Developing Online Communities for Librarian Researchers: A Case Study

Lili Luo, Marie Kennedy, Kristine Brancolini, Michael Stephens

Abstract

This study examines the role of online communities in connecting and supporting librarian researchers, through the analysis of member activities in the online community for academic librarians that attended the 2014 Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL). The 2014 IRDL cohort members participated in the online community via Twitter and a Facebook group page. A content analysis of their posts and an online survey among them identified different patterns of engagement and four primary types of content—posts related to completing the IRDL research project required for each cohort member, announcements about research-related resources and opportunities, posts reminiscing about the IRDL experience, and arrangements of conference attendance and meetups. Implications for successfully designing online communities for librarian researchers are discussed.

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