The context of my research explored evidence based practice as it is understood and experienced by teacher librarians. During the course of the day we will explore the theme of teacher librarians and evidence based practice and how we can use evidence to advocate. I will begin by presenting the theoretical underpinning of EBP for teacher librarians. This is a model which I will explain and unpack. With these understandings we can begin to communicate with a common language. Then I will discuss the ways in which teacher librarians work within the theoretical model. I will demonstrate this with examples taken from the research. In this way you will gain understandings about how teacher librarians have identified areas of concern and then applied strategies or approaches to provide evidence. At the conclusion of the presentation, we will move to the collaborative and practical aspects of todays workshop and you will have an opportunity to think through some evidence strategies for your own situations.
I titled my thesis, ‘Untangling the evidence’ because the participants in this research spoke of their evidence within the context of their work in the school. In many cases they had not identified the potential of the evidence which surrounded them in their day to day activities. Their evidence was tangled within their activities, thoughts, feelings and interactions with their staff and students. So it was like taking a thread and drawing it out and gradually unravelling all of these parts to reveal or dig down to the actual evidence. So today, by raising your awareness, you too will be able find your own evidence which will be specific to your context or workplace. Evidence base practice can encompass many aspects of the activities of the teacher librarian. Some of the reasons that teacher librarians in this research gathered and used evidence included:planning for the future, using research to inform and influence practice, seeking affirmation of practice, leading innovation, responding to client needs, building the physical environment, promoting literacy, maximising the skills of staff, empowering staff, improving library practice and improving student learning outcomes ….just to name a few. So evidence can be used in many ways, from informing decision making through to using evidence to demonstrate your contributions to the academic, cultural and social aspects of your school.So bearing in mind that the focus of today is ‘Evidence with Advocacy’ we will concentrate on gathering and using evidence to enable you to advocate with evidence. .
Todd’s (2009) discussion paper posits that there are six common beliefs about evidence based practice in school librarianship, as follows.First, school libraries are essential for addressing curriculum standards. Second, teacher librarianship is an applied science and profession, which derives its practice from a diverse body of theoretical and empirical knowledge. Thus, teacher librarians are well placed to lead and transform educational practice. Third, school libraries play a transformative role in the intellectual, social and cultural development of children. Fourth, teacher librarians enable the transformation of information to knowledge through their teaching programs. Fifth, the value of a school library can be measured, in terms of documented transformations of learning outcomes, and personal and social growth of the students. Sixth, sustainable development is associated with accountability for meeting espoused goals. These beliefs, (Todd, 2009, p. 91) move evidence based practice for teacher librarians from a rhetorical warrant to an evidential warrant for professional practice; from a persuasive/advocacy framework to a declarative/demonstrable framework; from a process framework to an outcomes framework; and from a “tell me” framework to a “show me” framework.
The six core beliefs identify a purpose for evidence based practice in teacher librarianship that goes beyond accessing, appraising and utilising research to solve problems and inform practice. There is a basic premise in EBP generally, that evidence informs practice, but beyond that there appears to be competing and at times conflicting ideas about what evidence based practice is and how it should be used.For teacher librarians there is a greater emphasis on accountability to use evidence based practice to demonstrate impact on student learning, where the practice is embedded in professional practice.
Today we will focus on these two findings from the research. By untangling the activities of the participants I was able to build a model to represent evidence based practice for teacher librarians. In order to develop common understandings and approaches for evidence based practice we first need to build a common language.For example, if I use the terms authority files, MARC, indexing, main entry, controlled vocabulary, classification you would know that I was talking about cataloguing.Likewise the terms Boolean operators, keyword, advanced searching you would know I was talking about searching for information from a database.Let us now begin to unpack the model so that we can develop a common language.
The first finding describes evidence based practice as holistic. But it comprises different parts. The second finding is Evidence based practice for teacher librarians involves both purposefully engaging with evidence and unintentionally encountering evidence . These two actions are at the centre of the model. In this study I have to come recognise that teacher librarians experience evidence in two main ways, which I have termed engaging and encountering. These two concepts describe the ways in which teacher librarians experience evidence. This is what we will focus on today.
