Thursday, December 8, 2011


Hello everyone, I hope that the research goes well. Mine currently inspires that awkward internet face :S.

I was wondering if anyone could direct me to some articles that breaks down post-colonial theory. My undergrad was sadly lacking in theory and I find myself wanting to use it but with no real direction.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011


First I want to point out how much I appreciate this week. Up until now I felt that I was being given a handful of puzzle pieces but I had never really been told what the picture looked like. This weeks readings felt like the: "so we threw all this at you, let us simplify and hold your hand for a second". I know that I should be able to sludge through it on my own and I really want the independent ability to think through the problems of my research proposal, but sometimes I just want my mom to hold my hand when I cross the street (outside of this horrid metaphor, my mom is actually a superhero ninja disguised as a cute little greying accountant so I like her help all the time).

I'm a little lost on what to comment on because I threw "Harvarding" out the window and read over this week with a fine tooth comb. I think I'll be SMART about it (and ask you to forgive me for over-tired brains excuses at humor this week). Knight laid out SMART as: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Looking at my research this was it truly forces me to build my fences and define what is in my study to access the 'achievable, realistic and timely' aspects of SMART - ie. ART. Luker also seemed to have walked me through a similar set of requirements in chapter 7. Reflecting on my proposal I believe that I need to reconsider by I picked my specific cases and if I made the research harder on myself than necessary and potentially unattainable. For instance I chose to study a exhibit at a museum in Ottawa but I never considered the ROM as an alternative. I am likely not going to be able to go to Ottawa due to work reasons, so would this choice make my research unachievable and if so, would the ROM serve a similar purpose or does it not fit my study?

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Research with humans is a daunting task to me. Perhaps it stems from the fact that the majority of my interests are in areas that are difficult to access (Children, race, sexuality and trama). It is also the reason that I didn't take a MA in the program I had initially wanted. I think I will draw back to my comments during ethnography and state that so much can go wrong when the researcher goes in for information and doesn't recognize impact and harm that can come from it. Currently, I do not believe that I am able to conduct a human-participant research project in a manner that I would be confident with.

From the conversation of ethics, I would like to highlight areas that I find particularly important. First and formost is the concept of setting up a research model that is not harmful. This is particularly difficult when we are asking participants to talk about trama. In that case is it better to limit harm or to follow the research to the end? If the participants signed up with the knowledge that they are going to relive (through verbal story telling) a trama, then is it okay to fully explore their feelings during the research? This can be balanced by the inclusion of of agency and the recognition that agency exists but researchers also can influence it. The tricky bit is how to negotiate the sticky place between wanting something from out participants but setting up personal boundaries and also allowing them to decide personal boundaries and comfort levels.

Week 11 - ETHICS

Thursday, November 17, 2011

children's input

I apologize in advance for this not being under the proper heading but in an attempt to 'get-ahead' on work (as if that is even possible lol) I'm posting wicked early:

So since I'm not planning on doing human research for my project I wanted to get into readings that were less technical and more enlightening in terms of realms of discourse I am unfamiliar with (I had to take a research ethics workshop in my undergrad due to a "research methods" for communication studies...) I ended up really enjoyed the Druin article, “what children can teach us,” mostly because I hadn’t ever dealt with ideas about children’s literature/libraries before

I think the article brings out a lot of innovative ways that we can change how things are searched/presented in the children’s section of the library.

First off, since researchers “reported that children suggested such search terms as “dinosaurs,” “dragons,” and “princesses,” children’s libraries can innovate and change to meet children’s needs by adopting different Boolean operators. I wonder how this would work: maybe research their search terms and input it into the system but have it be in a separate “kids search” section of the catalogue/website?

Secondly, based on the research finding “that children looked primarily at the book’s cover, pictures, and title when selecting books from a shelf and used these as selection criteria,” this suggests that children’s libraries could develop a different way of shelving these sections altogether. I envision rather than showing spines of a book, having frontal display units. I imagine that we would run into problems in terms of how much we could put on display but perhaps a rotation would peak kids’ interests in things other than what is hot/relevant?

It’s unfortunate that “despite children’s diverse and enthusiastic use of technology, they are a marginalized user group.” Reasons for this include: security reasons, impose restraints to achieve a uniform Web design, complexities of intellectual property and the rights of children to have access to information. I found the last one very interesting since things become even more complicated since when you add in the restrictions to access of information based on their age (for their protection) this can call in to question accessibility issues.

I’d like to finish off by playing Devil’s advocate (this will be a serious leap based on all the changes I’ve just suggested based on children’s inputs): the article states:

“The question of what materials are appropriate to be included in a collection is not new to librarians. What is new for digital collections is the diversity of materials that can be considered. Curatorial policies need to be reexamined in light of what is now possible in the digital realm… What has not changed is the concerns of children. Children still want more copies of books in better condition and more books for entertainment.”

Therefore, if children’s concerns are constant and are clearly outlined here, why do they need to be involved in the development of new digital libraries? Why don’t we get books in better condition and more books for entertainment? I’m sure there is a librarian with young children that can inform the collections development people what his/her kids are interested in based on what they see them doing (they may not even have to ask their kids!)…

The does article suggests a rebuttal and I Whole Heartedly agree BUT is it possible to not include them an still have a well-rounded kid’s section… ?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I found Orgad’s discussion of offline and online data fascinating. I had not really gone so far as consider separating the research of the internet in that manner but Orgad’s makes a great argument for it. I am immediately drawn to online data collection because online behavior is often bizarre and extraordinary in comparison to what we expect out of citizens of our society. The space that it creates by promoting (physical?) distance between people participating in interactions also allows for a difference in presentation of self during these interactions. This is where the possibility of offline fascinates me. The possibility to have face-to-face conversations changes the dynamic and limits the 'acceptable' within confines of society norms. An interesting example could be looking at the new trend of internet vigilantism and talking to the people ‘unmasked’. The current Canadian example would be: