Program Session

4 - With a Little Help from My Friends: A Peer-Led Professional Development Program for Hospital Librarians

Sunday, May 28
3:50 PM - 4:05 PM
Room: 611

OBJECTIVE: To describe a program of professional development for librarians in a large, geographically dispersed hospital system. Librarians at Kaiser Permanente typically function as solo librarians, leaving them little time or opportunity for continuing education and other professional growth activities. Our program, which may be easily adopted in other settings, has succeeded in offering popular, effective, and inexpensive professional development opportunities.

METHODS: During the past five years, our professional development committee has established a program to support the continuing development of librarians at our institution. The committee hosts a series of monthly in-house, web-based seminars; curates a list of relevant resources; and maintains a calendar of free webinars. Another popular feature is a monthly “TechTime,” an open discussion format where librarians exchange technology tips to increase their abilities and efficiency.  Occasional full-day, hands-on sessions refine our research skills; and a Knowledge Exchange program matches mentors and mentees who are interested in teaching and learning from each other. Peer feedback guides the committee in planning future activities.

RESULTS: Over the past five years, the kpLibraries professional development committee has offered a wealth of training opportunities encompassing a wide range of medical librarian skills.  Organizational leadership is supportive of our inexpensive and creative solutions. Our satisfaction surveys indicate that the committee is providing popular and effective professional development opportunities that are easy for librarians to access and are highly regarded.

CONCLUSION: Implementing a professional development committee is a viable solution for providing continuing education and professional growth opportunities to time-strapped medical librarians. Utilizing in-house resources ensures trainings are inexpensive, relevant, focused, and effective.

Keywords: professional development, continuing development, peer education, committees, learning, training, teaching, hospitals,

Program Session

Rebecca L. Bayrer

Library Services Manager
Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco and South San Francisco
Kaiser Permanente
South San Francisco, California

Rebecca Bayrer, MLIS, AHIP, is the library manager of the Health Sciences Library at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco and South San Francisco. She serves on the Executive Board of the Northern California and Nevada Medical Library Group of MLA, and is chair of the kpLibraries' Professional Development Committee. Rebecca received her MLIS from Syracuse University in 2007.


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Dawn M. Melberg

Manager, Library Services
kpLibraries, Santa Rosa
Kaiser Permanente
Santa Rosa, California


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Rachel K. Stark

Health Sciences Librarian
California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento, California

Rachel Keiko Stark, MS,AHIP, is the Health Sciences Librarain for California State Univeristy, Sacramento. After completing her graduate degree in 2012, Rachel worked in a variety of libraries, including the Kaiser Permanente Libraries, mostly as a Medical or Health Sciences Librarian.

Her professional interests include library management, gamification, and diversity in libraries.


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Chandrika Kanungo

Manager, Library Services
kpLibraries, San Jose and Redwood City
San Jose, California

Chandrika Kanungo, MLIS. Manager, Health Sciences Library, San Jose and Redwood City, Kaiser Permanente.
An abiding love of literature and books made me change my career path from research in chemistry to working in libraries and information centers in diverse settings, from various for-profit companies to non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, I worked for more than 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly at Elan Pharmaceuticals, starting as an Information Specialist and rising through the ranks to become an Associate Director, managing all aspects of biomedical literature research, document delivery and archiving for clinical and regulatory submissions to the FDA for both marketed drugs and those in the pipeline. During the early years of my library career, I volunteered at the Dr. Martin Luther King Public Library and worked as a student assistant at the International Institute of Surface Transportation Policy Studies, developing and designing the resources that became part of the Caltrans webpage. I have managed the KP Health Sciences Library in San Jose for the past 9 years and currently manage both the San Jose and Redwood City medical center libraries. I particularly enjoy the informal camaraderie that exists amongst the staff and the diversity of the population we serve in the Bay Area. Finding the right information at the right time has been my professional credo. I love gardening and experimenting with food, especially with vegetables that I’ve grown in my backyard. I love traveling and frequenting botanical gardens, museums and archives, and indulge in some amateur photography.


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Carrie Walsh

Assistant Librarian
kpLibraries, San Rafael
San Rafael, California


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4 - With a Little Help from My Friends: A Peer-Led Professional Development Program for Hospital Librarians

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