EBLIP6 report: day 2, Wednesday 29th June 2011

The third of our EBLIP6 reviews is by Katrina Dalziel, Deputy Subject Librarian (Medicine), Swansea University (@Dalziel1). Katrina reports on Wednesday 29th June…

There was rain in Manchester this morning but by the time the conference got under way on Wednesday the skies were already brightening!

The morning keynote session was delivered by Professor Martin Hall Vice Chancellor the University of Salford, our conference host. In ‘Openness: the essential Quality of Knowledge’ Martin gave a thought-provoking and entertaining talk focused on the question “What a fully open-access university, structured around an open access repository for publications, resources and data sets, look like?” He argued that openness drives the knowledge economy. The closure of knowledge restricts innovation and is alien to the essential qualities of a university, especially in the context of how why universities were established and evolved: to allow experts or academics in a field to share their knowledge in exchange for academic reputation. He asked publishers to look at their current business models and develop tools that could aid open access publishing and encourage a new era of openness in the world of academia. One comment made by Martin that was particularly popular with the audience was that he considers all people involved in populating and promoting Open Access Repositories as heroes. It was good to hear that librarians and information professionals are appreciated in this role!

Posters at EBLIP6

This first keynote session was followed by ‘Poster Madness’. This was a one minute madness presentation opportunity for those delegates presenting posters at the conference. I hadn’t experienced the one minute format before and was thoroughly impressed by the participants’ ability to provide coherent outlines of their research in such a short period of time. There was a second madness session in the afternoon, so I review both together here. I feel that I need to make special mention of those presenters that particularly impressed me. Mary Dunne from the Health Research Board in Ireland presented one minute on her ‘Barriers and facilitators to research use: the role of library and information services’ in poetry form. I also enjoyed Emma Thompson’s minute. She remarked on her position as one of just a couple of business librarians attending the conference. She questioned how to encourage all subject librarians to get involved in EBLIP. ‘EBP by stealth’ was her recommendation!

After the morning coffee break I attended the “Innovation, Education and Research: Theory and Searching” strand. Jason Eyre of De Montfort University discussed an alternative outcome to The PITSTOP project (Supporting Students On Placement Using Social Media). In “Learning by example: developing evidence based library and information practice through supporting academic programmes with a culture of evidence based practice”, his main message was that social workers work in a ‘real’ world environment where peer approval, time constraints etc. mean that EBP is NOT practised. We need to remember that our students will be moving into real-world situations and careers, where they may not even have access to the suite of resources that their academic library provides. Our teaching of IL needs to fit with this experience, and empathy is key. This presentation made me reflect on how I approach IL instruction with nursing and medical students and how we need to offer advice and training that can fit into the real world of our students.

The afternoon keynote session of the day was delivered by Dr Ross J Todd, Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), at Rutgers University. This was another inspirational keynote address, this time reflecting on EBP from the School Librarianship perspective.

The whole day was informative, engaging and thought provoking. I have a lot to reflect on in my own practice as an academic library professional and many issues to consider relating to how our profession can embrace EBP more fully. I think perhaps a good starting point would be the adoption of the evidence for practice, evidence in practice and evidence of practice holistic model in both our practice and research activities.

I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank the LIS Research Coalition for the chance to attend EBLIP6. So far it’s been a very rewarding experience and I’m looking forward to the final day of what has been an exciting conference.

Post-script by Hazel Hall

The conference dinner was held on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. It was very exciting for many to have the opportunity to see the team’s museum and ground, and to eat and be entertained in the hospitality suite.

Val Skelton, Brian Detlor and Hazel Hall at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United

Val Skelton, Brian Detlor & Hazel Hall at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United

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EBLIP6 report: day 1, Tuesday 28th June 2011

Dr Katie Fraser

Dr Katie Fraser

The second of our EBLIP6 reviews is by Dr Katie Fraser, Information Librarian, Leicester University (@katie_fraser. Over to Katie…

The day kicked off with a quick welcome from Tony Warne: Head of the School of Nursing at the University of Salford, talking about information literacy and the teacher-student relationship. He was followed by the first of the conference keynotes, Peter Brophy. Peter took us through the role of narrative in evidence-based practice, from the stories that our users tell about our information services, to its underlying importance in capturing the complexity of our own everyday practice. It was a great start to the day, and by the end of the session I’d already had a conversation on Twitter channel with an envious follower of the feed wishing that they were here!

