Action Research: How to Easily Incorporate Evidence-Based Librarianship into your Professional Practice

ACRL Preconference @ ALA Annual Conference
Friday, June 24, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
New Orleans, Louisiana

In a world that is increasingly data-driven and one in which data is easily attainable, librarians have new opportunities to both contribute to research and use evidence to improve professional practice. Understanding basic data analysis also opens up opportunities for evidence-based practice not only in libraries but also in the university at-large. This preconference will introduce librarians to action research, show free tools for collecting and analyzing data, generate ideas for individual research, and empower users to engage in action research and develop evidenced-based practices at their own institutions.  Action research is a method used in fields as varied as education and anthropology.  In an action research study the practitioner, in our case the librarian, is the researcher. The object of the research is to help the librarian answer questions or tackle problems brought up in the course of his/her daily work. 

During this interactive preconference, brainstorm research questions related to your areas of interest, practice qualitative and quantitative methods by analyzing data provided by the presenters, and learn about free tools for data collection and analysis such as Google Forms, Tableau Public, and TextSTAT.  At the end of the preconference, you will be able to articulate a set of research questions.   You will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively to generate ideas about methods that can be used to collect and analyze data that will help you explore your questions.

Participants should bring laptops and will be contacted by the presenters with additional information in advance of the preconference.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the concept of action research and how it can be applied to multiple aspects of librarianship.
  • Gain experience using various methods and tools for data collection and analysis.
  • Articulate your own questions about your practice and collaborate with peers to generate ideas for investigating these questions, including methods for collecting and analyzing data.

Presenters: Stephanie Rosenblatt, Education Librarian, California State University, Fullerton; April Cunningham, Instruction Coordinator, Saddleback College; Virginia Allison, University of California Irvine

How to Register:
 ALA Annual Conference registration is now open.

Code: ACR3 

ACRL member - $195
ALA member - $245
Nonmember - $285
Retired - $195
Student - $95

Need to add a preconference to an existing registration?  It’s easy! There are two ways:
1.  By phone: Call ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084 and ask to add a preconference to your existing registration.

2. Online: Add an event to your existing registration at

2011 Annual Conference Early Bird Registration

January 3-March 4, 2011

2011 Annual Conference Advance Registration
March 5 - May 13, 2011

2010 Annual Conference Onsite Registration (you may still register online)
May 14, 2011 - onsite

Join ACRL today to take advantage of valuable members-only discounts, professional connections, and community.

Questions: Contact Margot Conahan at, or call 312-280-2522.