, hard men: Maine and the Irish 1830-1860.
Scarborough, ME: Harp Publications.

Smith, N. (2010). The 22nd Maine volunteer infantry in the Civil War. Jefferson,
NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers

Thibadeau, W. J. (1992). The Irishman: A factor in the development of Houlton.
Augusta, ME: O’Ceallaign Publications.

Portland-Irish publications such as:
            Barker, M., Avjian, J. & O’Neil, P. (2001). The Western Cemetery Project 1997-
2001: A celebration of 125 years of services to the Portland Irish-American
community. South Portland, ME: Waterfront Graphics & Printing.
Connolly, J. (1909). Souvenir History at St. Dominic’s Church: 1822-1909.
Portland, ME: Publisher not credited (yearbook style book).

Excerpted from: Barker, M. J. & Connolly, J. titles (1997). Saint Dominic’s: 175
years of memories 1822-1997. Portland, ME: Smart Marketing, Inc.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Irish: ethnicity and identity

Scored a number of great resources to help me connect my Project Design Statement - Oral History project plans to a larger historical context.

Here's where I am at with the research:
  • See above post with specific sources was submitted for my PDS (project design statement) for LIBR284 on September 30th
Questions left to answer:
  • define "nationality" and "ethnic background"
  • find/record/compare 1980 1990 2000 and 2010 ethnicity statistics on US Census records
  • why is it considered "haute couture" to claim a connection to Ireland/being Irish?
  • St Patrick's Day - significance of March 17th (US only or significant to Ireland also?)
  • Phoenix Park - Ireland's president and US Ambassador reside (confirm)
  • find article: Farley, Reynolds. (1991). The new census question about Ancestry: What did it tell us?, Demography, 28(1), 411-429. 
  • find article: Blessing, Patrick. (1985). Irish immigrants to America, Irish Studies, 4(1), 11-38.
  • research Ireland
    • literacy rates
    • education/ higher education rates
    • education to salary rates
  • research Dept of Homeland Security, Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, 2008 1,547 per year equates to 12,379 (2000-???)
    • Maine figures for same period and average annually
    • trends since 1980 (brain drain?)
    • trends especially between 1995-2003 when Ireland became one of most globalized countries on the planet
    • trends since 2007 (economic disaster)
    • exact figures for both 2000-2008 compared against 1930-1939 (just under 50,000)
Thoughts and new ideas to ponder:
  • intermarriage lends to multiple ethnicity responses (on Census)
  • more likely to marry based upon religious match than ethnicity
  • "ethnicity affects politics, neighborhoods, and social circle"
  • social increase of being Irish ethnicity far outweighs natural increases (4.5 million immigrants can't possibly equate to 40 million Irish Americans)
  • "nine-fold increase in Irish population in US stems from combination of favorable outcomes: been here long time, religiously diverse, highly educated, dispered across the US"
  • states with at least 15% concentration of Irish ancestry populations include: DE, MA, NH, ME, VT, PA, RI, NJ & CT (while national average is only 10.8%)
  • individuals can now identify with any number of ethnicities, borrowing aspects of one mixed with others to create their own "identity" (US is multicultural, hence "multi" census self identifying/choosing which to belong 
  • "Irish migration as involuntary exile" lends to rooting for connecting with the 'underdog' downtrodden to help them overcome obstacles
  • prior to Ireland becoming globalized, were considered binational - dealing almost exclusively with the United States
  • connection to Irish music lends to feeling more Irish (even when ancestry doesn't support it)
  • "ethnicity is not a fixed category, but a process"
New questions to ask my narrator (need to use between 20 and 30 from a pool of 50 questions):
  • Tell me about yourself including your full name and birth year
  • Be sure to obtain town and county in Ireland where he was born
  • How do you introduce or describe yourself to others? 
  • Tell me about your education 
  • Did you ever participate in a student exchange program at any time during your youth?
  • Could you share some of the places you've traveled to or places you've lived besides Ireland?
  • What career opportunities have you had? What was your occupation while in Ireland?
  • What role did the economy have in your emigrating from Ireland?
  • What other influences might have been factors in your relocating?
  • As one emigrating from Ireland, with the entire world to choose from - why Portland, Maine?
  • Do you have family already living in the United States? If so, where? 
  • What was the process you undertook in securing a position before leaving Ireland for Maine?
  • Is it part of the tradition of those leaving ______ County to give preference to the Maine or New England regions first?
  • What sort of community activities have you participated in while in Ireland?
  • What does the term "community" mean to you?
  • Which communities do you consider yourself a member?
  • I understand your sister emigrated two years ago...what role did she play in preparing you for making the same journey?
  • How did you come to hear about the Maine Irish Heritage Center?
  • What role did Maine Irish Heritage Center play in your transition? 
  • What suggestions do you have so they can support other new immigrants moving to the Portland area?
  • What has it been like to be 'adopted' into this new country and new way of life?
  • How many family members do you still have in Ireland?
  • How have you stayed connected to them and friends?
  • Do you expect any other family members to emigrate to the United States? Maine?
  • Will you be joining in the celebrations for St. Patrick's Day in Portland this coming March?
  • What are some of the benefits of being in Maine?
  • What are some of the challenges you've had to adapt to?
  • Throughout much of your childhood (1995 to 2003), Ireland experienced a rapid economic expansion and was ranked as one of the most globalized societies in the world. So while Ireland's citizens were able to benefit from a new worldly perspective: their sense of home actually grew much stronger. Do you have any insights to share?
  • Ireland's 10th president: Michael Higgins resides in Phoenix Park in Dublin, in a building modeled after the White House of the United States. How are the similarity and connection looked upon by Irish citizens?
  • In 2007, I spent 23 days using public transportation to criss-cross the country and it seemed I was in constant conversation about politics (never once did I bring it up) and that if they could, every one would vote for Barack Obama. Why was it so important to so many that they initiated these conversations? How has his presidency impacted Ireland? If I were return to Ireland now, would I again be prompted to vote for him?
  • The term 'emigrate' is defined as leaving one's country to permanently move to another country. Do you consider this a permanent move?

