evidence-based practice

EBLIP chat: Day 8 – Professional knowledge

#blogjune Day 8: As a new(ish) Mumma, one of my strategies to break up the constant cycle of duties is to not do laundry on weekends. I don’t put loads on and I don’t fold and put washing away. My husband knows this and if he wants/needs something washed, he does this himself. Taking a break from this duty helps to signal to myself which days are work days and which days are for taking it easy. So, a conscious decision to not record videos on weekends has made me a little behind on this vlogging challenge. Strange thing is, I’m okay with this. I’ll get there.

In Day 8’s video, I chat about the third type of evidence recognised by Koufogiannakis’ (2011) model – professional knowledge. Plus, a few considerations in making the most of this type of evidence in professional practice.


G’day, and welcome to this video series chatting about all things evidence-based library & information practice – a video series in which we discuss what it is, where it came from, tips and tricks on how to get started and the challenges and opportunities related to its implementation at an individual and also an organisational level. In this video I’m talking about evidence, and specifically, our professional knowledge.

Professional knowledge is something that we accumulate over time as we have practical real-life experiences about our local contexts and it resides within us the individual but also within others as well. And because we have these real-life experiences over time we have plenty to draw upon to make sense of our local context and also get better at understanding and applying evidence to that. In addition to that we have our experiences to help us find gaps in our knowledge and how to ask questions about our practice and services.

What constitutes as ‘professional knowledge’?

Examples of professional knowledge include things like expertise, our experiences, tacit knowledge, input from colleagues, what other libraries do, intuition, non research literature such as blogs and commentaries and tweets. In a study of Australian librarians andlibrary information practitioners, academic librarians use conferences and that informal networking as a way to elicit evidence from others and be used in a way that is benchmarking good practice across similar libraries. In a study of special librarians, professional experience and knowledge is quite an important source, because of their specific context and they rely on that heavily in order to make decisions and improvements.

Koufogiannakis (2011) says that we can’t just rely on our experiences but we need to engage in reflection and critical thinking to draw that experience and knowledge out and to be able to share it others. I tend to agree with this. As well, I’ll add that when we share our experiences of particularly new services or programs that we implement that we not only discuss the what and the how but also the impact that those have had on our clients and communities. These days we need to have best bang for our buck and we need to serve our clients and communities in a way that has greatest impact and value. So I would invite people who are sharing their experiences to also touch on that as well as the considerations involved in implementing improvements or new services and program.

So in the next video I want to talk about ‘best available’ evidence.

Until next time take care,


You can also view Day 8 (Professional knowledge) 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.

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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