Research Methods for Librarians and Educators
Practical Applications in Formal and Informal Learning Environments
by Ruth V. Small and Marcia A. Mardis, Editors
April 2018, 310pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-4962-6
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4963-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This textbook is for librarians and educators tasked with conducting research in their libraries for a variety of reasons—including demonstrating value, improving their library, or justifying changes.

Using an innovative, real-world approach that makes the research problem and method relevant and valuable to the reader, this book provides a broad overview of research methods used in library and information studies and associated fields.

Research remains a core purpose of every library. This book provides a text for LIS students and a practical handbook to librarians and other educators who need to conduct research in their libraries. In Research Methods for Librarians and Educators, contributors reinforce the essential nature of research and provide readers with the confidence that they can conduct research to find solutions to various problems and improve their libraries and library programs.

The book details various research methodologies and uses a unique perspective on research that presents authentic scenarios to immediately make the research problem and method relevant and valuable to the reader. It covers topics ranging from various research methods, including Causal, Collaborative, Design-Based Research, Longitudinal, and Mixed Methods, as well as interview methods, learning assessment, literature review, and observation and survey methods.

Each chapter includes questions intended to spark discussion and deeper reflection that make the book more useful in learning settings. The summary charts throughout provide a handy and easy reference for readers who want a quick refresher on the research method without rereading the entire chapter.


  • Explains the complex topic of research methodology and statistics in simple, straightforward language
  • Provides examples that help clarify key concepts and points and answer potential questions
  • Supplies guidance with practical applications, allowing readers to see how research methods may be applied to specific situations
Ruth V. Small is Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Information Studies at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. She is the author of more than 100 professional publications and recipient of two national research awards, the AASL Highsmith Research Award and the ALA's Carroll Preston Baber Research Award. Small has been awarded more than two dozen government and foundation grants for her work.

Marcia A. Mardis is an associate professor and assistant dean at the College of Communication & Information at Florida State University (FSU). She is the author of two books and many journal papers, reports, and articles for practitioners. Winner of several national research awards, Mardis has been a Fulbright Visiting Professor and distinguished fellow of two national research organizations. Her areas of interest are information in schools, digital learning, and broadband in rural communities. Mardis manages the FSU PALM Center Facebook page.


"Well organized, readers can choose to use this text in a variety of ways, increasing the book’s value as a go-to resource. Read straight through, Small and Mardis provide readers with a primer on research methods. Those with less time and/or a more focused goal in mind can focus on scenarios, find the one which best resembles their own research question, and then choose one from a variety of research methods."—ARBA, August 4, 2018
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