The Future of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice: Some Personal Reflections Andrew Booth, Reader in Evidence Based Information Practice, University of Sheffield, UK
Outline • The Journey Travelled • Where Are We Now? • Some Challenges • Upon Reflection • The Future is Bright-(ish)!
The Journey Travelled • Evidence Based Librarianship (1997) • 1st Conference (Sheffield, 2001) • International EBLIP Journal (launched 2005) • Libraries Using Evidence (2006) • Numerous Articles & Tools • Review articles: • Booth, A (2003) Bridging the research-practice gap? The role of evidence based librarianship. New review of information and library research, 9 : 3-23. • Booth, A (2009) A Bridge Too Far? Stepping Stones for Evidence Based Practice in an Academic Context.New Review of Academic Librarianship, 15: 1, 2009, 3–34 • 6th International Conference (Salford, 2011)
Where Are We Now? • Good brand awareness of EBP & EBLIP • “and even evidence based librarianship”! • Tools (Checklists) • Increasing Awareness of nuances and complexities (e.g. EBLIP 5.0) • Isolated initiatives • “Credit crunch” (cp. School Libraries)
Some Challenges • The Evidence Base (Quantity & Quality) • The Skills Deficit (Researching & Appraising) • Access and Infrastructure • Leadership/Organisational Support • Case Studies/Exemplars • Time/Resources
Central Question • Can we afford to practise EBLIP? OR • Can we afford NOT to practise EBLIP?
The Future is Bright-(ish) There are some practical steps we can take individually and collectively…… BUT We also need team-working AND collaboration AND international co-operation.
Ten Steps for Practical EBLIP 1. Integrate EBLIP into recruitment and development 2. Practice Evidence Based Project Management 3. Incorporate Evidence Review into Existing Meetings 4. Utilise Evidence Based Standards and Guidelines 5. Implement Evidence Based Webpages HILJ, Mar 2009
Ten Steps for Practical EBLIP 6. Develop Evidence Based Questionnaires 7. Practise Evidence Based Collection Management 8. Evaluate Information Literacy Instruction 9. Manage Change using Evidence Based Methods 10. Evaluate Evidence Based Strategies HILJ, Mar 2009
The 11th (and First!) Step • “Being willing to put everything we have back into the 'central pot' (i.e. everything is up for evaluation) and to start defining our essential services from scratch is actually the first - and arguably the most important - step of EBLIP service”. HILJ, Mar 2009
Future of EBLIP • “the long-term future of evidence based [library and] information practice probably lies not in a single-minded focus on research-derived evidence but in a more encompassing approach that embodies reflective practice….the ability to critically analyse, make informed judgements and direct actions can be triggered by any number of catalysts, of which research evidence may be just one….” Booth (2003).
Reflection & Changing Practice • “It could be reasoned that reflection can improve professional practice by facilitating understanding through self discovery, and for this understanding to enable individuals to manage and bring about change more effectively”. (Grant 2007)
EBLIP RIP! • “ultimately evidence based practice will contribute to a toolbox from which the reflective practitioner will occasionally draw. The ultimate objective of evidence based information practice is thus to write itself out of existence!” Booth (2003).
EBLIP is Not A Destination, It is a Direction of Travel! ALICE • "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?""That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat."I don’t much care where-" said Alice."Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat."-so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation."Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
References • Booth A (2003). Where systems meet services: towards evidence-based information practice. Vine, 33, 2, 2003 , pp. 65-71 • Booth, A. (2009) Eleven steps to EBLIP service. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26, (1): 81-84. • Booth A (2009) EBLIP Five Point Zero: Towards a Collaborative Model of Evidence Based Practice. Health Information and Libraries Journal 26, (4): 341-4. • Booth A (2010) Upon Reflection: Five Mirrors of Evidence Based Practice.Health Information and Libraries Journal, 27(3):253-6.