Links between research and practice: the health and medical librarians’ perspectives

The last of our three RiLIES projects focus groups took place at The Sixth International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice conference (EBLIP6) in Salford on Tuesday last week. This was kindly organised with the help of Alison Brettle and Maria Grant, the conference chairs of EBLIP6.

Jenny Gebel and Ella Taylor-Smith

RiLIES project team members Jenny Gebel and Ella Taylor-Smith

Once again the RiLIES project team members enjoyed the conversations with LIS practitioners, this time with those working in the health and medical sectors. On this occasion Ella Taylor-Smith facilitated the discussion, with Jenny Gebel and Hazel Hall in attendance.

As has been the case with the other focus groups, the conversation kicked off with initial reactions to the broad research question of the RiLIES project: “To what extent does the output of UK funded librarianship research projects influence the practice of librarianship?” The main themes that emerged from the discussion were: the levels of engagement with research that this community enjoys; the comparative value of traditional textual publications in librarianship and medicine/healthcare as sources of information on research of relevance to the practice of librarianship; the use of electronic sources to raise awareness of research; and opportunities for face-to-face information and knowledge sharing.

The data collected will be analysed in full with that collected from the focus groups earlier this month with public librarians in Perth and academic librarians in London.

The focus group gathering also provided an 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. (The DREaM project launch conference takes place on Tuesday 19th July at the British Library Conference Centre in London. There are still places available, but hurry – registrations close on Monday 11th July.)

Further updates about the RiLIES project will continue to be tweeted from @LIS_RiLIES. There is still an opportunity for LIS practitioners across all sectors to contribute further by telling us if, and how, they have used the output of any of the five case study projects identified for this study. We will also be distributing a final survey in the next few days, so please look out for this.

RiLIES focus group, Salford

Discussions at the RiLIES focus group in Salford