Have you ever used reflection to improve your performance at work or to better understand situations at work? If so, consider participating in a new research study, “Health Science Librarians’ Engagement in Work-Related Reflection: A Qualitative Exploration of Why They Invest in Reflective Practice,” my project for the MLA Research Training Institute (RTI). This project was approved as exempt research on February 6, 2020, by the University of Toledo Social, Behavioral and Educational Institutional Review Board (UT IRB#300548).
My goal is to collect stories about how and why we, as health sciences librarians, use intentional reflection at work and how we overcome barriers that make it hard to engage in reflection at work. I will also be gathering advice that can be shared with librarians who are new to intentional reflection.
The research project has two parts. First, an online questionnaire asks about your use of reflective practice and includes demographic questions. I encourage everyone to fill out this questionnaire. The second part of the project consists of follow-up interviews with a small selection of people who completed the initial questionnaire. If you are invited for an interview and you engage in reflective writing, you will also be invited to share samples of your reflective writing, although this is not required.
If you are interested in learning more about the project, the first two pages of the questionnaire are the informed consent form. If you have any questions about the project after reading the consent form, I am happy to speak with you. Please contact me, Jolene Miller, AHIP, 419.383.4959. If you know of any health sciences librarians who would be interested in this research project, please feel free to forward this information to them.
Research skills are an important part of health sciences librarianship, not just for research, but also for evidence-based practice and assessment in our libraries. There are many ways for librarians to improve their research skills. I chose to apply to MLA’s Research Training Institute. Why RTI? I wanted (1) the immersion week in Chicago so that I could focus on what I was learning with minimal distraction, (2) the support of a mentor as I worked on my research project, and (3) a community of practice of health sciences librarian researchers. While my experience with RTI is not complete, I can report that it has made me a more confident researcher and more importantly, someone who enjoys the challenges of research.