ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

TLA 2011: Evidence Based Practice for Library Instruction April 14, 2011

Filed under: Conferences,TLA 2011 — ellie @ 3:28 pm

presenter – Megan Oakleaf

slides (pdf)

Megan is always fun to watch. She knows and cares about her stuff. Most of the places where my notes below go scarce had detailed slides that I knew she’d have available online, so I stopped typing.

She talked about the evidence based librarianship cycle and several other similar cycles that all share the same idea of reflecting on info to make decisions.

The slide had an example question.

Good questions should have PICO: population, intervention, comparison, outcome.  or SPICE: setting, perspective, intervention, comparison, evaluation.

After formulating your question, go look for evidence. Use library databases – education abstract and full text, ABI, etc. Articles may not be tilted to librarianship, but still usable. e.g. – huge amount of info about serving homebound. Also, ISI web of knowledge, web of science.

Databases are not the only place to start. Lots of good info available from Google. For her: 60% from databases, 10-15% from open web, rest from calling people “do you know anyone who’s doing this?”

There’s a lot of variation in keywords across varying platforms. We give things cute titles that have little to do with the content of the article, especially school libraries. Academics have cute title then a colon. Regular librarianship doesn’t use as many structured abstracts. Authors often cut and paste some of the introduction as opposed to laying out question and findings.

We don’t tend to index enough of our stuff. TLA, ACRL, ALA, all not indexed. The work that we do in librarianship is not published, so it’s harder to find out about it.

Lists some top journals for finding evidence. Informal evidence also good.

Importance of documentation – write it down. More convincing to take to decision makers.

LIS faculty have research agendas – notice where there are gaps in the literature.

Chastising people sitting on their data. If you’ve collected evidence – please write it up or present it.

Evidence – what makes for good or bad? phrase = critical apppraisal.

Is it a valid and reliable study? valid – getting at what it’s trying to get at, reliable – consistant

They don’t know if they know – stop asking them (students). Look at their work. The best thing is the artifact of their learning.  (Studies show the more we know the less we think we know and the less we know the more we think we know.)

True random control studies are hard in academia – you have to withhold education from someone. Use the type of study that makes the most sense for answering your question.

Studies show f2f and online instruction are basically equal.

Academic librarians are assessing and analysing, but self reporting that they’re not then using it to make changes.

Thought exercise – think about a piece of evidence or data you know to be true about your library and how you could use it in a way you aren’t currently.

Megan talks to lots of top administrators who say, “I love libraries, but tell me what to  say when the science department wants a new lab to do research to maybe cure cancer, facilities want a parking lot so students can get to campus – what do I say to them?” Lots of libraries are saying, “I don’t know”

Take the action. If you have data you can use it.

Evaluate impact. It’s ok to use assessment data to stop doing something. In order to do something new you have to stop something.

Some places stop doing overdue fines – measured how much time they spend vs. results.

Apply at 4 levels –

One level is course integrated instruction – e.g. one shot, usually reactive to assignment.

Many librarians try to teach the entirety of an MLS degree in 50 minutes.

There are many theories of learning styles – kolb, gardner, cognitive styles, modalities, cultural diversity, affective styles, physiological states

There is a tremendous amount of evidence of how people learn – librarians ignore it – we’re ignoring it right now by lecturing.

Idea of scaffolding – looked at 1st semester, 1st year students – 95% were required to use articles and websites. slide shows rest.

Does that tell you that you can just teach books in the first year? No. Most needed multiple types of sources.

When you look at the evidence you have to make adjustments.

EBP at the Program Level
EBP with an Institutional Perspective

Value of Academic Libraries Report
student enrollment, retention and graduation rates
nice summary on the slides

Low hanging fruit – we have these detailed reports from business databases – are we putting those in the hands of students going on job interviews? Why not? (partner with career center to reach students)

Many micro studies, we need things that are more ambitious

Report also lays out research agenda.

We should be making our decisions based on evidence. It can be hard.

How am I making decisions now? Some reasons why libraries aren’t evidence based.

Biases common to libraries (see slide)

Points out that the cycle looks like the IL/research cycle. It’s what we’re asking students to do – maybe we need to be doing it too.

Last slide links to bibliography.

Questions from audience

How do you find out whether the library used the evidence?

They write an article or present.


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