Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September 28, 2009 - Embrace academia

I was at a very long (very productive, but very long) meeting recently. As we talked "school library stuff", one of the points that arose was the lack of scholarship in school library issues. Yes, we have the 2006 and 2009 studies by Klinger and Lee, but part of the reasons those were so high profile were because they were the first studies of its kind in Canada. When I took my MEd course in educational research this past summer, my fellow classmates and I found it hard to find a research paper printed in a peer-reviewed, academic journal. Now, you may wonder, who except ivory-tower types and desperate grad students would read that heavy-duty stuff? Why bother producing stuff for such a seemingly small audience? It's important to get the attention of all sorts of sectors to champion school libraries, and that includes universities. Policy makers do pay attention to studies. There is a move afoot to make some of these collections and anthologies more friendly to the general public. I will be submitting a couple of abstracts for an anthology to be produced called "Critical Perspectives of Twilight" (see, I snuck in a Twilight reference!)In the CFP (call for proposals), Maggie Parke states that "the collection is intended for a broader audience than is the case for many scholarly anthologies. We welcome work from academics, graduate students, bloggers, educators, and fans. Abstracts and subsequent essays should thus be intellectual in tone and treatment, but accessible to general readers." I might be the only lunatic on the planet that voluntarily writes academic papers "for fun". I'll be doing this one as well as my capping paper for my MEd degree. In the summer, I wrote one on graphic novels to "sharpen my comic skills" that has been accepted for publication. But why should I be the only lunatic? Treasure Mountain Canada is starting to form, an exciting think tank about school libraries in Canada. Maybe I should consider doing some research and offer something to the minds gathering in Edmonton - I'm no David Loertscher, but if all of us make an attempt, what might emerge?

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