Dr Ross Todd, of Rutgers University Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), describes 3 dimensions of evidence-based practice in school libraries:
- evidence for practice
- evidence in practice, and
- evidence of practice.
Evidence for practice — existing research
Evidence for practice involves examining and using existing research to identify best practices and inform changes in practice. It provides compelling evidence that school libraries and library staff have a positive impact on student achievement.
Evidence in practice — professional knowledge and experience
Evidence in practice draws on the knowledge and professional experience of your library staff. It includes information about your own school library setting. The evidence comes from your observations and understanding of how and why things happen in a particular way, in your library.
Evidence of practice
Evidence of practice focuses on finding the real results of what school libraries do. Its purpose is to find out what has changed for learners as a result of changes in practice.
This evidence will come from information collected in your school. Student achievement data can be useful, along with evidence you’ve gathered, particularly from your library users.