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Dont give up your day job: Using EBLIP in Practice


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Title: Dont give up your day job: Using EBLIP in Practice

Dont give up your day job! Using EBLIP in
  • Andrew Booth

A warning for all would-be supermodels!
  • To provide a practical introduction to evidence
    based library and information practice.
  • To equip participants with the skills required to
    practise evidence based practice in their

  • By the end of this training course, participants
  • Be able to identify key areas of their practice
    that can be informed by reflective practice,
    grounded in research evidence.
  • Be able to articulate questions from common
    library practice which are answerable either from
    the literature or from good practice.
  • Understand the main types of research design and
    their contribution to addressing questions from
    professional practice.
  • Be able to work in teams to appraise and
    implement evidence from the research literature
    within their workplace.
  • Be aware of the importance of reflective practice
    for the ongoing improvement of information
    services and systems.

Your Objectives?
Dont give up your day job
  • 10.00 What is evidence based information
  • 10.20 Identifying meaningful questions
  • 10.45 Appraising a library research study
  • 12.00 LUNCH
  • 12.45 Using research in practice
  • 1.30 Barriers to development implementation
  • 2.00 Reflection
  • 2.05 Evaluation
  • 2.15 Close.

Evidence in Daily Life Icebreaker
  • For the Newspaper article supplied work in twos
    or threes to answer
  • Does this article/study provide sufficient
    evidence that Teenagers who surf the net do
    better at school?
  • How would you improve on this study?

What is Evidence Based Library and Information
Evidence based library and information practice is
  • Evidence Based Library and Information Practice
    (EBLIP) seeks to improve library and information
    services and practice by bringing together the
    best available evidence and insights derived from
    working experience, moderated by user needs and
  • EBLIP involves asking answerable questions,
    finding, critically appraising and then utilising
    research evidence from relevant disciplines in
    daily practice. It thus attempts to integrate
    user-reported, practitioner-observed and
    research-derived evidence as an explicit basis
    for decision-making. (Booth, 2006)

Why librarians?
  • As a profession which has the ability to manage
    the literature of research, librarianship is
    uniquely placed to model the principles of
    evidence-based practice, not only as they apply
    to other disciplines which we serve, but also as
    they apply to our own professional practice
    (Ritchie, 1999)

The process of evidence-based library and
information practice
Eldredge, 2000
So let us consider a worked example…
Adding SPICE to a library intranet site a
recipe to enhance usability
  • Lisa Cotter, Ingrid Tonnison,
  • Suzanne Lewis Larnich Harije

Booth, A (2006) Australian supermodel?A
practical example of evidence-based library and
information practice (EBLIP). Health Information
Libraries Journal 23 (1), 69-72.
So let us consider a worked example…
  • Based on Abbott WA (2006), Persuasive Evidence
    Improving Customer Service through Evidence Based
    Librarianship Evidence Based Library and
    Information Practice, 11

A Worked Example
  • In Bond University Library (Setting) would the
    provision of increased opening hours
    (Intervention) to meet student demand
    (Perspective) lead to benefits (Evaluation) when
    compared with current provision (Comparison)?
  • How realistic is twenty-four hour opening? Same
    Setting, Intervention and Comparison but with
    Evaluation from Management Perspective.

An Evidence-based approach
  • Decision made to use an evidence based approach -
    library management decided that a comprehensive
    report with recommendations based on best
    practice and other relevant evidence would inform
    all stakeholders and help to resolve the issue.

Identifying the evidence
  • Librarys opening hours compared to other
    Australian university libraries using Council of
    Australian University Librarians (CAUL) annual
  • Survey of twenty-four hour facilities of other
    Australian university libraries via
  • Review of literature illustrated that
    internationally, increasing number of
    institutions are opening for twenty-four hours
    for some days of the week and new libraries are
    being built to incorporate a twenty-four hour
  • Quantitative analysis of feedback about opening
    hours received from customers in 2004 indicated
    low but persistent level of complaints
  • Quantitative analysis of usage patterns gathered
    in the Librarys Facilities Use Survey showed
    current spread of hours approximated closely to

Evidence from research
  • Research conducted in US indicates that students
    requests for extended library opening hours are
    perennial and vary from requests to open until
    2.00 am during exam periods to demands to open
    24-7 most days of year (Steele and Walters
    Curry Engel, Womack and Ellis).

