Posted in Education, Management for Informational Professionals, MLIS Courses

Managing Decisions

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.

Growing up with a mechanical engineer for a dad sent me in the direction of evidence-based decisions from a young age, especially when it came to buying a new computer or camera. Michelle Dalton outlines the decision-making process with the following steps:

  1. Formulate an answerable question.
  2. Search for the best available evidence.
  3. Critically appraise the evidence.
  4. Make a decision and apply it.
  5. Evaluate the performance.
  6. Disseminate the results.

A great example happened this summer when I bought a new camera. I started by asking which camera would be the best for me. I had a few features in mind (a camera with location services and a long-lasting battery) and a few companies to look at (a good friend recently bought a camera as did my parents, but they bought different brands). Once I had narrowed down the choices to two camera models, I went through the reviews available on Amazon and Best Buy’s website, disregarding the reviews that complained of things that were not product-based. Having made my decision, I went to Best Buy just before I took a trip to visit NYC and DC for a week so I would have a week test-run and, if the camera was unsuitable, a return period. The camera worked great and it had all the features I wanted, so I kept it.

Many decisions in my family are made carefully, with a critical look at the research we’ve hunted down in order to make the best choice. In many ways, this highly logical approach makes me feel like our house is run by many Mr. Spock’s, but we manage to be silly enough to balance it out in the end.

Dalton, M. (2015). Evidence based library & information practice [Power Point Slides]. Retrieved from

StarTrek: it’s never illogical to be fabulous. (2015). Pinterest. Retrieved from


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