Peer review : a professional development process for librarians

Bruce, Christine S. & Hall, Garry (1999) Peer review : a professional development process for librarians. In The ALIA Biennial Conference, Adelaide, SA.


Peer review is a reflective process which allows us to formalise, and gain maximum benefit from, collegial feedback on our professional performance. It is also a process that encourages us to engage in cycles of planning, acting, recording and reflection which are familiar components of action learning and action research. Entering into these cycles within the peer-review framework is a powerful and cost-effective means of facilitating professional development which is readily adapted to the library context. In 1996, a project implementing peer review, in order to improve client interaction at the reference desk, was completed at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Library. For that project we developed a set of guidelines for library staff involved in peer review. These guidelines explained the value of peer review, and described its principles and purposes. We also devised strategies to assist staff as they prepared for the experience of peer review, engaged in the process and reflected on the outcomes. A number of benefits were identified; the peer-review process enhanced team spirit, enhanced client-orientation, and fostered collaborative efforts in improving the reference service. It was also relatively inexpensive to implement. In this paper we will discuss the nature of peer review and its importance to library and information professionals. We will also share the guidelines we developed, and discuss the implementation and outcomes of the peer review project at the University of Southern Queensland. We will conclude by discussing the benefits perceived and the issues that arose in the USQ context, and by suggesting a range of other aspects of library service in which peer-review could be implemented.

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ID Code: 62355
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 10 Sep 2013 00:19
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2013 03:54

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