How To Create A Knotworking In The Library

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Do the libraries meet

researchers’ needs?

Anne Laitinen

Center for Research on Activity, Development, and Learning

(CRADLE)

University of Helsinki, Finland

The Knotworking in the Library research group: Yrjö Engeström, Heli

Kaatrakoski, Johanna Lahikainen, Anne Laitinen & Juhana Rantavuori

19.12.2012 Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Why invest

much at all in the university library when

journals, reference works, and soon tens of millions of

books and monographs, both in and out of print, will be

available effortlessly and online

?

(Daniel Greenstein, Vice Provost

for academic planning and programs in the University of California System, 2010)

The overall challenges in library work also affect

researchers’ needs

19.12.2012 2

Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne Laitinen

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Organizing, archiving, restoring huge amounts of research

data and as well as reconceptualizing publishing processes

Detailed description of research data and a plan of their life

span

Regular international evaluations of research

Researchers need new kinds of support services

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Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta / Henkilön nimi / Esityksen nimi

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Embedded librarianship

“distinctive innovation that moves the librarians out of

libraries and creates a new model of library and

information work (...) and emphasizes a strong working

relationship between the librarian and a group or team of

people who need the librarian’s expertise”

Shumaker (2012)

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Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne Laitinen

Attempts to meet these needs

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Knotworking

The aim of our project was to model and test a new kind

of partnership model,

knotworking

model between

librarians and research groups

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Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne Laitinen

Attempts to meet these needs

2/2

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19.12.2012 6 Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta / Henkilön nimi

/ Esityksen nimi

What is knotworking?

“Rapidly pulsating, distributed and partially improvised

orchestration of collaborative performance between

otherwise loosely connected actors and activity

systems.”

“Knotworking is characterized by a pulsating movement

of tying, untying and retying together otherwise separate

threads of activity. The tying and dissolution of a knot of

collaborative work is not reducible to any specific

individual or fixed organizational entity as the center of

control. The center does not hold. The locus of initiative

changes from moment to moment within a knotworking

sequence.”

Engeström, Engeström & Vähäaho (1999).

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19.12.2012 7 Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne

Laitinen

In expansive learning participants of the activity system

redefine their object of activity

In this context, librarians need to redefine the object of

their work in order to better serve the research groups

The method used is the Change Laboratory

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Expansive learning and

knotworking

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19.12.2012 8 Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta / Henkilön nimi

/ Esityksen nimi

Change Laboratory

The Change Laboratory method to bring about

expansive learning in organizations

Mirror material (interviews before and discussions

during the sessions) to stimulate the discussion and

development actions

CL typically includes 5-10 weekly sessions and a

follow-up period

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19.12.2012 9 Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne

Laitinen

Change Laboratory in the library

MODEL, VISION IDEAS, TOOLS MIRROR

FUTURE

NOW

PAST

Subject Community Rules Division of labor Object> Outcome

Tools * Videotaped work

situations * Customer feedback * Statistics * etc.

Workers

Scribe

VIDEOS

ARCHIVES,

LIBARY

PC

Practitioners

Researcher-interventionists

Video projector Video camera

(Source: Engeström, 2007)

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19.12.2012 10 Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne

Laitinen

The project:

Knotworking in the Library

1) Viikki Campus Library (biological and environmental sciences)

2009-2010

Change Laboratory with two pilot research groups (Cyanobacteria

and Peatland Ecology) and 15 library professionals, 6 sessions

2) City Centre Campus Library (social and behavioral sciences and

humanities) 2010-2011

Change Laboratory with four pilot research groups (Cognitive

Science, Communication Law, Finnish Language, Gender Studies)

and 18 library professionals, 9 sessions

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Cyanobacteria researcher:

“I haven’t exactly figured out what it [DMP] ultimately means. In

the past I’ve simply written some paragraph”

“Well, what are the existing data management plans? I mean,

what can we do better? What new can we introduce into it?

Otherwise we’re merely imitating others. We need to create

our own thing here”

“Can I mention that this has been done as a case in

collaboration with you [the library]?”

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/ Esityksen nimi

Quotes from researchers: Viikki and

the Data Management Plan case 1/2

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Viikki Data Management Plan case

2/2

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Quotes from researchers: City

Centre Campus Library 1/2

Cognitive scientist

:

“Today we had a fire drill. This is an example of a possible threat,

because our data would have burned. I mean, everybody grabbed

their own laptops but did anyone think of taking the external hard

drive along? …We store everything on external hard drives. So if you

want one particular file, then you ask a colleague on which drive it is.

And the answer is that it’s probably on that drive. And then you look,

it could be here, it could be there. Before I left for my holidays I made

back-ups of everything I’m involved in and it took the whole day to

track the files down, I mean, finding out which computer was used

and how the data are registered.”

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

“this [random practices in storing data] may lead to not

being able to use perfectly valid data due to serious

shortcomings in the storing practices” (By the Head of

the cognitive sciences group)

19.12.2012 17 Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta / Henkilön nimi

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Quotes from researhcers: City

Centre Campus Library 1/2

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

DMP allowed the cyanobacteria researcher

to detect possible

overlaps or vulnerabilities, and improve the description of the

data”

Collaboration with the library produced an outcome that was

shockingly good and ground-breaking”

The library set up a web page to allow the information

gathered for the DMP to be spread

The library director:

we are now learning how to

knotwork…which involves learning new things constantly”

we need to open the windows wide, and assign ourselves

with accountability so that a whole lot more things are my

business nowadays”

19.12.2012 18 Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne

Laitinen

How were researchers’ needs met in

the Viikki Campus Library?

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QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR DATA MANAGEMENT

Section 1. Description of the study and the data

Section 1.1. Meta documents for the study and the data

Section 1.2. Possibilities for further development of metadata

(documentation) of research process and research data

Section 2. Description of individual experiments

Section 2.1. Meta documents of the experiment

Section 2.2. Possibilities for further development of individual

experiment data

Section 3. Description of recordings

Section 3.1. Meta documents of the recordings

Section 3.2. Possibilities for further development of

recordings metadata

How were researchers’ needs met in

the City Centre Campus Library?

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Libraries cannot serve each individual researcher as craft

work

Research groups as the focus

However, there is confusion about what a

research group

is

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Implementing the knotworking

model

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Researcher 2: Well, the concept is a little… I don’t know what it is,

but it is…

Researcher 1: ## Yes..

Researcher 2: ...somehow odd, but on the other hand, well this is

---Interviewer: ## You don’t use the concept of a research group,

then?

Researcher 2: Yes, we are a group, and this project is the group (…)

but more like some “super group”...

Researcher 1: Yes, on a subject level and that kind of thing.

Researcher 2: Yes, yes. Maybe that is a more familiar term. Or a

centre, we can talk about “the centre” (…) in everyday language.

But why not, well, this is a group.

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Institute of Behavioural Sciences/ CRADLE/ Anne Laitinen

Conceptual confusion in humanities and

social sciences: “

What is a research group?”

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www.helsinki.fi/yliopisto

Focus on research groups rather than individual

researchers

Redefinition of the concept of a research group

New type of collaboration through knotworking to meet

the needs of researchers

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Faculty of Behavioral Sciences/ CRADLE Heli Kaatrakoski, Juhana Rantavuori

Thank you!

Anne Laitinen

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