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Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Visualising Information Literacy

Posted by sarahw9 on 23 October, 2009

Getting across to students what information resources they need to use and when

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to use them can seem a thankless task.  Its often pretty dry material and training sessions aren’t usually scheduled to link in with the point at which students immediately need to use the resources.  Medical librarians at the Clinical Sciences Library are in the halfway through running some sessions this year which we hope begin to address this problem. 

We have been experimenting with a new approach to our library training with our first year medics giving them a mindmap of information resources they need for their course.  The School of Medicine invited us to get involved in their new ‘clinical problem solving’ module, which aims to get new students making connections between their modules and understanding deeper processes rather than trying to get by learning by rote.  The students have to solve problems by making these connections and they are expected to be able to do their own research to before they can work out the answers. Google and Wikipedia alone won’t do this for them. This is where our information literacy training fit in. 

Previously we have dived straight into Medline to get them conversant with the research literature and how to find it.  This time we created a map of information resources.  The map links directly out to the resources and is organised to help the students see which places to go for either an overview of a topic or for more detailed information.  The resources range from dictionaries and clinical guidelines to statistics and bibliographic databases.  It is hoped that the students can return to this map to help them clarify where to look for information at any time within their course. 

In our training session the students are introduced to the resources on the map by integrating voting questions using Turning Point to ensure they understand them.  Later in the session they are given the task to find the answer to a clinical question using two contrasting resources, explaining where they found the information to support their answer and also how they found it. 

Its early days and when we have finished our sessions we will compile our feedback from the students and the course tutors.  We are hopeful that the map has the potential to be developed into a more ambitious elearning tool useful for many different contexts.


Posted in Service Delivery, Subject Support, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

UHMLG (University Health and Medical Librarians Group) Conference 2009

Posted by sarahw9 on 8 July, 2009



Last week I enjoyed a very brief visit to this small and friendly conference of health librarians.  I was one of the speakers, talking about our project ‘Using web 2.0 to cultivate information literacy via the construction of personal learning environments’  at Leicester last year.

Sadly I had only made the Friday morning of the conference.   There I managed to catch Isla Kuhn sharing some of her expiences using web 2.0 at the University of Cambridge.  Using clickers in during her presentation we soon found out that of those in the room 68% didn’t use Twitter, but 14% did specifically for their library.  I admit I was surprised that so many are not using Twitter, perhaps I’m in more of a clique than I realised.  Isla described herself as a ‘complete non-paper librarian’  which raised a smile, well thats me too and I’m sure quite a few of others could say the same.  Do we have the right job-title?  Thats another issue.  The work of the Arcadia Project at Cambridge, exploring the role of the academic library in the digital age is worth watching, and they have already produced a favourite of ours here at Leicester, the science@cambridge portal

Sara Clarke from the Royal Free Hospital also gave an entertaining presentation on ‘Memoirs of an Invisible Librarian’, describing how her library had set about raising its profile at the hospital.  They worked on embedding their services, using the Map of Medicine to create a patient journey as it happens specifically at the Royal Free Hospital, to help clinicians redesign their services.  This way they reintroduced a new set of clinicians to the library services.  They did alot of the traditional profile raising activities, getting physically in the way of staff offering an ipod shuffle as a prize drawer in hospital corridors.  One interesting point was their posters campaign which promoted not just the services but what their staff could do for their users.  This is relevant to us – we need to show we are adding value and emphasise our human skills – not just say that we subscribe to a range of databases.  Sara said their membership rates doubled during that period.  They have also set up a clinical library service (we can smugly say we have an excellent clinical library service here at Leicester already) and have set about making their services known to senior management.  This sounds familiar but its continual process we can’t afford to forget. 


Posted in Digital Strategy & Website, Projects, Research Support, Visibility, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »