Welcome to the Launch of Brain-Work, C-EBLIP’s Blog!

by Virginia Wilson
Director, Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.

The Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) officially came into being on July 1, 2013, created by the University Library, University of Saskatchewan, for the benefit of the University Library. C-EBLIP’s mission in brief is to support librarians as researchers and to promote evidence based library and information practice. And while activities have been held over the past year particularly for University Library librarians (i.e. workshops, seminars, a journal club, and discussion groups) there are some activities that look outwards from the local context. C-EBLIP recognizes the benefits of engaging with librarians and libraries outside of our own milieu as a way to facilitate collaboration, sharing, and idea creation, as well as to contribute to the development of a national culture of research amongst academic librarians and libraries. If the messages and the methods stray further than the national context, so much the better!

That said, welcome to Brain-Work’s summer 2014 launch! Brain-Work, the C-EBLIP blog, is a multi-authored blog (although this summer you’ll mostly hear from me) broadly covering topics related to research, evidence based library and information practice, and librarianship. This blog is inspired by the London School of Economics’ The Impact Blog (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/) as well as Scholarly Kitchen (http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/) and other topnotch multi-authored, academic blogs. The blog title, Brain-Work, comes from a Sherlock Holmes quote in Arthur Conan Doyle’s book, The Sign of the Four. In it, Holmes states, “I cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for?” Holmes also asserts, in A Study in Scarlet, that “there is nothing like first-hand evidence.” So despite some of his more extreme character traits, Sherlock Holmes seems like a good muse for this blog.

Why a blog?

Academic blogging is becoming more popular and more prevalent. Martin Weller states that “in terms of intellectual fulfillment, creativity, networking, impact, productivity, and overall benefit to [his] scholarly life, blogging wins hands down.” (http://chronicle.com/article/The-Virtues-of-Blogging-as/131666/). Mark Carrigan reminds us that “academic blogging does not take place in a vacuum. It is grounded in existing research and expertise. The flexibility it affords allows this relationship to be a dynamic one – blogging can be underwritten by research conducted, in progress or is merely planned. It also provides a degree of space and freedom to extend beyond the realms of research.” (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2013/02/04/the-value-of-academic-blogging/) Librarians at the University of Saskatchewan are faculty members with requirements for research and publication tied to tenure and promotion activities and an obligation as academic citizens to create and disseminate new knowledge. This blog is an in-between space that allows for certain types of discourse that run beyond or prior to the traditional journal article or conference presentation.

The intent of this blog is to be a space for thoughts and ideas that perhaps are not yet ready for research or a more formal journal article. It will be a space for our voices to be heard, and a space that allows us to explore our ideas in a more public forum. Not only will it be beneficial to librarians internal to the University Library, it will also be an activity (like the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers) that turns outward and engages with people from outside of the University Library.

Raising issues, discussing current events and trends, mulling stuff over – all will be welcome on this blog. We are anticipating posts that have some depth and substance, and that can get readers thinking and ideally participating in a conversation. This blog will be written by folks internal to our library. As well, guests from other areas and other institutions will contribute blog posts. The guest posters will be designated as Adjunct Members of C-EBLIP. I’m pleased to announce that Frank Winter and David Fox, Librarians Emeriti to the University Library, and Denise Koufogiannakis from the University of Alberta are our first Adjunct Members and will be participating in Centre blogging activities. If you would like more information about participating as an Adjunct Member, contact me at virginia.wilson@usask.ca. Comments are welcome and stay tuned for the next posting as we anticipate a weekly Tuesday post.

This article gives the views of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.