Week 12 – Looking Back

My research question has gone through many changes over the span of this course, and is vastly different in my final research proposal than it was when we began formulating questions. I was first interested in investigating how a library using sponsored partnerships would operate in a public system. From that idea I jumped to the role library programing plays in improving civic engagement and satisfaction within a community. As that subject is much to expansive I finally settled on the impact of children’s literacy programing, at a specific library, on the reading ability of a set participant group.

Some of the questions that arisen from looking at this subject are:

What is the purpose of youth programing in the library?

Is the current programing effective?

Are the programs being offered the ones that are needed?

Should more resources be given to locations in more high needs areas, and is that unfair to other library users who should be given the same access (equity vs. equality)?

How do we help students in high needs areas?

Who attends and are taking advantage of these programs?

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Research Method Section

Howdy again!

Hopefully everyone is furiously typing away. I am getting there but still working on my assignment, but I thought I’d pass on an idea I had. We are expected to select one method and focus on it as the way we will be completing this research, but I can sense this will be somewhat difficult for people with a lot of ideas. The way I am getting around this is by mentioning why I am NOT selecting some methods, despite the potentials they have. For may topic specifically, I am going to mention that I had hoped to incorporate an experimental or intervention based research method, but the field is so ill defined that I don’t think I could effectively control variables, or even be able to identify what would be a more suitable alternative. 

How is everyone organizing their research method sections?

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This Is the End!

My research question started rather simply and broad like most of the people in this group. I wanted to perform a virtual ethnography of young adult fan fiction groups. As the semester progressed, I was able to get more specific. This specification was rather important as all ethnographies need some background and reason behind them. The reason I chose was to look into the programming and support possibilities of the library for this particular group of people. In a sense, it could even be considered an in-depth demographic study.

Sub-questions about the method and ethics behind the research were developed and focused on ethical retrieval of information online and dealing with young adults. In the end, I discovered that older teens (16 and over) can give themselves consent for low-risk research, which is what my project would be. I also started asking what the library might be able to do in order to expand fan fiction practices among teens and make it more popular.

Overall, it’s been fun guys. It was definitely neat to look into what I considered an out-there research project that I would not have normally investigated or pursued. See you next semester!

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Week 12: A much more focused question

Hello all, 

I have put “The Final Countdown” by Europe on a constant loop, and may not get much in the way of sleep for the next few days, but things are coming together. When I started this assignment, I wanted to look into the changes that may have occurred in modding communities with recent changes in user generated content. UGC is being more frequently co-opted by developers to extend their games.

This research question has now grown more specific. I am now focusing on a specific game, Team Fortress 2, which is selling UGC to other players but actively compensating its creators. My question now focuses on how this compensation has changed the relationship the modders feel with their work. Here are my (somewhat) finalized questions and sub questions:

How do content creators for Team Fortress 2 characterize their relationship to their creations?

In what ways are these connections similar to, or different from their contemporaries in other games with active modding scenes?

What impact does the active compensation from the developer have on gamer’s perception of their efforts?

I had initially hoped to perform some sort of experimental or active research proposal to investigate this issue, but as I have been performing my research it is quite clear that there isn’t enough literature on this topic to allow me to fully grasp the variables present. As such, I will be taking on a participant-observer perspective and use the principles of ethnography to create a snapshot of the current situation in the field. Once this work has been completed there will be a better foundation to launch more active interventions to seek an optimal relationship between players and developers. What issues do you all see with this kind of approach or other angles that could be pursued? 

Good luck in this final week everyone!

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Sub-Questions

Professor Galey asked us to reflect upon what sub-questions emerged from our research question. 

My research is as follows: 

How should libraries negotiate the legal constraints that evolve from policies that limit library access to homeless patrons? 

Sub-questions that emerged included the following:

By allowing homeless patrons full access to library services, how does this impact the rights of other patrons in the library? (Right to security, etc.)

Many library policies are not inclusive to all population groups, is this inclusivity intentional? If so, why? What evidence might a discourse analysis bring about?

Libraries are municipally funded (public libraries), thus, given the power imbalance in society, do library policies reflect those in power, due to the politics of it all?

Unfortunately my research was not large or broad enough to attempt at designing a study to answer these questions, but I think they’re excellent questions for someone interested in studying homelessness and libraries in the future (and they definitely build off my research as well!)

Victoria Grant 

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Oh How My Research Has Changed…

When Professor Galey asked us to reflect on how our research question has evolved since the beginning, I decided to go look at past posts. I was shocked (as I sort of forgot) that my original intent had to do with researching intellectual freedom barriers in the public library (specifically relating to pornography in the library). 

My research has evolved to studying homelessness and libraries, and the implications library policies have on the rights of homeless patrons (through an American framework). 

It’s evident that my interests lie within policy, as both research pertains to an analysis of policy and legislation pertaining to the two different subjects. 

Victoria Grant 

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Thank You

Hey everyone,

It’s been interesting having a blog with classmates throughout this course, and it has proved to be pretty beneficial. There were multiple times where I was conflicted with what was said in lecture, what the readings mean, and what methodology to use in my final research proposal. It’s been nice having feedback and help along the way. So thank you all for your contributions and your engagement on the blog 🙂 I think it’s safe to say we had a fairly active blog, which made for some good discussion 🙂

Victoria Grant 

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