Papers related to church, synagogue, and theological libraries
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In academia the traditional literature review (TLR) is used to provide a summary look at what has been 'done before'. However, critics poiint to the potential for biased representation of topics when TLR are used. A large systematic review methods (SR) literature offers evidence that the shortcomings of TLR might be minimized. Moreover, SR methods themselves are evolving; 'rapid reviews' are a new approach for ‘picturing the literature’ on topics. We report on a 'rapid review' used to ‘map the social science literature’ on the topic of ‘intolerance in religion’, and we discuss our experience with the rapid review method.
In all academic disciplines it is common to see authors refer to what is found in 'the literature'; and in many areas the traditional literature review (TLR) is used to provide a summary look at what has been 'done before'. However, among other concerns, critics have pointed to the potential for biased representation of topics when TLR are used. Some have pointed to concerns with potential unconscious or conscious “cherry picking" of publications to support a reviewers viewpoint, or reviewers using an unrepresentative subset of literature, or to the lack of details about the steps taken or key decisions made as TLR are developed. In response, a large systematic review methods (SR) literature in the health and social sciences offers itself as evidence that the shortcomings of TLR might be significantly reduced. Furthermore, SR methods themselves are evolving; for example,'rapid reviews' are a new approach for those needing to complete initial pictures of what literatures are showing on topics. These are two sample papers on “rapid reviews” as a method:
Expediting systematic reviews: methods and implications of rapid reviews - www.implementationscience.com/content/5/1/56
Evidence summaries: the evolution of a rapid review approach - www.systematicreviewsjournal.com/content/1/1/10
The proposed presentation will present results of a 'rapid review' used to develop a picture of a topic in religion.
The ‘rapid review’ that we will complete will provide the basis for ‘mapping the social science literature’ on the topic of ‘intolerance in religion’. Because one of the core characteristics of rapid reviews involves transparently reporting of methods used, this review could provide a ‘framework’ for additional research on the topic of intolerance, for example readers would have the basis for identifying additional searching that could be used. The ‘framework’ could also be used as a guide, or start, for updating research. Additionally, by providing a description of the ‘rapid review’ methods we used, along with comments about our experience, our report will also contribute to discussions of methods for enhancing rigorous, timely, accurate research on topics in religion. The results also have potential for suggesting how readers might have enhanced confidence in the conclusions presented in such research.
The author has been studying systematic review (SR) methods for over 5 years. His sabbatical focus in 2010 was on the use of SR methods for topics in religion and philosophy. He has published on SR methods in one of the top journals for SR methods: Fehrmann, P., & Thomas, J. (2011). Comprehensive computer searches and reporting in systematic reviews. Research Synthesis Methods, 2(1), 15-32. He is completing a second article to be submitted to the same journal for consideration. A related paper has been accepted for presentation at the annual midwinter meeting of the Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (APA's Division 24), in Atlanta, GA.
Children’s picture books have long been viewed as having the potential to explain difficult topics to children and help them cope with challenging events they may face. Can picture books affect the perception of young people have of horrific events? Can these same books be used for the purpose of bibliotherapy to help children cope with those events that even adults find unimaginable, terrifying and unthinkable! This study investigates the potential discourses or themes that resonate and emerge in picture books following tragic events.
The research methodology will include a content analysis of selected books published following tragic events. Using a grounded theory approach, emergent, persistent and common themes will be identified. Despite the popularity and availability of recommended lists of titles to use with children for the purpose of bibliotherapy, few studies, if any, have addressed the use of picture books to explain horrific events. Additionally, few studies if any, have identified common discourse opportunities or emergent themes of the books addressing tragic events.
It is anticipated the results of this research will illuminate the potential of picture books to foster understanding and provide context of the event for young people. The analysis will be used as a way to understand what discourses are available to the readers both child and adult following a tragic event. Additionally, this research may facilitate the development of suggested activities for adults who may use these picture books in addition to other titles that address challenging topics.
the area of Youth Services in the School of Library and Information Science. Her research areas include school library administration and evaluation, and she is author of Reference Sources and Services for Youth (Neal-Schuman, 2011) and Helping Those Who Hurt Reference Guide (Church and Synagogue Library Association, 2013) She has been an invited speaker at numerous state, national, and international conferences including the Annual Conference of the Church and Synagogue Library Association (2009, 2014) Dr. Harper is co-director of the Virginia Hamilton Multicultural Literature Conference.
This study is seeking to establish a theology of hospitality as it applies to theological librarianship. Throughout world religions, there is a recognition that we are to love and care for the “other.” This paper will define the other for our society today and define a theology of hospitality starting with the way that Jesus demonstrated care for the marginalized in the society of his time. This paper will move forward to define the way that we see the other among us today. The goal is to define how I see hospitality playing a role in my ministry as a librarian in a theological seminary.
The first thing that this paper will do is to attempt to define what is meant when we talk about “the other.” The author will go on to establish how a theology of hospitality might be defined. Some aspects of the definition will include why a theology of hospitality is important, what are some obstacles to implementing such a theology, and what does this theology look like. This section of the paper will be researched through the use of articles and essays that demonstrate previous research to see what has been done by other theologians, what has been successful and what questions are left unanswered.
The next step will be to apply this research to the role of theological librarianship. This section of research will be done by consulting articles and essays to see what previous research has been done. I will also consult with some colleagues who participated in a panel discussion on the theology of hospitality at the 2012 Annual Conference of the American Theological Library Association. It is a result of this discussion that I became interested in pursuing this topic and trying to apply a theology of hospitality to my role as public services librarian in a seminary setting.
Hospitality has always been a part of the teachings of the church. The writer of the book of Hebrews states “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Heb. 13:2, NRSV). Jesus taught that we should feed the hungry, provide water to the thirsty, visit the sick and in prison. This ministry is not just for those who are part of our communities, but extends to the stranger among us who is in need.
As librarians, our role is to serve our patrons, whether they are those who attend our universities, seminaries, or live within the borders of our communities. The question that often comes with this service is how far do we go to serve? We know that it is a bad idea to give unauthorized medical, legal, or tax advice, but how far do we go to help our students with research? In a broader sense, how do we serve those in our wider communities who need a place to spend the day because they are homeless, or how should we help those who require help that is beyond our capacities?
I am hoping that through this research, I can define a theology of hospitality that will work within the community in which I serve as a librarian both for the members of my smaller community and for those who wander in from outside looking for some assistance.