Keynote Speakers

Denise Koufogiannakis

Dr. Denise Koufogiannakis

Opening Keynote Address: What we talk about when we talk about evidence

The word "evidence" means different things to different people. At this conference that focuses on evidence based practice, do we have a common understanding of what evidence means to librarians and information professionals? Let's begin the discussion!

Dr. Koufgiannakis will address three main areas pertaining to evidence, drawing upon her recent doctoral research:

1) The meaning of evidence in library and information studies;

2) Factors that interrupt the EBLIP paradigm as it has been presented in the literature to date; and

3) How librarians actually use evidence to make decisions.

Based on new research that examines the core of the EBLIP model, Denise will shed light on how the evidence based practice movement, originating in medicine, differs within librarianship. She will outline practical ways that librarians can improve their practice based on this new knowledge.

Denise Koufogiannakis is the Collections and Acquisitions Coordinator at the University of Alberta Libraries. As well, she is a researcher, editor, speaker, and mentor.

Denise has embraced evidence based library and information practice (EBLIP) since the very early days of its inception. Publishing and speaking on EBLIP since 2001 and contributing to the LIS evidence base through papers and book chapters, Denise is a key driver in the international EBLIP movement. She also co-hosted the 2nd international conference when it was last held in Canada 10 years ago. She has received numerous awards including the Canadian Library Association’s Robert H Blackburn Distinguished Paper Award not once but twice, the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) 2009 Outstanding Contribution Award, and in 2007 was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" for her contribution to the evidence based librarianship movement.

Denise co-founded the open access journal Evidence Based Library and Information Practice and has held several editorial positions since the journal’s inception in 2006, including Editor-in-Chief. But she is most proud of creating the journal’s evidence summaries, which provide a brief synopsis and critical appraisal of recent research articles for practitioners. Denise has contributed to several national organizations including the Canadian Library Association, COPPUL, and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.

Ever curious and wanting to learn more, Denise has just completed her PhD at Aberystwyth University in Wales. She is passionate about research, open access to information, and the betterment of the community through library services.

Dan Gardner

Dan Gardner

Closing Keynote Address: The 'Evidence-based' Conundrum

Why is evidence-based medicine a movement that is drawing interest from many other fields and spawning similar 'evidence-based ...' reforms? Shouldn't all medicine be evidence-based? Shouldn't all our work? Why is it necessary to direct attention to evidence? The answer lies in human nature, Dan Gardner explains. Efforts to promote evidence-based thinking are essential because people don't do evidence-based thinking naturally -- and what we do naturally gets us in a lot of trouble.

Dan Gardner is a journalist, author, and lecturer who enjoys nothing so much as writing about himself in the third person.

Trained in law (LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, Class of '92) and history (M.A., York University, '95), Dan first worked as a political staffer to a prominent politician. In 1997, he joined the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen. His writing has won or been nominated for most major prizes in Canadian journalism, including the National Newspaper Award, the Michener Award, the Canadian Association of Journalists award, the Amnesty International Canada Media Award for reporting on human rights, and a long list of other awards, particularly in the field of criminal justice and law. Today, he is an opinion columnist who refuses to be pigeonholed as a liberal or a conservative and is positively allergic to all varieties of dogma. If you must label him -- and he'd rather you didn't -- please call him a "skeptic."

In 2005, Dan attended a lecture by renowned psychologist Paul Slovic. It was a life-changing encounter. Fascinated by Slovic's work, Dan immersed himself in the scientific literature. The result was a seminal book on risk perception, Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. Published in 11 countries and 7 languages, Risk was a bestseller in the United Kingdom and Canada. But more gratifying to Dan was the support of leading researchers, including Slovic, who praised the book's scientific accuracy.

In his latest book, Future Babble, Dan delved deeper into psychology to explain why people continue to put so much stock in expert predictions despite the repeated -- and sometimes catastrophic -- failure of efforts to forecast the future. Again, Dan was delighted that his book garnered the praise of leading researchers, including Philip Tetlock of the University of California, who called it "superb scholarship," and Steven Pinker of Harvard University, who said it should be "required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and those who listen to them."

Psychology is fundamentally about how people perceive, think, decide, and communicate -- and modern research shows that much of what people assume to be true about these basic processes is, in fact, wrong. The success of Risk led Dan to develop a series of lectures that expose and correct those assumptions, helping people think, decide, organize, and communicate better.

Dan is also Panelist on CTV's Question Period. He lives in Ottawa, Canada, with three young children and one exhausted wife.