Pionke Receives CRB Award for Research on Disability Awareness and Libraries

JJ Pionke, Applied Health Sciences Librarian, was awarded the Arnold O. Beckman Research Award by the Campus Research Board. The award of $24,694 will enable Pionke to launch a multi-staged research project.

The first stage will involve ascertaining the level of training in library and information science graduate programs, the current requirements and course offerings that focus on disability awareness of programs, and the attitudes and training needs of current practitioners, through the use of tailored national surveys. Pionke will then analyze the survey results to form best practices guidelines for the creation of a similar program to be created at a future date to address training needs in librarianship.  The second stage of the project will involve the creation of a comprehensive multidisciplinary literature review of compassion and disability awareness related training programs.  The third stage will involve creating a training evaluation rubric based on the analysis of the literature review.

Pionke says her project is a direct result of previous projects that indicate “there is a need to know what we think we are teaching library graduate students, what library graduate students are actually learning, and what current library professionals feel that they need to know when it comes to accessibility and disabilities.” She goes on to clarify that getting an overall view of accessibility education is only one aspect of the project. “The other is to explore via scoping review, what other service professions have done in regards to educational programs that incorporate mindfulness, empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence,” said Pionke.  

Pionke says the project will serve as a pilot for a larger grant to be applied for from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Illinois Campus Research Board was established in 1932 to serve the campus as a conduit for the distribution of funding to support full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty members’ research projects and creative activities. In 1980, Dr. and Mrs. Arnold O. Beckman initiated the Beckman Research Endowment with a major gift to the Campus Research Board and a challenge to the University of Illinois to develop matching private support. In the course of the regular review process, the Board selects projects of special distinction or promise for designation as Arnold O. Beckman Awards.

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