I decided to review an article on evidence based practice (EBP) in special libraries as that is an area I would like to pursue a career in. I selected this article as it was specific to Australian libraries and I know of the authors and respect their work. Although the study only involved 5 special librarians it gave me an interesting perspective as to how they incorporated EBP into their daily work. I was interested to discover how closely it correlated to how I tried to incorporate EBP into nursing.
Special librarians have limited time and resources to research in the workplace and often rely on their previous experience and advice from their colleagues and other professionals in their network (Howlett and Howard, 2015). This was my experience in nursing, as we often had to make decisions quickly and relied on our own knowledge and experience and that of our colleagues. When I thought about it, this didn’t really differ much from practicing before EBP, when we followed the advice of more experienced nurses.
I have tried during my career to keep up to date by attending professional development activities and reading journals in my own time, but time is precious and often in short supply. I think as professionals we need to be willing to share information and trust our colleagues. I have found Twitter is an excellent tool for this, as are the Australian Library and Information Association e-lists. I recently subscribed to the Prison Librarians e-list as I will be doing a research project in this area and received numerous offers of help when I introduced myself, which I hope to repay once my project is completed.
My main takeaway from the article is that as a special librarian I am likely to have limited resources and time for personal research to enable me to pursue EBP. I will endeavour to seek professional development opportunities in my own time if necessary and continue to build upon my professional network, throughout my career.