EngagingThese are deliberate strategies. They might include surveys, formal feedback mechanisms, observations, data of library usage, personal and student diary or journal writing. EncounteringEvidence is gained by chance, through overheard comments, anecdotes and observations.My next statement is important to remember. Do not confuse or substitute engaging and encountering with formal and informal. It is possible that a teacher librarian could deliberately source anecdotes and deliberately observe activities to gain evidence. It is also possible that in gathering data from a survey or student journals for instance, that evidence is gained which is unexpected or unintentional.These two actions of engaging and encountering can follow each other, but cannot occur at the same time. It is like a coin which can flip from one action to another.
Now to explain each action.Engaging with evidence is not just evidence that is numerical statistics. It is any evidence that you have deliberately sought. So it could be consciously seeking feedback by asking questions of teachers and students and then recording the responses in some way. Caitlin in the research interviewed the students and recorded their responses. She asked pre-planned questions. This is described as purposeful seeking.Meg set up a wiki where her staff could put up new ideas and respond to questions. With the wiki Meg was consciously seeking the responses of her staff. The staff were active participants and the wiki recorded their responses. This is described as purposeful scanning.
Now to describe encountering.Caitlin has a conversation with a student about the library blog and the student responds about how he uses it. This is described as accidental finding. Caitlin also received unexpected information from a third party. In this case it was Caitlin’s head master’s comment in response to her asking about her appraisal . This is described as accidental receiving. Accidental receiving is one source of evidence that teacher librarians should become more consciously aware. There was more than one incident in the research where the principals comments had an impact on the teacher librarians activities. In these cases the principal had already come to some conclusions about the activities. It was not conclusive as to how they gathered the evidence to make their decisions, but it can be assumed that they had made observations, overhead remarks from staff etc or perhaps had deliberately sought the opinions of key staff to come to their decisions. Encountered evidence is perhaps the untapped potential. An overlooked source of evidence for teacher librarians.
Andy I think expresses a common dilemma for teacher librarians. He knows that his activities have had success with the students, but he does not know how to express it. How does he measure his success and what things should be measured?If we move away from thinking in terms of measuringit might be a starting point. To think in these terms, perhaps is a relationship with numerical data. Yet from the research, it was not this type of data is not what informed the teacher librarians. There is a need to connect evidence with objectives and outcomes.Todd expresses it as:
However harnessing this encountered evidence is something that we can work on to gather a variety of evidence which supports our activities. Todd suggests that evidence should be gathered to meet targeted aims and objectives. There is much that we can draw upon and perhaps too much to consider gathering evidence about everything.
Having introduced some key concepts – engaging and encountering evidence – I shall explore the idea of building an evidence base and I will do this by introducing you to some of the teacher librarians in this research.
Diversity is a recurring theme in my findings – in particular it is associated with the diverse nature of teacher librarians’ role and their working environments. In this study no two teacher librarians described their role in the school in the same way. The school environment in which they worked was different in every instance. Some were concentrating wholly on the management of the library, others had a variety of other roles in the school. Some held positions on management and curriculum teams and others were excluded. Those in large libraries were managing teams of teacher librarians and paraprofessionals while others worked in isolation. Even in this room here today I am sure there are wide ranging descriptions of the roles that teacher librarians perform in our schools. It has highlighted for me the diverse nature of the role of the teacher librarian.
I am going to restate something that is important to remember. Do not confuse or substitute engaging and encountering with formal and informal. I also prefer not to use the terms hard and soft to describe evidence. Hard is sometimes used to describe numerically based statistical data and in using such as term, serves to weaken the evidence which is sourced from non-statistical sources, for instance by anecdote. This is sometimes referred to as soft data. It is all data, whether it is presented in numbers or words. Data can be sourced in two ways. Qualitatively or quantitatively. To begin, I am going to introduce you to Joelle and Alcina who have used quantitative data collecting approaches. They used circulation statistics, student database usage, and student access to the library. Then I will introduce Joan who takes a qualitative approach with the formal survey of the staff, and Meg who purposefully seeks the opinions and ideas of her staff through a wiki. In all four examples their engagement in deliberate data gathering is supported with evidence that they encounter from unexpected sources.From all four the data is locally derived – that is from their own school setting.
