The ‘evidence’ in evidence based practice

15.50 – Thursday 5th July

CILIP is committed to adopting an evidence based approach to policy and practice across the information sector.  But what do we mean when we talk about evidence?  And what evidence do we need across the information sector?  Using examples from research, public and health libraries, this session examines different types of evidence that can make evidence based information policy and practice a reality.

What is research evidence?

It is time to dispel the myth that only ‘researchers’ or ‘academics’ in the information profession can and should do research. All information professionals have a place in collecting and examining data to improve their services, resources, and spaces. For example, why not use a short questionnaire to find out what your university’s students think of your library’s new app, and then use the results to refine it? This presentation will discuss ‘research evidence’ in library and information settings and explore how it can be used in practice.
Dr Diane Rasmussen Pennington, Lecturer in Information Science and Course Director, MSc/PgDip Information and Library Studies, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde
Diane  is the Lead for the Information Engagement Research Area of the Strathclyde iSchool Research Group (SiSRG), and she is a core member of her department’s Digital Health and Wellness Research Group. Her research interests include e-mental health provision especially for youth and people living with dementia, non-text information, social media, linked data, and online pedagogies. She is the Editor-in-Chief for Library and Information Research, CILIP LIRG’s open access journal.

Collecting and using evidence routinely across health libraries

Over the last few years a toolkit has been developed to help individual NHS-funded libraries in England collect and use evidence as part of routine processes – mainly to demonstrate impacts of value. Could the evidence collected and used locally be collated and used nationally? This presentation looks at the toolbox itself, and how processes were put in place to standardise the collection of evidence. It will also cover how that evidence has been used both at local and national level.

Jenny Turner, Head of Library and Information Services, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and Chair of the Value and Impact Group, Knowledge for Healthcare
Jenny has worked in NHS libraries for many years, with a particular interested in the value and impact of library services. Having completed her dissertation and several papers on that topic, Jenny now chairs a group exploring value and impact. The group is developing tools and processes that can be used to capture impact evidence.

Evidencing impact through the analysis of focus group data

This presentation will provide a brief background to a PhD research project entitled: ‘The value and impact of public libraries within the Information Society: their contribution to citizenship development’. The empirical research involved a longitudinal focus group methodology which took place over a three year period and generated a wealth of qualitative data to inform the project. Both the method and the evidence provided through the data analysis will be presented, along with a discussion as to how this particular method has been devised for a public library environment and its potential transferability.

Leo Appleton, PhD Student, Edinburgh Napier University
Leo is Director of Library Services at Goldsmiths, University of London and also a part-time PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University. Leo has several professional interests within academic and public library services including performance measurement, user engagement and digital developments and has published and presented in these areas.

Chair: Alison Brettle, Professor in Health Information and Evidence Based Practice,  University of Salford, and Chair of the Library and Information Research Group

Alison research interests include evidence based practice, the effectiveness and impact of library services and systematic reviews. Alison has long been a champion of EBLIP, with various editorial roles on the Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Journal, she co-edited the book ‘Being Evidence Based in Library and Information Practice and co-authored a report for CILIP which brings together the latest evidence to demonstrate the value of trained library and information professionals.