Writer’s resource: The Researching Librarian

Image courtesy of Beth Ashmore


The Researching Librarian is a great website for librarians conducting “research for purposes of publication, promotion, tenure, or other reasons.”1 Created by Kerry Smith, an independent indexer, editor, and writer,2 and maintained by Beth Ashmore, a librarian, editor, and manuscript reviewer,3 The Researching Librarian is an independent volunteer project which is clearly organized by type of resource (Databases, Funding, Journals, Statistics, Tools, Awareness, and Proceedings).

The Databases section includes some unique databases, including the Anthropological Index of the Royal Anthropological Institute for museum and anthropology research and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Abstracts Database for prison library research.

The Funding section has a number of resources devoted to helping you write grants, identify charity leaders and fund raisers, etc.

The Statistics section is useful for librarians in need of statistics on circulation, collections, personnel, etc. A librarian could use this resource to compare and contrast their library’s annual expenditures with other libraries, for example.

Next, the Tools section features a wide variety of resources, including Randomizer, which helps researchers conduct studies using random sampling, and Topicgraph, which saves researchers time by quickly navigating to the section(s) within a book most relevant to the researcher’s topic.

The Awareness section is primarily devoted to library and information science news sources, such as the Informed Librarian Online and LISNews, while the Proceedings section is devoted to LIS conference information.

Due to the site’s emphasis on practical resources covering grant funding, statistics, etc., librarians will probably use it more frequently than student writers. However, LIS students should definitely give this resource a look. In particular, students in a class on information professions would benefit tremendously from this resource, especially when working on a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, honing their grant-writing skills, etc. Additionally, the Journals section is a great feature for LIS students who want to quickly compare and contrast LIS publications. Simply stated, then, if you’re an LIS student, don’t let The Researching Librarian slip under your radar. It’s chock-full of unique resources that will benefit you both as a student and in your future career as a librarian.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. “About this Site,” The Researching Librarian, accessed April 7, 2018, http://www.researchinglibrarian.com/index.html
  2. Beth Ashmore, email message to author, April 15, 2018
  3. “CV for Beth Ashmore,” The Researching Librarian, accessed April 7, 2018, http://www.researchinglibrarian.com/home/cv.html
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