I am a qualitative researcher with disciplinary interests in library and information science and fan studies. For the latest updates on my work, please view my CV.

I keep an open research notebook on this site, consisting of reading notes and reflections on the research process. I also maintain a page tracking work on fan studies in information and library science.

I’m playing with Notion as a productivity tool for things that are too complex for me to keep in a notebook, and sharing some of my set-ups.

Research Skills:

  • identifying relevant literature using research databases
  • synthesizing literature
  • identifying research questions
  • designing research: selecting appropriate sampling procedures and research methods
  • content analysis
  • conducting interviews
  • conducting observations
  • grounded theory methods
  • administering surveys
  • analyzing qualitative data using line-by-line coding, in vivo coding, and thematic analysis
  • analyzing quantitative data using SPSS and R
  • presenting findings via posters, presentations, and papers

In Progress

Equity in the Making Lab Publications

I have two publications in preparation based on the work my colleagues and I did in the Equity in the Making Lab. They focus on the role of affect in makerspaces and the development of a theory of the defining features of makerspaces.

Libraries, Tabletop Role-Playing Games, and Teen Identity Development

In this literature review, currently in revision for publication in the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, I argue that library programming can leverage tabletop role-playing games to support teens’ identity development through creating space for teens to construct game-related identities, practice shifting between multiple identities, develop morality, take risks in a low-stakes environment, and build their self-esteem and a sense of purpose.

In Development

I have multiple projects in development, at various stages of the research process from initial development to revision before submission for publication. To preserve my anonymity in the peer review process, I have not listed these here, but feel free to email me for more information about them.


Where’d You Get Those Nightcrawler Hands? The Information Literacy Practices of Cosplayers

For my dissertation, I investigated the information literacy practices of cosplayers. I openly shared both my process and products online. I shared process notes in my research notebook. In addition to the finished dissertation itself, I shared the following research products so far:

Project READY: Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth

From 2016 - 2019, I worked as a graduate assistant on Project Ready, an IMLS-funded project in which my colleagues and I developed and implemented a continuing education curriculum that will enable school librarians to become more culturally competent educators. This process involved reviewing relevant literature, designing and implementing a week-long intensive professional development experience, and adapting and expanding that experience to create an online, self-paced professional development curriculum.

Special Education Training for School Librarians

I conducted a content analysis of school librarian preparation program websites to determine the extent to which these programs prepare preservice school librarians to work with special education students. The results of this study were presented as a poster at the 2016 American Library Association

The Transformational Leadership Practices of National Board Certified School Librarians in North Carolina

My Master’s paper explored the self-reported transformational leadership practices of National Board Certified School Librarians in North Carolina and how those practices related to school librarians’ ability to carry out leadership guidelines as identified in the American Association of School Librarians publication, _Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs.

“A Real Fun Scene”: Learning Improvisational Comedy in Community; Unlocking the Door to Adventure: Creating a Community of Practice in Improvisational Comedy

These two small-scale, unpublished research studies feature qualitative methods including interviewing and participant observation, thematic data analysis, and application of Lave and Wenger’s Community of Practice framework.

Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @kimberlyhirsh