As noted, the concept of a research framework requires the development of a structure with multiple components. Such a structure goes beyond simply defining a suite of research methodologies (survey instruments, interviews, observation, case studies, focus groups, etc.); such tools must be comprehensive enough to align many components, including intended audiences, clarity of goals, community profile, program type (format, stand-alone, series, collaborative, etc.), and staff capacity. There will be many differences across these variables, requiring a framework designed to mitigate differences and build on core principles.
“We need to create a research framework that is helpful, instructive, and guiding,” noted one advisor, reacting to concerns about the ability to develop the tools and processes that would be scalable to many library types and sizes. The need for “practical tools” received many comments, again stressing that the practicalities of administering studies need thoughtful attention to assure buy-in. There was general agreement that the studies need to tie in to existing tools and recognize what information is already being gathered elsewhere. What can be learned through social science research, for example, and where can such studies be found?
What tools might help you plan programs and engage your community?
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