The 1st UP SLIS Research Bootcamp
Information and Knowledge Research with Dr. Michael Olsson
On August 25, 2021, we concluded the 1st Research Bootcamp by the UP School of Library and Information Studies. I am one of the main persons involved in organizing this event, along with Prof. Kate Obille and Prof. Iyra Buenrostro-Cabbab, and I would say that we are all proud to have facilitated such an event. Of course, it all would not be possible without our convenor and main resource speaker, Dr. Michael Olsson. We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Maureen Henninger for sharing her social media research methodology. And finally, we would also like to thank the dean of UP SLIS, Prof. Mary Grace Golfo-Barcelona, for supporting this event.
The Bootcamp was marketed to Filipino LIS researchers and practitioners to hone their theoretical and methodological foundations in doing information and knowledge research. We received a total of 33 applicants, 22 of which were accepted based on the potential of their research proposal. Only 9 were able to complete the whole Bootcamp and were able to present or submit an abstract. The Bootcamp was held via Zoom from August 9 - 25, 5 pm to 8 pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. All in all, we had six three-hour sessions made up of lectures and workshops, and one final session where our participants presented and discussed their revised research proposals.
Our participants are composed of practicing librarians, recent graduates of an LIS undergraduate degree, and LIS graduate students who are already on their thesis. Many of the research topics are about libraries and COVID. Still, others stood out, such as those who would like to investigate the information practices of specific communities and their religion, cultural festivals, or those that are disadvantaged in the society. Needless to say, we are looking forward to our participants publishing their respective researches.
The feedback from our participants is also overwhelmingly positive. Each session, we asked them to rate their experience, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The ratings are shown in the image below.
We also asked our students what they liked or didn’t like for each session. What stood out is how much they enjoyed the Zoom breakout sessions. During the breakout sessions, the participants were given a chance to answer or discuss the questions raised during the lecture. There were also around 20 reading assignments, mostly texts that are seminal theoretical works in LIS.
We also asked for a final evaluation from our participants, to which only nine were able to answer. The overall rating is shown below.
There are various reasons why some participants were not able to finish the Bootcamp, such as medical reasons, work-related commitments, and the general fact that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Nonetheless, we appreciate the effort of our participants, especially those who were able to complete all the requirements.
Hopefully, the UP SLIS will be able to conduct another Research Bootcamp. The facilitators and Dr. Michael Olsson had a debriefing after the event and improvements on the overall conduct of the Bootcamp were proposed. We are looking at a more focused and collaborative Bootcamp in the future, with possible funding for the stipends of our participants.