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Share Your Success: “Value-Added” activities at the University of South Alabama

Posted by on October 28th, 2012 Posted in: All Posts

By Judy Burnham, Director – Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

Instead of sharing my individual success story, I would like to share the story of how the University of South Alabama Biomedical Library team contributes to the success of the Health Sciences Division.

Like other libraries, we offer traditional library services (reference, circulation, education, collection management, etc.) However, the Biomedical Library (BL) has become involved in many “value-added” activities including:

  • Based on the new organ/system based curriculum for the College of Medicine, the BL developed a multi-media clinical skills page with links to videos that would reinforce the clinical skills learned during the coursework.
  • The BL developed and is delivering a medical informatics/evidence-based medicine thread for COM curriculum.  This consists of 12 modules integrated throughout the 4-year curriculum and covers topics including EHR, evidence-based medicine, patient safety and technology, patient informatics, and emerging technologies.
  • A BL librarian verifies citations for COM dissertations and annual reports, resulting in more accurate documents.
  • BL librarians participate in a variety of committees:  COM Curriculum Committee (including subcommittee), COM CME Committee, COM GME Committee, COM SPEC Committee, ad-hoc interviewer for COM Admissions Committee, University IRB Committee, University ROC (Research Organization Council), and University Library Committee.
  • BL librarians regularly exhibit at the Health Services Division Health Fair and the USA Benefits Fair — after all the Biomedical Library is a benefit of being a USA employee!
  • The BL contributes to diversity of health professions by working with DREAM, STARS & STRIPES students.  DREAM students are college students, usually from Historical Black Colleges and Universities who are interested in a health care career.  STARS & STRIPES students are rising junior and senior high school students who are interested in health care careers and are students who excel, but are from under performing schools.  The BL conducts library literacy instruction for the students, teaching skills they can use when they return to their schools.
  • The BL participates in University’s Center for Health Communities Health Disparities Research Group and Community Health Advocates. Both of these groups have the goal of decreasing health disparities in the Mobile community.
  • BL librarians participate in Faculty Senate, both as representatives of the University Libraries and the COM, with one serving as COM Caucus Leader.
  • The Biomedical Library seeks out opportunities to exhibit at state health care professional meetings.
  • A BL librarian participates in Our Neighborhood Health Clinic at Dumas Wesley Community Center and 15 Place.  These are nurse-managed clinics and the librarian contributes by helping both the health care professionals (including students rotating through the clinic) and the clients with health literacy needs.
  • A BL librarian is participating in the IPEC (Inter-professional Education and Collaboration) Working Group.  The goal of this group is to increase inter-professional involvement across campus.
  • BL librarians are integrated into several hospital committees. One librarian is participating in a project to improve patient outcomes by showing MedlinePlus videos to patients who will be undergoing a heart procedure.

We feel that these extra activities contribute to the mission of the Health Sciences Division and the health of our community.


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