Meeting the Challenges of Practicing Evidence Based Librarianship through a Library Journal Club: An Analysis

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Objectives: The library has developed a monthly librarian journal club to foster professional development and critical thinking. The purpose of this study is to quantitatively analyze the subject domains of the articles (reference; education; collections; management; information access/retrieval; marketing/promotion); journals most frequently read; and what methodologies were most frequently used in the articles and to qualitatively analyze the value of the journal club to the growth of librarians involved and the value to the library through the evidence discovered.

Methods: Librarians meet monthly at a restaurant for journal club. Each attendee reports on an article of their choice from the library literature. Each participant is given ten minutes to report. A discussion follow. After journal club, each attendee writes a report on their article in a structured abstract format (practice question, article title, citation, study type, answer). These summaries are critically appraised topics (CATs) and are saved in a CAT bank called CATTales. Over 100 CATs have been entered into the CATTales database.

Results: The result of CATTALEs is the creation of a searchable evidence based librarianship database. Examples of the journal club’s impact are the development of bookmarks for basic science researchers, the undertaking of a content analysis on the future librarianship, and the revamping of a reference statistics program. Young librarians have developed skills in reading the literature, translating research into practice, and learning new research concepts.

Conclusions: Many ideas have sprung from these monthly meetings. Librarians have gained validation for practices already in place and started new initiatives in education, promotion and research on ideas based on journal club discussions. This project has promoted interest in reading the journal literature and encouraged librarians to keep current. A tool like a medical librarian journal club is a practical way to practice evidence based librarianship.


Austin, TX

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