Thursday, May 24, 2007

Evidence-Based Library/Info Practice Meeting

This was a different kind of meeting for me, used to MAC and MLA. It was a small meeting (230 participants) and very international in flavor. It also included lots of different kinds of librarians, not just medical librarians. It was co-sponsored by the EBLIP guru Andrew Booth and the Library School at UNC and held in Research Triangle Park. I wondered what the foreign librarians found to do in the RTP when the meeting wasn't taking them out in buses. Since the airport is across I-40 and RTP is composed of businesses, there was only a Gold's Gym and a walking trail as destinations in RTP without a rental car. Rochelle and I joined the meeting halfway through and stayed for CE classes. The meeting focused on library research, how to make it better, how to fit it in, how to get it published, how to evaluate it. I attended the debate on whether EBLibrarianship was useful/necessary by Scott Pluchak and Andrew Booth. This talk and the following discussion was fairly contentious. I went to sessions where librarians presented their research on teaching, including Connie Schardt who studied a course taught locally and as a distance ed class. The final luncheon had several library heads discussing the importance of EB research in running libraries. These included a small special library, Duke Med library, NCSU library, a school library professor, and a state library. The CE class I took, on critically appraising library research/articles, was one of the best CEs I ever taken, probably due to the knowledge and personality of the instructor who was from Newfoundland.

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