Alison Brettle - CILIP Conference



Alison Brettle - CILIP Conference
The value, effectiveness and
impact of professionally trained
library, information and
knowledge workers
Dr Alison Brettle
Reader in Evidence Based Practice and Acting Director
of Post Graduate Research
CILIP Conference, Brighton, 12 July 2016
What evidence is there to support the employment
of professionally trained library, information, and
knowledge workers? A systematic scoping review
of the evidence.
• Brettle, A. and Maden, M. (2016) London:
CILIP. available from
• The importance that stakeholders (funding institutions,
politicians, the public, users, staff) attach to libraries and
which is related to the perception of actual or potential
benefit (3.75). The input is converted into output by
means of processes. The output can have direct, predefined effects (outcomes). Output and outcomes can
lead to impact and finally to value." (British Standard)
• Benefit or worth. Can include monetary value and
impact. (Robinson et al, 2009)
• Can include utility or usefulness, is determined by the
service user and is difficult to disentangle from quality.
(Urquhart, 2015)
• The influence of libraries and their services on
individuals and/or on society. The difference or
change in an individual or group resulting from
the contact with library services (3.25);
• Note: The change can be tangible or intangible
and it may only be possible for the library to
contribute to an impact rather than be solely
responsible (e.g. length of stay, patient care)
• Direct, pre-defined effect of the output related to
goals and objectives of the library’s planning
(e.g. number of users, user satisfaction levels)
• Consequences of deploying services on the
people who encounter them or the communities
served (Markless and Streatfield, 2006, p7)
Or very simply….
• Does it work
• Does it make a
difference (impact)
• Library, Information and
Knowledge professionals
make a significant
contribution to the overall
aims of the organisations
that they serve. And yet,
their skill set is often
over-looked and this
contribution is undervalued.
Systematic scoping review
• Identify the evidence base to support the
profession and members in making the case for
their skills and expertise
• Create a range of evidence based propositions
• Identify gaps in research
5 stages (Arksey and O’Malley,
Identifying research question
Identifying relevant studies
Study selection
Charting the data
Collating, summarising, reporting results
1. Identifying the question
• What evidence is
there to support the
employment of
professionally trained
or registered library,
information and
knowledge staff?
2. Identifying relevant studies
• LISA, LISTA, Library
Literature, Scopus, Medline
and Cinahl
• Ethos
• Targeted internet search
3. Study selection
• Include:
• Studies that assess the effects, value or impact of any
library/information/knowledge management intervention or service.
Library, information, knowledge or IT workers whose work relates to
information or knowledge which needs to be organised or use of a
system in which the information is located
• Roles which include archives or study records
• Evidence of measurable outcome (e.g. time saved, improved
business, improved patient care, improved grades, impact on
• All types of evidence (including experimental or observational
evaluation studies with controlled or uncontrolled prospective
design or controlled retrospective design, return on investment, cost
analysis, correlational studies)
• Studies in English
• Interventions which are provided by information workers
that relates to information systems and how these work
• Descriptions of interventions/services with no evaluation
component or measurable outcomes
• Studies which only include process type outcomes eg
user satisfaction, numbers of users, books loaned
• Archivists
• Evaluation or impact theory testing
• “How to” articles on measuring performance, impact,
evaluation, value
• Citation impact analysis and methods of citation impact
• Studies in languages other than English
Outcomes considered
• Measures of time saved
• Measures of money saved
• Measures of outcomes
relevant per sector (e.g.
