Thursday, August 30, 2012

Teaching Part of MCL’s Core Mission

While the role of research libraries and librarians continues to evolve, teaching remains a critical component of UK Libraries mission.  Rick Brewer, Assistant Director of the Medical Center Library (MCL) details the many approaches used by MCL to provide access to medical related information sources:

“For years, the Medical Center Library (MCL) has provided an ongoing assortment of classes to promote information literacy and better improve users’ knowledge and understanding of the resources and tools made available to them by of UK Libraries. These classes, taught by MCL librarians, target the six Medical Center (MC) colleges as well as others who might be interested in learning about a particular topic. The classes are offered in different formats including regularly scheduled sessions on a drop-in basis; group sessions as part of curriculum offered classes, and as individual consultations, when requested.”

“We also offer fundamental information literacy classes that MCL librarians conduct in collaboration with faculty from the MC colleges. The MCL librarian meets with the instructor to create a teaching plan that will, ultimately, achieve the goals stated by the course instructor. Librarians are active participants in the coordination of such classes that are part of the curriculum and are tasked with, in some cases, developing assignments pertinent to the topic being discussed. Such sessions are typically focused at the graduate level but there are undergraduate courses as well.”

“Additionally, MCL librarians have responsibility for training third year medical students on a monthly basis as students conduct pediatric and family medicine rotations. During these encounters, students are taught evidence based medicine principles as well as provided advanced training on the use of PubMed.  Finally, MCL librarians are available for individual consultation. Such interactions result at the request of the individual who may seek additional training as a follow up encounter to a class they might have previously taken or there may be a student who has an immediate need whereby they request assistance related to an assignment, for example.

“Providing education and training is a core element of the MCL mission. Over the past year the MCL provided instructional sessions that reached nearly 3,000 participants.  Our intention this year is to maintain this activity and seek to increase our level of involvement within the curriculum even further. Equipping students with these lifelong learning skills will serve them well after they have finished their time at UK. “

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