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LLS Everyone a Researcher Conference 2023: Long Papers

Information and booking for LLS Conference 2023

We’re having triplets! Delivering the new library platform at the University of Northampton.

Georgina Dimmock, Fiona Watkins and Lisa Anderson

Academic Services and Service Development

(Long Paper – 45 mins)

In the summer of 2022, the library at the University of Northampton went live with three new library systems simultaneously: reading list system (moving from Aspire to Leganto), discovery system (moving from Primo to Primo VE) and back-end management system (moving from Sierra to Alma).  The three systems went live on time and on budget.  However, the story began back in November 2020 with research, surveys and focus groups with library staff to assess where our existing systems were failing and what we wanted to achieve, leading to our system requirements specifications. This presentation will chart the journey from the initial user needs assessment, through the experience of the implementation months, on to final delivery and system infancy. The Project Team will reflect on the lessons learned en route, the highs and lows, and on how well the new systems have delivered on their promise in relation to our initial user needs assessment.  Delegates will gain an honest insight into how a complex system implementation was carried out from initial research and scoping through to post-go live tidying up.

Presentation slides

Social class, equity and recruitment: a content analysis of teaching librarian job postings using critical social psychology.

Darren Flynn

Academic Services

(Long Paper – 45 mins)

Recruitment to teaching librarian posts represent the entry and advancement points to the information literacy workforce and, by selecting and promoting those personnel, shapes the practices, concerns and end-user experiences in the information literacy landscape. Recruitment processes and documents such as person specifications not only set out the minimum levels of qualification, skill and experience but also act as a means of cultural matching between applicants and recruiters (Rivera, 2012). As highly visible members of the LIS profession, the diversity, inclusion and equity implications of teaching librarians are a core concern within the sector. This session will present the findings of a research study exploring potential social class bias in recruitment to teaching librarian roles in the UK higher education sector. Content analysis of job postings is a well-established means of investigating the LIS labour market and workforce, however, most studies focus on uncovering objective factors such as qualification requirements, pay and desired competencies (Eclevia et al., 2019; Kaba, 2017; Robinson, 2021; Yadav, 2022; Zhang et al., 2021). Rarer are studies exploring subjective variables such as personal attributes, behaviours or dispositions expressed in specifications or the equity implications these may have on the makeup of the information literacy profession (Matsumoto, 2022; Tokarz & Mesfin, 2021). Absent are studies that interrogate social class as a factor in recruitment to library posts, despite evidence that social class can act as a strong predictor and determinant in organisational behaviour (Côté, 2011). The study used a dataset of 197 job postings from UK library job adverts collected between Nov. 2021 and Oct. 2022. A sample of 50 roles was formed by identifying roles that included teaching, user training or instruction as a core activity and were based in UK academic libraries. The study used a specifically critical lens to analyse job postings and identify if potential social class bias was present in person specifications of teaching librarian vacancies. A theoretical framework was used based on research on the psychology of social class; a branch of social psychology 38 that examines how social class affects behaviour, social interactions and identity (Manstead, 2018). Person specification criteria were coded using a four-part framework based on social psychological research to identify if criteria were weighted towards social behaviours and attitudes associated with working or middle class predispositions and values. Quantitative content analysis was performed across the sample to determine if potential social class bias was present in the sample (Krippendorff, 2013). The presentation will explain the rationale, methods and outcome of the study and suggest wider implications and actions necessary to improve social equity in recruitment within the information literacy profession. The theoretical framework of the study will be explained, and attendees will be invited to participate in and further develop the research by collaboratively evaluating person specification criteria themselves. Finally, attendees will be invited to reflect on the findings of this study, share their perspectives on dispositional requirements of teaching librarians and formulate strategies to integrate these into their institution’s recruitment practices. 


Côté, S. (2011). How social class shapes thoughts and actions in organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior, 31, 43-71.