Evidence based decision-making
  • Detailed costing prepared for four different
    scenarios ranging from longer opening hours for
    duration of semester to short period of 24-hour
    opening leading up to exam period.
  • Evidence appraised and summarised in report
    recommending further increase in opening hours in
    weeks leading up to exam period.
  • Longer term recommendation was to incorporate
    24-hour study facility when and if Library is
  • Based on CAUL survey, facility should provide
    individual and group study spaces, computers,
    wireless access, laptop ports, photocopier and
    printing equipment, vending machines, lounges and
    appropriate security arrangements.

Acting on the evidence
  • Report discussed with Student Council and senior
    University executive. Recommendation for long
    term accepted but short term proposal not
  • Through process, all stakeholders gained good
    understanding of issues and agreed with decision
  • Concept of refurbishing Library has progressed
    and University has invited proposals from
    architects to develop a project brief.
  • Evidence gathered to resolve opening hours
    question has contributed to better understanding
    of Librarys role in providing learning
    environment in addition to traditional role as
    repository of books/provider of electronic
  • Has helped convince senior executive that
    refurbishment necessary to meet student needs.

Moving on to further questions
  • Refurbishment proposal has defined new question
  • What facilities and services would students like
    to see included in refurbished library?
    Stakeholder feedback is being gathered using
    online survey and focus groups.

The process of evidence-based library and
information practice
Eldredge, 2000
Identifying meaningful questions
Asking Answerable Questions
  • Questions drive the entire EBLIP process.
    EBLIP assigns highest priority to questions
    with greatest relevance to library practice.
  • Eldredge, 2000

Sample questions
  • Are students who have been taught information
    skills more or less likely to continue to further
  • What personality characteristics in librarians
    make them good or bad searchers?
  • Do library desk staff members provide accurate
    responses to reference questions?
  • Which web pages on a library website are most
  • Does weeding some classification ranges in a
    monographs collection result in higher usage than
    the unweeded but otherwise similar ranges?

And theres more!
  • Does face-to-face contact versus electronic-only
    by a library liaison librarian result in a more
    accurate perception of library services or
  • Are librarians or library assistants more
    effective at answering reference questions?
  • Why do non-users not use their library?
  • Why do some users prefer certain information
    resources over equally relevant information
  • How does one measure effective searching skills?
  • Do librarians improve or worsen perceptions of
    information overload?
  • How can we measure customer satisfaction with
    library services?

SPICE up your life!
  • S Setting what is the context for the
  • P Perspective who are the users/potential
    users of the service?
  • I Intervention what is being done to them/for
  • C Comparison -what are your alternatives?
  • E Evaluation how will you measure whether the
    intervention has succeeded?
  • Tell me what you want, what you really, really

Domains of EBLIP (Crumley Koufogiannakis,
2002, 2004)
  • Reference/Enquiries providing service and access
    to information that meets the needs of library
  • Education finding teaching methods and
    strategies to educate users about library
    resources and to improve their research skills.
  • Collections building a high-quality collection
    of print and electronic materials that is useful,
    cost-effective and meets the users needs.
  • Management managing people and resources.
  • Information Access Retrieval creating better
    systems and methods for information retrieval
  • Professional Issues wider professional concerns
  • Marketing/Promotion promoting the profession,
    the library and its services to both users and

  • Think of an area of common library or information
    practice with which you are involved. How do you
    know whether or not it is effective? Using the
    SPICE framework express a question regarding the
    effectiveness of that specific area of practice

Question Types
  • EBM (Richardson et al, 1997)
  • Foreground versus Background
  • EBLIP (Eldredge, 2002)
  • Prediction
  • Intervention
  • Exploration

Find Evidence
  • Scattered evidence base
  • Need for New databases
  • New ways of searching

When did you last search for evidence to support
your own practice?
Appraising a research study
Appraise Evidence
  • Not traditional area of librarian skill
  • Checklists for appropriate studies
  • Information needs analyses (CRiSTAL)
  • User studies (CRiSTAL)
  • Interventions Addressing the Need for education
    and Training (RELIANT)

What is critical appraisal?
  • To weigh up the evidence critically to assess
    its validity (closeness to the truth) and
    usefulness (clinical applicability).
  • Adapted from Sackett Haynes, 1995.

