This concluding chapter, bringing together perspectives from evidence-based information practice in the UK, US and Canada, takes stock of achievements so far. It considers the main challenges facing the movement as it gathers momentum, and suggests some short and long-term priorities. After defining progress made, both nationally and internationally, it records personal aspirations for the evidencebased practice paradigm, linked to some ‘quick wins’ to be achieved if such a culture is to develop and grow.
The EBIP journey
The successful planning, delivery and experience of the first Evidence Based Librarianship Conference in Sheffield in September 2001 may be viewed, in retrospect, as a major landmark in the progress of the movement (Eldredge, 2001). It brought together individuals from the UK, Canada and the USA, already pioneers in EBL, with a shared awareness of the potential activities and goals required by a global initiative. In charting the unique contribution of each country, alongside complementary developments already underway, the conference presented an opportunity to test EBIP with a broader audience, and to identify practical steps to be planned and taken forward internationally. These included agreement on planning a second conference.
Since then the EBIP movement has moved forward on sometimes divergent and sometimes parallel tracks, culminating in a second International Conference held in Edmonton, Canada in June 2003. Several key themes have emerged as a potential focus for future strategies and actions.
Any movement seeking ‘critical mass’ must be active in awareness raising and dissemination. Initiatives to date include publishing, community building and teaching and learning activities.
A plethora of conceptual literature has been published, bringing EBIP to the forefront of professional concerns and generating interest in its development. Leading articles have promoted EBIP in the major health libraries journals and, perhaps more significantly, in generalist library journals (Booth and Haines, 1998; Koufogiannakis and Crumley, 2002; Marshall, 2003).
After several years of hosting a quarterly ‘Research’ column the editorial team of Health Information and Libraries Journal (formerly Health Libraries Review) decided that the principles of research-based practice were beginning to be integrated within the main body of the journal to the extent that a separate column was no longer required.