ABSTRACT: Effectiveness of information skills training and mediated searching: qualitative results from the EMPIRIC project.
To explore library staff and health professionals’ views on the effectiveness of information skills training and librarian mediated searching as methods of providing information for patient care. This is the second article describing the Effective Methods of Providing InfoRmation for patIent Care (EMPIRIC) project. The first paper, in a previous issue of this journal (Brettle et al. The costs and effectiveness of information skills training and mediated searching: quantitative results for the EMPIRIC project. Health Information and Libraries Journal 2006, 23, 239-247) describes the quantitative results.
A questionnaire survey to library staff and health professionals in the North West. Data was collected on perceptions of services, satisfaction and service usage. Statistical data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and qualitative data using thematic analysis.
Both information skills training and mediated searches are perceived by library staff and health professionals to be effective. There is strong support for mediated searches carried out on behalf of the health professional and information skills training to enable them to carry out their own searches. The results provide insights into the effectiveness of the services and the factors that make them effective.
Evidence and stakeholders views support the provision of both information skills training and mediated search services. Both services are valued by users who see them as complementary methods of obtaining information depending on their needs at different times.