Monday, September 17, 2012

First two abstracts: a quality draft

Bernier, A. (2009). A space for myself to go: Early patterns in small YA spaces. Public Libraries, 49(1), 33-47.

This study seeks to instruct on the impact of creating small, deliberate library spaces for YA patrons. Using sequential mixed methods strategies, profiles submitted by libraries interested in being published in a regular VOYA feature were examined, as well as a follow-up survey. The ten smallest libraries were selected, based upon square footage. Without comparable benchmarks, it was not possible to determine the effectiveness of these new spaces. Inconsistencies in both terminology and statistics made it impossible to note any discernible patterns. However, the data did reflect that the average YA space was 500 square feet, was accessible to some extent for 52 hours a week, and had one YA staff member. Other notable data shows the need for youth-friendly seating, displays, and youth development in the design and operation of these new spaces. Further research is needed in order to determine patterns, and benchmarks must be clearly defined prior to space creation to determine the true level of success. 

Bishop, K. & Bauer, P. (2002). Attracting young adults to public libraries: Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA research grant results. Journal of Youth Services, 15(2), 36-44.

The purpose of this study was to improve YA programs and services for young adults in public libraries. Qualitative and quantitative strategies including weighted surveys, field notes from library visits, in-person and email interviews, and focus groups responses were collected and analyzed. Comparisons made between the librarian and YA responses indicated that there is agreement on the need to provide food and bring friends, and that young adults use the library for research, Internet use, and volunteering. Differences included the importance of providing an appealing, comfortable space, the library web page as a valuable resource, and the benefits of in library publicity. Most valuable to a public library was having staff that looked favorably upon young adults. Much follow-up was necessary as the survey sought specific roles that were not yet defined or existed in many public libraries across Florida. This study reflects the importance of youth development when determining a young adult’s need to be met by public libraries. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ready to Write Abstracts...

Have selected the following six articles to allow flexibility in writing of five abstracts (one for each) with the first draft for the first two due on Sunday.

Here they are:

Bernier, A. (2009). A space for myself to go: Early patterns in small YA spaces. Public Libraries, 49(1), 33-47.

Bishop, K. & Bauer, P. (2001). Attracting young adults to public libraries: Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA research grant results. Journal of Youth Services, 15(2), 36-44.

*Bourke, C. (2010). Library youth spaces vs youth friendly libraries: How to make the most of what you have. Aplis, 23(3), 98-102.

*Derr, L. & Rhodes, A. (2010). The public library as urban youth space: Redefining public libraries through services and space for young people for an uber experience. Aplis, 23(3), 90-97.

*Hannan, A. (2011). Communication 101: We have made contact with teens. Aplis, 24(1), 32-38.

*Walter, V. (2003). Public library service to children and teens: A research agenda. Library Trends, 51(4), 581-589.

New (Sept 17th) additions to replace above four that are not survey or data-driven research articles (yet very helpful professional journal articles!):

Fisher, H. (2003). A teenage view of the public library: What are the students saying? Aplis, 16(1), 4-16.

Fourie, J. A. & Gericke, E. M. (2009). A theoretical model for the provision of educaitonal and career guidance and information services for high school learners in public libraries. Mousaion, 27(1), 1-23.

Jones, K. R. & Delahanty, T. J. (2011). A viable venue: The public library as a haven for youth development. Children and Libraries, 9(1), 41-44.

