Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is the collection and use of data to help improve a library media program, typically through program evaluation or advocacy.

Types of Evidence

Indirect Evidence shows that a library media program is doing things that prior research has shown to be effective. Examples include:
  • Collection statistics: Research shows that student achievement is higher in schools where students have access to larger collections of higher quality books, magazines and library media materials.
  • Circulation statistics: Research shows that student achievement is higher in schools where library media materials are more heavily used.
  • Schedules/calendars: Research shows that student achievement is higher in schools where the library media center is more accessible to students.
  • Collaborative planning logs:

Direct Evidence shows how the students at the school have been directly impacted by their library media program's activities. This type of evidence is usually in the form of assessment data (formative or summative). Examples include:
  • Assessment of projects created during a unit co-taught by the library media specialist.
  • CRCT test results in specific domains
  • Results of a "ticket out the door" activity

Uses of Evidence

Evidence can be used in any way that improves the library media program and its service to students. Examples include:

Instructional Planning: Examine patterns in assessment results to see how instruction should be focused or how it can be improved.

Program Evaluation: Measure the overall status and effectiveness of the library media program

Monthly/Yearly Reports: Communicate with teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders about the activities and condition of the library media program.
  • Library Media Center Activity Log
    Advocacy: Use the data to show the power of your library media program and pursue additional funding, staffing, or resources (at the state, district, or local school level.)

More Information

Loertscher, David V. with Ross J. Todd. We Boost Achievement! Evidence-Based Practice for School Library Media Specialists. Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2003. (Paperback, 179 pages.) Amazon. LMC Source.

Spinks, Andy, Joanne Bates, and Janell McClure. A Case for Evidence Based Practice. COMO Presentation. 2009.

Todd, Ross J. "The Evidence Based Manifesto for School Librarians." //School Library Journal.// 4/1/2008.

Todd, Ross J. "Irrefutable Evidence: How to Prove You Boost Student Achievement." //School Library Journal.// 4/1/2003.