After assessing and weighing all the evidence, you need to determine what would be the best course of action in answering your question and implementing a solution in practice. We call this point in the process Agree because, more often than not, you will not be the only one making the decision. Quite often library-based decisions are made in groups, which could consist of an internal group of librarians assigned to come up with a solution. Even if you do work on something by yourself, at the point of decision, others may be involved.
At this point in the process you must determine the best way forward, based on your assessment of the various sources of evidence (Chapter 5). It is important to remember that we all bring biases to our interpretation of the evidence as a whole, so recognizing this is an important step toward making better decisions. In this chapter we discuss some of these factors that may influence the decision-making process.
As you are working through this process, some of the questions you need to ask include whether you have looked at all the evidence openly and without prejudice; what is the best decision based on everything we know from the problem, the context and the evidence; and whether you have considered all reasonable alternatives.
Ultimately, you will need to determine a course of action and begin implementation of the decision. Ideally, you would be able to reach consensus among those making the decision, based on the strength of the evidence found and considered. However, it is unlikely that this will always be the case. The more clearly you can present to others the reasons for your decision, the evidence that was reviewed and how it led you to the decision made, the easier your implementation will be at an organizational level. In this chapter we will explore some of the factors within individual and group decision making that librarians should be aware of in order to ensure that the process and implementation are as smooth as possible. Figure 6.1 illustrates the influences on effective decision making that we will discuss in this chapter.