For me – as for many other attendees, the ‘one minute madness‘ session at last Monday’s (28th June 2010) LIS Research Coalition conference at the British Library conference centre was the highlight of the day. Over 20 brave souls stood up and presented on a research topic (from completed, funded projects, to PhD work in progress, to projects just getting off the ground) in 60 seconds. Not only did they all keep to time, but I – rather to my surprise – learnt a huge amount and can actually remember a lot of it! As Charles Oppenheim noted in his highly entertaining closing remarks, this should be the way forward for PhD vivas… I’d add all conference presentations to that. Although, having said that, I was glad Andrew Dillon had longer than a minute, as his informative and thought provoking keynote address was a great start to the morning, following on from Michael Jubb’s overview of LIS research in the UK over the last few decades, and outlining the work of the LIS Research Coalition to date. He rightly singled out Hazel Hall’s amazing work over the last year in promoting the work of the Coalition and in implementing its plans.

During the afternoon, delegates were split into breakout groups to firstly identify questions that needed answers (on the topic of either evidence or value and impact), and secondly, to come up with answers to the questions posed by a different group. I think many important issues were aired during these sessions (and I – of course – took the opportunity to put in my own twopence worth), but I felt rather that the group was better at identifying issues and challenges than answers! That may just have been the control freak lecturer in me wanting my seminar students to knuckle down to the task and come up with solutions! There is also a certain going over old ground on these occasions (as I couldn’t help pointing out, the same issues have been coming up over and over again in a number of research projects (including a study I did in 2006) and the literature for well over twenty years), but as Andrew Dillon had remarked earlier, culture change is a slow process. Having said that, now that the Research Coalition is in place, I have much more confidence that things will move forward than I would have done a few years ago.

Much tweeting and blogging of the event was done during the day (including by me), so you can get a sense of the day in a number of ways – follow the tweet trail (#lisrc10); check out the day’s live blog; and read/watch the sessions, all available from the Coalition conference website; read other reviews of the conference. The organisation of the day, the co-ordination of the reporting of sessions etc. and the enthusiasm were all excellent, so I’m looking forward to where we all take it next…

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