Research project auditing libraries in Queensland prisons: Literature review

I decided to do this project when Dr Andrew Demasson was discussing projects during one of the Professional Practice lectures. He mentioned that he had a project examining prison libraries and although it was not something I had previously considered, I immediately thought “that’s my project”. I have previously worked as a nurse in prisons and was shocked and upset by the disadvantages faced by the majority of prisoners including educational opportunities and low literacy levels , so the idea that my project may help to improve their lives was my motivation.

Due to the size and scope of the project, it is intended that I do it as a coupled project over two semesters and the original scope was to do an extended literature review in semester one. However, I met with my supervisor less than two weeks prior to the submission of assignment 2 (an annotated bibliography) to discuss my ethics application for semester two. Due to the lack of literature in the field, he suggested I change the scope to a project proposal and he gave me a two week extension for the assignment: a literature review, but that I prioritise my ethics application. I decided to not take the extension due to personal plans and instead set aside the weekend the assignment was due to write it. I did have a start, a 2000 word literature review I did for Research Based Practice  on the same subject. I also have read so much that it was a case of just writing the report and adding the references later. It took me approximately ten hours of solid writing, but I got it done and did a great job, with the assistance of my husband who kindly proofread it for me. I am proud of my achievement and it has proven to me that I have got the motivation and determination to achieve tight deadlines, whilst producing an excellent result

My organisation whilst reading the literature paid dividends too. I created a database with the main areas I wanted to write about and for each article inputted the page number whenever the area was discussed. I also wrote the annotated bibliography whilst I was reading and although it wasn’t assessed, I do feel that it helped me greatly whilst I was writing the literature review as it gave me a good understanding of the main themes of the literature.

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