I attended parallel sessions on academic libraries and information literacy, both everyday strands of my own work. Several of the talks picked up on Peter’s ideas about the complexity inherent in library work, particularly those talks focusing on assessment and the challenges of reducing complex information behaviours to a mark scheme! I’ll definitely be considering some of these ideas in my own teaching. However, my favourite talk looked outside the world of library instruction. Allyson Washburn and Sheila Bibb – who teaches an Applied Anthropology course – had asked anthropology students to conduct a series of ethnographic studies on student use of the library as coursework. It was fascinating to hear how the students had investigated the same topic from a variety of different angles, and there was also food for thought about the untapped opportunities academic librarians have to collaborate with departments in order to gather evidence: recruiting social scientists to help us gather evidence, computer scientists to develop our online services, and so on.

Former colleagues Jenny Craven and Peter Brophy catch up at coffee break

Former colleagues Jenny Craven and Professor Peter Brophy catch up at coffee break

The session I enjoyed most, however, was a little bit more outside my professional comfort zone, the post-lunch discussion on ‘Theory and Models of EBLIP’. I was hoping to get an overview of how researchers and practitioners saw evidence-based practice from this conference, and the talks complemented each other perfectly in answering this question. First Helen Partridge asked us to challenge what constitutes evidence in library and information practice. She suggested that most of our ideas about evidence-based practice were inherited, and that we need to consider what constitutes ‘good’ evidence in our own profession, and demonstrate that its use can transform practice. Denise Koufogiannakis followed this up with a discussion about the non-traditional types of evidence that library and information professionals use: ‘local evidence’, like user feedback, usage data and observations gained in context; and ‘professional knowledge’, which is often tacit (highly contextual and difficult to explain) or produced by reflection on our own practice. Finally, Barbara Sen and Chris Lee spoke about evidence and reflection. Both, they emphasised, are about critically examining everyday practice. Each uses a different approach to examine that practice, but in the end they’re highly complementary: no research could begin without reflection on potential explanations and approaches to studying a problem.

Overall, it’s interesting to hear that the library and information community is only just starting to reach an overview of how it sees and uses evidence-based practice itself. I’m looking forward to hearing more about how the EBLIP community views evidence – and attempts to handle its complexity within the profession – in the next couple of days.

EBLIP6 report: pre-conference workshop on critical appraisal

Lorie Kloda and Alison Millis

Lorie Kloda & Alison Millis

The first of our EBLIP6 reviews is by Alison Millis, Training and Outreach Manager, Library and Knowledge Services, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, @alisonmillis. Alison reports on a pre-conference workshop on critical appraisal. The workshop was led by Lorie Kloda (@loriekloda). Lorie has taught evidence based medicine for the last ten years. She is Associate Librarian at McGill University, Montreal, and an Associate Editor of EBLIP Journal.

Lorie’s session on critical appraisal took place on one of the hottest days of the year so far – tropical temperatures for a hot topic! Lorie said that her challenge in preparing the session had been to find a paper that was short enough to be critically appraised in the limited time available, but she managed to do so. The paper chosen was “Do clickers improve library instruction? Lock in your answers now” by Emily Dill.

The session was structured in five parts:

  1. reliability, validity and applicability
  2. critical appraisal exercise
  3. discussion
  4. short cuts
  5. wrap-up

The session started with a PowerPoint presentation which covered reliability, validity and applicability. Then the paper for appraisal was examined. Lorie handed out the RELIANT instrument which divides the task of analysis of a paper into four different areas:

  1. study design
  2. educational context
  3. results
  4. relevance

Each area had a series of questions to be answered. This is a checklist, which was not familiar to all participating, proved to be an effective tool. The participants then worked in four groups, each concentrating on one of the four areas listed above. Each group had the opportunity to give feedback on their area, and this provoked some interesting discussions.

Finally Lorie recommended two key short cuts for appraisal when time is short. These were to (1) start at the end and (2) work backwards. This technique comprises checking the results and findings to see if they are relevant and applicable to practice, then continuing with the evaluation of the paper, followed by an examination of the method deployed in the study, and finally a reading of the paper in its entirety.

Valuing knowledge and expertise: reporting from EBLIP6

Salford University logo This week the sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference takes place in Salford, Greater Manchester. The LIS Research Coalition is pleased to be a sponsor of the event. Coalition activities at the conference include:

It was also possible for the last of the RiLIES project focus groups with librarians working in medicine and healthcare to be scheduled to take place at the conference.

The four winners of the sponsored places are reporting on each of the four days. Their reviews will be posted to this blog over the course of the week.

