The library and information professional as practitioner-researcher?: A panel discussion

Update 10th March 2016: 

The LISRA panel discussion was held on the 10th of March 2016.

The following link contains a combined Powerpoint Slide from the session.

The following link contains the Storify from the session.

The following list provides links to the recordings of the session.

  • Introduction 8:09 minutes
  • Speaker 1 – Prof Lisa Given, Charles Sturt University 10:58 minutes
  • Speaker 2 – Dr Alex Byrne, State Library of New South Wales 13:08 minutes
  • Speaker 3 – Jo Kaeding, University of South Australia & Adelaide Hills Council 14:15 minutes
  • Speaker 4 – John Shipp, Australian Library and Information Association 6:37 minutes
  • Speaker 5 – Holger Aman, NSW Department of Justice and Attorney General and Australian Law Librarians Association 20 minutes
  • Questions 33 minutes
  • Wrap Up 6 minutes

What is a practitioner-researcher?

In a 2013 article Virginia Wilson, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice at the University of Saskatchewa offers the following definition of the practitioner-researcher:

rather than being on the outside looking in, the practitioner-researcher is someone on the inside looking around, observing and attempting to understand what’s going on for the benefit of how things are working on the inside. It is the practitioner reflecting on practice, being curious about practice in a formalized way, and wanting to know more about practice in order to make that practice better

The article Formalized Curiosity: Reflecting on the Librarian Practitioner-Researcher provides critical insights into the practical and theoretical aspect of the practitioner-researcher concept, and its relevance to the library and information profession.

The panel session

The panel session event will provide the opportunity for the library and information community in Australia (and internationally) to critically and intentionally consider questions including:

  • Should Australia’s library and information profession embrace the concept of practitioner–researcher?
    If we should embrace the practitioner-research approach to professional practice, how do we achieve this?
  • Is it a realistic goal or expectation that all library and information professionals should be practitioner researchers?
  • What are the issues and challenges in embracing practitioner-researcher as an approach to professional practice?
  • What are the benefits or opportunities in embracing practitioner-researcher as an approach to professional practice?
  • Will embracing the practitioner-researcher approach enable help ensure the library and information professional continues to be relevant, sustainable and impactful?
  • To what extent is research valued and has impact on the practice of library and information professionals?
  • What are the links and interconnections between library and information professionals and academic researchers?

All library and information professionals and researchers are invited to submit questions or scenarios for the panel to discuss. Submission can be submitted via email ( or twitter (#lisraproject).



  • 10th March 2016


  • 12.00pm-1.30pm QLD
  • 1.00pm-2.30pm NSW ACT, Vic, Tas
  • 11.30am-1pm NT
  • 12.30pm-2pm SA
  • 10.00am-11:30am WA


Online Via Zoom: Simply click on the following link and follow the prompts to install Zoom and participate

For those not able to attend the seminar, you can follow along via Twitter at #lisraproject



Panel members:

Remember this is a free online session which is open to all. There is no need to register, simply follow the prompts at the URL above. If additional information is required please check out our simple Zoom participation guide (PDF).