The Research Education Program actualizes the Library’s dedication to supporting student researchers in their understanding, application and enjoyment of research. At the core of our program is the collaboration with students on the process of their research. This approach reflects our enthusiasm in working with students, commitment to excellence, and excitement to imaginatively engage information in all of its fascinating manifestations.
In our robust educational programs, we conduct research education as part of a broad and complex learning process. To this end, our research workshops and presentations are course-specific, designed to promote the research practices fundamental to various academic disciplines, unique approaches of individual faculty, and intellectual interests of each student.
Classroom interactions are just one context for research education at the Trinity College Library. A second important learning context is the individual research consultation. As an iterative process, research takes place over an extended period of time. Researchers questions often change and their research strategies need reinforcement or adjustment. Librarians frequently work one-on-one or with small groups on any aspect of their research process—no question is too big or too small.
In our consultations, we put the researcher in the active role of a guided inquiry—in the driver’s seat, as it were. We use a space dedicated to consultations, a simple and informal space that supports conversation and questioning. In our consultation space, the student researcher uses the mouse and keyboard to navigate through our Web site. The librarian offers direction and explanation. Our model is that of a lateral pedagogy: the process is authentic, collaborative and centered on integrating the research process into the researcher’s subjective framework.
Research education depends upon communication with students in a variety of contexts, both in person and digital, from the instant message to the planned meeting. As librarians, we want to make our availability known, and we want to be available in the variety of physical and digital contexts visited by students.
Research librarians are active partners in the community of learners that is Trinity College, and are committed to assessing and improving our programs to better sustain our role in that community. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to include us in their academic imaginings and explorations.