While I was at ALA, I had the chance to be exposed to several sessions that presented research that is in a very similar vein to what we’re doing here at the LRS. I’ll mention three such studies that I was able to learn about:
The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill is doing a study that is very close to our hearts – the Workforce Issues in Library & Information Science (http://www.wilis.unc.edu/index.html). They’re treating it as a two-step process. First, they’ve surveyed LIS graduates from their school dating to 1964, and are currently processing that data. Next, they will be using what they’ve done to attempt to develop a model for career tracking of LIS graduates. It should be interesting to see what they come up with.
Second, Old Dominion University is conducting an exploratory study of the relationship between National Board Certification (NBC) in Library Media and Information Science (LMS) and student academic achievement ( http://www.odu.edu/~spribesh/imls-nbc.shtml). This is well in line with the school library impact studies done by LRS and others found at http://www.lrs.org/impact.php.
Finally, I got to sit in on a session presented by OCLC which discussed their study, “From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America” (http://www.oclc.org/reports/funding/default.htm). They’re analyzing the data from a very large study of library support that found, among many other things, that the library’s most committed funding supporters are not the heaviest library users.
Though all of these studies are still in the data analysis stage at the moment, I look forward to seeing what comes from them.