Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ready or Not, You're Now a Health Sciences Librarian!

Change,  you never know when it will happen to you.  Change, it's the new normal.  Right?  In the summer of 2015 for a variety of reasons someone needed to step up and help out our Idaho Health Sciences Library. It now consisted of one faculty and one staff person.  Someone needed to help out.  I was just finishing up a year as Faculty Senate co-chair, and two building projects (new carpet on two floors & earthquake bracing for all stacks) so of course, I had time to help out.  The department was moved into my domain and *poof* I was now going to be a health science librarian.  Well, not exactly.

I am not a health science librarian.  However, I can teach. I know how to use the databases to which the library subscribes (though I hadn't ever counted on knowing in any detail those belonging to the health sciences).  And I like learning new things.  What could possibly go wrong?   Innocence and bravado can take you places you never expected to go and I began the year armed with a little knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm.  It worked, at least to a degree.  I was able to teach orientations where faculty wanted me to show the scope of resources available to students.  I was able to teach searching using keywords and subject terms.  I watched a lot of online webinars on the various primary databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, Clinical Key etc.

As the semester wore on the 'intro' workshops finished and new more in-depth ones came on.  These in-depth sessions wanted me to teach topics such as research for Evidence Based Practice and Spanish for the Health Sciences. At this point I turned to the real Health Sciences librarian left at ISU.  Molly.  Molly is an amazing, knowledgeable, energetic librarian who has created a large number of online tutorials to help students learn the very things I needed to teach.  I watched her tutorials. And I rewatched them. I even included some in the various workshops.  I cannot thank Molly enough for her rescue.  Molly's YouTube

I'm still not a health sciences librarian.  I just don't have the depth of subject knowledge required. But I'd like to think that I'm effective of at least getting students started in the right direction with their research.  Interestingly enough I think this work has improved my own research abilities. (How could it not?)

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