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme
  • Critical appraisal skills training for the NHS
    (Anglia and Oxford)
  • Appraises
  • Reliability Get the same results if repeated?
  • Validity Results derived in rigorous way?
  • Applicability Can I apply it to my patients?

http// casp/casp.htm
The (hidden) cost of experiments
Does conducting the experiment itself so disturb
the environment that you are no longer getting a
real picture?
How is it done? Getting started
  • Scenario - from real life or invented
  • Article - primary or secondary study addressing
    the problem in hand
  • Checklist - for assessing the study design of the
    article User Guides
  • And optionally, a Crib sheet, digest or commentary

Final important steps
  • Apply results in practice
  • range of behavioural and educational
    interventions to facilitate culture of change
  • Evaluate your performance
  • Audit
  • Accreditation
  • Ongoing evaluation alongside innovation (compare
    health services research)

Using Research In Practice
Matching Research Designs to Your Question
  • The wording and content of the questions
    determine what kinds of research designs are
    needed to secure answers.
  • Eldredge, 2000

An Evidence Prism
Qualitative research
Audits, surveys etcetera
Focus groups, Delphi techniques, Interviews
  • Match the questions identified in the scenarios
    provided to the research design(s) that you
    consider most appropriate to answering them.

Using Research In Practice
  • Evidence that is Directly Applicable
  • Evidence that needs to be Locally Validated
  • Evidence that Improves Understanding
  • (Koufogiannakis and Crumley, 2004)
  • Plus
  • Evidence that may inform our Choice of
    Methodologies, Tools or Instruments
  • (Booth, 2003)

Barriers to development implementation
Implementing Research in Practice - The challenge
  • "The key to evidence-based information practice
    is the ongoing development and application
    of…information science research".
  • "Individual……librarians must apply the results of
    research routinely to library and information
    service practice, to the development of
    information policy, and to other information
    issues important to…..institutions
  • Using Scientific Evidence to Improve Information
    Practice The Research Policy Statement of the
    Medical Library Association

Evidence Based Practitioner
  • Subscribes to key health information journals out
    of their own pocket
  • Email alerting service
  • Stay after-hours to conduct a literature search
  • Slip" photocopy requests into the system
  • Read and appraise the evidence
  • Summarise findings in report to library committee
  • Report discussed at monthly team meeting
  • Task group set up to explore feasibility.
  • Six quarterly meetings
  • Implementation group produce draft local guidance.

Booth, 2004b
Evidence Based Organisation
  • Current awareness service
  • Relevant items instantly printed out for future
  • Selection process triggers request for critically
    appraised summaries
  • Email from Accreditation and Standards Agency to
    audit compliance
  • International Research Register.
  • Scope of Professional Practice department sends
    through a new updated international guideline
  • Library's Guidelines Implementation Group reviews
    evidence at their weekly virtual team meeting
  • Map against database of integrated service
  • Affected pathways flagged for attention
  • Action plan formulated

Booth, 2004b
Evidence Based Practitioner
  • Six generic characteristics of evidence based
    practitioner (Hopayian Hooper, 2003)
  • Constantly questioning
  • Sceptical of current practice
  • Listens to and values other peoples perspectives
  • Aware of validity and limitations of their own
  • Possesses level of knowledge of evidence based
    practice appropriate to their own situation
  • Continuously learning.

Exercise Barriers and Enablers for EBLIP
  • Working in groups - brainstorm a list of barriers
    to EBLIP. Focus on barriers as they currently
    exist in your own workplace

Diamond Nines
  • Now put the Post-Its into priority order using a
    diamond pattern.
  • Place the barrier that you believe is MOST
    IMPORTANT at the top of the pattern.
  • Place the barrier that you believe is LEAST
    IMPORTANT at the bottom.

Most Important
Least Important
  • Then swap your lists and propose potential
    solutions to each barrier on the other groups

Challenges for EBLIP
  • Quality of the evidence
  • Dispersion of evidence sources (e.g. education,
    management, computer science)
  • Skills in conducting research
  • Skills in disseminating research
  • Skills in interpreting research
  • Time!

Issues for Organisations
  • Inclusion in job descriptions
  • Inclusion in performance review
  • Journal Clubs
  • Support to Evidence Based Organisations
  • Production of guidelines

What are your priorities?
  • Practice guidelines
  • EBLIP journal/newsletter Achieved
  • More systematic reviews Partly achieved
  • Register of rigorous studies
  • International Collaboration Partly achieved
  • More RCTs
  • Critical appraisal checklists Partly achieved
  • Other outcome research inclusion in
    curriculum training/retraining develop research
    skills develop best practice

Future Prospects
The Current State of EBL
  • practitioners are finding themselves in a
    position where they have to design and carry out
    original research in order to obtain applicable
    evidence… Until the body of evidence is
    substantially increased, it is essential that
    original research be encouraged and published.
  • I recently posted a message to the EBLIG
    electronic mail list requesting EBL success
    stories…The response was minimal, save for three
    people who had carried out original research and
    used the results to modify practice or implement
    a new service or policy. Nobody mentioned using
    existing evidence, and nobody mentioned
    evaluating implementation results. On the
    surface, this supports the general hypothesis
    that the body of research is low and that EBL
    still has a way to go before it is practised
    regularly and systematically. (Glynn, 2006)

Route maps for Evidence based problem Solving
  • Instead of systematic review on clearly-focused
    narrow topic we conduct series of brief searches
    to populate our understanding of a particular
    phenomenon (e.g. the Virtual Reference Desk)
  • Construct a model with causes, options,
    effectiveness, costs, user views.
  • Model progressively overwritten as new evidence

Route maps for Evidence based problem Solving
Repeat multiple layers for interventions,
evaluation etcetera
Fourth EBLIP Conference
  • 4th International Conference on Evidence-based
    Library and Information Practice (EBLIP4), May
    6-11, 2007, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

The future of EBP
  • 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
  • Booth (2003).

  • It thus seems likely that ultimately evidence
    based practice will contribute to a toolbox from
    which the reflective practitioner will
    occasionally draw. The ultimate objective of
    evidence based library and information practice
    is thus to write itself out of existence!
  • Booth (2003).

More questions than answers?
  • Booth A and Brice A. Evidence Based Practice for
    Information Professionals a handbook. Facet
    Publishing, March 2004.
  • PRICE 44.95
  • ISBN 1856044718

Conclusion, Feedback and Evaluation
  • We would like you to think of one suggested
    action as a result of todays course to advance
    EBLIP in your own organisation.

References - 1
  • Abbott WA (2006), Persuasive Evidence Improving
    Customer Service through Evidence Based
    Librarianship Evidence Based Library and
    Information Practice, 11
  • Booth, A (2003) Evidence Based Librarianship
    FOLIO Course
  • Booth, A. (2003) Where systems meet services
    towards evidence-based information practice. Vine
    -London 33 (2) 65-71.
  • Booth A (2004a). A checker's career? Health Info
    Libr J. 21(4) 269-72.
  • Booth A (2004b) Bridging the Research-Practice
    Gap? The Role of Evidence Based Librarianship New
    Review of Information and Library Research, 9 (1)
  • Booth A (2006) Counting what counts Performance
    Measurement and Evidence Based Practice
    Performance Measurement and Metrics 7 (2)

References - 2
  • Booth A and Brice, A, (2004) Evidence Based
    Practice for Information Professionals a
    handbook. Facet Publishing.
  • Bradley DR, Rana GK, Martin PW, Schumacher RE.
    Real-time, evidence-based medicine instruction
    RCT in a neonatal intensive care unit. JMLA. 2002
    Apr 90 (2) 194-201.
  • Crumley E, Koufogiannakis D. (2002) Developing
    evidence-based librarianship practical steps for
    implementation. Health Info Libr J.
  • Eldredge JD. Evidence-based librarianship an
    overview. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 2000
  • Eldredge JD. EBL Levels of Evidence. Hypothesis
    2002 Fall 16 (3) 10-13 .
  • Guyatt, GH et al (2000) Practitioners of evidence
    based care. BMJ, 320 954 - 955.

References - 3
  • Hopayian K Hooper, L (2003). Steps towards a
    matrix… http//
  • Koufogiannakis D and Crumley, E. 2004 In Booth A
    and Brice, A, (2004) Evidence Based Practice for
    Information Professionals a handbook. Facet
  • Koufogiannakis, D, Booth A, and Brettle A.
    ReLIANT Reader's guide to the Literature on
    Interventions Addressing the Need for education
    and Training. Library Information Research
    30(94) Spring 2006 44-51.
  • Richardson WS, Wilson MC. On questions,
    background and foreground. Evidence Based Health
    Care Newsletter 1997178-9.
  • Ritchie A. (1999) incite Magazine - December