Workshop 5: Evidence Based Practice – Being research led
(This reflection was originally written on April 28, 2013)
The challenge to being more open and receptive to the situation around us is that sometimes, we just don’t see the Gorilla. When it came to understanding evidence based practice I certainly missed what was right in front of me.
Ann Gillespie spoke to us at length about how we can fundamentally adopt a way of thinking about the profession that interrogates data to provide meaningful evidence.
Evidence based practice in librarianship is not something I had any experience with prior to this workshop. Wrangling concrete data from a more holistic, qualitative process was eye opening and gave me pause. I had never considered that there were ways of empirically measuring or evaluating success that didn’t just draw on dry statistics and analytic data.
Calling on intuition and reflection to approach and measure library practices is fascinating. I was really drawn in by the theoretical frameworks espoused by Andrew Booth and Johnathan Elredge in the literature, and was able to contextualise how a practice cribbed from medicine and science could be applicable to LIS decision making.
I was genuinely surprised by the dissent in the classroom about the ‘woolly’ lack of value that EBP has, as it seemed self-evident to me almost immediately how useful and valuable this sort of approach could be. Identifying and iterating on best-practices is always going to be the way forward, and qualitative data can provide a wealth of context for interpreting and applying these practices.
I tend towards more quantitative, theoretical, research-oriented projects, and adopt a healthy level of pragmatism and detachment about the process. But, a more holistic approach to evidence based practice seems to present a much more dynamic, practical way of addressing the day-to-day challenges of the LIS profession.
If anything, this workshop highlighted for me that intuition and reflection are too-valuable as professional tools to be ignored. Evidence based practice is certainly something I intend to adopt in my further studies.