Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research
Research culture, academic libraries, research and scholarship, intellectual communities
As Canadian academic librarians have experienced an increasing presence in faculty associations and unions, expectations of librarian scholarship and research have increased as well. However, literature from the past several decades on academic librarianship and scholarship focuses heavily on obstacles faced by librarians in their research endeavours, which suggests that the research environment at many academic libraries has stalled. Though many have called for the development of a research culture, little has been said regarding how the profession might go about encouraging this development, and conversations often become mired in the contemplation of obstacles. As a way to move forward, we suggest building upon pre-existing strengths by adopting the model of “intellectual communities” put forward by Walker et al. They describe four qualities necessary for strong “intellectual communities”: shared purpose; diverse and multigenerational community; flexible and forgiving community; and respectful and generous community. Although these qualities are often embedded within our libraries, they need to be made a conscious part of our research environment through reflection and conversation. Working toward strong research cultures requires that we focus less on obstacles and more on reflective and productive activities that build on our strengths.
Jacobs, Heidi LM; Berg, Selinda Adelle; and Cornwall, Dayna. (2010). Something to Talk About: Re-thinking Conversations on Research Culture in Canadian Academic Libraries. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 5 (2), 2-11.