Academic librarianship is well suited to EBLIP. In this chapter, we provide some context as to why this is the case – the rapidly changing role of academic libraries and librarians, as well as higher education institutions more generally. The knowledge base of evidence is described, in terms both of the types of research available and of the size and scope of the available evidence. The knowledge base in academic librarianship is growing quickly, due to research on developing issues in higher education and academic libraries, as well as an increased focus on assessment and evaluation programmes for continuous improvement and demonstrating value.
We discuss the types of evidence sources available for academic librarians to draw on beyond the traditional journal article and conference presentation, and examine how librarians are creating evidence, in some cases by collaborating with others who work outside of libraries. Methods used by academic librarians for finding and using evidence to inform decision making are presented, along with considerations regarding organizational climate, or readiness for EBP. We conclude with examples from the academic library sector of successful application of the principles of EBLIP for informing changes in practice and transforming organizational processes.
The changing landscape and growing body of evidence
The role of academic libraries and the practice of academic librarianship have been transformed in recent years by dramatic changes in both higher education and scholarly publishing. Print has transitioned increasingly to electronic form and librarians have been vigilant in ensuring seamless access to online resources as well as encouraging their integration into discovery layers and learningmanagement systems. In anticipation of emerging publication models and platforms with new licensing requirements, highly skilled experts in acquisition, discovery and access are required. At the same time, conversations about learningmanagement systems’ features, including customization and personalization, have advanced students’ and researchers’ engagement with library resources in order to improve learning outcomes. Physical library facilities have also changed, increasingly employing participatory design methodologies with campus stakeholders, with a focus on users’ needs. All of these changes have both drawn from and contributed to a growing body of research, making academic librarianship the ideal setting for EBLIP.
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