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Research Skills Corner

Researching as a Community College Librarian

video, recording, scientific, research” by Jennifer Strickland. CC0.

Welcome to the Research Skills Corner, a sponsored post by the ACRL CJCLS Scholarly Research Committee

We plan to be here monthly to provide:

  • Highlights of recent research articles written by community college librarians and articles written about the issues that pertain to our libraries.
  • Tools, trainings and a spotlight on ways to grow your own research capacity.
  • A place for conversation in the comments section.
  • Thoughtful and salient opinions (we hope!).

Conducting research can be difficult in a community/vocational/technical/junior college. We often do not have staff tasked with research explicitly or tied to our promotion or tenure process directly. And it is critical that this research is conducted on us and with us. Our institutions frequently have higher numbers of first gen students, diverse and historically underrepresented students as well as PELL grant recipients, veterans and more. Our students are our strengths and while there are similarities to the demographic makeup of students in R1s, our populations are not identical. How do those differences impact the applicability of student success research done at R1s to our institutions?

How can we provide service to our students and our institutions through research? How can we help each other grow our research capacities? One thing we can do is collaborate with each other across institutions on topics we are most curious about. Our committee recently hosted a network and brainstorming session around ways to collaborate around potential research interests. A few people attended and the conversation generated turned out to be very valuable for future work opportunities. Would these informal conversations and community building sessions be something that could be useful if held more frequently such as several times a year? Alternately, is LibParlor a growing channel for this discovery of collaborative opportunities? How can we tap into the work of other existing ALA committees that focus on growing research capacity? All the questions.

Please let us know if there are any topics/papers/tools that you would like to see featured in this column. Did you publish something recently? Drop us a note below!

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