impact on patient care –
health, impact on
assessment – academic)
Searching and sifting process
4. Charting the data
Author details and date
Aims of study
Library sector
Evidence of professional
or trained or registered
• Study design
• Outcomes measured
• Key findings
5: Collating, summarising and
reporting the results - health
• 47 studies: 8 SRs, 3
RCTs, surveys, mixed
methods, CIT
• 19 US, 15 UK
• Mainly acute hospital
• 33 studies clearly
professionally trained
• Clinical decision-making (Diagnosis, choice of assessment/test,
choice of intervention)
• Patient centred care (eg advice to patient/carer, reduced length of
stay, improved quality of life for patients/carers, increased patient
involvement/ shared decision making, improved patient experience,
improved patient access to information)
• Risk management & safety (Improve patient/staff safety, avoidance
of referral/readmission/ clinical test/hospitalisation/medication
errors, legal/ethical issues, improve accountability/ transparency of
• Quality of care (Meet quality standards, improved quality care,
interventions based on best practice or current evidence, evaluation
or audit, innovative practice)
• Continuing professional development & research
• Efficiency/cost-effectiveness (Saved time, support organisation
financial strategies, business development)
• “The research examining
librarians providing literature
searching as a service, showed
a positive effect on decreasing
the time to providing relevant
information for clinical decisionmaking and decreased the
length of hospital stay..” (Perrier
et al., 2014, p1122)
“A number of key outcomes related to
patient safety such as misdiagnosis
(13%), adverse drug reaction or
interaction (13%), medication error
(12%), and hospital acquired infection
(3%) were all listed by respondents as
outcomes that were avoided as a
result of the information.” (Marshall et
al., 2013, p.41)
“A quarter reported direct impact in improving patient and staff safety
(n=85, 25%) as well as in risk management (n=79, 23%)...“I would say
so because if a child gets their head trapped in a bedrail, that’s going to
have a huge impact on the financial situation of the Trust through
litigation”. (Nurse, Acute)”. (Brettle et al., 2015, p.26)
Every $1 spent on the library returns $4.49 in return
for Syracuse University (Kingma and McClure, 2015)
“The only variable which made a
significant impact on retention and
graduation was the number of
professional library staff. This
equated to a 10 % increase in the
ratio of professional library staff
predicts a 0.72 % increase in
retention.” (Emmons and Wilkinson,
2011, p.144)
The project has successfully
demonstrated that there is a
statistically significant relationship
between student attainment and two
of the indicators: e-resources use
and book borrowing. This
relationship has been shown to be
true across all eight UK partners in
the project.” (Stone et al., 2012,
“Traditional and web based teaching strongly increases IL skills
when assessed pre and post teaching. For controlled studies,
traditional teaching increases IL skills but the effect size is smaller
than the pre and post studies.” (Weightman et al., 2015)
“The ROI mean and median for all public libraries are 4.5 and 4.4,
respectively (i.e. For every dollar spent the return is 4.5 or 4.4
dollars)” (Aabo, 2009,p.320)
“Apart from addressing their own
computing needs, nearly 2/3 of library
computer users (63 %) logged on to help
others. 56% reported helping friends or
family with health matters, 46 % helped
find information on education and
learning opportunities, and 37 % helping
friends or family find employment or
career information. An estimated 48
million people reported using library
computers and Internet access to
helping their friends, family, co-workers,
and even strangers with a wide range of
problems, from resolving tax questions
to finding medical equipment.” (Becker
et al., 2010, p.4)
“The findings show
considerable evidence of
National Year of Reading
related activities in supporting
the three first-tier social
outcomes: 'Stronger and Safer
Communities', 'Health and
Well-Being' and 'Strengthening
Public Life.” (Rankin, 2012, p.7)
“99.44% indicated that the school library and its
services, including roles of school librarians, have
helped them in some way, regardless of how much, with
their learning in and out of school.” (Todd and Kulthau,
2003, p.5)
“Over half of the students (52.5%) said
that the school library was quite or most
helpful in helping them get better grades
in their projects and assignments.
Almost 3,000 student statements
expressed a relationship between what
the library has done for them and getting
a good grade” (Todd and Kulthau, 2003;
“Elementary schools with at least one
full-time endorsed librarian averaged
better CSAP performance than those
with less than one full-time endorsed
librarian. Elementary schools that spent
more on their libraries averaged better
CSAP reading performance than those
spending less.”(Francis and Lance,
2011, p.64)
• Approach is rigorous and non biased but a high
level overview
• Premise that on the whole librarian interventions
are complex and impacts are not direct
• Methods favoured by one sector could be
transferred to others
• Mixed methods studies are useful to provide the
data and the “how”
• Need more UK studies, and studies in other
• Clear and robust evidence
of the contributions made
by librarians in 4 sectors
• Possible to determine in
significant number of
cases that these were
trained professionals
• Evidence that all librarians
can use to demonstrate
their value
How can you demonstrate your
effectiveness and impact?
