Research does not begin and end in the library

I just finished reading an article in the most recent Art Documentation. The authors talk about the many and varied sources of information that artists use in their practice. It is a mistake for librarians to ever believe otherwise. I think it is a mistake to believe any researcher stops at proquest or ebsco and is just done.

Maybe research in other professions is narrower or more proscribed, however, and that leads information professionals to expect research to be more discrete. Artists, students or otherwise, find information everywhere. I have been thinking about how the basic studio critique (the dreaded crit!) is often where students start developing the research skills that will take them into the profession. Critiques are a time to discuss and bring new ideas to a work.

An artist-teacher recently had me show students where to find information about non-art topics. I showed them how to follow subject headings for subjects they were not familiar with. I encouraged them to follow up by searching the internet for the terms that were in the subject headings. I pointed out some potential archives they might find useful.

Any information professional who isn’t looking beyond the library is going to lose students and faculty.

Hunt, C. and Jennings M., “My Work Is Work”: Artistic Research Practice and Knowledge Creation in the Work of Carmen Winant and Tomashi Jackson. Art Documentation 33

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