Eclevia, M. R., Fredeluces, J. C. L. T., Maestro, R. S., & Eclevia Jr., C. L. (2019). What makes a data librarian?: An analysis of job descriptions and specifications for data librarian. Qualitative & Quantitative Methods in Libraries, 8(3), 273-290

Kaba, A. (2017). Online library job advertisement in United Arab Emirates: A content analysis of online sources. Library Management, 38(2), 131-141

Krippendorff, K (2013) Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology. 3rd ed. SAGE

Manstead, A. S. (2018). The psychology of social class: How socioeconomic status impacts thought, feelings, and behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 57(2), 267-291.

Matsumoto, N. (2022). Knowledge, skills and attitudes required for japanese library staff based on job advertisements. Library Management, 43(6), 507-520

Rivera, L. A. (2012). Hiring as cultural matching: The case of elite professional service firms. American Sociological Review; Am Sociol Rev, 77(6), 999-1022

Robinson, M. (2021). Skills and qualifications for the special library environment in Jamaica: A job advertisement analysis. Library Management, 42(1), 149-163

Tokarz, R. E., & Mesfin, T. (2021). Stereotyping ourselves: Gendered language use in management and instruction library job advertisements. Journal of Library Administration, 61(3), 301-311

Yadav, A. K. S. (2022). Key skills and competencies of LIS professionals in the digital library environment: A content analysis of job advertisements. Library Management, 43(1), 50-65

Zhang, Y., Su, F., & Hubschman, B. (2021). A content analysis of job advertisements for digital humanities-related positions in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 47(1)

Presentation slides

10 top tips for turning your day-to-day practice into research and scholarship

Gillian Siddall & Dr Leo Appleton (University of Sheffield)

Academic Services

(Long Paper – 45 mins)

At the University of Northampton, academic and professional services staff seek to improve the life and experiences of the University community through developing their work and practice. There is also an expectation that librarians and professional staff contribute to the professional knowledge base (adapted from Pickton, 2016). Although eager to improve our practice, it is not always easy to know how to transform our work into research and scholarship.   This paper will be presented by members of CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group, who, with a focus on workplace research, will discuss what it means to be a researcher-practitioner and will share with participants some ‘top-tips’ to get started in this area. They will focus on how it is important, as academic service-oriented staff to take pride in our work and consider the impact that it has on others, including students, academic staff, and other academic service providers (including other libraries and librarians). The presenters will argue how individuals have a professional responsibility to reflect upon and share their innovative and creative good practice to contribute to the scholarship of the profession and the achievement of organisational strategic aims.  The presenters will include tips on how to think about where we innovate in the workplace and how this can be evaluated effectively to generate scholarship from our day-to-day practices. Drawing on their experiences of conducting and disseminating workplace research and encouraging library and academic support professionals to get involved in scholarly activity, the presenters will also introduce a current project that they are involved in which aims to support library and information professionals in developing workplace research skills. 


Pickton, M. (2016) Facilitating a research culture in an academic library: top down and bottom up approaches. New Library World. 117(1/2), pp.105-127. DOI:

Presentation slides

Do our institutional referencing style choices create barriers for students with Specific Learning Disability?

Fiona Watkins

Academic Services

(Long paper – 45 mins)

Models of information literacy (1,2) are explicit: critical thinking and ethical information use are essential skills within Higher Education (HE). Referencing is key to this, demonstrating how students select and apply information to create knowledge (3,4).

Within HE there has been an increased focus on inclusivity and accessibility (5, 6, 7). Growing numbers of students are declaring a disability (8) and reports suggest they are increasingly dissatisfied with their courses (9).  Proportionally, students with disability achieve lower grades than students without (10). Suggesting needs and expectations of students with a disability are not being met within HE provisions.

