Research, Research Everywhere

June 26, 2010

A number of poster sessions at Annual provide librarians and library students the opportunity to share research projects. Yesterday, the Emerging Leaders had their turn, at a reception where they showed off the group projects undertaken as part of the EL program.

All of the Emerging Leaders' projects are available at, and AL interviews about four of the projects (on visually mapping ALA, the International Partnership for Advocacy and Library Services, a wiki of resources for staff development days, and updating the Libraries and the Internet toolkit) are available on YouTube.

Today and tomorrow in the exhibit hall, 120 different posters will be presented in six sessions, divided by category (collections, education, outreach, international projects, connections with non-library agencies, and infrastructure. These poster sessions can report on research studies, practical problem-solving efforts, or innovative library programs. Highlights of the opening session on collections include:

  • Kathryn Frederick's project at Skidmore College to map fields from MARC records to custom fields in WordPress, enabling unique interfaces for specific sections of a collection like anime or poetry.
  • Janelle Wertzberger and Kathleen D'Angelo's survey of faculty at Gettysburg College, which made it possible to cut journal subscriptions or eliminate copies in multiple formats to meet an economy-mandated savings target while still meeting faculty needs.
  • Sarah Smith, Janice Reyes, and Heather Highfield's examination of ethical issues regarding the archiving of photographs of Native American materials. While archivists generally prefer completion, the photos are often taken of unwilling subjects or feature objects that were removed from their context and are therefore misleading. Compromises have, in some cases, been reached, such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act that requires federally funded agencies to return Native American cultural items to the decendents of their creators, but much remains unsettled. (A video interview with Reyes and Highfield will appear on ALA's YouTube page shortly.)