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Midwest Matters October 18th, 2021
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Ohio Health Sciences Library Association Spring 2021 CE Course: Drawn to Graphic Medicine

Posted by on May 14th, 2021 Posted in: Blog, News from the Region, Success Stories

The Ohio Health Sciences Library Association (OHSLA) gratefully acknowledges Region 6 for the Expert Speaker Award in support of its Spring 2021 CE Program presenters: Kathryn Houk, MLIS, MPH, AHIP, CHIS I, Assistant Professor and Health Literacy and Community Engagement Librarian at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas Health Sciences Library and Ariel Pomputius, MLIS, health sciences liaison librarian at the Health Science Center Libraries, University of Florida–Gainesville.  They presented their 1.5 credit MLA CE course Drawn to Graphic Medicine: Bringing Comics into Medical Librarianship on Friday, April 30 from 10:30 am to noon Eastern via a Zoom meeting room (provided courtesy of OhioNET). OHSLA advertised the course to its own members and also via the Midwest Chapter MLA and the Academic Library Association of Ohio listservs.

The instructors clearly value interactivity and designed activities that engaged the class participants. For instance, in addition to providing lists of resources for course participants, the instructors gave the participants the opportunity to recommend resources.  Furthermore, those taking the course had the opportunity not only to analyze a sample graphic, but also to draw their own comic.  The drawing exercise was especially well-received; several of the artists enthusiastically opted to share their drawing with the entire class and to describe what it depicted.

There were several course objectives, but two of the most timely and critical were 1) to demonstrate how comics appeal to a variety of audiences, including both clinicians and health consumers and 2) to discuss how comics can amplify marginalized voices or ideas in health and healthcare. Based on the course evaluations, these objectives were achieved.

There were 33 registrants for the live webinar, 4 of whom were not members of OHSLA.  As of this writing, a total of 17 OHSLA program evaluation surveys have been submitted. The course and the instructors were rated very highly on the evaluation survey. The rating for relevance of content and information averaged 8.81 and the expertise of presenters averaged 9.75, both out of a maximum possible ranking of 10.

Those who chose to comment on the course had good things to say. Here is a sampling:

  • “This course helped me to see that comics can be a very valuable method of information transfer. There is a language and vocabulary to graphic information. I would like to learn more, especially on how to get students drawing to express their ideas. We rely almost totally on the written word for information exchange. I was surprised by how many of my colleagues actually are quite fluent in graphic information portrayal.”
  • “I attended out of curiosity and could immediately see the value of incorporating graphic medicine into presentations, classes, and orientations. The presenters made it fun and interesting. Appreciated the hands on aspect as well.”
  • “…Both presenters were very knowledgeable and personable and did a great job at presenting information. I think this would be outstanding as an in-person class but it worked well in the online format as well. I went into the class thinking it wouldn’t be that relevant to my work/library but they provided great examples and ideas I can see implementing in my institution.”

OHSLA received permission from the instructors to record the course, and MLA confirmed that OHSLA may offer MLA CE credit for watching the recording of the course for up to one year from the date of the live course (Apr. 30, 2022).  Anyone who is interested in the taking the course may register to watch the recording (fee: $20) at the OHSLA website on the Drawn to Graphic Medicine CE (Recorded OHSLA Spring 2021 Session) page.

Submitted by Ximena Chrisagis, M.S. (LIS), M.A., OHSLA 2020-21 President Elect/Program Chair

Self-portrait, Kathryn (Katie) Houk

Self-portrait, Kathryn (Katie) Houk










Self-portrait, Ariel Pomputius

Self-portrait, Ariel Pomputius










The self-portraits are the copyright of each artist and are used in this post with the artists’ permission

Image of the author ABOUT Miles Dietz-Castel

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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