What is Evidence-Based Practice?
Evidence-based practice is a term that comes originally from the medical profession but can be applied to the library profession very easily by considering these two dimensions of the term. According to Dr. Ross Todd, “two key dimensions of evidence-based practice are conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best research findings in making decisions about the performance of the day-to-day role, and where day-to-day professional work is directed towards demonstrating the tangible impacts and outcomes of sound decision making and implementation of organizational goals and objectives.”
Dr. Todd continues by stating you will know when you have achieved evidence-based practice when you are able to provide convincing evidence that answers these questions:
“What differences do my school library and its learning initiatives make to student learning outcomes?” and “What are the differences, the tangible learning outcomes and learning benefits, of my school library?”
Three steps to understanding Evidence-Based Practice
- As you begin your search to learn more about evidence-based practice (EBP), you will want to know that there are three steps to understanding the workings of EBP.
- Know the research of the profession that demonstrates how effective school libraries impact learning.Mesh this knowledge with your own “wisdom” to build student learning.
- Work with your own school library and collect the evidence that you do make a difference. (Todd, R.J. (Aug/Sept, 2003). School Libraries & Evidence: Seize the Day, Begin the Future. Library Media Connections).
Explore the links in this section of the OELMA web site to see workshop opportunities, support materials, and examples of evidence gathered by practicing school library media specialists.