Advance HE recommended this blogpost by Alan Donnelly, of Sheffield Hallam University. It is both useful and thought-provoking, so I share it here:-
A blogpost recommended by Advance HE
Sitting at home during lockdown, my time is split between librarianship and research, 70:30. It’s easy to forget that I have a PGCert and actually relish the teaching aspect of my role every bit as much as the data-crunching. So I am grateful to Advance HE for sharing this blogpost from David Smith, National Teaching Fellow. It helps me feel connected, and to remember to think about pedagogy in more ways than simply supportintg online learning.
Maybe I should call it 360-degree vision. I seem to be looking in several directions all at once.
I contributed to a Music Graduate Careers website earlier last year. It’s curated by a scholar from the University of Northumbria, and it went live this week. Interesting to see the very many paths a music degree can take you!
What else? I’ve been invited to participate in an AHTV event coordinated for AHRC grant-holders, looking at ways researchers can get involved in television. This is an exciting opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it immensely.
I’m awaiting the outcome of a grant application that I submitted at the very beginning of November – a few more weeks to wait yet, so I just have to be patient! – and I have another idea for a big grant application, but that still requires a bit more work before we can upload it as a formal submission.
All the above is exciting stuff, but some further developments have been rather more unexpected. Last November, my solo flute composition was performed by a doctoral student at the London College of music, with another performance expected this year. And yesterday, I was in touch with a folklore expert on the Isle of Wight (he curates https://www.thesacredisle.uk/), who has accepted for broadcast two SoundCloud recordings of a couple of my song compositions, performed by a librarian soprano of my acquaintance. (Librarian soprano? Soprano librarian? We know each other because we’re librarians, AND because of a shared musical interest. You know what I mean, anyway!) Suffice to say, these songs will be broadcast on an Isle of Wight folklore programme that this expert is curating. (They’ll be available online, which is just as well, because it could be difficult trying to tune in by radio from Glasgow!)
I have conflicted feelings about my compositional activities. Surrounded by “real composers”, I suffer severely from imposter syndrome in this regard. And yet, whilst I’m not a professional composer, I do appear to be a composer of some sort! I can only say, watch this space …
I originally posted this reflection on the Claimed From Stationers’ Hall network blog, but it has a place here, too, since not all my followers share my Stationers’ Hall musical interests. Please click on the link below, to read it:-
Four days a week, I’m an academic librarian. One day, I’m a postdoctoral researcher. In August, the emphasis will shift slightly to three and a half days and one and a half, for the duration of my AHRC network funding grant.
A couple of days ago I realised my SCONUL Focus article was now in print, describing how my three roles in librarianship, research and pedagogy serve one another. I find it quite easy writing about process, and I’ve often been asked to write or speak about this kind of thing. In fact, my PGCert project also had a focus on process: I was contemplating the best ways to support distance learners in their information needs and skills development, and although the project gave me insight into how social scientists conduct educational research, and conducting the survey and interviews was an unexpected eye-opener, at the end of the day I was writing not only about my research findings, but about process, ie, the best ways to support learners.
However, it’s more challenging and perhaps more satisfying to write engagingly and accessibly about my musicological research, because it goes deeper into my specialism. I have several pieces of writing submitted and awaiting publication at the moment, but what’s missing is something actually on the drawing-board, being written right now. That’s largely because I was completing the PGCert portfolio. Librarianship happens four days a week, research a fifth, and the PGCert had to fit around family life and my spare time. Which didn’t, to be truthful, leave any spare time for writing!
However, I remembered the other day that I gave a paper earlier this year for which I have not yet sought a published home. Maybe, just maybe I ought to dig it out and see what needs to be done to turn it into a proper paper for submission.
Librarianship, research, pedagogy … and author. Well, after my annual leave, anyway!
Karen McAulay, ‘Blending Librarianship with Research and Pedagogy‘, SCONUL 69, 56-59 (July 2017)
Flushed with anticipated success, I blogged for the library about disseminating your research via social media. I’ll reproduce it here (after all, they’re my words!) This afternoon, I’m meeting up with our learning technologist for a personal tutorial in devising podcasts and related formats, so I’ll probably have more to add to this later! I have two reasons for needing to know – disseminating my own research, and sharing “how-to” videos etc for people using our library resources.
We’ve just found a great blog post on the LSE Impact Blog, about the benefits of disseminating your research using social media – and, specifically, by using podcasts.
Podcasting is like broadcasting, over the internet. It tends to mean an audio recording, and means your research can potentially reach a much wider audience. Have a look at this!
- What could you podcast about?
- Or would you use a blog (with or without video)?
- Or a powerpoint (ditto)
- Or a powerpoint with voiceover?
- What technical expertise would you need?
- Would it be worth learning these skills? (Rhetorical question!)
I am absolutely delighted to have just received notification that my networking grant application has been approved. I’m awaiting the letter with details, but until then, I shall just bask in what our Head of Research describes as my “one hundred per cent success-rate”. This was my first grant application.
My trade union is the EIS-ULA, a Scottish lecturers’ union which also admits academic librarians. Today I opened the December bulletin to find an update on the next REF (Research Excellence Framework), which takes place in 2021. I’m surprised it is as far away as this! I know there’s a new tranche of funding in 2018, so there’s something I’m not understanding here! Anyway, the 2021 REF will reportedly take into account the findings of the Stern Review, which was commissioned by the Scottish Funding Council. It’s potentially of some interest to me, assuming I still have a research role five years from now.
There’s also a paragraph about the Teaching Excellence Framework, an English initiative which first ran this year. It seems to be a matter of choice whether Scottish universities sign up to this, and I don’t know if my own institution has any plans yet. What I do know, however, is that we are concerned about pedagogy – otherwise I wouldn’t be voluntarily doing the PGCert in Learning and Teaching.
I’m posting the link to the December bulletin to ensure that it’s here for reference later, should I need it. I’ll also post it on my Resources (bibliography) page:-
I’ve just got an email about the latest SCONUL Focus issue. It looks highly relevant, so I’m posting the text of the email here to remind myself to follow up! Admittedly, it’s more about librarianship as a profession, than librarians as teachers. Nonetheless, it’ll be great for up-to-date commentary on the profession of academic librarianship. It’s a bit of a blurred line when it comes to librarians sharing expertise with researchers – but still teaching of a kind!
“The new issue of SCONUL Focus, with staff / professional development as a key theme can now be accessed via the SCONUL website. See http://www.sconul.ac.uk/page/sconul-focus.
Amongst a wide range of articles you may be interested to read about the following:
- A selection of views from academics teaching at library schools about the skills that librarians of the future will need;
- An illustration of some of the ways in which academic librarians are developing new support models to meet the needs of researchers engaging with research data management and open access;
- A case study of how one service is encouraging “knowledge exchange” between their staff to ensure that information learned from training and attendance at events is shared across the service, as well as general information about current projects.
The SCONUL Focus editorial team is currently gathering submissions for issues 68 and 69 to be published during 2017. They will be themed around support for teaching and research respectively. Guidance for authors and a list of key contacts are available on the web page for anyone who would be interested in contributing.
In other news – I submitted an article about combining librarianship, research and pedagogy, to issue 69. It should appear around June 2017, by my calculations.