Information Literacy Instruction

As a novice academic librarian, I’m learning the work rhythm of the academic year. I started work a few weeks into the fall term, so the upcoming spring semester will be my first full semester here at MPOW. One of my liaison librarian duties is course specific instruction in my liaison departments. I’d been here a little over a month when I presented my first classes — seven 2-hour computer lab sessions with freshman biology students. Talk about your baptism by fire! Thankfully, my predecessors had developed a great class presentation, including a dynamite tabletop exercise. I simply had to update the handouts and do some adjusting to fit my personality. And believe me, I learned a lot from these sessions by making some mistakes. And of course, there was the morning when PubMed was totally unavailable because of some power outage in Bethesda. Click on the link and nothing happens. Guess we’ll finish 20 minutes early today…
To help myself get up to speed on matters instructional, I joined the Information Literacy Instruction Discussion List which is indeed a “thriving exchange on instruction and information literacy.” In late fall, a librarian from the University of Texas Libraries sent along the link to a recently posted YouTube video of a bad instruction session mocumentary that they developed a number of years ago. CSI: Library Instruction is a must watch!
As noted in the comments, The Library Teacher does a lot of “cringe worthy” things. She is disengaged and her students are clearly lost. The scary thing is that I saw myself in a couple of the things she did. Quite a learning experience.


So how do YOU handle The Slacker Student? I had more than a handful of those in my biology sessions. Please comment on this post and share your wisdom!

New Approach to Medical Education

With the drive to reform health care comes the concept of reforming medical education. A new program, ENCORE, is being developed at the University of Michigan with the tag line: Ensure Competence – Inspire Excellence.

With the current drive to reform health care, it was no surprise to see a presentation focused on changing the way medical education is taught. In the Midwest MLA/MHSLA conference Concurrent Session Competency-Based Medical Education, Dr. Rajesh Mangrulkar shared about the University of Michigan program “ENCORE: Ensure Competence, Inspire Excellence” – and I was fascinated.
According to Dr. Mangrulkar, ENCORE has several meanings, but he prefers “Ensuring Competence in Outreach and Research in Education”. This self-directed, collaborative, flexible, competency (rather than curriculum) based, and outcome (rather than objective) based program identifies nine competency domains, each related to existing ACGME competencies.
The goal of each is to focus on “what residents should be able to do when they leave” the program. “ENCORE will be organized around a set of 126 clusters of patient symptoms, and work to create outcomes that students must be able to demonstrate.” This view of education was so radical, he noted, that “opening the box on the medical education program was like opening a can of worms.”
The standard four years of lecture and tests with clinical experience beginning in year 3 will be replaced by lecture, self-directed focused study modules including pod- and webcasts, practical experience beginning in the first year, and no specific time-line for completion. Part of the goal is to cover the new fields of medicine such as personalized medicine, the global impact of health and disease, systems-based thinking, and information management. Part is to incorporate the many ways folks learn, part to promote life-long learning and part to focus on practicality and excellence.
The project has just reached the stage of identifying which of the 126 modules are appropriate for the equivalent of year 1. Obviously LOTS of questions remain on topics such as: How long is too long? How will costs be handled? Evaluation and review? Continuing education? Are there modules we shouldn’t have eliminated? In what new ways will librarians interact with students and residents? I’m glad there are librarians on the ENCORE team!
For a brief description of ENCORE, visit the UMHS Inside View, page 3, at:
Thank you Clare for asking me to blog this!
Holly Ann Burt
Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator
NN/LM-Greater Midwest Region


Attention please! Your intrepid blog editor has an announcement to make!
After spending the last 14 years as a hospital librarian, I have made the great leap back into academic librarianship. My new place of work is the Kent State University Library and my fancy title is Liaison Librarian for Life and Health Sciences. I have a lot to learn, but that will be no problem. The staff here are professional, knowledgeable, and very helpful and friendly! I feel right at home. My cubicle is around the back on the first floor in the Reference Office.
P.S. One interesting thing about driving in and out of Kent every day is the opportunity to see, as I did yesterday, the Goodyear blimp. When the blimps come home, they stay at the Wingfoot Lake Airship Base just south of here. So when you see the blimp around here, they are flying low and one gets a great look. One of course has to be careful not to have a little accident when one is looking at the blimp and not the road! Did you know that there is a Goodyear Blimp Blog? Actually, the blimp doesn’t blog, the pilot does.

Web 2.0 at SIU

How are the librarians and staff at YOUR library using Web 2.0 tools?

We asked Mary Taylor, Midwest Chapter Communications Committee member and Medical and Distance Learning Librarian at the Morris Library, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and here is her reply!

Meet Morris Library 2.0
  • IM available. Our real time virtual reference is powered by instant messaging. We have embedded a Meebo me widget on our “Ask Anything” reference page, our Blackboard/WebCt login page, and our MySpace page (see the next item). Some of our liaisons have the widget on their personal/library websites so that patrons can instant message them directly.
  • Face to Space. The library has a MySpace page with an imbedded Meebo me widget and a search form for our catalog. The search form code can be downloaded by users for their own web pages from the library’s website. We also have a blog on the page. Some librarians have MySpace and Facebook accounts. I am a faculty advisor for a student organization that has a Facebook account. I joined Facebook at that organization’s executive board’s request, so they didn’t have to look up my e-mail address every time they sent out a message.
  • It bloggles the mind. One of our divisions, Instructional Support Services, has an internal blog. One liaison shares news with her departments via her blog. As previously mentioned, our MySpace page also has a blogs.
  • Syndicated columnist. We use an RSS feed to spread the word about services and products, and plan to use it sharing our new books list.
  • Let the wiki win. Two in-house committees use wikis to share documents in progress.
  • Don’t blink. We are using Flickr to display photos of our ongoing building renovation.
  • MorrisLibraryRenovation.jpg

  • What does MARC say about it? We are setting up a service that allows users to send records from our catalog as text messages.
  • Don’t touch that dial. The library has a channel on the SIUC’s student Web portal, with links to our online reference services, our catalog, our course reserves page, and our distance learning pages.
  • It could be cloudy. We are investigating adding user-generated subject terms (cloud tags) to our catalog.

SO…How are the librarians and staff at YOUR library using Web 2.0 tools?
Click on the Comment link
below and share your experiences!

Breezy Day

Today I attended the Breezing Along with the RML session Developing and Marketing an RSS Journal Service for Your Library. Is “attended” is the correct verb? Participated? I’ve never used that online presentation software before and it seemed to work fairly well. We could simultaneously see the presenters, their PowerPoint presentation or internet screen, comments and questions from the participants. I couldn’t read the smallest print on the presentation slides on my screen, however. Having to use the phone for the audio portion of the session seems so awkward to me.


I saw the presentation in Omaha and wanted to listen again so that I could get more details. Taking one of their ideas, I’m setting up a demonstration feed reader account to show to some of my library users. Right now I’m setting it up with the table of contents feeds from the the library’s surgery journals. I’m amazed to find that the Elsevier journals do not seem to have a table of contents feed. Am I missing something here? I might just have to set up a feed from PubMed for those journals. Anyone out there have a better idea?