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NN/LM Training Office (NTO) Needs Assessment Results

Posted by on December 21st, 2016 Posted in: General, NLM Products, Training


Thanks to everyone who responded to our request for completing this needs assessment sponsored by the NN/LM Training Office (NTO)! We would like to share highlights of the results from our region. Sixty-eight network members responded to the assessment. The largest group of respondents was composed of hospital librarians, followed by academic health sciences librarians, and then other academic library staff. California being the most populous state led the total with 72% of the responses, and Arizona placed second with 19%. Following are some of the key findings.

The top reasons you attend continuing education classes are to:

  1. Improve skills for my current job
  2. Learn about subjects interesting to me
  3. Obtain AHIP points (MLA’s credentialing program)

You prefer to learn about new resources or acquire new skills in these ways:

  1. Live webinars
  2. Face-to-face classroom instruction
  3. Recorded webinars

In terms of conducting literature searches and desired proficiency, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, most respondents aspired to be a “5” out of 5, but the majority considered themselves a “4,” with an average response rate of 3.6. This is quite high. For PubMed searching, the desired proficiency was “5,” with an average of 4.7, but many respondents ranked their proficiency at a rate of 3.8.

Respondents indicated a desire to be more proficient with PubMed Health, PubMed Clinical Queries, ClinicalTrials.gov, and practice guidelines. There was also interest in DailyMed, LactMed, Pillbox, and AccessGUDID, as well as the public health information resources, e.g., HealthyPeople 2020 Structured Evidence Queries and American Indian Health. Respondents also wanted to be more proficient with understanding and searching for evidence-based research.

For developing and teaching classes, most respondents desired to be a “5” with an overall average of 4.3, but a majority of responses indicated an actual average proficiency level of “3.” There was also strong interest in creating video and other web-based tutorials. Other categories of high interest were conducting outreach to specific audiences or populations, using mobile apps or mobile technology, and analyzing and presenting data. While not terribly enthusiastic in number, respondents also indicated interest in increasing skills in writing grants and proposals, using disaster health information resources, and evaluating outreach efforts.

Some interest was expressed in communicating results of research or other professional work (e.g., publishing, presentations); identifying appropriate consumer health resources; explaining the research data lifecycle and identifying appropriate tools or resources for each step; understanding open science, including open access and open data; and issues related to sharing data. In addition, full text access (e.g., DOCLINE/Interlibrary Loan, LinkOut, PubMed Central, Bookshelf), and Public Access Policy programs and tools for NIH-funded researchers (e.g., NIH Manuscript System, My Bibliography, SciENcv) received mention.

Less interest was expressed in genetic information resources and using the basic functions of bioinformatics tools (e.g., BLAST, Gene, Nucleotide). Despite what some may consider a recent saturation of systematic review training opportunities, some respondents were still interested in learning more about this topic!

Specific feedback from the assessment included these comments:

There are some things that I really would not use in my daily work, but it is always good to learn or know things…

I like live webinars that I can watch at my desk rather than the MLA webcasts where I have to go to the hosting location…

For more details about the results, contact Education & Outreach Librarian Kay Deeney. NN/LM PSR staff will use these results to plan trainings for the coming year. Stay tuned!

Image of the author ABOUT Kay Deeney
Kay Deeney, MLS AHIP is the Education & Outreach Librarian with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region located at UCLA.

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NNLM Pacific Southwest Region
12-077 Center for the Health Sciences
Box 951798
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1798
Phone: (310) 825-1200
Email: psr-nnlm@library.ucla.edu

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This project is funded by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012341 with the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

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