Thoughts on a few papers presented on Oct. 7th

This post is about a day late, but thought I would share my perspectives on three of the paper presentations I attended Sunday afternoon. The paper abstracts are available in the online PDF program: check it out!

The Evolving Role of the Librarian in a Family Medicine Clerkship
Authors: Anne Beschnett (Liaison and Outreach Librarian), Jonathan Koffel (Liaison Librarian), and Jim Beattie (Liaison Librarian) – Bio-Medical Library, University of MN
Anne presented this paper and it was interesting to learn about the structure and programming of the library instruction offered to the Family Medicine students. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. It sounded like one of their goals was to help students develop good habits around finding answers to their questions; to find the best evidence and then critically appraise articles.
  2. After the students have critically appraised their article of choice, the students were assigned to create a plain language variation of the critically appraised article. Anne reported that writing a plain language document was often one of the more difficult assignments for the students. [I really liked this idea- do any others institutions do this?
  3. I also liked that they spend about 10 to 15 minutes on basic health information concepts and the importance of patient education sources. [It caused me to wondered if these patient education concepts and resources were taught at my own institution, and if so, who teaches them?]

Seizing Opportunity for Professional Growth: Gaining Advanced Subject Knowledge through a Public Health Certificate Program
Authors: Anne Beschnett (Liaison and Outreach Librarian) – Bio-Medical Library, University of MN
I was interested in attending this presentation because I also do not have a strong science or medical background and was wondering if additional education would be useful. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. Yes, something like this certificate program in Public Health is helpful for librarians who do not have a strong background in science or medicine.
  2. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages.
  3. Advantages: Basic concepts in this program can be applied to work within most health professions, gain basic knowledge without time commitment of a 48 credit master program.
    Disadvantages: Not cheap, More effort to balance work and life with school; having to take biostatistics!
    [After attending this presentation, I am going to seriously consider pursuing this educational route.]

Tips and Tricks for Rebranding and Promoting Your Library
Authors: Missy Creed (Library Assistant), Amanda Levine (Public Services Manager), Joseph Payne (Collection Development Librarian) and Carly Styer (Marketing & Promotions Coordinator) – Health Sciences Library, the Ohio State University
Amanda and Carly provided a lot of information on the rebranding effort at their library. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. Make sure you have leadership support
  2. Be organized
  3. Consider budget limitations (consider using student workers if you have a tight budget)
  4. Have a central point of contact (only choose one person or a specific committee to be the contact)
  5. Incorporate design (this can help serve as a ‘visual’ change in brand)
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate (even over-communicate)
  7. Make sure to create a database of contacts, media, online and print outlets
  8. Focus on your customer (if new website is created, make sure to do a lot of focus group and usability testing)
  9. Out with the old, in with the new! (search for outside websites that have old brand and ask them to remove it or change to new brand)

Thanks for making it to the end! Hopefully this post gave you a little more insight into these interesting papers.

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