Royal Free Hospital
• Business case for 2
new clinical librarian
– Infographic
– Evidence tables
– Stats and data from
one of studies listed
in report
Knowledge for Healthcare: Value and
impact toolkit
Being evidence
based is about…
• Questioning our practice
• Is about gathering or
creating the evidence
• Is about using the
information or evidence
wisely (TO SHOUT)
• Is about using our
professional skills to help
Thank You
Twitter: Brettleali
Email: [email protected]
Aabo, S. (2009). Libraries and return on investment (ROI): A meta-analysis. New Library World, 110(7-8), 311-324.
Arksey, H. and O’Malley, L. (2005) Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework, International Journal of Social Research
Methodology, 8, 19-32
Becker, S., Crandall,M.D., Fisher, K.E., Kinney, B., Landry, C., Rocha. A. (2010). Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from
Internet Access at U.S. Libraries. (IMLS-2010-RES-01).
Brettle, A., Maden, M., Payne, C. et al. (2015) Evaluating the impact of clinical librarian services in the North West. Salford: University of
Brettle, A., Maden-Jenkins, M., Anderson, L., McNally, R., Pratchett, T., Tancock, J., . . . Webb, A. (2011). Evaluating clinical librarian services:
A systematic review. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 28(1), 3-22. doi:
Emmons, M., & Wilkinson, F. C. (2011). The academic library impact on student persistence. College & Research Libraries, 72(2), 128-149.
Francis, B.H. and Lance, K.C. (2011). The impact of library media specialists on students and how it is valued by administrators and teachers:
findings from the latest Studies in Colorado and Idaho. TechTrends, 55(4), 63-70.
Markless, S. and Streatfield, D. (2006). Evaluating the impact of your library, London: Facet.
Marshall, J. G., Sollenberger, J., Easterby-Gannett, S., Morgan, L. K., Klem, M. L., Cavanaugh, S. K., . . . Hunter, S. (2013). The value of
library and information services in patient care: Results of a multisite study. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 101(1), 38-46.
Perrier, L., Farrell, A., Ayala, A. P., Lightfoot, D., Kenny, T., Aaronson, E., . . . Weiss, A. (2014). Effects of librarian-provided services in
healthcare settings: A systematic review. . Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 21(6), 1118-1124.
Rankin, C. (2012). The potential of generic social outcomes in promoting the positive impact of the public library: Evidence from the national
year of reading in yorkshire. Evidence Based Library & Information Practice, 7(1), 7-21.
Robinson, L., Calvert, A., Bawden, D., Urquart, C., Bray, C. & Amosford, J. (2010). Understanding our value: assessing the nature of the
impact of library services. Library and Information Research, 33(105), pp. 62-89.
Stone, G., Pattern, D., & Ramsden, B. (2012). Library impact data project. SCONUL Focus(54), 25-28.
Todd, R. J. and Kulthau, C. (2003). Student learning through Ohio school libraries: A summary of the Ohio
research study: Ohio Educational
Library Media Association 15 Dec. 2003. Ohio
Educational Library Media Association (OELMA), 2004. 15 Nov. 2006.
Urquhart, C. (2015). Reflections on the value and impact of library and information services. Part 1, Performance Measurement and Metrics,
(16)1: 86 – 102.
Weightman, A.L., Farnell, D.J., Morris, D., Strange, H. (2015). Information literacy teaching in universities: a systematic review of evaluation
studies: preliminary findings for online v traditional methods. Poster presentation at 8th Evidence Based Library and Information Practice
Conference, Brisbane July 2015.

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