Researching then and now – This is an amazing blog post describing pre-internet research strategies. Importantly, it captures the feelings and emotions of that type of research:
The ease of making photocopies led to a new joy: collecting them. There was a tendency to believe that something worthwhile had thus been achieved and that the content could be absorbed through osmotic proximity to the material.
How do you get feedback from library users? (Or, Beating Survey Fatigue…) – The comments on this post are the most useful. As we all struggle to assess library services in line with institutional missions and student learning outcomes, there are some useful suggestions presented here. The author illustrates the challenges of asking people what they want with a quote from Henry Ford:
On the Model T Ford: “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d’ve said a faster horse…”
Conference pitch: Research For More Effective Research – From Heather Piwowar, an idea for a conference that discusses research about how to make research more effective. I want to go to this conference.
This sort of “research for more effective research” is already being done in several scattered areas, but it suffers from a lack of broad community and infrastructure for action. Bringing together investigators, domain researchers, funders, publishers, educators, tool-builders, and experts in cultural change would allow exchange of methods, better understanding of which problems are most pressing, and support for making a difference.