Australian Academic Librarians’ Experience of Evidence Based Practice Involves Empowering, Intuiting, Affirming, Connecting, Noticing, and Impacting

  • Joanne Marie Muellenbach UNLV Libraries - Health Sciences Library University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2040 West Charleston Boulevard Room 520; Mail Stop 7201 Las Vegas, Nevada 89102
Keywords: Academic librarianship, evidence-based practice, grounded theory methodology,


A Review of:
Miller, F., Partridge, H., Bruce, C., Yates, C., & Howlett, A. (2017). How academic librarians experience evidence-based practice: A grounded theory model. Library & Information Science Research, 39(2), 124-130.


Objective – To explore and enhance the understanding of how Australian library and information science (LIS) practitioners experience or understand evidence based practice (EBP) within the context of their day-to-day professional work.

Design – Constructivist grounded theory methodology.

Setting – University libraries in Queensland, Australia.

Subjects – 13 academic librarians.

Methods – Researchers contacted academic librarians by email and invited each participant to take part in a 30-60 minute, semi-structured interview. They designed interview questions to allow participants to explain their process and experience of EBP.

Main results – This study identified six categories of experience of EBP using a constructivist grounded theory analysis process. The categories are: Empowering; Intuiting; Affirming; Connecting; Noticing; and Impacting. Briefly, empowering includes being empowered, or empowering clients, colleagues, and institutions through improved practice or performance. Intuiting includes being intuitive, or using one’s own intuition, wisdom, and understanding, of colleagues and clients’ behaviours to solve problems and redesign services. Affirming includes being affirmed through sharing feedback and using affirmation to strengthen support for action. Connecting includes being connected, and building connections, with clients, colleagues, and institutions. Noticing includes being actively aware of, observing, and reflecting on clients, colleagues, and literature within and outside of one’s own university, and noticing patterns in data to inform decision-making. Impacting includes being impactful, or having a visible impact, on clients, colleagues, and institutions. Together, these categories represent a model that explains the nature of academic librarians’ experiences of EBP. The theory describes academic librarians' experiences as complex and highly contextualized phenomena. There is no clear relationship between these categories, as data analysis did not generate a specific hierarchy of categories.

Conclusion – Based on the research findings the authors hypothesize that their study is one of a growing number of studies that has begun to establish an empirical basis for EBP in the LIS profession.


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How to Cite
Muellenbach, J. (2017). Australian Academic Librarians’ Experience of Evidence Based Practice Involves Empowering, Intuiting, Affirming, Connecting, Noticing, and Impacting. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 12(4), 268-270.
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