(Anybody old enough to remember the character from the BBC comedy sketch show The Fast Show who emerged from a shed and announced what he had been mostly doing / eating that week? No? Must be just myself and Micheál then..)
Well, this week we have been mostly sorting out the contents of Room 106 in SICS…
In an attempt to get to grips with the scope of what we could populate our IR with Ali, Hanna and Micheál met with Clare Nolan from the school to see how many Master’s theses and capstone projects were being stored. We had hoped that a listing or inventory might exist but to no avail. It did not. On top of that, the layout of Room 106 was all over the place. Our librarian instincts kicked into gear and we decided to sort it out.
The initial challenge was to weed out the non-MLIS material and then we set about arranging the physical copies chronologically and alphabetically. The digital copies also had to be investigated. CDs, memory sticks and ..wait for it.. floppy discs had to be checked to either verify if the contents matched the label or, in some cases, just so they could be correctly labelled at all. It’s difficult to fathom that such important components of a Master’s degree could be submitted without identification.
We also had to cross reference what we have in Room 106 with what is listed on the SICS webpage under previous Master’s projects. Thus far there are still 30 theses/capstones unaccounted for.
What we do have are 415 Master’s theses and capstones in some form or another. We have created an inventory for them which lists them under year, author, supervisor, title, abstract, additional materials, keywords, how many copies we have and what formats they are in. We have filled in all these details for 197 of them so far and I swear if read another abstract that begins with “this thesis…” I’ll flip out! Be more original people! You can be sure our abstract will not open in this way.
We are conscious, though, of the need to get going on the bigger project. With only 2 weeks until the Spring break, we must get reading the background literature and preparing our interviews and questionnaires. We have set up a group on Zotero, a free, open-source research tool which allows us to collect, share and annotate articles and Micheál is working on the ethics side of things ahead of preparing our interviews for the Delphi study. All things going well we hope to have both the lit review and the Delphi study finished by the end of April. At times this seems a long ways away and then at others it seems like it’s just around the corner.
Looking at the minutes from this week’s meeting I see the plan for next week is to brainstorm for survey and interview questions…. and to bring markers. Mustn’t forget the markers.
In other news we didn’t win this week’s table quiz and we didn’t get our score.. boo!