Paul Kloppenborg

Proposed title

Library support and the scholarly information behaviour of Higher Education lecturers in TAFE: a constructivist grounded theory


This study will contribute to understanding how the scholarly information behaviour of Higher Education (HE) lecturers in TAFE institutes that now deliver their own HE courses, are supported by its library. At its core is the move by Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions into HE, and the role of its library in supporting that move. TAFE institutes have traditionally delivered Vocational Education and Training (VET). The move by TAFE institutes into HE delivery demands a level of scholarship absent from VET which has a focus on prescribed programs, compliance and competencies to meet industry standards.

Since 2005, Bachelor degrees have been delivered in both Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) sectors. In Victoria, a number of TAFE institutions have offered their own HE qualifications. These emergent or 'niche' degree qualifications are strongly applied and vocational in focus, flexible in their academic structure and delivery, and supportive of non-traditional cohorts of students seeking HE qualifications. A principal institutional requirement of HE accreditation that allows delivery of these qualifications is teacher scholarship. Scholarship involves the exchange of ideas and practices, especially in relation to disciplinary knowledge and is central to Higher Education. Teacher scholarship has generally been absent in TAFE institutes, as their traditional delivery has been based on competency based vocational education and training.

Information behaviour underpins the development of scholarship. The library has a role in supporting the scholarly information behaviour of academic staff. University libraries offer support through services such as liaison librarians, collection development, electronic databases and digital repositories. There is little research about how TAFE libraries support the scholarly information behaviour of HE lecturers in TAFE.

An interpretivist paradigm is proposed for the study. The aim is to explore and describe participant experience in the emergent hybrid post-secondary education sector of HE TAFE. A qualitative research approach using constructivist grounded theory methodology will be used. Participants will include HE lecturers, librarians, research officers and HE department managers. Data will be collected from two major sources: semi structured interviews with participants and documentary analysis. The intended outcome is a constructivist grounded theory of improved understanding of TAFE libraries, lecturer scholarship in VET, scholarly information behaviour of HE lecturers in a non-university context, scholarly and research capability and capacity building in TAFE, and the level of library support in a mixed or hybrid education sector..


Kloppenborg , P. and Ruddy, C. (2014). Same Truth, Different Reality: Information literacy practices in Vocational and Vocational/Higher Education TAFE libraries. ALIA Biennial Conference, Melbourne. Retrieve at

Ruddy, C. & Kloppenborg, P. (2013). Same, same but different: Higher Education, TAFE Libraries and Student Information Literacy Training. TAFE Australasian Library Conference, Brisbane, November 21-22, 2013. Retrieve at:

Lagos, E., Kloppenborg, P. & Alebaki, M. (2013). Tweet me a Drink: The Use of Social Media in Victoria's (Australia) Wine Tourism Industry. Journal of Marketing Vistas. 3(2), pp. 11-24.

Kloppenborg, P. (2012) Victorian TAFE libraries make their case. Incite.

Kloppenborg, P. (2012) Building research capability through special collections in University and Polytechnic libraries. Consal XV International Library Conference, May 2012, Bali

Harris, A. & Kloppenborg, P. (2012) Developing research capacity in a shifting landscape - the case of Australian tourism and hospitality education. Asia-Pacific journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism. 1(2) pp.125-143

Kloppenborg, P. The adventures of Slippery Bob and Kangaroo Steamer- a gastronomic miscellany of the Australian colony. Tablet to Tablet ePub (Tercio Publishing).

Southern, R. & Kloppenborg, P. (2012). Lighthouse. Lulu Publishing.

Kloppenborg, P. (2011) Are we there yet:  the higher education TAFE library and the dual sector model. Connection and convergence: Second International conference on joint use libraries, Adelaide,. Published Auslib Press.

Lagos, E. & Kloppenborg, P. (2011) Tweet me a drink: social media and the Victorian Winery Industry. International Tourism and Media Conference, 28-30 November 2011.

Kloppenborg, P & Lodge, D. (2010) Forgotten anything: library staff competencies for the learning commons. Library Management. 31(3) pp. 169-185.

Kloppenborg, P. (2010) Higher Education in TAFE: a new mixed sector library paradigm. Australian Academic & Research Library Journal. Vol. 41 (3) pp. 192-206.

Kloppenborg, P. & Scantlebury, M. (2010)  Goodbye white gloves - special collections and food. First international conference on Pop. Culture.

Kloppenborg, P. (2009) Victorian Regional TAFE library support. Incite.

Kloppenborg, P. (2009). That's special: an investigation of Australian TAFE Libraries rare and special collections. ALIA

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