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Library Theory and Research Section

Annual Report
September 2004 - August 2005


The IFLA Section on Library Theory & Research exists to:
  • Provide a research-based framework to IFLA's professional priorities through a program promoting theoretical and empirical library and information science research and analysis;
  • Provide and encourage international networking opportunities for library professionals engaged in library and information science research.

(IFLA Professional priorities: Supporting the role of libraries in society; Developing library professionals; Promoting standards, guidelines and best practices)

The Section's aims for 2004-2005 are clearly set out in its Strategic Plan for that year. LTR set itself a number of goals and delivered actions on them as follows:

Goal 1. Encourage exchange between practice-based and theoretical research in LIS.

Actions: This goal was to be achieved by

1.1 Encouraging empirically based papers at IFLA and IFLA sponsored conferences.

The Oslo 2005 conference had as its theme: Libraries: a voyage of discovery). LTR participated in a number of joint sessions at the Oslo conference:
  • 9-11 August 2005, The Management and Marketing, offsite satellite session: Management, marketing, evaluation and promotion of library services, based on statistics, analyses and evaluation in your own library. Papers were delivered by LTR SC member Natalia Gendina: Coordination of higher educational institutions and professional library associations - the key to training quality rise of librarians of XXI century.
  • Monday 15th August 2005: LTR participated in the CBVII offsite session: Recruitment and careers in LIS. Invited research-based papers. One paper was delivered by LTR: Kerry Smith: Results of the longitudinal study of employment outcomes for Australian ILS graduates. Kerry Smith and Paul Genoni (Department of Media and Information, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA Australia)
  • Tuesday 16th August 2005: LTR section with Education & Training (SET): The Nordic Tradition in Library and Information Science Research and Education and International Perspectives with the following papers presented by SC members: Library and information science education: is there a Nordic perspective by Ragnar Audusson (Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway); Action research in action: involving students and professionals by Ann Curry (Canada)
    Thursday 18th August 2005: Progress reports from Italy, Australia, the Netherlands and Norway were delivered on the LTR research project: Role of IFLA in promoting change and diffusing professional norms in libraries with a weight on norms, standards and policies related to lifelong literacy (part 1);

1.2 Promoting appropriate research activities and investigations relevant to IFLA'S professional priorities:

1.2.1 LTR has two research projects underway:
  • The final report for the Political perceptions of the public library under the co-ordination of Prof Bob Usherwood in the UK is now overdue and efforts are being made to re-establish this worthwhile project. Reports on progress regarding this project have been reported in earlier LTR Annual Reports.
  • Role of IFLA in promoting change and diffusing professional norms in libraries with a weight on norms, standards and policies related to lifelong literacy (part 1) is being led by Ragnar Audunson of Norway with the preliminary results from four countries being reported at the Oslo conference.

1.2.2 The Information coordinator has commenced a knowledge exchange amongst LTR members on the IFLA LTR web page: Standing Committee Members 2003-2004 and their Professional Work outside IFLA with many members of the LTR SC listing their research interests.

Goal 2. Assisting in the development of expertise and knowledge in useful research methods


2.1 Communicating research expertise and knowledge to the library community.

  • The consideration of a project on the preparation of a research toolbox for LIS researchers in languages other than English is under deliberation by Dr Wally Koehler, a member of the Section, and members of the SC.

2.1.1 Oslo conference (theme: Libraries: a voyage of discovery) - papers were given as reported earlier.

2.1.2 Disseminating results of research projects and activities:
Reports of results so far for the ongoing project Role of IFLA in promoting change and diffusing professional norms in libraries with a weight on norms, standards and policies related to lifelong literacy (part 1) were delivered at the Oslo conference.

2.1.3 Evaluate conference papers for possible inclusion in IFLA and other journals. The Standing Committee recommended the paper: LIPER (Library and Information Professions and Education Renewal) project in Japan by SHUICHI UEDA (Keio University), AKIRA NEMOTO (Tokyo University), MAKIKO MIWA (National Institute of Multimedia Education), MITSUHIRO ODA (Aoyama Gakuin University), HARUKI NAGATA (University of Tsukuba) and TERUYO HORIKAWA (Shimane Women's College) be included in the IFLA journal.

Goal 3. Facilitating transnational networks of common research interests


3.1 Encouraging participation in LTR Research projects:

Both projects: Political perspectives of the public library and An investigation into the role of IFLA in promoting change and diffusing professional norm in libraries with a weight on norms, standards and policies related to lifelong literacy emphasise the contributions of studies from many countries.

3.2 Sharing LTR communications:

3.2.1 Two copies of the LTR Newsletter, December 2004 and July 2005 were produced and delivered to all section members.

3.2.2 LTR operates a discussion List and the Section Chair uses a closed SC list for administrative communication.

3.2.3 LTR maintains a comprehensive Website on IFLANET;

3.2.4 Invitations are extended to all Section members to attend the LTR Standing Committee meetings. This meets with little success. However, the attendance of three observers at the first SC meeting on 13th August 2005 and 2 observers at the second SC meeting on 19th August was encouraging.

3.3 Promoting membership to LTR:

3.3.1 The Section commenced communication with library schools by encouraging them to join IFLA and participate in LTR activities. An international mailout seeking new memberships was commenced at the end of 2003 and continued throughout 2004-5. A letter of invitation, current LTR newsletter and section brochure were mailed to many library schools throughout the world.

3.3.2 Target professional groups (e.g. library schools)

There was a broad international representation on our Standing Committee and amongst our members in 2004/5. Members of the Section were encouraged to join the LTR Standing Committee in the 2005 elections. This resulted in 5 new members: Dr Ann Curry - Canada, Ms Biddy Fisher - UK, Jingli Chu - China, Kingo Mchombu - Namibia, and Marydee Ojala - USA. Retiring members were Juan Carlos Molina - Spain, Bob Usherwood - UK, Wilda Newman - USA

3.3.3 The continued transnational promotion of membership to the Section was mainly through the Section's website, http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s24/sltr.htm#7 and the LTR membership brochure which is available on the IFLA website as a .pdf file, translated into the IFLA languages of English, French, German, Russian and Spanish.

3.3.4 Beverly Lynch was the Section's representative at meetings of the Discussion Group: Quality issues in LIS institutions.

The Officers of the Standing Committee for 2004/2005 were:

Chair and Treasurer:
Dr. Kerry Smith
Head Department of Media and Information
Curtin University, G.P.O. Box U1987
Perth, WA 6845 Australia
Tel: * (61) (8) 9266-7217. Fax: * (61) (8) 9266-3166
E-mail: k.smith@.curtin.edu.au

Ms. Marian Koren
Head Research & International Affairs
NBLC, Netherlands Public Library Association
Postbox 16146
NL-2500 BC The Hague Netherlands
Tel: +31 70 30 90 115
Fax: +31 70 30 90 117
E-mail: koren@debibliotheken.nl

Information Coordinator
Ms. Wilda Bowers Newman
Adjunct Professor/Consultant
Knowledge Associates Resources, LLC
5964 Rosinante Run
Columbia, MD 21045-3825 USA
Tel: * (1) 410-730-7583
Fax: * (1) 410-739-7583(Call/Email before FAXing)
E-mail: wildanewman@yahoo.com

Submitted by: Kerry Smith, Chair LTR Section
December 2005