Library Research Round Table Chair's Report

To: Library Research Round Table Members
From: John Bertot, Chair
Re: Fall Report to Membership

The Library Research Round Table (LRRT) continues to promote, facilitate, and encourage research in library and information science within the research and practitioner communities. LRRT does this through research forums at the American Library Association Annual Conference, hosting the Library Research Seminar (LRS) conference, the prestigious Shera and Ingenta research awards, research mentorship, and sponsorship of 'meet the journal editors' sessions. More specifics on each of these is below, and general information regarding LRRT is available at

The State of the Library Research Round Table

LRRT is strong in terms of membership, and is financially sound. At present, there are 1,510 individual, 63 organizational, and 3 corporate members, making LRRT one of the larger round tables within ALA. We are always looking to keep membership strong and continually growing. You can do your part by encouraging your colleagues to join LRRT! More information on the benefits of membership is available at .

LRRT membership fees enable the round table to cover expenses (e.g., awards, equipment expenses for research forum presentations, administrative costs, etc.) and carry forward a small amount of funds. Thus, LRRT is financially sound. Where we do have a financial issue is with the Jesse H. Shera Research Award. This is discussed below in more detail, but briefly, the nearly $40,000 in the award fund's endowment does not generate enough income at this time to provide the $500 (each) cash award that accompanies the Distinguished Published Research and Support of Dissertation awards, respectively. There is a need to grow the fund to generate dividend income for the cash awards.

New Initiatives

LRRT has undertaken two new major initiatives this year. Under the direction of Lynne Westbrook of the University of Texas Austin, LRRT is proud to announce the LRRT Mentoring Program. This program promotes and supports the development of substantive and rigorous research in library and information science through the personalized work of mentors. By providing a means for interaction and collaboration, the LRRT Mentoring Program aims to bring together professionals with varying levels of expertise who share an interest in excellent research. The program welcomes anyone who is interested in becoming an LRRT mentor or seeking to connect to a mentor. Please do take advantage of this outstanding opportunity. More information regarding the LRRT Mentoring Program is available at .

In continuing its tradition of promoting library and information science scholarship, LRRT is co-sponsoring with the Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) a "Meet the Editors" session at the 2008 ALISE Annual Conference (January 11, 2008 from 1:00PM to 2:30PM). The session will feature editors and editorial board members from 10 premier LIS journals, with the possibility of more participation. The session's goals are twofold: 1) To build stronger ties with other library research organizations, and 2) To allow researchers and practitioners to discuss their research with journal editors and board members and seek the publication of their work in a range of scholarly journals. Our hope is to continue this initiative in subsequent ALISE conferences.

Research Forums

At the ALA Annual Conference in June 2008, LRRT will host four research sessions. Three of these sessions feature juried papers from practitioners, researchers, and students. The sessions (Research: A User Experience; Four Star Research; New Minds, New Approaches) feature cutting edge research conducted in library and information science. The fourth session is the Chair's Forum, and this year will feature issues related to information policy and e-government with its focus on Libraries & Government: Issues, Services, and Strategies. We hope you will be able to attend the sessions!

Research Awards

LRRT offers three prestigious, competitive, and juried awards – the Ingenta Research Award; the Jesse H. Shera Distinguished Published Research; and the Jesse H. Shera Support of Dissertation awards.

The Ingenta Research Award is an annual to support research projects about acquisition, use, and preservation of digital information. It provides a gr ant of up to $6,000 and $1000 for travel to national or international conference to present the results of the research. The deadline for submission of grant proposal is January 31, 2008. Additional information regarding the award is available at .

The Jesse H. Shera Distinguished Published Research Award recognizes a research article published in English during the calendar year, nominated by any member of LRRT or by the editors of research journals and information studies. The Jesse H. Shera and Support of Dissertation Award recognizes dissertation research employing exemplary research design and methods. Along with a certificate, these awards typically come with a $500 monetary award as well. However, LRRT has had to suspend the monetary award indefinitely until the principle in the Shera Award endowment can generate enough income to allow LRRT to resume the cash award.

At present the principle in the Shera endowment is $39,133. However, the principle does not generate enough income to cover the two awards, totaling $1,000 each year. We estimate that the endowment needs an additional $20,000 in order to resume the cash awards. Since the awards were setup as endowments, the monetary portion of the Shera awards must come from endowment income (interest and dividends) or LRRT directly - we are unable to solicit sponsorships as a means for temporarily funding the cash awards. As a result of the current situation, the LRRT Steering Committee decided to temporarily suspend the cash portion of the Shera awards. The awards will still be issued, but the recipients will receive only the certificate. The Steering Committee is developing a fund-raising campaign to increase the endowment and resume the financial award as soon as possible. More information on this as the plan unfolds.

Library Research Seminar V

Every three years, LRRT hosts the Library Research Seminar (LRS) conference. The fourth conference (LRS-IV) was organized by Gloria J. Leckie and hosted by the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, making this officially an international conference! Our thanks to Gloria and the others who made LRS-IV a resounding success.

Planning for LRS-V (scheduled for October 2010) is already under way. The LRRT Steering Committee will review proposals for conference hosts at the ALA Midwinter meeting in January 2008, and announce the location shortly thereafter.


LRRT is grateful to Sarah Pritchard for serving as the LRRT Councilor. Sarah serves as our liaison/representative on ALA Council, and we are most pleased to have LRRT so well represented.

We also extend a thank you to Letitia Earvin, who serves as our ALA staff liaison. Letitia keeps us on track and on time.