Action-Research application in Evidence-Based practice for libraries
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CitationCivallero, Edgardo. Action-Research application in Evidence-Based practice for libraries. In 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, Durban (South Africa), 19-23.Aug.2007
AbstractEvidence Based Librarianship (EBL) seeks for and promotes the improvement of the librarian practice through the use of the best available evidence. Strongly used in medical contexts, Evidence Based Practice can be an important tool for the development of LIS, if practice is carefully thought and wisely combined with research and theoretical reflection. In order to achieve a state of equilibrium between theories and empirical studies, a qualitative method –action research- may be applied, as a dialogue between abstract ideas and the facts and signs provided by concrete experiences. Through action research, librarians can collect the evidence –using a series of qualitative tools- and use it for building theoretical knowledge in order to improve their work and their profession. From this viewpoint, after putting something into practice they will be able to know whether it worked as expected or not, make any change if it is necessary, and test the whole process again, searching more and new evidence. The method becomes a progressive helix that leads librarians to continuously evaluate their activities and services and improve them according of their final users’ needs. Fitting these ideas in the general context of “Library 2.0” new LIS model and in the particular situation of Social Sciences libraries, the conference briefly introduces some basic ideas on how action research should be employed for collecting and using evidence in LIS.
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