Journal Article: “A Database Tells No Tales: Narrating Inquiry with LibGuides”
The article linked below was recently published by The Journal of Creative Library Practice.
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
The Journal of Creative Library Practice
November 30, 2022
From the Article:
I have written at some length elsewhere on how the conscious development of LibGuides as full-fledged web resources can promote creativity, community, and intellectual exploration within and beyond academic libraries. In the present piece, I want to show specifically how LibGuides can support the process of academic research by mapping out the continents of scholarship and narrating the story of inquiry through an intellectually substantial and aesthetically cohesive web experience. While the ‘stuff in a box’ database search model certainly outpaces a curated LibGuide in terms of currency and breadth, the latter triumphs over the former when it comes to revealing the structure and direction of scholarly discourse in space and time. In pedagogical terms, this means students and scholars can gain genuine, humane insight into the work of scholarship – not as a faceless and automatic activity proliferating various kinds of digital objects, as impersonal and relentless as the operations of a laptop CPU, but rather as a series of actions and reflections experienced by human beings both individually and collectively, transacted across historical, geographic, and cultural boundaries, and reflecting the full depth of human concerns, passions, anxieties, and aspirations. More than anything else, after all, this is the image of intellectual life we seek to transmit, not merely because it is faithful to the messiness and grandeur of scholarship, nor because it offers the widest range of affordances to experienced working scholars, but primarily because it has the effect of an invitation to participate addressed to all who encounter it – at a moment when inclusion, accessibility, and engagement are among the highest values we claim for our profession. Quite simply: telling the story of scholarship, rather than merely delivering a selection of its products, empowers those who receive the story to become a part of it.
Direct to Full Text Article (6950 words)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.