If you’re thinking of doing the MLIS, Helen and Lorna give you a head start with their top texts to read for the course.
Formulating the Evidence Based Practice Question: A Review of the Frameworks by Karen Sue Davies
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (2011) vol 6. Iss. 2 75-80
This is the article I wish I’d read in the first few weeks of the course. We had a group project to undertake a mini systematic review. The entire project was conducted through enquiry based learning so no lectures, all discovering the steps for ourselves. One of the decisions was to decide what framework to use to frame our research question and this article would have been perfect for helping us make that decision. Davies identifies 10 different questions frameworks including PICO, ECLIPSE and SPICE but also several variations. She breaks down the elements of each framework, and identifies the specific context within which that framework is most appropriate for example ECLIPSE was designed to address questions on health policy and management.
Developing skills of reflection by Birmingham City University
Beginning reflective practice by Melanie Jasper
I must admit, I didn’t use a full blown text book to do the reflective parts of our assignments. I used this study skills page because it described really simply and clearly what was needed in reflection: the experience, how you felt about it and an evaluation of it. Some people might feel more confident using a book with frameworks to aid reflection and my fellow coursemates recommended Melanie Jasper’s Beginning Reflective Practice. With simple exercises and diagrams, this was a really good introduction to reflection for them. Whatever you prefer, my main point is to familiarise yourself with the process of reflection because you’re going to have to do it at some point on the course. Not many people enjoy it but I find it really beneficial. I tend to discover I learnt more than I thought, and I find it useful to think about what I’d do differently next time.
Written evidence submitted by InformAll and the CILIP Information Literacy Group (FNW0079) by Stéphane Goldstein, Dr Jane Secker, Dr Emma Coonan, Dr Geoff Walton
This article was actually co-written by one of my lecturers on the course. It responds to the “post-truth” or “evidence-averse” era we’re currently living in and suggests ways we can educate people in how to appraise news and information. The article argues that people need to develop their own ‘cognitive firewalls’ and actively evaluate the information they are confronted with. A key player in the development of this mindset is teaching critical thinking skills in secondary school. I found this article important because as librarians, we are in a natural position to support people becoming more information savvy. It also made me realise that there is a political side to what we do and what libraries stand for, which is not something you really expect when you go into the course.
Exploring Strategy by Gerry Johnson
Johnson’s ‘Exploring Strategy’ was a great starting place if you’re researching strategy. There are so many strategy theories out there and Johnson gives a really good overview of some of the key ones. He then walks you through the main aspects that need to be included/considered in a strategy and provides a nice strategy checklist at the end of one of the chapters. It has a very textbook feel which is helpful and reassuring if it’s a topic you’re kind of coming to by yourself. It’s not really written with libraries in mind, more large for-profit organisations. This doesn’t mean the theory can’t be applied but bear in mind that some bits won’t be relevant or may need to be interpreted in a slightly different way. It’s also always useful to get perspectives from other texts but this is a really good place to start.
Organisational quality and organisational change: Interconnecting paths to effectiveness by Ian Smith
Library Management (2011) vol 32. Iss. 1/2 111-128
One of the topics I found really interesting and which I think will always be relevant to libraries was organisational change. There are lots of different models of how change takes place. Smith’s paper discusses two – Kotter’s and Doppelt’s – and I found it really useful to see the similarities and differences in the two. Smith then uses these two models as frameworks through which to consider a case study which helps you see the theory in context. The thing I learnt most from this paper was the need to have an organisational mindset that was receptive to change. This is so relevant to us as the roles of librarians are constantly changing and we need as a profession to be willing to embrace the new.
Theory and Practice of Leadership by Roger Gill
One of my current core modules is Leadership, Strategy and Change and this book has been absolutely terrific for me. Gill explains the differing theories that have developed over the years simply and yet thoroughly enough to give me a good understanding- after starting with several other texts which were rather more philosophical in their outlook it was a relief to read one that brought everything together. As you might expect I was reading quite specifically at the time for an assignment, but I would certainly go back to this book for any further help I might need on the topic and would definitely recommend it.
The Impact of clinical librarian services on patients and health care organisations by Alison Brettle, Clare Payne & Michelle Maden
Health Information & Libraries Journal (2016) vol 33. Iss. 2 100-120
I hope it isn’t a ‘cheat’ mentioning an article I’m sure the vast majority have already read, but truthfully I have referenced this in so many of my assignments this year, and referred back to it. It really is a key study about measuring impact and ways in which this has been done so far, and is a really important article for the direction of travel within libraries for the future.
Managing your Library’s Social Media Channels by David Lee King
This book isn’t from a health library perspective, but I have been finding it extremely helpful nonetheless, mired as I am in a current assignment about social media tools and marketing. It has given me a lot of ideas and I will definitely be picking it up again post-assignment. Whilst not all of King’s ideas necessarily translate, he highlights a lot of important points about the use of social media by libraries, particularly with regards to using it to encourage more interactivity from users – inviting and responding to queries etc- and embedding the service within the community through tone and user-engagement.
Time to rethink the role of the library in educating doctors: driving information literacy in the clinical environment by Mary R. Simons, Michael Kerin Morgan, Andrew Stewart Davidson
Journal of the Medical Library Association (2012) vol. 100 iss. 4 p. 291-296
Although probably a little old now I used this article, among others, as part of our information literacy assignment and this one had a lot of ideas about the relationship between the medical profession and information literacy. Put simply, although 1:1 sessions and one-off teaching are incredibly useful, there is a concern within the literature of this topic that the training is not entirely retained. Although the case study given in this is quite niche (it focuses on one small speciality in a hospital attached to a university) it looks at other ways of incorporating search skills and information literacy training into a clinical team.
Queering the Catalogue: Queer theory and the politics of Correction by Emily Drabinski
Library Quarterly (2013) vol. 83 iss. 2 p. 94-111
Finally, this is an article that is less about direct use and more ‘a bit of fun’- well for me at least. It discusses the use of cataloguing and how categorisation is affected by social and political moods, and how these have changed overtime using examples from the Library of Congress. It appealed to me because it explores the changeability of language and social concepts of ‘normality’ and what language is acceptable, and really helped me at the start of my studies in terms of helping tie in and relate to my previous studies and academic interests in an accessible way.
Lorna Dawson and Helen Kiely