Putting Evidence to Work in Your Library • Types of Evidence

We're going to discuss three types of evidence-based practice that were identified by Ross Todd. I'm going to use some language a little differently than Todd's simply because it helps us for practical purposes. Distinguishing different types of evidence by prepositions is a little difficult and the last thing we need with a tricky topic is an even trickier vocabulary.

Evidence for practice is the big picture. Evidence for practice is using the basic tenets of research and theory to inform our overall professional practice as librarians. For this reason, we're going to refer to this as using foundational evidence.

These are the ideas, theories, and proven practices that make school librarianship what it is today. Foundations may move and shift a little over time, but that doesn't keep them from being the bedrock of our practice. An example of foundational evidence would be the large amount of research out there on flexibility in school library scheduling. Numerous studies show evidence that flexible scheduling is preferable to fixed scheduling in school library programs at almost all levels. We use this foundational evidence for our practice and to shape our overall program.

Evidence in practice is about the application of evidence from others on a more micro level. Rather than big theories and the foundations of the practice, evidence in practice is about delving into current literature and examples to help us shape our day-to-day work to improve practice. With this definition in mind, we refer to this as using process evidence.

We're looking at current practices and the practices of others in the immediate, what we were looking at processing right now, and using that to shape our practice. A few examples. Did you attend a great webinar that provided positive results on how to introduce nonfiction text features to students? Did it motivate you to modify your own practice? That's an example of using process evidence to adjust practice.

Finally, evidence of practice is where we get to produce new data and provide our own results of trying something new in our professional practice. Every time you attempt something new in your library program and examine the results of that adventure, you're providing evidence of practice. In producing new results, I refer to this as using outcomes evidence. You're trying out new things and using the outcomes of those efforts to make changes to your practice. Here's another example. Are you making new efforts to collaborate with the math teachers in your school? If you document your efforts as you go, that's collecting outcomes evidence.

Throughout the rest of this workshop, we'll be discussing these different approaches to evidence-based practice and how you can put the evidence to work for you.

MLA Citation DiScala, Jeffrey. "Putting Evidence to Work in Your Library: Types of Evidence." School Library Connection, January 2019, schoollibraryconnection.com/Home/Display/2186023?learningModuleId=2186016&childId=2186024&tab=1&topicCenterId=1955261.

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Entry ID: 2186024

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