February 17, 2018

Denise Koufogiannakis | Movers & Shakers 2007

Where’s the Evidence?


A former health sciences librarian, Denise Koufogiannakis saw how evidence-based medicine was forcing doctors to change their time-honored ways of treating patients and came to the conclusion that ‘as librarians we should apply those same principles to our own profession.’

So Koufogiannakis became, in colleague Pam Ryan’s words, ‘a key driver in the International Evidence-Based Librarianship movement.’ She conducts research herself, on topics like effective methods for teaching information literacy and providing services to PDA users. In numerous articles and conference presentations, she has encouraged librarians to gather evidence about the effectiveness of library practices. By cofounding the new open access journal Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice, she has provided a home base for such research, freely available to any librarian.

Koufogiannakis draws no distinction between being ‘research-oriented’ and ‘practice-oriented’ because her goal is to improve library services to users. She encourages librarians to find research to support their day-to-day strategies and decisions. Where such evidence does not yet exist, she urges librarians to ‘incorporate research into the new services or products they are developing.’

She enjoys the research, the regular contact with like-minded scholars, and the opportunity to make a difference. She cherishes a picture of Dr. Seuss’s librarian, Miss Loon, who ‘hides behind the shelves/ And often calls out LOUDER!/ when we’re reading to ourselves.’ It’s a constant reminder to her, she says, ‘to take chances, speak your mind, be different, be excited about what you do, and that Miss Loon is the kind of librarian I want to be.’



CURRENT POSITION Collections and Acquisitions Coordinator, University of Alberta Libraries, Edmonton

DEGREES MLIS, University of Alberta, 1997; MA, English, Queen’s University, ON

WEB SITE ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP

LINGUALIZER Taught ESL to students from many different countries