Why don't librarians use research?
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It is frequently asserted that librarians do not use research findings when making decisions related to their professional practice. It is claimed that librarians make decisions based on little more than instinct or colleagues' opinions, and as a result their decision making may be ill-informed and high risk. It is further claimed that this situation is indicative of a 'communication gap' between researchers and practitioners, and that this gap inhibits the maturing of librarianship, as many practitioners operate without an adequate understanding of the theoretical foundations to their practice.This chapter examines the evidence related to the extent of the use of research by practitioners and the nature of the communication gap. In doing so it provides an overview of the reasons that have been presented to explain why librarians do not use research data. It also explores the characteristics of the literature of librarianship, and the part played by education in preparing practitioners for the use of research based evidence. Finally, it presents some suggestions for improving the use of research by practitioners.
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