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From The CriticsReviewer: LouAnn Schraffenberger, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P(Univ of Illinois at Chicago School of Biomed & Health Info Mgmt)
Description: Written by a group of library and information science professionals mainly from the U.K., Australia, and Canada, this is a handbook about developing and improving the information professionals' quality of research in library and information science.
Purpose: The premise is the principles of evidence-based medicine or evidence-based healthcare should be carried over into the research and practice of information professionals. This is referred to in the book as both evidence-based information practice (EBIP) and evidence-based librarianship (EBL). According to the authors, this is the first book to examine this key topic.
Audience: The readers who would benefit most from this book are librarians and/or information professionals who are interested in implementing evidence-based practice. The last section of the book examines reference services and enquiry work, management of collections in print and electronic material, information access and retrieval, marketing and promotional activities — all relevant to the information scientist. Other chapters in the book might also be useful to other people interested in evidence-based practice. The authors and contributors are an impressive group with extensive experience in library science and information science.
Features: The book is divided into three parts. Part I (5 chapters) explains why the library science professional might want to use evidence-based practice. It gives a history of evidence-based practice and discusses it in the context of library work. Part II (7 chapters) is a detailed review of the skills and resources necessary for evidence-based practice in library science. The chapters focus on the steps involved: define the problem, find the evidence, appraise the evidence, apply results of the appraisal, evaluate change and redefine the problem. Part III (8 chapters) applies the skills to everyday library science or information science practice. It includes chapters on applying evidence-based practice to reference services, educational services, collection management, information access and retrieval, and marketing. Each chapter includes a "Special Topic" that provides an example of the application of evidence-based practice to the subject of that chapter. The final chapter examines the future of evidence-based practice in library or information science. This chapter notes the fact that interest in evidence-based practice was first recognized in healthcare librarians, the "early adapters."
Assessment: The terminology and concepts in the book will be familiar to librarians involved with evidence-based medicine or evidence-based healthcare. The chapters are short and clearly written. The references included with each chapter are impressive. The book will be very interesting to librarians, especially in medical, healthcare and social science libraries, as well as to others interested in research in library and information science.