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K-State Today

June 24, 2019

Gonzalez-led research team receives inaugural Gail Schlachter Memorial Research Grant

Submitted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt

A team led by Adriana Gonzalez, K-State Libraries' head of academic services, has been selected as the inaugural winner of the Gail Schlachter Memorial Research Grant. This award offers financial support to an individual or collaborative group conducting research into reference or user services.

Gonzalez's research team members include Jason Coleman, head of library user services; Ryan Otto, scholarly communication librarian; and Joelle Pitts, head of content development. Their work sits at the intersection between reference services, the subject librarian staffing model and scholarly communication.

The group intends to use the ongoing collections cuts at K-State as an opportunity to explore modes of and barriers to communication between librarians and faculty. They will examine discussions that occur — or in some cases, don't occur — about the serials crisis and the ongoing need to cancel resources.

During the most recent round of cuts, a survey to the faculty about titles under consideration for cancellation during our most recent round of cuts drew more than 2,240 comments from 435 researchers on approximately 500 of the 924 titles.

"Librarians with content development responsibilities want to gather all of the feedback at their disposal when it comes to potential cancellations," Gonzalez said. "While we were pleased with the overall response to the survey this spring, there were 13 departments from which we didn't receive any responses. We want to know more about why they did not weigh in and what we can do to encourage them to join in these vital discussions."

The group plans a survey, focus groups and interviews with faculty.

The Gail Schlachter Memorial Research Grant was established in memory of Gail A. Schlachter by her children Sandy Hirsh and Eric Goldman. Schlachter worked for nearly five decades in the library and information fields as a reference librarian, a library administrator, a library educator, an author of library-oriented reference works, a reviewer of reference resources, and publisher at Reference Service Press of both print and electronic materials.