I am Jamie Saragossi, currently I am the Health Sciences Collection Development and Outreach Librarian at Stony Brook University, NY. Prior to starting here at Stony Brook, I was the Chief Librarian at Touro College School of Health Sciences for several years. I worked as a marketing associate for a few years promoting book club memberships before deciding to go back to school for my MLS. I enjoyed working in the publishing space however I was missing the human element.
I knew I wanted to help people and interact with the public on a daily basis. I started at Touro College as a library assistant while I was in graduate school. I admired the dedication with which our students approached their studies. The health science students really commit themselves to their programs for several years. If they weren’t in class they were in the library morning, noon and night. I knew after one semester that I wanted to continue with health science librarianship. I want to provide our future health care providers with the information and research skills they need to be the best possible practitioners in the field.
Touro College serves several of the allied health programs including Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Another librarian, Laurel Scheinfeld and I were looking for ways to integrate the library into those programs and promote our embedded librarian initiative. At the same time, 3D printing was making its way into health science libraries across the nation. We thought this technology would be applicable to our programs, especially Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy where assistive devices could be manufactured using the printer rather than purchased. We approached the faculty who were interested in 3d printing technology but weren’t sure where to start with developing a program. We found a few champions who thought introducing this technology to students would give them an advantage in the job market and allow them to have hands on classroom experiences that would spark their creativity and critical thinking skills.
After a few brainstorming sessions, our project was born; Embedded Librarians Integrating 3D Printing Technology into Masters Level Health Science Courses. Once we had the support of our administration we decided to apply for NN/LM MAR funding to support the project.
We’ve learned a great deal about our students, their interests and creative solutions to every day issues for their patients. The Touro College communications department featured our project in this article, ‘Print it, O.T.!’ Students Use 3D Technology to Design Life-Changing Tools.
The two pilot courses are still in process and the review and analysis of the projects will be formally done at the completion of the semester. We have however found that the project has brought much positive attention to the library and additional programs and classes are now interested in incorporating the 3D printer into their courses as well. The librarians have now become the sounding board for technology ideas and successfully integrated themselves at the course level.
Two pilot courses integrating the 3D technology have been identified. The pilot courses were identified because there were special projects as part of their curriculum. The Occupational Therapy course (OT 650) is a special projects seminar. In this course students were asked to identify a patient they’ve encountered and develop an assistive device that would help improve activities of daily living. Students have so far come up with ideas such as a device to stabilize a straw or key grips that increase the size of the key for individuals with arthritis. Simple designs were created and sent to biomedical engineering student volunteers who created CAD files that could be used to print the objects.
The Physical Therapy course (DPT 654) is a course focused on interventions but also contains a special project competent. The students will be comparing devices printed on the 3d printer to those that can be purchased or created in a more traditional way. The students will gauge the usefulness and cost effectiveness of these printed devices as opposed to the traditional materials/devices that can be purchased.
Both are still in process and the review and analysis of the projects will be formally done at the completion of the semester.
We have found that the project has brought much positive attention to the library and additional programs and classes are now interested in incorporating the 3D printer into their courses as well. The librarians have now become the sounding board for technology ideas and successfully integrated themselves at the course level.