Sponsored delegates at EBLIP6

Winners of sponsored places Alison Millis, Katrina Dalziel, Katie Fraser & Paolo Gardois

RiLIES looks at impact of research projects on academic librarians’ practice

On 20 June, the second of our three RiLIES projects focus groups took place as part of our work to understand the impact of research projects on librarians’ practice.

Peter Cruickshank, Stephanie Kenna and Jenny Gebel met with members of CILIP’s UC&R group at Regent’s College, London for a discussion with people in a variety of front-line and managerial roles in university and college libraries.

We started from the research question:

To what extent does the ouput of UK funded librarianship research projects influence the practice of librarianship?

Themes that emerged in our discussion included the types of research that are relevant to practitioners, and the role that students, chartering and revalidating staff have in keeping their colleagues up to date. The importance of face-to-face networking and informal links also came up, as well as how to make the best of the cost pressures which are limiting the numbers that are currently able to attend conferences.

The data collected will be analysed in full with that collected from the Perth focus group (with public librarians) and the final focus group which will take place in 28th June with medical/health librarians attending EBLIP6 on 28 June.

We also took the opportunity to raise awareness of the work of the LIS Research Coalition in general, and to encourage participation in the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project.

Thank you to Amanda Holyoak and the CILIP’s UC&R group for making it possible for us to hold our academic librarians’ focus group, and to all that took part for their contribution.

You can follow our progress through our twitter account: @LIS_RiLIES  – and please tell us if you’ve been using results from one of our five case study projects

To Aberdeen for iDocQ and i3

i3 conference logo Library and information science researchers are gathering in Aberdeen this coming week for Information: interactions and impact (i3), hosted by the Department of Information Management at the Robert Gordon University (RGU). The local organising committee has been led by Professor Dorothy Williams, Director of the Institute for Management Governance and Society (IMAGES) at RGU.

The LIS Research Coalition is pleased to be associated with the conference. Amongst the sponsors are the Research Information Network and the Scottish Library and Information Council, both of which are LIS Research Coalition members. In addition, Professor Hazel Hall is giving a keynote paper at the event on Wednesday 22nd June.

ESRC logo Entitled “Coalition and collaboration: supporting the development of Library and Information Science research in the UK”, Hazel’s presentation will discuss the formation of the LIS Research Coalition in 2009 and its accomplishments to date, as well as a recent collaboration between four Scottish universities (RGU, Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow and Strathclyde) to establish the Information Science pathway as part of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. The Graduate School is a newly formed ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. In particular, Hazel’s presentation will demonstrate how the collaborative efforts across organisations are meeting the objective of raising the quality and impact of library and information science research in the UK.

Immediately prior to Information: interactions and impact (i3) on Sunday 19th June iDocQ takes place. iDocQ has been developed by the four member universities of the Information Science Pathway as an opportunity for new researchers working in the field of information science to present their research to their peers and gather feedback on their ideas. As well as discussing posters that outline their doctoral studies, PhD students at iDocQ will participate in a one minute madness session during the day.

iDocQ logo

SLA 2011 photo album

The LIS Research Coalition’s Hazel Hall has recently returned from the Special Libraries Association conference in Philadelphia. Her place was kindly sponsored by Dow Jones thanks to the award of SLA Europe Information Professional of the Year. It is impossible to capture in a blog post all the activity and energy of the conference, but the photos and captions here may give a flavour of the event. More photos can be found on Flickr. Hazel would like to thank everyone involved in making it possible for her to participate at SLA 2011, especially those who nominated her for the award, Bethan Ruddock of SLA Europe, and Anne Caputo of Dow Jones.

SLA banner

The logo for the conference incorporated the Philadelphia bell

The SLA welcome arch and registration desk

The SLA welcome arch and registration desk

Hazel Hall's badge

Hazel Hall attended SLA2011 thanks to kind sponsorship from Dow Jones

ECCA award winners

Other award winners from Europe included Samuel Wiggins, Natalia Madjarevic, Ned Potter and Chris Cooper

Banner of SLA rising stars

Amongst others from the UK recognised at SLA 2011 was Sara Batts as a "rising star"

Linda Stoddart and Larry Prusak

Larry Prusak's paper sponsored by the Knowledge Management division was one of the conference highlights: Larry is pictured here with Linda Stoddart

Military libraries division sign

SLA divisions and chapters hosted a number of open sessions

Exhibition

As well as the conference sessions, there was a large exhibition to visit

T shirt stall

The exhibition included a variety of stalls

A cartoonist draws Hazel Hall's caricature

A cartoonist draws Hazel Hall's caricature at the exhibition

SLA2012 banner

SLA 2012 takes place in Chicago next July