Dr Briony Birdi

BA (Hull), MA (Sheffield), PhD (Sheffield), MCLIP

Information School

Senior Lecturer

A photo of Senior Lecturer Dr Briony Birdi
b.birdi@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 2653

Full contact details

Dr Briony Birdi
Information School
Regent Court (IS)
211 Portobello
Sheffield
S1 4DP
Profile

After completing a modern languages degree at Hull University in 1995, I worked for a year as a Graduate Trainee for the Taylor Institute at Oxford University. This led to a place on the MA in Librarianship here at Sheffield University, after which I became a Marketing Manager for Waterstone’s (previously Dillons) booksellers (1997-9), where I worked with booksellers, publishers and public librarians to promote books and reading to younger and adult readers. I then moved to the Centre for Information Research, Birmingham City University where, as a Research Fellow, I worked on a wide range of reading and literacy-related projects (1999-2002). I returned to Sheffield in 2002 as a Research Associate in the Centre for the Public Library and Information in Society, based in the Department of Information Studies (now the Information School), and in 2003 I obtained an academic post in the same department. Since 2009 I have been working at the University on a part-time basis, balancing an academic career and a family life.

University Responsibilities

  • Co-Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion - Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Deputy Programme Coordinator for MA Library and Information Services Management (Distance Learning).
  • Module Coordinator:
    - Libraries, Information and Society (INF6180)
    - Public and Youth Library Services (INF6031)
    - Public and Youth Library Services ( distance learning, INF6531)
Research interests

My research interests and experience are broadly focused in the following areas:

  • Public library services
  • Library services for children and young people
  • Social justice
  • Reading research and the promotion of literature and reading.

More specifically, my work relates to the social, political and educational roles of public and youth libraries in society, with a particular focus on diversity, social justice and reading. I am happy to supervise PhD projects related to any of these areas.

Since 1999 I have initiated and been involved in a wide range of research and evaluation projects, varying in length from 3 months to 3 years. These have been funded by a wide range of organisations, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (national and regional), the British Council, the Learning and Skills Council, DCMS/Wolfson Public Libraries Challenge fund, the former Library and Information Commission, the former British National Bibliography Research fund, Opening the Book Ltd., The Reading Agency, The Arts Councils of England and Wales, local authorities (individual and consortia).

I was awarded the Runner Up prize in the 2016 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation award, and I was the first academic recipient outside North America: https://ischools.org/Dissertation-Award-Past-Winners

I have a particular interest in the dissemination of research and in turning research into practice, and I have varied experience of teaching, training and consultancy. My research is regularly disseminated through my teaching on the MA in Librarianship and MA LISM programmes, and to the wider profession via publications in peer-reviewed and professional journals.

I am a member of the Libraries and Information Society Research Group.

Publications

Books

  • Elkin J, Train B & Denham D (2003) Reading and reader development. Library Assn Pub Ltd. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Birdi B & Willett P (2017) Research In Bowman J (Ed.), British librarianship and information work 2011-2015 (pp. 378-392). View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Birdi B (2012) The changing shape of reading - the 21st-century challenge In Rankin C (Ed.), Library services for children and young people (pp. 39-48). Facet Publishing View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Birdi (2003) Reader development In Elkin J, Birdi B & Denham D (Ed.), Reading and Reader Development The Pleasure of Reading (pp. 30-58). London: Facet Pub. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2003) Reading research. In Feather J & Sturges P (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (pp. 544-546). London/New York: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Birdi B (2015) Not just for ethnics: exploring the impact of a black fiction intervention on public library users. Interpreting Communities: Minority Writing in European Literary Fields View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Birdi B (2010) 'We are here because you were there': minority ethnic genre fiction in UK public libraries.. http://conference.ifla.org/conference/past/ifla76/2010-08-14.htm. Gothenburg, Sweden, 8 August 2010 - 15 August 2010. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2007) A promocao da leitura nas bibliotecas publicas do Reino Unido (Reading promotion in UK public libraries). Cadernos do Il Encontro Oeiras a Ler - A promocao da Leitura n as Bibliotecas Publicas Europeias. Oeiras, Portugal, 24 May 2007 - 25 May 2007. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2006) Research on family reading: an international perspective. http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla72/index.htm. Seoul, Korea, 20 August 2006 - 24 August 2006. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2004) Library-based literacy programs. http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla70/papers/174e-Train.pdf. Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 2004. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Birdi B (2002) The impact of national literacy and reader development initiatives in the UK: keynote presentation. www.rogaland.fylkesbibl.no/konferanse/forstaa.htm. Stavanger, Norway RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2002) International reading survey: presentation of findings. www.ifla.org/VII/s33/project/irs.htm. Glasgow, Scotland View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2001) Reading research in the United Kingdom. http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla67/pprog-e.htm#4. Boston, US View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Reports

