evidence-based practice

EBLIP chat: Day 7 – Local evidence

#blogjune Day 7: I briefly chat about what consists as local evidence, examples and a few questions I invite data owners and library leaders to reflect upon about their own local evidence.


G’day, I am Alisa Howlett, from the University of Southern Queensland library talking about all things evidence-based library and information practice. In this video I’m talking about local evidence.

What is local evidence?

Local evidence includes things like statistics, client feedback, surveys and evaluation, policy and procedure documents, observations, anecdotal evidence, budgets and staffing numbers as well as things like strategic plans, those sorts of things. Any evidence from within your local professional practice context could be considered local evidence.

I want to reflect upon our local evidence a little bit here. That is to say that you know libraries collect lots and lots of local statistics and evidence, sometimes for the sake of it and so I’d like to invite data owners and library leaders to reflect upon what evidence is being collected within their own library organisations and why is it being collected. Do we have to collect everything?

Reflection: are libraries collecting the right evidence?

So a few questions to prompt some reflection here – I will go into the main purposes of evidence in a library organisational context – but for now I want to share with you a few questions and that is what is your library collecting and what purpose is it being collected for? Is what you’re collecting about busyness, activity or transactions? Or is it about the impact and value that your library is contributing to your clients and/or communities? The third question is, is the evidence being collected locally actively being applied to decisions and service improvements?

I invite you to critically reflect upon the evidence and statistics that are being collected within libraries and consider its purpose. Is it recording busyness for the sake of recording busyness? Also, if not being actively applied then perhaps some repurposing, some refocusing is required to make sure that that evidence is gathered for a particular reason and it’s going to be applied in order to make better decisions about services.

In the next video I’m going to talk about professional knowledge.

So until then take care. Cheers.

You can also view Day 7 (Local evidence) video here.

Catch up on all the videos here.


Gillespie, A., Miller, F., Partridge, H., Bruce, C. & Howlett, A. (2017). What do Australian Library and Information Professionals Experience as Evidence? Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 12(1), 97-108.

Howlett, A. & Howard, Z. (2015). Exploring the use of evidence in practice by Australian special librarians. Information Research, 20(1), paper 657.

Koufogiannakis, D. (2011). Considering the place of practice-based evidence within Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP). Library & Information Research, 35(111), 41-58. Retrieved from http://www.lirgjournal.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/view/486/527

Koufogiannakis, D. (2012). Academic librarians’ conception and use of evidence sources in practice. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 7(4), 5-24. Retrieved from https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/18072/14468


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