Sunday, August 28, 2011

Research Journal: The subject

I came to librarianship through a strange path. I was a collegiate debater. I know people who were debaters in high school who are librarians, but it's not the same. The level of competition just isn't there in the high school form of the activity. Nor is the same level of abstraction, discourse, argumentation, scholarship, and chicanery. It's like the difference between playing football in high school, and playing college football.

The particular type of debate I did underwent several seismic shifts while I was competing in it. While none of them altered the form of the debates, the meta structure has significantly shifted. Technology and a self imposed purge of sort massively changed the activity from a hodgepodge of style, to a true hybrid of Extemporaneous speaking and Policy debate. As a result the need for detailed information became larger. At the same time wifi Internet access became a standard service that tournaments provided to their attendees. This moved the old system of paper binders stuffed with briefs to an online system, many teams reportedly use g-mail.

While understanding the impact that access to these resources has was not my intent in creating a research proposal after a preliminary sweep of research I have found that there is surprisingly little written about the research pedagogues of Debaters and their impact on the activity from a practical standpoint. Because of the lack of back ground literature I've decided that I will examine access to determine its actual impact before I begin to look at search strategies and decision making behaviors amongst debaters.

I've chosen to focus on debate for two reasons. First, it is a group close to my heart, and I think that it would be fun to brand myself as a (the) debate librarian. Second, I think that parliamentary debate is a unique role play that can serve as a way to understand how business and government leaders form plans under duress. This has to do with the fact that: 1) Many governmental and business leaders have some form of debate type activity in their background, and 2) Debaters are in some ways attempting to emulate and occupy the head space of leaders.

1 comment:

  1. Nice foundation and rationale for your proposed research.