Joelle:When Joelle was appointed at her school she realised she had to raise the profile of the library: ‘to take it from being a storeroom to a place that could support teaching and learning.’ Although Joelle did not feel she could provide data to substantiate an impact on student learning, she had been proactive in using evidence to advocate for change in the way that the library was used. In order to become more effective in using evidence she undertook professional development and then applied this new knowledge in her practice.As part of her own professional development, Joelle enrols in an online course that is targeted at librarians to develop skills in the use of quantitative and qualitative research and how to use data, statistics, circulation details etc. She also evaluates her own performance using these evidence gathering tools. This would b e an example of purposeful scanning.Joelle also attends a workshop which focuses on lifting the presentation of the library. She gathers evidence about what resources are needed by working with teachers on assignment topics so that she can ensure that the library will be able to provide the print and online resources and then runs professional development for the staff on the use of databases. She documents these activities and by providing supporting statistical evidence she is able to build a report for the school board to advocate for the library and its resources. This would be an example of purposeful seeking.As a result of these evidence based practices and with the support of the school board, she is able to make many improvements to the ways that the students access information both on and off campus.
Alcina:Alcina wants to introduce a class of year 8 students to using guided inquiry focusing on a literature unit about the Holocaust. During this unit she keeps borrowing statistics to see whether the books that are borrowed by the students have a connection to the learning program. The evidence from the borrowing statistics indicatesthat there has been a fourfold increase in borrowing with the students involved in this learning activity. This would be an example of purposeful seeking. Alcina is not so optimistic to believe that all of the students have read all of the books borrowed, and comments: ‘You can say you don’t know if they have read them, so I can guarantee you that at least half of them have been read, you know just in results of the chat we had with them.’ This would be an example of purposeful scanning. Alcina’ engages with evidence when using the statistical data of student borrowing and is encountering evidence from the comments of the students. These using these two approaches Alcina is able to provide evidence that she is having an impact on the reading of the students in year 8.
Joan:On Joan’s appointment to her school she wanted to change the way that the teacher librarian interacts with the students. The previous teacher librarian had provided relief from face to face teaching and had little contact with teachers to plan and no opportunity to work with the class teacher as a teaching team. Joan’s agenda is to improve the quality of teaching. She approaches her principal and he agrees to a trial of cooperative planning and teaching with a flexible timetable. In order to gather evidence to support her case, at the end of the first term she provides written surveys to the teachers where she asks questions such as: ‘What were the benefits for the students? What were the benefits of working professionally in a team? What improvements could be made? Would they be prepared to do CPT in the future?’ This wold be an example of purposeful seeking. This qualitative data is supported with more statistical data when Joan collates a table where she plots the teachers she has worked with, the classes she has taught, the number of hours involved. She plots the skills that have been covered against the education department’s information skills outline and the results that the students achieved. This is an example of purposeful scanning.She is able to present this evidence at a staff meeting to gain support for the CPT program to be continued.
Meg:With a library staff of 22, Meg is involved in management and this leads her to take a collaborative approach to evidence gathering. She set up a wiki as a way to collate, collaborate and share ideas, thoughts and strategies. She considers that the collaborative space that the wiki offers is a way to empower her staff; that everyone has a voice, and all ideas are welcome. Meg wants each staff member to have some commitment from a professional point of view, and to think about how they could make a difference. The wiki gathers actions, thoughts and fresh ideas from everyone, even those who may not normally contribute. In this way, Meg intends that the staff who may feel less empowered can see that they too have made an impact. To Meg, the staff comments in the wiki constitute important evidence. Her collaborative approach to evidence gathering has the benefit of building strong team relationships, by providing an opportunity for new ideas to be shared. Meg asserts that this approach works for her as she has a large staff and the strategy in using the wiki means that she can be in contact with all of them in some way. She is able to draw on the collaborative wisdom and experience of the team and use this evidence to go to management and say: ‘as a team, not just me, we think this is a great idea…we would like to do this because…’The qualitative data that Meg can gather from the wiki has also provided her with evidence which can use to advocate for the library. The wiki is also demonstrating that the library staff collaborate and work as a team. This is an example of purposeful scanning.
