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Things Nobody Taught Me: Influences that Shape a Researcher
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Things Nobody Taught Me: Influences that Shape a Researcher

This session will articulate the serendipitous, oblique, and structural influences that can shape a researcher. Research learning opportunities, such as the Librarians’ Research Institute from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, are important, but it’s not possible for them to contain, or convey, everything about the process of becoming a researcher. Perhaps this is because some parts of this process are more difficult than others to learn about in a structured setting. For example, there are the unanticipated encounters with people and ideas; the moments of intense clarity after a mistake, rejection, or injustice; and the flashes of reflexivity that knit insights out of seemingly unrelated parts of life. These experiences are sometimes romanticised, but they are rarely articulated. This lecture offers attendees an opportunity to think about such experiences, and how to observe, learn from, and act upon them.

This lecture is the inaugural lecture of the Canadian Association for Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) Research and Scholarship Committee Online Lecture Series.

Learning Goals:

The lectures will deliver new perspectives on and insights into:

-The diversity of possible approaches to scholarship for librarians;

-The research experiences, successes, failures, and philosophies of our speakers;

-The value of research and scholarship for academic librarians;

-The interdisciplinarity of librarians’ research including collaborations outside of the library community;

-The ways that librarians’ research contributes to scholarly conversations both within and beyond the academic library community.

About the Presenter:

Sarah Polkinghorne is a collection strategies librarian at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. Her doctoral study focuses on the role and nature of information in people’s food lives. Sarah’s interests are many and include embodied and sensory information, qualitative methods, and critical librarianship.


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