Creating a Team: Collaborating with Library Liaisons

This is the fourth in a series of posts on the MinneSOTL blog profiling various types of collaborations supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).  

Collaborations come in all shapes and sizes. So far in this series we have presented established groups with shared interests, such as the Big Ten Assessment Collaborative or the Ambulatory Care Co-Op, or collaborations across colleges of pharmacy, such as the work being done with Regis. However, collaborations also occur on small scales and great teams can be formed at a single institution.

This week we are profiling collaborations with Pharmacy Librarians at the Bio-Medical Library. The Bio-Medical Library uses a liaison model in which a librarian works with a single college or disciplinary group.

Library Liaisons – Example Project

The previous Pharmacy Liaison, Jim Beattie, collaborated with Shannon Reidt and Kristin Janke on an Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) project. The partnership, which started at a teaching workshop, grew into full-blown collaboration resulting in an Innovations in Teaching award and multiple forthcoming publications. Jim Beattie explains below:

Jim Beattie

I had the good fortune of serving as Interim Liaison Librarian to the College of Pharmacy (CoP) from May of 2013 to August of 2014. During my time serving the College I was lucky enough to collaborate with Shannon Reidt on the Becoming a Pharmacist course, co-teaching a 90-minute case-based approach to evidence-based practice session. This collaboration evolved into a broader effort to evaluate the acquisition of these skills, which resulted in the implementation of a process-oriented assessment called the Modified Fresno Test and a longitudinal EBM curriculum for the college. The most rewarding aspect of my involvement with the team EBM of CoP faculty has been sharing our respective expertise to get to an outcome that is truly innovative and the journey has been great fun.

Consider Collaboration with Bio-Medical Librarians

The Pharmacy Liaison for the MN-COP is Frank Sayre, who shares his experience in collaborating with faculty:  

Frank Sayre

I’ve been very impressed with the faculty’s openness to collaboration.  I’ve had a role in – and have led – a number of projects related to curriculum design and assessment, original research on how practicing pharmacists use information, and technology implementation.  There has always been an impressive degree of openness to working with other professionals, and I believe this contributes to the overall success of the college.

I should also say that I’ve been impressed by how interesting and diverse the research being done by faculty and students are. As the Pharmacy Librarian, I frequently meet with faculty and students who are conducting research. This is my opportunity to talk about their research project and how to best find or use information to support their work and I often meet with people two or three times over the course of their research. Working with people who have complicated or novel research agendas makes this part of my job challenging and  fun.

Regardless of the stage of your SOTL project, consider reaching out the the Pharmacy Liaison at Bio-Medical Library. The amount of information available to us continues to grow and a partnership or collaboration with a librarian may help get a project started, provide some needed momentum, or encourage you to make the final push towards completion. Here’s Frank’s advice:

Even though I am a librarian, I actually don’t work with books or the physical library. One of the greatest things about my job is that it allows me to skim across a broad swath of academia and work on a lot of different projects. Since I began working at the UMN Bio-Medical Library, I’ve worked on projects related to electronic lab notebooks, commercialization of research, information use of practicing pharmacists, data management, and open access journals, among other things. If you’re having a problem that relates to information, I might not have the answer, but it never hurts to ask, and I might know someone who does.

An Overview of the Collaboration with Bio-Medical Library Liaisons

Purpose: The Library Liaisons are problem-solvers. They use their experiences in Library and Information Sciences to meet the educational and research needs of pharmacy students and faculty.

People: The current Pharmacy Liaison from the Bio-Medical Library is Frank Sayre.

Process: The process for collaboration with librarians varies on each project. Contact to determine how his skills and yours can complement one another and potentially lead to a fruitful partnership.

SOTL Collaboratoin Series Graphic


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