For Joelle, Alcina, Meg and Joan all of their evidence is locally derived, that is from their circulation statistics, student database usage, and student access to the library and formal surveys and the wiki.Joelle and Joan use a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches. They have combined deliberate and unintentional evidence approaches in formal reporting to advocate for change.For Alcina the borrowing statistics are an indication to her that the literature program is encouraging the students to read. Supporting Alcina’s statistical evidence in an unstructured way is the incidental feedback gained in chatting with the students about the books they have read.
In exploring the concept of advocacy with evidence I will introduce Aileen and Josie. Aileen is purposeful in her approach. She uses quantitative data and persuasion to advocate for the library, whereas Josie’s unstructured approach evolves.
Aileen advocates using evidence to maintain staffing levels for the library by aligning the strategic direction and vision for the library to support the goals and mission of the school. Aileen was faced with the prospect of losing support staff due to falling student enrolment and subsequent reduced funding. She related an incident where“I really went to bat for my staff. They did not realise how much of a fight I went through and when the school lost 10 full time teaching staff and 10 full time clericals across the whole school, I lost one day clerical across my entire staff. Other staffs were decimated, but because I went to bat for them by providing statistics and the fact that we have long working hours is that I couldn’t cut my staffing back. The benefit was I only lost 0.2 of a clerical role.” Aileen was able to use statistical evidence and a certain amount of persuasion to circumvent administrative decisions that could adversely affect staffing in the library. Aileen feels that she needs “to back up everything I say with evidence” as her position is one in which she is very accountable. She was asked to speak to the school council to provide information about the direction that the library was taking and what achievements had been made. She was able to do this with the statistics she had gathered. “I statistically back up everything I say, whether it is talking about the amount of loans, the amount of classes through the library, the amount of kids I babysit, how many have come through the security system, which was 22,535 last term and then we go from there.”Additionally, she was able to align the direction for the library with the goals and missions of the school. Aileen had identified that the IT infrastructure in the library was not adequate to support the learning objectives as stated in the goals and missions. She was able to position the vision for the library to address the same goals, supported with statistical data of library usage. Aileen’s strategic approach provided direction and evidence that met the needs and priorities stated in the goals for the school. Aileen purposefully sought supporting evidence derived from student borrowing statistics and library activity. She provided direction to the school board on how the library can support the goals and missions of the school. Her evidence was locally derived.
Josie:Josie provides a hands on and practical approach to evidence gathering and use. Josie describes how she found herself in a predicament when the IT support staff left the school at the time that she is appointed. While Josie was not a novice in web site management, the IT support had set up a website that requires advanced skills. Josie needs to set up a web portal for the library that is more suited to her skills and time commitments. She builds a library portal using Web 2.0 online applications. The next step is to get the students and staff to use it and for that she needs the support of the principal. She books an appointment with him where she demonstrates the new library web portal and discusses its potential and benefits. In this demonstration the principal can see for himself how beneficial this can be for the staff and students and enthusiastically recommends that the internally based SharePoint site can also be incorporated into the web portal. The first hand experience that the principal has in using the web portal is the beginning of his ongoing support to share it with the teachers. To an outsider, this may not seem to be a difficult task, but in Josie’s school it is very difficult to gain time in a staff meeting where all teachers are required to attend. The principal provides his support by requiring that all teachers should attend the initial staff meeting where Josie introduces the new web portal and the subsequent professional development sessions that follow. This is purposeful scanning at work. Josie’s approach could be described in the vernacular as ‘suck it and see.’ Josie sees a need for improved teacher and student access to the library resources, databases and the wider internet and took a practical hands on approach when she utilised Web 2.0 applications to build the new web portal. Exposing her principal to the new web portal holds no guarantee that it will meet with approval or support. The gradual building of evidence from the first exposure to the principal, then to the staff and the follow up professional development is not a structured plan but something that evolves as Josie moves to make the changes to meet the needs of her clientele. Josies approach is fluid and responds to the changes in the situation and the momentum of the changing situation. The building of the preliminary web portal involved purposeful scanning to convince her principal that the project would be worthwhile. Later, Josie encountered evidence when she worked with the teachers in workshops and saw their responses and heard their comments. This is accidental finding. Subsequently, the web portal was introduced to the students and she was able to gather supporting evidence on their web activity. Josie had evidence that demonstrated that she was supporting the professional development of the staff; that the students were more competent in their use of the internet and that the library was working to support the needs of students. This is purposeful scanning.
