Reflections on the Evolving Role of Information Intermediaries project: Kristina’s perspective

In May 2022, STOREE collaborator Kristina McDavid reflected on her 12-month study leave, during which she worked on the project “The Evolving Role of Information Intermediaries,” which consisted of an interview study of 24 Canadian participants investigating the role of librarians and archivists in knowledge exchange work.

The study focused on three main research questions:

  1. How are information professionals engaging in knowledge work?
  2. What competencies do they have/need to do this work?
  3. What are the challenges and opportunities?

The researchers used exploratory questions to get a sense of information professionals’ relationship to knowledge exchange, and what skills they used to carry out this work.

Kristina highlighted some overall findings from the study. Key emerging themes among participants included evaluation, relationships, personal & professional identity, social justice, community, career paths, job satisfaction, collaboration, reflections on library and information studies curricula, and challenges & barriers to this work. Information professionals are uniquely suited to knowledge exchange work due to their embedded nature – they deeply understand the needs, barriers, and opportunities of those they work with. Information professionals also often take a social justice approach by thinking about how and why they are doing their work and bringing an excitement to learn and try new things.

Kristina also reflected on her experience on study leave. Her activities included research, questionnaire development, ethics approval, participant recruitment, interviews, transcribing, recordkeeping and data management, data analysis, and writing. She found it was important to have a strong team, reserve time for writing, and hire a professional transcription service. She identified next steps at this point in the project would be further data analysis, writing and dissemination, and a project on non-academic literature reviews.

To learn more about this project, click here.