Director, Mulford Health Science Library University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio
Objective: Published literature about how librarians engage in reflective practice tend to report on the author’s personal experience with reflective practice, or the results of literature reviews or quantitative studies. This poster presents preliminary findings of a phenomenological study that explored how and why health science librarians use intentional reflection to better understand work situations with the purpose of performance improvement. The goal of the research was to capture how health science librarians use reflection for work in their own words.
Methods: Potential interview participants were recruited by an invitation to email distribution lists focusing on medical and health science librarianship. Six librarians were interviewed before the research was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews ranged from 45-60 minutes were conducted using video conferencing software. They were transcribed and analyzed manually using an open-coding scheme.
Results: Two main themes have arisen so far. First, participants described a variety of benefits of using reflection at work that were enough to overcome barriers such as a lack of time. Second, participants talked about the importance of being intentional about reflective practice.
Conclusions: While themes are starting to arise from the data, the study has not yet reached the point of data saturation. It is unclear at this time whether current findings will be transferrable to the population of health sciences librarians. Interviews continue.