Knowledge into Action: Research and Evaluation in Library and Information Science
Strothmann, Molly, Reference & User Services Quarterly
Knowledge Into Action: Research and Evaluation in Library and Information Science. By Danny P. Wallace and Connie Van Fleet. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2012. 388 p. Paper $55 (ISBN: 978-1-59884-975-2).
Not all librarians conduct formal research. Nearly all, however, perform at least some level of evaluation to determine whether their programs and services are working effectively In Knowledge Into Action, Wallace and Van Fleet emphasize the close relationship between research and evaluation, describing their shared characteristics and explaining that the same principles form their foundations. The resulting book is a strong framework for understanding rigorous, evidence-based practice in library and information science.
The first several chapters provide a theoretical base, describing the nature of research and evaluation, the essential steps of the research and evaluation process, and the relevant ethical issues. Wallace and Van Fleet also include extensive practical guidance in planning projects, obtaining funding, and communicating the results of research and evaluation. The largest section of the book is the series of chapters on specific research methods. Although many of the approaches described are widely used throughout the social sciences, Wallace and Van Fleet helpfully frame them in terms of their probable applications to library and information science research: the inclusion of a chapter on bibliometrics and citation analysis, an important, distinctive technique in LIS research, is particularly appreciated. The nature of each research method is described in detail, followed by a clear discussion of its advantages and disadvantages. …