Putting Evidence to Work in Your Library • Presenting Evidence for Change

Presenting evidence can take a number of different forms. Perhaps your next step is presenting at your state, regional, or national conference to demonstrate to others the results of an intervention or experiment that you performed in your program. Maybe you're simply going to lead the next professional development meeting for the other librarians in your district or perhaps it's time to take the evidence to the administration to make adjustments in policies or funding.

The point that I want to emphasize most here is that in presenting evidence in evidence-based practice, the strongest call to action and the biggest sense of urgency is when you bring all the different types of evidence together, foundational process, outcomes, objective, subjective, and a mix of all of those.

Let's take a look at a quick scenario. Remember our ELL students and the graphic novels they were using to improve their reading comprehension? Well, the results from that study were pretty good.

You had a look at some foundational evidence of using visuals and imagery with ELL students and some process evidence from a few articles in which other librarians indicated they had some success with using graphic novels in other ways in the library. You then conducted your study and you now have outcomes evidence that you can take to your principal. The class that worked with graphic novels had bigger improvements in reading comprehension than did the ELL students in the other classes that didn't use graphic novels.

You've created a quick one sheet visual infographic that demonstrates this to your principal and you've set up a meeting. Your principal might take a quick glance at the infographic and you might talk about the data with them, but you've also got a powerful subjective story to add. You tell your principal about Rafiq.

Rafiq has had some major obstacles socially and academically, but since you introduced graphic novels to his class, he is now read three entire series of graphic novels and two classic novels that were adapted to graphic format. He's visiting the library twice a week on his own time and you're running out of materials for him. Your principal is starting to nod their head and is asking about Rafiq's test scores which have improved and that's when you pull out the second sheet of paper, the budget request for more graphic novels. It's the combination of all these types of evidence that can help you improve your practice the most.

When collecting evidence of your own practice and looking to make changes, it may not be enough to just look at grades, circulation, statistics, or standardized test scores. It also may not be enough to be using just anecdotal stories, teacher testimonials or student ideas.

The most powerful evidence and changes come in the combination of both the objective and subjective evidence. That is when you can really move forward in your school library practice knowing that you're making sound decisions based on evidence from many different sources.

MLA Citation DiScala, Jeffrey. "Putting Evidence to Work in Your Library: Presenting Evidence for Change." School Library Connection, January 2019, schoollibraryconnection.com/Home/Display/2186033?learningModuleId=2186016&childId=2186034&tab=1&topicCenterId=1955261.

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Entry ID: 2186034

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