Snowball, C. (2008). Enticing teenagers into the library. Library Review, 57(1), 25-35.
Frustrated with the findings of so many more professional articles that are relatively short, helpful but not in meeting with the needs of reading and reviewing actual research for my LIBR285 coursework. Though the search filtered to only include Peer Reviewed articles, the majority of the results are written by librarian professionals and are based upon actual experiences rather than any qualitative research. And the several articles that did refer to the actual research, were not as well defined, understandable and current as those provided for our class readings - and those don't support our groups theme: Libraries and Youth.

Gone back to EBSco...found 6 more relevant, yet again only 1 is research based. Grrr...however, I'm going back to all of my articles to start mining them from their list of resources to see if I can find more academic/research-based information. Fingers crossed!

On a more positive note, (for my LIBR284 coursework) beginning with a recent edition of Encyclopedia of American Immigration and their section on Irish Immigrants (pgs 582-587), I was able to glean enough basic information and a plethora of further reading. This will support my research to place my oral history project into more of a historical context and give me more of the specific language to use when conducting a project of this magnitude.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Research question - a revised FIRST draft!

As a school librarian, I have those students who are brought to the library by their teacher to find research, required resources, a choice reading book or to seek out help. I have a group who frequent the library daily during lunch, as a means of escape of the open school atmosphere during this time. And I have those who would stay after school every day to delay going home...

Thinking about programming, doing more for our teens (as none of our five district's public libraries meet teen needs) - I would like to know:

What do teens WANT from their local library? 

Supporting questions include:

How are rural teens wants the same as urban teens? How are they different?

How can we get teens to want to use our libraries?
What is a Teen Advisory Board (TAB)?
How can a TAB help a library to meet teens' needs?
How important is it to know what teens want?
What social events or teen programs would be most appealing?
With limited funds, how does a library start meeting teens' needs?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Research Methods: Survey, Experimental and Quasi-experimental, Qualitative, and Content Analysis

To demonstrate my understanding of these methods, I'd like to use the analogy of a crime scene or criminal case to elaborate.

Survey Research: much like questionnaires used to poll potential jurors in a criminal case, some questions are restricted to certain answers while others may be open ended. They are all used in an effort to weed out those who might already be biased toward the trial. However, sometimes the questions themselves are asked with tone or inflection that creates the 'feel of an alliance' which could potentially inspire a biased response. All potential juror survey responses, those asked by the prosecutor, defense, and judge are all combined help to determine if one is eligible to serve on that particular jury. The bias is balanced by the removal of candidates for no reason, an equal number each for the prosecutor and defense. The judge also has to power based upon survey results or open-ended responses that may conflict with a fair and equitable jury decision.

Experimental and Quasi-experimental: ______________________________.

Qualitative: the researcher is the eyewitness to the crime, even taking notes to ensure all details are captured to their fullest - all while possibly influencing the crime, actions or reactions of those involved. It could also be the law enforcement who arrives on the scene to interview the eyewitnesses, keeping track of all details in the handy little notebook including not only what witnesses say but their body language and other behaviors indicative of added meaning; this little notebook becomes part of the legal record should those charged go to trial. Especially ironic that more than one group of 12 is used "...because of the serious danger that a single group of 12 people will be too limited to offer any general insights or conclusions" (de Groot, 2012, Introduction to Research Methods Frequently Used in LIS Research) yet 12 is the single group size of the deciding group in our judicial system in the United States - determining a possible criminal's fate.

Content Analysis: the handwriting expert who can decipher the psyche of the criminal, past history, and likelihood of potential victims used in order to catch the criminal.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Creswell - Chapter 2 W. E.

Practice using an online computer database to search for the literature on your topic. Conduct several searches until you find an article that is as close as possible to your research topic. Then conduct a second search using descriptors mentioned in this article. Locate 10 articles that you would select and abstract for your literature review.

First search:
Teen Programming - only 10 results and not all that helpful except -

Younker, J. (2006). Where is the love? School Library Journal, 52(12), 31. which discussed the concept of Teen Advisory Boards for a library to better serve teen/YA populations.

Second search:
Teen Advisory Boards - 39 results with most helpful (most recent) - (8 were a review of the first resource I listed) and those also of value include 8 others starting with most recent:

Jones, E. W. (2009). Start to finish YA programs: Hip-hop symposiums, summer reading programs,  virtual tours, poetry slams, teen advisory boards/term paper clinics and more! New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. 