The presentation discusses an ethically approved small-scale mixed-methods study carried out as part of a MA in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. The research investigated student perceptions of referencing, whether adherence to specific referencing styles is a barrier for students with dyslexia and began investigating the impact of referencing styles on reading comprehension. The largest disability declared with HE is Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) (11), which includes dyslexia (12). Students with SpLD report lower confidence with academic writing than non-SpLD students (13). Academic literacy skills are arguably intertwined with a sense of legitimacy and belonging (14) it is therefore vital to consider ways of improving inclusion for all students (15) The presenter observed that students with SpLD spent more time and energy on referencing than their non-disabled peers. This perception is corroborated by others (16) and when combined with slower reading speeds (17, 18, 19) reduces time students have for critical subject engagement (20) Attendees will gain an understanding of how students view referencing and whether the choice of referencing system disadvantages students with dyslexia.  They will also hear how the presenter wishes to develop the research.


1. Coonan, E., Geekie, J., Goldstein, S., Jeskins, L., Jones, R., Macrae-Gibson, R., Secker, J. & Walton, G. (2018) CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018. CILIP Information Literacy Group [online]. Available from: [Accessed 11/11/2022].  
2. SCONUL (2011) The SCONUL seven pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model for Higher Education. SCONUL [online]. Available from: [Accessed 11/11/2022].  
3. Buckley, C. (2015) Conceptualising plagiarism: using Lego to construct students' understanding of authorship and citation. Teaching in Higher Education. 20(3), pp. 352-358.  
4. Angelil-Carter, S. A. (1995) Uncovering plagiarism in academic writing: developing authorial voice within multivoiced text [online]. MEd. Rhodes University. Available from: [Accessed 05/07/2021].  
5. Equality Act 2010 London: HMSO.  
6. United Nations (2015) The 17 Goals. Sustainable Development Goals [online]. Available from: [Accessed 02/01/2022].  
7. Department for Education and Department of Health. (2015) Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 – 25 years. Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities. London: Department for Education.  
8. Advanced HE (2018) Equality in higher education: students statistical report 2019. Advanced HE [online]. Available from: [Accessed 08/11/2020], p. 76.  
9. Office for Students (2020) NSS Characteristic analysis data. NSS 2020 Sector Analysis. Student Information and data [online]. Available from:  [Accessed 28/11/2020].  
10. Advanced HE (2018) Equality in higher education: students statistical report 2019. Advanced HE [online]. Available from: [Accessed 08/11/2020], p.73.  
11. Advanced HE (2018) Equality in higher education: students statistical report 2019. Advanced HE [online]. Available from: [Accessed 08/11/2020] p. 78.  
12. American Psychological Association (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.  
13. Kinder, J. & Elander, J. (2012) Dyslexia, authorial identity, and approaches to learning and writing: a mixed methods study. British Journal of Education Psychology. 82(2), pp. 289-307.  
14. Gourlay, L. (2009) Threshold practices: becoming a student through academic literacies. London Review of Education. 7(2), 181-192.  
15. Office for Students (2020) NSS Characteristic analysis data. NSS 2020 Sector Analysis. Student Information and data [online]. Available from: [Accessed 28/11/2020].  
16. Sanders, J. (2010) Horray for Harvard? The fetish of footnotes revisited. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 12, pp. 48-59.  
17. Hendricks, M. & Quinn, L. (2000) Teaching referencing as an introduction to epistemological empowerment. Teaching in Higher Education. 5(4), pp. 447-457.  
18. Sanders, J. (2010) Horray for Harvard? The fetish of footnotes revisited. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 12, pp. 48-59.  
19. Serry, T., Oates, J., Ennals, P., Venville, A., Williams, A., Fossey, E. & Steel, G. (2018) Managing reading and related literacy difficulties: University students' perspectives. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. 23(1), 5-30.  
20. Wengelin, A. (2007) The word-level focus in text production by adults with reading and writing difficulties. In: Rijlaarsdam, G., Torrance, M., van Waes, L. & Galbraith, D. (eds) Writing and cognition: Research and applications. Oxford: Elsevier, pp.67-82.