Making a Commitment to EBLIP: The Role of Library Leadership

Suzanne F Grefsheim, Jocelyn A Rankin, Susan C Whitmore


Purpose - The role of library management and administration is pivotal to successful adoption of evidence-based practice by library practitioners. As part of its long-standing commitment to a learning organization, the leadership team of the biomedical research library serving the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, USA planned and implemented a systematic approach to fostering EBLIP practice.

Method - The library initiated a program to build an environment conducive to EBLIP that included support and release time for library research projects, formal training in EBLIP methods, and team mentoring as research projects evolved. Library staff participating in the EBLIP initiative were the library’s 32 professional librarians as well as four other staff members. Many had scientific research experience but few if any had designed a library research study. All considered training as very important to the EBLIP initiative, as well as opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and present at professional meetings. Five teams undertook research projects; highlights of these team studies are described briefly.

Conclusions - By providing a supportive framework for EBLIP practice, library leadership can successfully engage staff in EBLIP thinking and small research studies. Librarians with some training in the research process and ongoing mentoring can design and conduct studies that find important practical answers to the questions that arise in daily practice.

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