• Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Jessica Bates, Senior Lecturer, is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an experienced lecturer and researcher in the School of Education, Ulster University where she is Course Director for the Library and Information Management programme and undertakes research across Education and Library and Information Science.

Dr Bates’ research interests relate to information, education and social inclusion; stakeholder engagement, leadership and developing leadership skills in others, oral history, digital literacy; and improving library and information services.

Working with colleagues in the School of Education, she is currently leading the Future Schools Project which builds on her earlier Community Conversation methodology (Bates & O'Connor Bones) and provides a foundation for enabling school communities to consider sustainable school provision on an area basis and gives parents a stronger voice in educational decisions which impact on them and their families.

Previous research involved examining and critiquing citizenship education and political literacy amongst young people in Northern Ireland, and research into how parents across Northern Ireland coped with supporting home schooling during the Covid pandemic.

In 2021, she carried out review of Prison Library Services in Ireland for the LGMA (with Finlay and Hanlon).

She has undetaken wide-ranging research in Library and Information Science and published on digital information literacy, information and knowledge management, academic libraries, e-books, school libraries amongst other LIS topics. Her research has been published in key international journals including the Journal of Prison Education Research, the Journal of Academic Librarianship, Library and Information Science Research and School Libraries Worldwide. Dr Bates’ PhD was on the information needs and information-seeking experiences of residents in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to joining Ulster in 2009, she was a College Lecturer in information and library studies at University College Dublin.

Dr Bates supervises a number of doctoral candidates at Ulster in education and library and information science and has also been a PhD External Examiner at other UK institutions. She also regularly co-authors with Library and Information Management and PhD students and graduates and is a strong advocate of mentoring postgraduate students and new professionals.

Dr Bates regularly reviews for a number of academic journals and is an Editorial Board Member of the New Review of Academic Librarianship. She was the Chair of the Advisory Panel of the National Collection of Northern Ireland Publications (NIPR) and also member of the Board of NIPR from 2017-2023. She served as a Member of the review group for the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for librarianship, information, knowledge, records and archives management in 2015 and is again in this role in 2024.

Dr Bates also serves as the formal link between Ulster University and Northern Ireland's only inhabited offshore island, Rathlin Island, and is keen to foster research and teaching links between the island and the University. She is currently one of the work package co-leads in the AHRC funded project Future Island-Island.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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