Let us revisit the idea of having a clear purpose for our evidence gathering. Both of these examples could describe the work of the teacher librarian. It just depends on the perspective of the onlooker.Donna gains valuable feedback from the class teacher about the learning engagement of the students when she leads the students to interpret a picture book. This unsolicited feedback is valuable evidence for Donna and in recounting this incident she can demonstrate that she is making contributions to student learning.
Most of the examples from the research demonstrated that in using evidence teacher librarians were able to demonstrate positive outcomes. But is all evidence going to have positive outcomes?I am adding a cautionary tale here when I introduce Joby. She was able to outline many strategies for gathering and using evidence, yet was unable to gain recognition for the role that she performed in the school.
Joby: Joby is situated in a school in a very affluent area. The students at the school have a strong reading culture; the students are regular borrowers. Book Fairs and Book Week activities are well supported by the teachers and the parents. Yet Joby was informed by her principal that the library would have no budget for the coming year. Joby collects lots of data about the borrowing habits of the students. She surveys staff for feedback on the effectiveness of her teaching activities. She collates and presents this evidence. Additionally at the end of each work day Joby takes stock of the things that have been done and what is still left to do: ‘I evaluate every day. I go through at the end of the day and work out what I haven’t done, when I can do it, and also at the end of the term I will go through the holidays and do a little personal evaluation, like after an event like Book Week I will do the same thing too. I will go through it...what worked, what didn’t. No one else sees that ....’ Joby’s evaluations are like a personal journal. Despite the evidence that Joby gathers and presents to her principal she has been unable to make any real gains in the way that she operates in the school. In fact in the last year she feels she has gone backwards to change the focus of the library in the school. She felt unrecognised and undervalued. Joby also indicated that in presenting to staff meetings, it was something that she did alone. Staff supported her in the surveys she collated, but this support was not forthcoming in the more public arena of the staff meeting. It was not specified in the interview why Joby presented alone and received no support in staff meetings, but it is possible that this is related to the culture of the school. Other indications in the interview were that the principal did not consult with staff in decision making and staff may have felt reluctant to speak out in support of Joby. On first appearances, Joby seemed to be doing the right things, but the problem could be that Joby was providing the “wrong” evidence. The principal was already aware that the school had a strong reading culture; he was aware that she was working with all the teachers; he could see for himself how many parents visited the Book Fairs. Joby was not telling the principal anything that he did not already know and she had not been able to build influenceSo what is not happening here?Joby has no clearly defined role in the school and her role can change from one year to the next. The principal already knows that the students in the school have a strong reading culture. Joby’s evidence is telling him what he already knows. There is nothing new here.Perhaps Joby’s evidence gathering should be directed to demonstrating that she is supporting the school’s goals and missions and that she is having a positive impact on other aspects of student learning.
I would now like to introduce you to the Meerkat theory. This is not off the topic, but leads us into the next session for today.Tell the story of the Meerkat.
Borders was in the business of providing books and entertainment. Its doors are now shut. If we do not want our school libraries to go the same way, we need to demonstrate the impact that we can have on student learning as well as the cultural and social aspects of our schools.Some messages I would like to leave with you today:Have a plan and start by aligning the goals of the library with the goals of the school. Plan your evidence to demonstrate that you are contributing to these goals. Be clear what your role is in the school and provide evidence that your role is supporting these goals.Meet the needs of your own school environment and gather evidence that demonstrates the contributions you make to the teaching and learning at your school. Be aware of many sources of evidence that demonstrate your contributions to and the impact that you have upon student learning.Look for evidence about your contributions that your principal may not know about.We have begun to develop a language for us to begin the discussion about what is evidence based practice for teacher librariansThis is just the beginning. Fifteen teacher librarians shared their stories for this research so that we can gain some understandings about what is evidence based practice for teacher librarians. Today I have introduced you to only 6 of them. Each of us can make a contribution to how we can gather and use evidence in our practice. There are many more stories out there.
