The Research and Assessment Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Medical Library Association supports member activities involved in both research and assessment. This support includes funding, connecting colleagues with similar research interests, and providing tools and resources for research and assessment.
Ready to do your own Research or Assessment Project?
Need funding to help get your project off the ground? The MAC Research and Assessment Committee is offering Research Grants!
If you have an idea for a research project in health librarianship our committee invites you to apply for a Research and Assessment Grant. The purpose of the Research and Assessment Grants is to promote and stimulate excellence in the field of health science librarianship and the information sciences. Grants may be used to support all or part of the costs of a project, up to a maximum of $1000. MAC/MLA may award more than one grant in a year for a maximum of $1000 in any one year.
MAC Research Mentoring Program
Librarians often have questions about how to prepare research projects. To help you find answers and resolve problems, the MAC Research and Assessment Committee sponsors a research mentoring program to put those librarians with research experience in contact with librarians who are starting the research process. Mentors are able to provide assistance and advice upon request. If you have a research project question, find someone with expertise in that area to guide you through the process. And if you have at least 5 years experience, consider sharing your knowledge and abilities with others. Anyone can be a mentee — from student to experienced professional. The application forms identify specific mentoring opportunities and provide a space for you to suggest your own.
Questions? E-mail the Research and Assessment Committee Chair.
Need help getting started? Mentoring starter questions: http://connect.ala.org/node/82872.
Tools and Resources
Want to know what CE courses are available on research and assessment topics, or tips for creating surveys and analyzing data? Check out this page for a list of resources and tools for research and assessment.
Research and Assessment Defined
Research: At a basic level, research includes any systematic or methodical gathering of data, evidence, information or facts for the advancement of knowledge or to produce new knowledge.
MLA is a little more specific: “Research is systematic inquiry into a problem, with the goal of gathering evidence to produce new knowledge. Research relevant to health information covers a spectrum that includes development of clinical indicators; curriculum analysis; program evaluation; abstracting and indexing; information storage and retrieval; thesaurus construction; technological innovation; assessment of information needs and information-seeking behavior; and study of the use and impact of information on patients, caregivers, researchers, and students.” (from: Using Scientific Evidence to Improve Information Practice:The Research Policy Statement of the Medical Library Association. (1995))
Assessment: “[A]ny activities that seek to measure the library’s impact on teaching, learning and research as well as initiatives that seek to identify user needs or gauge user perceptions or satisfaction with the overall goal being the data-based and user-centered continuous improvement of our collections and services … “, is a type of research. (from: libraryassessment.info About Page (blog supported by ARL); Ryan, Pam. EBL and Library Assessment: Two Solitudes? Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 2006, 1:4. Pp. 77-80.)