Innovation & Research Practice
Paper: Program Description Abstract
Elevating Health Sciences Librarians’ Research Capacity through an Innovative Research Training Institute
Sunday, May 5
5:05 PM - 5:20 PM
Room: Columbus IJ (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Lorie Kloda, AHIP
Associate University Librarian, Planning & Community Relations
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Background : The MLA Research Training Institute (RTI) is a three-year program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to equip practicing health sciences librarians with key research competencies related to scholarly research, inquiry, and publishing. The centerpiece of the RTI is a five-day immersive research workshop, where librarians develop the skills necessary to conduct a research study during the ensuing year. RTI fellows participate in an online community of practice, which reinforces learning goals and provides ongoing support. A secondary objective of the RTI is to spur health information research to advance evidence-based practice in health sciences librarianship.
Description : Planning for the RTI began in 2015 and grew out of the work of the MLA Research Imperative Task Force. Intensive planning and implementation of RTI activities occurred during the first year of the grant. Five faculty developed a curriculum to teach the cohort of 20 fellows about the process of conducting research from start to finish. During the workshop at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, faculty engaged participants with discussion about research methods and analysis, hands-on activities, and peer-to-peer/peer-to-faculty mentoring. Fellows, with faculty mentoring, are participating in a yearlong experience of conducting a research project at their home institutions. Pre- and post-test surveys were conducted to measure the fellows’ learning of the research concepts. Data was gathered from participants regarding their research progress and outputs via quarterly reports. Informal feedback and other evidence of fellows’ research activities were collected.
Conclusion : Developing the MLA RTI has already had a positive impact on the first cohort practicing health sciences librarians’ ability to conduct research. The authors will examine the impact of the research training and support program on participants’ research and practice. Fellows’ pre- and post-test results that measure changes in research confidence and capability to design and conduct research will be discussed. Research progress and output of cohort members will be shared. Other types of research activities resulting from fellows’ participation in the RTI program will be described.