Category: Public Librarians Symposium
Objectives: A newly-developed hospital-based summer camp for young people interested in the health professions provided an outreach opportunity for the hospital’s medical librarians. Program participants spent four days interacting with healthcare professionals in a clinical simulation lab setting. The medical library utilized its time in the camp schedule to develop skills related to locating and evaluating health information using the internet.
Methods: The library participated in this summer camp in 2016 and 2017. In preparation for the first summer, hospital librarians customized an existing health literacy curriculum to meet the learning objectives of their institution’s program. They developed teaching materials and handouts for both middle school and high school groups. As a result of student feedback and further research, librarians revised the course in 2017 to promote active learning and enhanced student engagement.
Results: In 2016, librarians presented a 45-minute course to three groups of middle school-aged youth and two groups of high school-aged youth, with a total of 130 participants. Participants were highly satisfied with the camp in general, but had mixed feelings about the library’s course. In 2017, librarians facilitated five, 45-minute active learning sessions. A total of 75 students participated in these sessions. Student engagement and satisfaction improved with utilization of this revised curriculum. Students also reported improved confidence in their abilities to use the internet to find accurate, reliable health information.
Conclusions: The camp has been well-received within the community and reached maximum enrollment both summers. This project provided an opportunity for the library to become involved with a revenue-generating project while also demonstrating a commitment to working with other hospital departments in support of the organization’s mission and goals.
Keywords: summer camp, hospitals, consumer health, active learning, outreach, revenue
Lauren Wojcik, MSLIS, AHIP, is a medical librarian based in Austin, TX. Her work experience includes Seton Healthcare's Clinical Education Center (CEC) and Baylor Scott & White Health's McLane Children's Hospital. Lauren has been a member of the South Central Chapter of MLA since 2012. She earned her master's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her bachelor's degree at the University of Southern California.
Darlene Ennis, MLIS, AHIP, is a Medical Librarian at Dell Children's Hospital in Austin Texas with 19 years library experience including UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas Department of Health and Dell Children's Hospital. Received MLIS at UT Austin and also attended college at University of Maryland Munich Campus. Passionate about finding answers to clinical questions and helping patients and families find the information they need to lead to improved health outcomes for the children and youth we serve.