Lightning Talk: Program Description Abstract

Collaborating for Classes: Training Initiatives for the Mutual Benefit of Libraries and Their Institutional Partners

Sunday, May 5
2:35 PM - 2:40 PM
Room: Columbus KL (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : Meeting the educational needs of researchers requires a wide variety of classes on software and specialized tools. Limitations with budget, librarian expertise, time, and staffing may result in missed opportunities for assisting patrons. A large academic health sciences library tackled this issue by collaborating with institutional partners to provide novel training opportunities for biomedical researchers. This lightning talk will briefly highlight our strategy and encourage attendees to create their own mutually beneficial partnerships.

Description : We formed three collaborations with diverse institutional partners to provide training on specialized topics for our research community. (1) An Immunology Department researcher took advantage of flexible library space as well as class registration and promotion infrastructure to teach a semester-long lecture and hands-on workshop series introducing computational flow cytometry. (2) We created a series focusing on open access software developed by institutional health sciences researchers. Invited presenters provided a brief overview on the tool development and use cases followed by hands-on practice. (3) Faculty from the Center for Research Computing taught hands-on workshops in the library on Python and R programming languages. Librarians helped tailor examples for a biomedical audience and also attended sessions to assist with basic questions.

Conclusion : All three of these initiatives promote the expertise of our collaborators and reinforce the concept of the library as a resource for free, authoritative training opportunities. Based on high attendance levels and positive feedback, these successful workshops will continue to be offered while we seek out new class topics and additional partnerships. This strategy supports attendees by providing classes that would not otherwise be available, and is also mutually beneficial for the collaborators in terms of opportunities to promote their services and resources. Such an approach is feasible for all health sciences libraries interested in expanding their own educational offerings.


Carrie L. Iwema, AHIP

Coordinator of Basic Science Services
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carrie Iwema, PhD, MLS, AHIP is the Coordinator for Basic Science Services for the Health Sciences Library System at the University of Pittsburgh. As a member of the Molecular Biology Information Service she provides bioinformatics support and training for researchers, helping them to access and use specialized analytical tools and databases. As a member of the Data Services team she teaches classes on electronic lab notebooks and data management plans, which led to her receiving a secondary faculty appointment with Pitt's Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Also, Carrie created and runs a workshop series entitled "How-To Talks by Postdocs" that provides postdoctoral researchers an opportunity to develop and teach classes within the library. In addition to her library degree, Carrie has a PhD in Neuroscience and completed five years as a postdoc in the department of Neurosurgery at the Yale School of Medicine. She is a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals and is actively involved in the Medical Library Association, where she is currently a member of both the Education Steering Committee and the Annual Meeting Innovation Task Force.


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Melissa Ratajeski, AHIP

Coordinator of Data Management Services
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Melissa A. Ratajeski is the Coordinator of Data Services and liaison to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh. In this role, she provides support and training for researchers at each stage of the data lifecycle. Before receiving her Masters in Library and Information Science, Melissa was a Research Coordinator within the Department of Neurobiology/Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


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Ansuman Chattopadhyay

Asst Director Mol Bio Information Service
University of Pittsburgh


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Collaborating for Classes: Training Initiatives for the Mutual Benefit of Libraries and Their Institutional Partners

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