  • Birdi B, Pinfield S, Wakeling S & Rutter S (2015) Investigating interlending: a scoping study of resource discovery, sharing and cooperation View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wilson K & Birdi B (2008) The right 'man' for the job? The role of empathy in community librarianship: final project report. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simmons S & Train B (2006) Stock Quality Health Check: an evaluation RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wilson B & Train B (2005) North West Public Libraries Joint Commissioning Project. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wilson K & Train B (2005) Give me a break: evaluation of the first national public library book promotion in Wales RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wilson K & Train B (2005) Libraries are good for business. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wilson K & Train B (2004) Reader development evaluation framework . RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wilson K & Train B (2004) Back to Basics: an evaluation report. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2003) What do you like to read? An evaluation of the EMRALD (East Midlands Reader and Library Development) initiative. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2003) Quick Reads: reader development and basic skills. An evaluation report. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2002) Caring with Books in the West Midlands: evaluation report. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B, Usherwood B & Brooks G (2002) The Vital Link: an evaluation report. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thebridge S, Train B & Dalton P (2001) Partnerships in promotion: publishers, booksellers and libraries working together to promote reading RIS download Bibtex download
  • Birdi B (2001) Evaluation of the Reaching Parents programme. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B & Elkin J (2001) Branching Out: overview of evaluative findings RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2001) Books on the Street evaluation report RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B (2001) The Mind's Eye evaluation report RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B, Chivers B & Denham D (2000) The value and impact of homework clubs in public libraries. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B, Nankivell C, Shoolbred M & Denham D (2000) The value and impact of homework clubs in public libraries. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Train B, Elkin J & Denham D (2000) A place for children: the library as a safe haven. Summary of research findings. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

Much of my teaching relates to public, youth and school libraries and librarianship. Within these three areas I have a particular focus on public libraries, social justice and diversity, and on reading research and the promotion of literature and reading. I have been responsible for developing new modules and new programme materials in each of these areas, for both face to face and distance learning Masters programmes.

It is my view that with a vocational discipline such as Library and Information Science we need to combine the more standard teaching methods with a more ‘outward-facing’ approach, and I have introduced a number of engaged learning initiatives in my teaching. My recent writing on the subject is included in two Engaged Learning Sheffield publications, and in posts on the University of Sheffield Engaged Curriculum blog.

In both 2016 and 2017, I was awarded Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences awards, for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching.

Professional activities
  • AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) Peer Review College (2010-12).
  • CILIP Ethics Committee member (2016-).
  • CILIP Workforce Mapping Project Board member (2013-15).
  • CILIP Library & Information Update Editorial Board academic representative (2009-2013).
  • CILIP Community, Diversity and Equality Group committee member (2007-).
  • CILIP Public Library Journal editorial board member (and Chair), (2005-2009).
  • CILIP Chartered Member (2004-).
  • Associate Editor, (2008-2012), Editorial Board member (2012-), Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication (formerly Library Review)
  • 'Editorial board member, International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI) (2018-).
  • Editorial board member, New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship (2004-).
  • Editorial board member, Public Library Quarterly (2016-).
  • External Examiner, University of Strathclyde (2007-8), Liverpool John Moores University (2008-2011), University of Ulster (2017-).
  • IFLA Literacy & Reading Section Standing Committee Member and Information Officer (2002-10).
  • QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) Benchmark Advisory Group member (2014-15).
  • SINTO Social Exclusion Group committee member (2007-2009).
  • My research and commentary on UK public libraries has been reported by a number of media outlets, including BBC News Online, BBC Radio 4, the Independent, BuzzFeed, US journal Public Libraries Online. I have also written for The Conversation.