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Andrew Booth and Anne Brice, editors. Evidence-based practice for information professionals: a handbook. London: Facet Publishing, 2004.
  1. Sasha Shepperd, MSc, DPhil
  1. Centre for Professional Development
 Department of Continuing Education
 University of Oxford
 Oxford, UK

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    The editors have drawn on their extensive experience of health information to provide an accessible account of the key aspects of evidence-based practice for information professionals. The book is divided into 3 sections: the first 2 sections introduce the context of evidence-based practice for information professionals, and the skills and resources required to implement evidence-based practice; the 3rd section provides examples of applying an evidence-based approach to practice.

    The readers who will benefit the most from this book are librarians and/or information professionals who are interested in implementing evidence-based practice. In particular, the last section of the book focuses on 6 domains that are relevant to librarians: reference services and enquiry work; educational activities; the management of collections of print and electronic material; management; information access and retrieval; and marketing and promotional activities. Each of these domains forms the theme of subsequent chapters, which usefully summarise the key issues and translate these into structured questions. Sources of evidence relevant to these areas are identified and reference is made to some of the available evidence. Some chapters emphasise what has been done in the area, and other chapters provide details of the evidence base.

    Other chapters also cover more general areas that will be helpful not just to the information professional but to those working in the broader areas of evidence-based practice. For example, the chapter on searching applies general evidence-based practice principles to library and information science databases, but it contains some useful tips for all users on identifying key search terms in areas that are poorly indexed. Other more general areas include methods of evaluating performance—for example, reflective practice and mentoring—and educational strategies for teaching information skills. An extensive range of bibliographic databases are described, some of which are relevant to clinicians. Overall, this is a useful text for information professionals and will supplement other more general evidence-based practice teaching material.

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