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"Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP): A Comparative Study of UK and US Academic Librarians." M. Black. D. McMenemy. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2019. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) is a global practice of decision making in the library context. With the majority of literature surrounding the practice coming from North America little has been published regarding UK practices of librarians. No previous research has been focused on comparing the academic sector of librarianship in the US and UK and their EBLIP procedures.

The aim of this study was to reach as many academic librarians working in the United States and United Kingdom and to gather information regarding EBLIP such as, how and why evidence is used, challenges to the process, and gaps in the current knowledge base. In addition to this, the research was concerned with understanding the professional environment of both US and UK librarianship and to understand how standards of professionalism interplayed with EBLIP implementation.

The results of the study found a population of academic librarians that believe in the power of EBLIP but face challenges of lack of time, lack of training, and an unsupportive institutional environment. A holistic approach to what is considered evidence was found to be accepted by academic librarians who largely use evidence to understand the nature of a problem and to influence a specific decision. Results demonstrate a comparatively weaker UK professional environment with less professional organization engagement, less degree-qualified professionals, and a less rigorous process to achieve professional qualifications (Chartership, etc.). The conclusions of this study encourage professional bodies (ALA, CILIP) to create sector specific guidance to lead practice and to require the teaching of library research methods as a part of LIS programs and CPD to establish a strong foundation for EBLIP implementation and growth.