“Prediction is Difficult, Especially the Future”: A Progress Report

Andrew Booth, Anne Brice

Abstract


Objective - This paper reviews developments in the consolidation and diversification of the evidence based library and information practice (EBLIP) paradigm since publication of the authors’ book Evidence Based Practice for Information Professionals: a Handbook in 2004.

Methods - The authors provide an updated narrative review of key themes in the development of evidence based librarianship within the context of the new consensual term ‘EBLIP.’ Sources for this thematic framework included professional literature, Internet searches, and the authors’ personal experiences.

Results - While considerable achievements have been realized within a three-year period, most notably the instigation of the journal known as EBLIP, a broadening of the paradigm to other library sectors, and increased availability of implementation studies, many challenges remain. Of particular concern is the lack of international strategic foresight in determining rotation of the biennial international conferences and distribution of influential EBLIP infrastructures and initiatives.

Conclusion - While the enthusiasms and energies of individual practitioners and work teams have made considerable progress in meeting short-term objectives, uncertainty remains concerning how longer-term objectives requiring infrastructure and resources might be realized. From its faltering steps as a toddler EBLIP has developed to a ‘pre-pubescent’ stage with the promise of ‘growth spurts’ and ‘emotional crises.’ The next three years should prove both challenging and demanding.

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