Boot camp buffet


Image by Jordan Klein from San Francisco, United States (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Once more I had the good fortune to attend the Social Science Librarians Boot Camp.  This year’s event took place in a building that had once housed Julia Child’s test kitchen.

Fittingly the first panel concerned food.  Uma Karmarkar (Harvard Business School) shared research on the use of cloth grocery bags and food purchases.  Where cloth bags are voluntary,  users do tend to buy more organic items and more treats, though habituation may occur.  Sasha Fleary (Tufts University) spoke of the numerous factors affecting healthier food choices.  Clinicians need to consider social, cultural, economic, and other facrors when making dietary recommendations.  Even transportation can be a factor for those in areas ill-served by public transportation.  Emily Broad Leib (Harvard Law School) discussed the issues surrounding dates on food packaging.   There is no uniformity in dates, and the confusion can lead consumers to food out prematurely.

Then three doctoral candidates gave us participants a taste of their research.  Though Brandon Foster (Tufts University) advocated open source tools, he did so in the context of an overall workflow.   He mentioned librarians educating users about the research process, as opposed to tools.    Frank Nagle (Harvard Business School) highlighted different projects.  One of these projects also concerned open source tools and productivity.  Claire Brennecke (Yale University) used Baker Library Special Collections to look at historic credit reporting.  She spoke of librarians connecting researchers to the literature of different disciplines.

I can only offer tidbits from these presentations.  Next week I’ll cover the rest of the boot camp and another recent presentation.  In the meantime I thank the hosts and presenters.