Directed Studies Opportunities (Summer)

As last year, UBC iSchool faculty is offering help to students interested in obtaining extra credits during the summer sessions. The following are opportunities to take a Directed Studies (LIBR 592, LIBR 594) or Collaborative Research (LIBR 597) course with a designated faculty member.

If you are interested in one of the topics below, contact the supervisor(s) directly. If you are interested in working in an area not listed below, you are encouraged to approach other faculty members directly. Please review course topics before contacting faculty members, as these broadly reflect the supervisor’s area of interest. Please note that faculty members have a limited number of available spots, and they may not be able to accommodate you.


Dr. Tess Prendergast

Dr. Prendergast is available to supervise any Directed Studies (LIBR592, LIBR594) project related to children’s library services, literacy development, public library responses to COVID-19, or professional development for public library staff who serve children & families.


Dr. Lisa Nathan and Dr. Luanne Sinnamon

They seek two students to participate in a summer session of Collaborative Research (LIBR 597) on the topic Indigenous knowledge and competencies for LAIS education: Listening with humility.

For decades Indigenous information professionals and scholars have generously written reports, articles, blog posts, and books, as well as contributed to countless talks and panels, sharing insights on how to better engage with Indigenous knowledge throughout LAIS education. Through this project, we will collectively gather, engage, and discuss prior work and expertise on this topic with the goal of informing internal curriculum discussions and preparing a funding application for a Canada-wide LAIS project. The core of the collaborative research project will be weekly open reading groups, where we will discuss related papers, reports, etc. We will also engage with invited guests on this topic. Students enrolled in this course will develop skills in several areas, including conducting literature reviews, seminar facilitation, reciprocal research practices, and grant writing. Students participating in the First Nations Curriculum Concentration and/or those with related interests, experience and knowledge are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please send a note to Drs. Sinnamon and Nathan expressing interest if you would like to receive more details.


Dr. Erik Kwakkel

Dr. Kwakkel encourages students to contact him for either LIBR592 or LIBR594. Possible topics and deliverables:

  • Any essay or project-based research related to medieval manuscripts or incunabula, using digitized materials
  • Creating an exhibition in Omeka based on digitized objects of any period and subject matter in UBC Library’s Open Collections
  • Learning to describe manuscripts and fragments by creating descriptions of material present in UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections (based on digitized materials, not in situ consultation). This topic is especially suitable for students who have taken LIBR548F, although arrangements can be made for others.


Dr. Heather O’Brien

Dr. O’Brien is concluding a research program that examined user engagement in exploratory search environments.  Two studies were conducted with online searchers and digital library users to examine the relationships between searchers’ characteristics, search tasks, engagement, and learning outcomes. Several academic papers have been published, and more are in progress.  The purpose of the collaborative study is to mobilize the research findings to more general audiences through different media, e.g., infographics, editorials, and ensure that existing scholarly publications are uploaded to cIRcle UBC’s institutional repository.

She is seeking a student to support end-of-project dissemination of research findings. For more information about this Collaborative Research (LIBR 597) opportunity, please read the full description.

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