Author(s)Heskett, Karen M.
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AbstractIn 2010, the School of Medicine implemented a radical change in its core curriculum with less didactic sessions and more active learning opportunities like problem-based learning (PBL). The librarian liaison had a part in one block but was looking for additional ways to meet course objectives. Partnering with the PBL curriculum seemed a natural fit. The librarian created an online guide (using libguides) for the students that provided a mini-tutorial for searching and in support of each specific PBL case, a new tab would appear with suggestions for books, synthesized search tools, links to pertinent databases, national organizations, and included short tutorials on using resources. The use of libguides for this purpose is not novel, but the case specific guidance is unique. The PBL curriculum in the first year was in development and because there was little time to develop the guide before the case, the librarian started attending cases, listening to the questions the students had and developing the guide around them. Although each case has specific learning objectives, creating the guide from them is often too specific and does not facilitate the students exploring and learning on their own. As the curriculum grew, so did the librarian’s activity. The second year included new cases for the now second year medical students necessitating two guides - one for each year. For the third year, the librarian started attending the “Just in Time” (JIT) tutor sessions. This allowed the librarian to partner with the faculty tutors – addressing their needs and helping develop additional material for the students. It was due to a family issue that the idea of “being there” within the PBL and JIT sessions became something tangible instead of anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the librarian’s presence encouraged greater use. During the winter quarter, 2014, the librarian was unable to attend PBL sessions and the statistics from the guide’s usage proved the value of “being there” as only about one-third of the students continued to use the guide once I was no longer attending. Benefits of being there: Reinforce the availability of the online guide Encourage students to seek assistance Capture tutor best practice using resources Reinforce the availability of assistance in using or finding resources Increase faculty awareness of remote access to library resources Assist faculty in accessing resources off-campus Facilitate dissemination of tutor recommended resources Presented at the annual meeting of the Western Group on Educational Affairs (AAMC) 2015 in San Diego, CA.