Could be classroom or library. You would like to demonstrate that your activities have had an impact.Suggestions on how you identify an outcome and then source the evidence which demonstrates your impact. It is also possible as in the case of Caitlin's conversation with the student about the library blog that she was unaware of the impact, and then the reverse could be applied. For instance a connection can be demonstrated between school and home and this evidence is available to demonstrate this.
Untangling the evidence : theory and practice
EVIDENCE: THEORY AND
Ann Gillespie, QUT
Part 1: The theoretical background
Presenting the holistic model of evidence based practice for
Developing a common language
What is evidence for teacher librarians using illustrations from
FROM THE LITERATURE
Six common beliefs about EBP in school librarianship (Todd, 2009)
School libraries are essential for addressing curriculum standards
Teacher librarians are well placed to lead and transform
School libraries play a transformative role in the
intellectual, social and cultural development of children
TLs enable transformation of information to knowledge
The value of the school library can be measured
Sustainable development is associated with accountability
The six core beliefs identify a
purpose for evidence based
practice in teacher librarianship
THE FINDINGS: PRESENTING THE
Overarching critical finding: Evidence based practice for
teacher librarians is a holistic experience.
Supporting critical finding: Evidence based practice for teacher
librarians involves both purposefully engaging with evidence and
unintentionally encountering evidence.
Engaging: a deliberate and purposeful
Encountering: an unintended or
serendipitous activity or event
Engaging having two modes, that of
purposeful seeking and purposeful
Encountering also having two
modes, that of accidental finding and
I don’t know if I can measure it, I don’t know if I am even
measuring the right thing. By all the standards that come out of
the books I may be a dismal failure. I don’t care, but there are
plenty of kids and plenty of parents who reckon that I am doing
a reasonable job, and I can deal with that. Fine, OK. That kid
now picks up books and they share them with their family. And
RELATING THE EVIDENCE TO
Many of the critical incidents in this research revealed an
encountering of evidence, with a reliance on
observation, anecdote and chance encounter and coincides
with a lack of specificity and precision (Todd, 2003).
Teacher librarians were aware of what they wanted to
achieve, but were unsure about how to articulate and specify
these as outcomes.
BUILDING AN EVIDENCE BASE
Teacher librarians have
many approaches for
gathering and using
The diverse nature of the teacher
librarians’ role highlights the need
for many approaches to evidence
TYPES OF DATA FOR EVIDENCE
Joelle is Head of Library
Services in an independent
sector Prep to year 12 school
of 1100 students. Whilst the
school deliberately sought a
teacher librarian, Joelle has
had to gradually build her
position at the school. Joelle
describes her role as: ‘to
facilitate effective learning
and teaching through the
provision of quality services
and resources; whether the
resources are print or
electronic. She has been an
advocate for continual
improvement to the library’s
facilities in order to fulfil the
information needs of her
Alcina is Head of Information
Services in a Prep to year 12
independent sector school of
1350 students. Alcina is
involved in the curriculum
committee and runs the junior
school staff meetings. She is
actively involved in planning
and teaching with the class
teachers and uses a flexible
timetable with the other
teacher librarians to manage
the workload. She has
introduced a guided inquiry
approach and embeds ICT
into the teaching program.
Joan is the teacher
librarian in a government
sector Prep to Year 6
school of 915 students. The
student population is quite
multicultural and a Sikh
temple is nearby. For many
of the children English is a
second language. Joan is
involved in cooperative
planning and teaching
operated with a flexible
timetable. Joan has
introduced a guided
inquiry approach and uses
this as the focus of her
Meg is Head of Information
Services in a Prep to year
12 independent sector
school of 2200 students.
Meg describes her role as: ‘
my main role is leadership
of the teacher
librarians, the library
technicians and the audio
visual technicians and I
spend probably 90% of my
time managing a large
diverse group of staff, as
well as teaching.’
