The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), in partnership with Charles Sturt University, has issued this report, which provides the results of six Library and Information Science (LIS) research events in Australian capitals in late 2016 that had the main purpose of connecting academics, researchers and practitioners in order to help align future research projects and activities in the Australian LIS profession.
There were 172 participants from LIS schools, academic, special, TAFE, school, public and state libraries.
Seven barriers to research and collaboration were identified:
Awareness and perception
Connection and relationship
Passion and enthusiasm
Research culture and support
Shared understanding and interest
The report recommends:
Libraries and librarians should change the perception of their roles to include research as part of their role specification. This would be a powerful catalyst for a more dynamic, evidence-based profession.
LIS schools and academics should be active players in fostering collaboration between academia and practice. Applied research should not be regarded as less important than research of a more theoretical nature.
More consideration might be given by LIS academics to some of the priority areas for their practitioner counterparts, such as information services and the promotion of these services.
ALIA should continue to play a role that bridges the gap between academic and practitioner needs. Consideration should be given to a central database of research ideas and experts, and to strategically providing further funding opportunities to members.
Australian Library and Information Association 2017