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The effective evidence-based high school librarian: a journey to decision.

Turriff, Alison


Alison Turriff


Dorothy Williams


This thesis aims to establish how high school librarians in Scotland and America can become effective evidence-based decision-makers. Initial data collection consisted of written questionnaires to elicit background data from librarians on the extent of their evidence-based practice. Three main themes emerged: collaboration; interprofessional relationships and roles; and decision-making. These themes are discussed in more detail. A range of qualitative methodologies was designed and implemented to gain more in-depth information on practice and viewpoints, involving librarians and stakeholders. A draft model was created of the effective evidence-based practitioner in a high school library, based on an interpretation of findings and readings from the literature. After member-checking and validating by stakeholders, a final model was produced. This emergent model focuses not on the role of the school librarian in isolation, but stresses the importance of interrelationships involving the librarian. The study makes an original contribution to knowledge by giving a better understanding of the effective evidence-based high school librarian in the wider context of education. There is also a contribution to knowledge by adding to the general theory of workplace decision-making and evidence-based practice which is applicable outwith the school sector, and the pragmatic solution-driven model of decision-making is introduced. Key findings give an insight into the complexity of the school library situation, and highlights that ideally there will be positive relationships between school management, school librarian and collaboration. When these come together, it can mean an increase in student achievement, and more effective evidence-based decisions can be made. Findings also demonstrate links between these elements with evidence, national bodies and skills and qualities needed to be an effective evidence-based high school librarian, and identify how the new and complex expectations made of school librarians can be met. Recommendations are made to help stakeholders improve practice.


TURRIFF, A. 2008. The effective evidence-based high school librarian: a journey to decision. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2009
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2009
Keywords Decisions; Evidence; School libraries; Education; Collaboration; Management
Public URL
Award Date Dec 31, 2008


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