Research 101: Scholarship is a conversation

Lepine, Sierra.


University of Washington Libraries. (2016). “Research 101: Scholarship is a conversation.” Retrieved from

A short video produced for college students describing the concept of scholarship as conversation, including the need for citation of sources, utilizing bodies of scholarly works to direct, focus, and explore research topics, and including the student as a participant in the conversation – a producer as well as a consumer.

I frequently use this in research seminars with community college students to get them to try to think about the whole process of inquiry/scholarship – that it can (and should be) interesting, organic, self-driven, and produced in a continuous loop. I think students are not used to thinking of themselves as content producers when it comes to inquiry and learning, but I do think it’s important that they begin to – likewise, I like the implication that inquiry and research are not finite with an end and a beginning, but rather an ongoing conversation that most scholars will enter after it started, and that will continue long after most scholars have finished and published their papers. It’s continuous!

The Data to Support School Libraries is Compelling and Extensive

Solomon, Samantha

Lance, K. and Kachel, D. (2018). Why school librarians matter: What years of research tell us – [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Sep. 2018].

Summary: The article details data about the effect and effectiveness of school libraries collected since 1992, including data from more than 34 statewide studies where researchers have also controlled for school and community socioeconomic factors. In general, the data has consistently shown ” positive correlations between high-quality library programs and student achievement (Gretes, 2013; Scholastic, 2016)” and these gains are enhanced when all school stakeholders partner closely with the library.

Some of the data highlights include:

  • In a Pennsylvania study (Lance & Schwarz, 2012), nearly 8% more students scored Advanced on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment in reading in schools with a full-time, certified librarian than in schools without.
  • Students with full-time librarians were almost three times more likely than those without librarians to have Advanced writing scores.
  • The Pennsylvania study (Lance & Schwarz, 2012) found that while 1.6% fewer students tested at the Below Basic level in reading when they had full-time librarians than those who did not, the difference was even greater for Black students (5.5%), Latino students (5.2%), and students with disabilities (4.6%).
  • Graduation rates and test scores in reading and math were significantly higher in schools with high-quality libraries and certified librarians, even after controlling for school size and poverty.

Evaluation: I was so attracted to this article because in my district, school libraries and school library staff are CONSTANTLY on the chopping block. Last year, organizing and advocating for students right to access school libraries and qualified staff basically felt like a second full time job, and we still on barely snuck through. The data presented in this article is clear and useful for other TLs who might find themselves advocating for their jobs.

What are we asking kids to do? Designing research projects that ignite creativity

Van Duzee, Alyssa

(CO) Collaboration

Miller, A. (2018, March 09). What are we asking kids to do? Designing research projects that ignite creativity. Retrieved from

The term “research” is often synonymous with boring, tedious, and dull. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This article challenges people to shift their thinking and make research more relevant to students.  If we want students to challenge themselves and think critically, we need to ask ourselves two major questions when we are planning research projects:

  1. Do our assignments offer choice and autonomy?
  2. Is there a greater purpose and relevancy to our assignments?

Research needs a purpose and students need to understand that purpose. If we can keep these questions in the back of our minds when collaborating with teachers and designing research lessons, students will become more engaged, thus resulting in deeper and more critical thinking and learning.

Exploiting Synergies Among Digital Repositories, Special Collections, and Online Community

Reyna, Lisa

IL – Media Literacy

Huwe, T. (2009). Exploiting synergies: among digital repositories, special collections, and online

community. Online, 33(2), 14-19.


Huwe elaborates on how only just a few years prior to the writing of this particular article, there were only a couple of leading research facilities (E.g. Library of Congress) capable of developing an online presence of high-quality digital library collections. Further discussion into the article depicts that today in current times, this ideal is no longer the case. Huwe speaks of the rise in development of digital collections not only emerging among research libraries, but also other organizations as well as various museums. Research libraries and librarians are evolving with the constant change of advancement in digital media technologies and are becoming familiar with open-source web development tools specialized in digitization, although most collections are of a smaller scale. 
Emphasis is expressed when referencing the importance of historical collections and how an online presence will not only benefit libraries and librarians, but also have the capacity to reach new scholars and experts trying to obtain rare materials within a searchable online environment. Huwe also ventures into the realm of social networking, blogs, and community websites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo, which are currently responsible for enabling managers of digital repositories to merge technologies utilizing web 2.0 applications, therefore symbolizing the effect of creating new synergies. I found this article to be quite interesting as Archivists and scholars now have the ability to be involved in newly developed trends surrounding the accessibility of historically valuable collections through the opportunity to take on leadership roles in scholarly communities.

Repackaging Research: Rigor and Relevance for 21st-Century Learners

Nadine Loza
Jaeger, P. (2014). Repackaging Research: rigor and relevance for 21st-century learners. School Library Monthly (1)31 pp. 5-7.
Summary: Jaeger begins her article with a quote from Zora Neale Hurston, “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poling and prying with a purpose.”  Jaeger is Coordinator of Libraries in Washington state.  Her article calls upon teacher librarians to take the wise words of Hurston to heart.  She advocates that teacher librarians take the lead at their school to “just say no” to research packets that do not require deep, rigorous thinking.  Jaeger tells her librarians and classroom teachers, “if your assignment is answerable on Google, it is void of higher-lever learning”.  To prove her point, she discusses key standards in the Common Core that compels teachers to create research projects that provide students with rigorous questioning and deeper learning.
Evaluation: Jaeger call to teacher librarians is valid and necessary.  Both teachers and teacher librarians should turn to the Common Core standards to revise their lessons.  The new standards call on teachers to create lesson that fully engage students in their learning.  Today’s students are rooted in technology and social media.  Educators must adapt to what students know.  The Common Core standards are a good starting place to help educators understand what will be required for our students to be college and career ready.

Teaching Google Natives To Value Information

Elizabeth Brown


Heick, T. (2014). Teaching google natives to value information. Retrieved from

Heick suggests enlightening millennial’s (who grew up computer savvy) on  the importance of information and research. This generation has used Google, specifically, to answer all of their questions, thereby appreciating information less (because of its simplicity). Heick acknowledges that this not a black or white issue, but maintains “while neurological functions may not [be] change[ing],
how students access, use, share, and store information is.” The logical answer is to be cognizant of this reality and provide practical advice. Heick suggests the following:

“1. Is sounds counterintuitive-intuitive, but periodically create information-scarce
      circumstances that force students to function without it.
 2. Illuminate – or have them illuminate – the research process itself.
 3. Do entire projects where the point is not the information, but its utility.
 4. Use think-alouds to model the thinking process during research.
 5. Create single-source research assignments where students have to do more
     with less.”

This article is provides an interesting analysis of a complex issue. Heick concludes that she does not have all of the answers, but she does include some insightful examples. The main point of the article is that we cannot expect students to ignore technology, (nor do we want to), but they can be more thoughtful in their research.