Fesko, S. (2012). A busy TAB is a happy TAB! Voice of Youth Advocates, 34(6), 580.
Couri, S. (2008). Dungeons and gardens. Voice of Youth Advocates, 31(3), 226.
Honnold, R. (2008). Beyond book clubs. Voice of Youth Advocates, 31(1), 19-21.
King, D. (2007). Tame the beasts: Try a little TLC with your teens. Florida Libraries, 50(1), 8-9.
Younker, J. M. (2006). Where is the love? School Library Journal, 52(12), 31-32.
Tang, D. (2005). Combining courage and teens. Young adult library services, 3(2), 30-31.
King, K. (2005). All I need to know about teen advisory boards I learned from... Voice of Youth Advocates, 28(5), 378-379.
Chapman, J. (2003). The care and feeding of a teen advisory board. Voice of Youth Advocates, 25(6), 449-450.

Third search:
Libraries AND Teens (abstract field) - 18 results with the most helpful 
(most recent) as follows:

Parks, A. (2012). Opening the gate. Young Adult Library Services, 10(4), 22-27. (subjects: libraries & LGBT, libraries -- activity programs, LGBT youth -- services for, teenagers -- books and reading)

Granville, S. (2012). Make room for teens! Reflections on developing teen spaces in libraries. Young Adult Library Services, 10(2), 47. (subjects: books -- reviews, libraries & teenagers)

Osborne, V. (2008). Engaging kids where kids are at: the Eltham Library project. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 21(4), 178-181. (subjects: libraries & young adults, electronic games)

Jones, P. (2007). Connecting young adults and libraries in the 21st century. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 20(2), 48-54. (subjects: libraries -- aims & objectives, libraries and young adults)

Loertscher, D. (2002). Teenage users of libraries: a brief overview of the research. Knowledge Quest, 30(5), 31-36. (subjects: libraries & young adults)

Libraries AND Teenagers (abstract field) - 23 results with the most helpful (most recent) as follows:

Joseph, M. (2010). An exquisite paradox: Making teens and young adults welcome in public libraries.  Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 23(3), 107-110. (subjects: libraries & young adults, public libraries -- officials & employees, employees - training of)

Snowball, C. (2009). Teenagers talking about reading and libraries. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 39(2), 106-118. (subjects: young adults -- books and reading, reading interests) 

Agosto, D. (2007). The female-friendly public library: gender differences in adolescents' uses and perceptions of US public libraries. Library Trends, 56(2), 387-401. (subjects: library use studies, libraries & young adults)

Shenton, A. K. (2005). Information needs: Learning more about what kids want, need, and expect from research. Children & Libraries, 3(2), 20-28. (subjects: information needs - evaluation)

Bishop, K. & Bauer, P. (2002). Attracting young adults to public libraries: Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA research grant results. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 15(2), 36-44. (subjects: libraries & young adults, library surveys)

Libraries AND Young Adults AND Services (abstract field) - 9 results with the most helpful (most recent) not already listed above are as follows:

Walter, V. (2003). Public library service to children and teens: A research agenda. Library Trends, 51(4), 571-589. (subjects: libraries & children, libraries & young adults, libraries -- evaluation)

Jones, P. (2002). New directions for serving young adults means building more than our collections.
Journal of Youth Services, 15(3), 21-23. (subjects: libraries -- aims & objectives, libraries & young adults)

Fitzgibbons, S. (2001). School and public library relationships: de ja vu or new beginnings. Journal of Youth Services, 14(3), 3-7. (subjects: libraries & schools) -- though 2001, may still have value to better understand the relationships and how they should be complementary to provide full services to our community's teens 

Topic: Youth and Libraries

Topic: Youth and Libraries

Title: Where Youth and Libraries Meet: teen programming, space and the virtual library

Keywords: teen programming, space, resources without walls, virtual library, YA author visits, technology, gaming, competitions, youth and reading, book talks, book trailers,

Creswell - Chapter 1 W. E.

Identify a research question in a journal article and discuss what design would be best to study the question and why.

How can a library get teens involved in programming design? A combination of survey method (for initial information) and qualitative research to determine the effectiveness of that new programming.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Is it research...?

Having my first career in accounting, I found many similarities between my experiences and my professor. I hadn't really given a lot of thought to primary research and how that can include accounting research, like what I conducted over the course of my first few months on the job. While I was paying invoices, I began noticing a pattern of services that felt familiar. Based upon a hunch, and a great visual memory, I created our company's very first "database" (in 1985) to gather, sort, and organize all of the invoices associated with improvements we were making to our rental properties. As a real estate developer and property manager of multiple major housing projects, as well as a multitude of commercial properties, it involved tens of thousands of records. Going back over a five year period, I discovered that we had been double and sometimes triple-billed by our major contractor for services that were rendered only once. Long story short: my first official research project, database, and summary report gained the company a refund of more than three times my annual salary, and was the impetus for the implementation of new accounting procedures. If research can help bring about that kind of change - then I can better relate to the idea of research reporting and would look forward to it instead of dreading to the point of elevated anxiety.

Philosophical Worldview: acted due to social constructivist instincts, yet results were more in line with the advocacy/participatory worldview