Helen Reid

Proposed title

Learning on the job. How can academic library staff keep up to date with emerging technologies


Technology has become a major driver in the higher education field, and in so doing is changing the ways that information is accessed, used and stored within teaching, learning and research practice. To continue to value add and meet the information needs of their clients, library staff need to be constantly learning about, evaluating and training others in the area of emerging technologies. With the pressure of tightening budgets, diversifying services, and an increased emphasis on workplace learning strategies, finding a way for library staff to incorporate a sustainable and cost effective means of ongoing learning into their everyday practice is vital.

The proposed research has identified a gap in the current research in the area of praxis development and the use of a self-directed learning process as a means to incorporate the learning about emerging technology into everyday practice of academic librarians. This proposed research will work with current practitioners to develop their understanding of praxis, identification of practice architectures and self-directed learning principles to identify if these can assist them in recognizing and reflecting on learning experiences and incorporating meaningful, ongoing learning into their everyday practice.

Through an action research method, working through three cycles of plan, act, observe, and reflect, participants will explore how they currently keep up to date with emerging technologies, and whether actively using self-directed learning principles to develop praxis in this area has an impact on their learning experiences.

While researched extensively in the education field currently, this proposed research will further the research in the area of praxis development in the information management field, having possible implications for the curriculum taught in formal education in this area. The proposed research will also have implications in the continuous learning not only about emerging technologies but in other areas of information management.

Research Questions

The proposed research project addresses the question of whether self-directed learning can assist academic library staff to improve their praxis of incorporate continuous learning about emerging technologies into their everyday professional practice.

  1. How are academic librarians currently learning about emerging technology as part of their everyday practice?
  2. How do academic librarians perceive that self-directed learning can assist them in their ongoing learning about emerging technology within their individual work context?
  3. How do participants experience the development of praxis in their learning about emerging technologies throughout the research project?

Why I chose CSU

I had completed my Masters in Information Management through CSU so it made sense to approach the university when I was interested in beginning a PhD!

Engagement and memberships

Associate Certified Professional - ALIA


Reid, Helen. LIANZA; 2013. Learning emerging technologies: whose responsibility is it?. http://www.lianza.org.nz/sites/lianza.org.nz/files/p40_helen_reid.pdf

Reid, H. & Tairi, K. (2012). Opening up the playground: supporting library staff to learn through play. VALA 2012. Retrieved from http://www.vala.org.au/docman/vala2012-proceedings/vala2012-session-10-reid-paper/download

Reid, H. (2012).Play and Learn. InCite (32)7, p. 23.

Current candidate profiles