Data is locally derived
Circulation and borrowing statistics
Student database usage
Supported with incidental feedback
Aileen is Head of Information Services in an
independent sector Prep to Year 12 school of 850
students. Some of the students are international
and local boarders. She is supported by two full-
time librarians, a full-time clerical assistant and a
part-time AV assistant, an archivist and a full-time
and a part-time teacher librarian. The library has
had an extensive renovation where Aileen worked
with the architects and the school board to
provide a modern library. Aileen likes to see the
library at the forefront of technology and works to
achieve this aim.
Josie is teacher librarian in a
government sector Prep to year 10
school of 420 students. A joint use
library is situated on the school
grounds and Josie manages this
library with the assistance of a library
technician provided by the local
council. The local community has
access to the library outside of school
hours. Josie’s focus however is with
the students and teachers of the
school. Much of Josie’s teaching time
is in the provision of relief from face to
face contact, so cooperative
teaching opportunities are limited.
She does however plan with the class
teachers to ensure that teaching in
the library is relevant to the class
the facilitator, an EQ employee (past Principal) said "Well, take the TL,
what do they do, is it really necessary to have someone employed
just to sit and read a story?“ (pers.comm. 13 August, 2010)
‘I had a year three class in here yesterday and we looked at one of the
short listed picture books, the Gregory Rogers one that has no words.
We spent 45 minutes with it, and the teacher just went ‘I can’t
believe we just spent 45 minutes looking at a picture book and it has
not got one word in it.’ We were talking about what it was about,
what had happened, .....so is just those sorts of things that as teacher
librarian we can just sit down with a book and spend an hour with
A CAUTIONARY TALE
Will all evidence bring positive
Joby is teacher librarian in
a Prep to year 6
independent sector school
of 300 students. Joby has a
heavy teaching load and
engages with all classes
each week as well as
providing relief from face
to face teaching, so the
timetable is very structured.
To ensure the teaching in
the library is relevant Joby
plans with each teacher at
the beginning of each term
takes an inquiry approach
where possible with the
classes she works with.
THE SCHOOL LIBRARY IS NOT BORDERS
Have a plan
Align the your role and the goals of the library with the goals of the
Meet the needs of your school environment
Provide evidence that demonstrates your contributions to the goals
of the school
MORE ABOUT EBP IN LIBRARIANSHIP
EBLIP 8 conference. Brisbane, QUT Gardens Point, July 6,7,8, 2015
Online Open Access Journal
(or just Google EBLIP)
Our study “Building the basis for evidence-based library and information
practice: a qualitative study
Facebook – Evidence based practice for school libraries
Papers and thesis http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Gillespie,_Ann.html
Todd, R. J. (2003a). Learning in the information age school: Opportunities, outcomes
and opinions. In International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Annual
Conference. Durban, South Africa.
Todd, R. J. (2009). School librarianship and evidence based practice:
Progess, perspectives, and challenges. EBLIP Evidence Based Library and Information
Practice 4(2), Retrieved January 10, 2012, from
Engaging Purposeful seeking Actively seeking contact
with an identified source.
Searching for specific
Asking pre planned
questions; using active
Engaging Purposeful scanning Identifying a likely source to
provide evidence for a
opportunity to ask a
(within or outside school
Encountering Accidental finding Unintentional encountering
of evidence in unexpected
Overheard feedback in
sourced from another party.
through another party
or by proxy
What is the problem? Actions that can be
What is the evidence
gathering strategy or
What is the evidence?
Example from Rachel:
The students are
borrowing more from the
evidence using the
borrowing statistics of the
evidence by asking
students what they
thought of the books they
Collation of borrowing
Begin to build benchmark
Statistics recorded on
class by class basis;
Statistics recorded on
activity basis – where the
TL was involved in the
class or not involved.
Record responses using
micro recorder at the time
of the students returning
Ask students to give a
quick review of the books
they have read. Record
Compared statistics for
anecdotes from the
What is the problem Actions that can be
What is the evidence
gathering strategy or
What is the evidence?
Example from Andrea:
The teacher librarian
has had a successful
with the students.
journals and displays of
of evidence by
listening to comments
from those who come
to see the display.
Student work samples,
TLs positive effect on
comments in a journal
journals and displays
BUILD ON THE MODEL
What is the
Actions that can
What is the
What is the
How does this
align with policy
(or whatever) ?