Core Competencies


Special Project



Professor Mary E. Brown, Ph.D.
Catalog Description
Fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research methods will be studied. Central research findings and research literature of the field are considered. Each students prepares a Special Project proposal to meet the Graduate School and MLS requirements.
Learning Goals/Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of research in the creation of new knowledge.
  • Explain and demonstrate the components of the research cycle.
  • Define research problems and scientific research procedures in general.
  • Describe the philosophical concepts and methodologies involved in library and information studies.
  • Describe the role of research in library and information services.
  • Analyze and critically evaluate existing research.
  • Assess the actual and potential value of new research.
  • Describe a variety of research methods and approaches.
  • Identify an area of study and plan for conducting empirical research and analyzing collected data.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ethical issues of research including human participant research.

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Highlights: This course lived up to its reputation of being very challenging and unlike any other. Consisting of the two main projects required to receive the M.L.S., it drew upon all my analytical and written communication skills. The first project, the Capstone Portfolio you are currently reading, is a reflection of skills acquired throughout my studies. This self-analysis exercise sharpened my writing and Web site building skills. 

The second, the Special Project and deliverable report, taxed my report writing skills. Not only did I learn a great deal about how libraries attempt to evaluate the value of their services, I gained first hand experience in the process as I implemented various methodologies and analyzed different outputs to draw conclusions for Trumbull Library System's service values. My efforts were recognized during the process as the Connecticut Post highlighted the project and patron survey in a March 30, 2010 article. After completion of the Special Project, the Trumbull Library acknowledged the findings and began the process of incorporating the findings in the Library's long and short-term objectives, as reported in the Connecticut Post's follow-up article on October 26, 2010. Subsequently, a patron wrote an appreciative letter to the editor on November 2, 2010.

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