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Drexel Spotlights Evidence Based Library & Information Practice In the US

June 28, 2017

Drexel University Libraries hosted the 9th International Evidence Based Library & Information Practice Conference (EBLIP9), held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 18 – June 21, 2017.

One hundred forty-seven inquisitive library and information professionals from eight countries – including several Drexel alumni – attended the three-day conference, which featured 44 concurrent sessions, three inspiring keynote speeches, 13 poster sessions and numerous networking opportunities.

2017 marked the second time the EBLIP conference has been held in the United States. It was hosted in 2007 by the University of North Carolina. Past conferences were held in Canada, Australia, the UK and Sweden.

As the host organization, the Drexel University Libraries lead the conference planning efforts, from creating the conference program to organizing informal networking activities. Librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Community College of Philadelphia, as well as past EBLIP conference organizers from the US and Canada, joined the three Drexel Libraries co-organizers to serve on the conference organizing committee. In true Drexel spirit, another dozen campus staff volunteered their services and assistance in planning and coordinating EBLIP9, which many described as “transformative, inspiring and exciting.”

“Bringing this conference to Drexel was a massive undertaking,” said John Wiggins, co-chair of the local EBLIP9 organizing committee and the Director for Library Services & Quality Improvement at Drexel University Libraries. “It took more than eighteen months of intense planning and preparation to get everything ready for this great event. Thanks to the support, dedication and hard work of the conference organizing committee and members of the Drexel community, it was a huge success.”

Representatives from Drexel not only played a part in planning and managing the conference, but they also gave some of the speeches and presentations as well.

Drexel University President John Fry welcomed EBLIP9 delegates to campus on day two of the conference, acknowledging the value of libraries and their investment in evidence-based practices.

“Through the discussions you’re having at this conference and the year-round collaborative engagement around evidence-based practices,” President Fry said during his welcoming remarks,” I believe you are helping to keep the library and information science community vital and thriving during a period of great change. That’s incredibly important work.”

President Fry’s remarks were followed by a provocative keynote speech from Yi Deng, PhD, Dean of Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics, entitled “Data in the 21st Century Economy: The Fusion of CS, DS, and LIS.”

In addition, Hae Min Kim, Data Analyst for Resource Access at the Drexel Libraries, gave a concurrent session titled “Exploring a Triage Reference Model for a Chat Service in an Academic Library,” which described her work to assess and improve the Libraries’ approach to handling reference queries. 

Conference attendees buzzed and tweeted continually about the thought-provoking and inspiring program, as well as the memorable social events held in iconic Philadelphia institutions, including the Free Library of Philadelphia and its stunning city views and the elegant Crystal Tea Room in the Wannamaker Building.

For more information about EBLIP9 or to hear what EBLIP9 attendees shared on

Twitter and Facebook, visit or check out the conference Storify page.

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