Paper: Research Abstract

Health Sciences Librarians’ Perceptions of Interprofessional Education and Collaboration

Sunday, May 5
2:05 PM - 2:20 PM
Room: Columbus EF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Librarians have a unique perspective on the value of working with other health professions. We sought to learn more about health sciences librarians' experiences with interprofessional activities and to assess their perceptions of interprofessional education (IPE) using a standard measure, the Interprofessional Education Perception Scale (IEPS).

We used a cross-sectional survey design to assess librarians’ perceptions toward IPE, and to gather information on librarian participation in interprofessional activities. The survey consisted of a demographics section; the IEPS, an instrument developed to assess perceived attitudes about interdisciplinary collaboration for one’s own profession; and questions about the librarian’s prior and current experiences with IPE. It was sent via email lists to the MLA Interprofessional Education Special Interest Group (IPE-SIG), and the Research Section (RS), as a comparison group. After overlap between groups was addressed, mean IEPS scores between populations were compared to explore differences in attitudes and perceptions. Other variables of interest included years of experience as a librarian, previous career as a health professional, and experience teaching or supporting interprofessional education. We also compared librarians’ IEPS scores with those of health professional students published previously (Hawk, 2002).

Librarians’ scores on the IEPS indicated highly positive perceptions towards IPE. There were no statistically significant differences between the IPE-SIG and RS groups (p=0.59), years of experience as a librarian (p=0.82), previous career as a health professional (p=0.91), or experience supporting IPE (p=0.16). Librarians’ mean IEPS score (262.9) was slightly less than the mean score of all health profession students (265.9) published previously (Hawk, 2002), but was not statistically significant (p=0.43). Themes identified from two open-ended questions included librarian involvement in teaching and facilitating required learning activities for health professions students, committee involvement, and non-curricular activities such as Grand Rounds and book clubs. Five respondents addressed impact of their activities. Less frequent themes included perceiving respect for librarians as part of IPE, feeling undervalued, and desiring more involvement.

This study provides the first data for the IEPS with health sciences librarians. Health sciences librarians have highly positive attitudes towards IPE, in line with the majority of other health professionals studied previously. Years of experience, previous health professional careers, and experience supporting IPE as a librarian had little bearing on the responses to the survey. This suggests that health sciences librarians have positive attitudes towards IPE, regardless of whether they directly support IPE programs.

Rachel Hinrichs, AHIP

Health Sciences Librarian
Indianapolis, Indiana

Rachel Hinrichs (MS, MSLS, AHIP) is a health sciences librarian at IUPUI University Library. She is a liaision to the Schools of Public Health, and Health and Human Sciences. Her research interests include evidence based practice, interprofessional education, and research engagement.


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Kristine M. Alpi, AHIP

University Librarian
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, Oregon

Kristine M. Alpi, MLS, MPH, PhD, AHIP became University Librarian of Oregon Health & Sciences University in December 2018. A 1997-98 Associate Fellow of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), Alpi served as an Educational Collaborator with the National Center for Biotechnology Information, steering committee member of the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce, member of the NLM Planning Panel on Clinical & Public Health Information Systems for the 21st Century, and member of the NLM Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee Grant Study Section from 2011-2015 where she continues as an ad-hoc reviewer. Alpi teaches in the Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education program, previously chaired the Research Section and Public Health/Health Administration Section of MLA, served on the MLA Board of Directors from 2014-2016, and has mentored two MLA Rising Stars.


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Tara Brigham

Assistant Professor of Medical Education & Medical Librarian
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, Florida

Tara Brigham, MLIS, is an Assistant Professor of Medical Education and medical librarian at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. She


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Caitlin Bakker, AHIP

Research Services Liaison Librarian
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota


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Gregg A. Stevens, AHIP

Health Sciences Librarian
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York

Gregg A. Stevens, MSLS, MST, AHIP, is a Health Sciences Librarian at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. He is the liaison to the university’s School of Nursing, collaborating closely with nursing students and faculty, as well as with the nurses in the university hospital. Before 2017, he worked as a Health Sciences Librarian at Mercer University in Atlanta. He is an active member of MLA and its New York/New Jersey Chapter, where he was recently became Treasurer-Elect. He is ending his term as a convener of MLA’s LGBTQ Health Sciences Librarians Special Interest Group (2017–2019). He was selected as a participant in MLA’s Rising Star program in 2016–2017.


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Amy Gische Lyons, AHIP

Associate Librarian, Liaison to the School of Nursing
SUNY at Buffalo, Health Sciences Library
Buffalo, New York


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Health Sciences Librarians’ Perceptions of Interprofessional Education and Collaboration

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