Program Session

1 - Finding Biomedical Research Information and Communicating Science: A New, Librarian-Taught, Credit-Bearing Course for Graduate Students

Sunday, May 28
3:05 PM - 3:20 PM
Room: 615


Both out of a broad desire to more fully integrate information-related skills into the University of Florida’s (UF) curricula and specific input from biomedical PhD students who were unable to dedicate time to educational sessions not offered for credit, four librarians developed a one-credit course for masters and PhD students: “Finding Biomedical Research Information and Communicating Science.”


While librarians at the UF HSCL have long been integrated into the curricula of the programs we serve and offered stand-alone workshops on information-related topics, we had not previously taught any credit-bearing courses focused on information literacy.  The instructional team designed a new one-credit course to introduce the most important concepts, resources, methods, and tools used in searching for and communicating biomedical information. Topics covered included literature searching, bibliographic citation software, basic NCBI resources, funding sources, data management, and plagiarism and information ethics.  The course was approved through College of Medicine and university level curriculum committees, and their feedback was incorporated to ensure that students learned the conceptual basis and practical tools for finding biomedical information.  The course was taught for the first time in the Fall 2016 semester.


Anecdotal feedback and course evaluation data from the students indicates that the course content met the needs of PhD students in the basic sciences. After meeting with PhD program coordinators in the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) in the early spring, it was decided that the content may be tailored to fit their curricular and scheduling needs.  In particular, a session focusing on genetic and genomic resources will be replaced with an introduction to systematic reviews for the PHHP audience. In terms of curriculum sequencing, rather than being in a 5 week block during the fall, the summer course will be offered during one of the abbreviated summer semesters. The instructional team will also offer the course again in fall of 2017 to the original, biomedicine focused audience.


Developing and teaching a credit-bearing graduate course on information-related topics is one mechanism for librarians to reach those students who cannot attend stand-alone workshops. Once a course is developed and approved by a specific campus unit, it may prove relevant to other units and the content can be modified to fit the needs of other programs, thus widening the impact and helping to ensure that graduate students across a range of disciplines are exposed to similar information-related content.

Keywords: instruction, teaching, graduate students, information literacy

Program Session

Mary E. Edwards

Reference & Liaison Librarian
Health Science Center Library
Gainesville, FL

Mary Edwards, MLIS, EdD, AHIP is the Distance Learning and Liaison Librarian at the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries, where she has worked since 2004. Mary attended college at Mercer University (Macon, Georgia) where she received a Bachelor of Arts in history, in 2001 and holds a master’s degree from the University of South Florida (2003) in library and information science. In 2011 she earned a doctorate (EdD) in Educational Technology from the University of Florida.
In addition to supporting distance education, Mary liaises to a number of clinical and research departments in the Colleges of Medicine and Public Health and Health Professions. As part of her liaison duties Mary collaborates on instruction and research with faculty from her departments and is currently teaching in the course “Interdisciplinary Family Health”, which is the cornerstone of the university’s inter-professional education program. In addition to her library specific publications, she has co-authored a systematic review (on using video feedback in medical education) and book chapter (on assessing the learning needs of medical students) with faculty from the Department of Anesthesiology. Mary’s research interests include instructional design, online teaching and learning, distance education, program evaluation, and new literacies including media, digital, and information.


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Michele R. Tennant

Interim Fackler Director
Health Science Center Libraries
Gainesville, Florida

Michele R. Tennant, AHIP, is the Interim Director of the Health Science Center Library (HSCL) at the University of Florida. Michele received her PhD in Biology from Wayne State University, and her MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles. At the HSCL, Michele is also head of the Biomedical and Health Information Services (BHIS) unit, which encompasses the library's liaison, instruction, reference, and outreach activities. BHIS liaisons are deeply integrated into the curricula for UF’s health sciences colleges, as well as in coursework for PhD and undergraduate science students. They provide outreach to clinicians through rounding services and to patients in clinic, and develop for researchers services related to bioinformatics, data, and public access. Michele enjoys taking on innovative and new projects, and is always looking for ways to integrate the library and its librarians into the university community.


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Hannah F. Norton

Interim Fackler Director, Associate University Librarian
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Hannah F. Norton is currently serving as Interim Fackler Director of the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries. Her ongoing role is as Reference & Liaison Librarian, serving primarily as liaison to the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Medicine, and the College of Medicine Class of 2019. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Carleton College and an M.S. in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.


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Margaret E. Ansell

Nursing & Consumer Health Librarian
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

As Nursing and Consumer Health Liaison Librarian, Margaret Ansell has provided instruction, reference, and collection development services to the UF College of Nursing (CON) since 2014. She is currently the PI on a grant funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, "Promoting Health Information Access through Community Partnerships"($4,997), a project that will bring health information resources & literacy skills training to librarian, community organization, and members of the public throughout Alachua County, FL. She was an investigator on a grant project funded by the National Library of Medicine, "Partnering to Provide HIV/AIDS Information Outreach" ($50,000), in which she led the development of a HIV/AIDS resources curriculum for the general public, as well as the creation of easy-to-read, locally relevant print materials on HIV topics such as testing. She was also the PI on a 2015 grant funded by UF George A. Smathers Libraries: “Educating UF Research Participants: Consumer Health Information Services at HealthStreet” ($4,071). During this project, Margaret developed a consumer health information resources curriculum that was used to train the staff of HealthStreet (a local community health research engagement initiative) to facilitate health education, performed a needs assessment that helped determine the titles purchased for a print collection of consumer health monographs, and installed the collection at HealthStreet and made available to the public. She is now working with community organizations to integrate the HealthStreet collection and online resources into health outreach efforts. Ansell has also obtained her Consumer Health Information Specialization (Level I) from the Medical Library Association.


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1 - Finding Biomedical Research Information and Communicating Science: A New, Librarian-Taught, Credit-Bearing Course for Graduate Students

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