Session Description

The ubiquitous nature of Google and slick point-of-care Internet resources have become strong competitors for medical residents’ precious time in their clinical practices. Even the usefulness of the traditional library orientation has been questioned by clinicians and healthcare educators. Join us for a presentation and demonstration of how we transformed an outdated orientation into a novel library experience, using the Clinical Case Presentation model.


Orientation, case presentation, online resources


May 12th, 2:00 PM May 12th, 4:00 PM

Adapting a New Model for Library Orientation: the Clinical Case Presentation

Williams Room

Every summer, new pediatric residents enter postgraduate medical training at the University of Vermont Medical Center. An introduction to the Dana Medical Library has been a long-standing orientation activity for these new residents. In the past, this hour long orientation consisted of a lecture outlining library resources, services, and policies followed by a tour of the physical space. Observations of this traditional orientation, however, revealed bored-looking, unengaged residents, who even questioned the usefulness of this scheduled library session.

After thoughtful consideration and discussion among librarians, we concluded that this was probably due to the passive nature of these activities, and the fact that residents were simultaneously being overwhelmed with new and more vital clinical and administrative responsibilities at the medical center. And, we also knew that something had to change about our approach to library orientation, or we were going to turn off a new generation of young physicians to the library. Internet resources like Google and point-of-care clinical tools like UpToDate have become strong competitors for residents’ precious time and limited level of expertise in using the literature. So, this year, the library orientation for new pediatric residents was completely redesigned. After drawing on her personal experience as a clinical librarian in medicine, the pediatrics liaison librarian explored the idea of adapting the Patient Case Presentation model to a library orientation. Clinical Case Presentation is a very familiar presentation format in residency programs. Its format offers a rapid and concise summary of the most essential patient information and is used primarily in clinical settings and at educational conferences. Since the style of case presentations may vary depending on the clinical setting, service, and time available, the pediatrics liaison librarian saw this as a perfect opportunity to orient new residents to the library using their own presentation format and terminology. The remodeled library orientation consisted of an interactive case presentation about a pediatric resident with a clinical information need, followed by a brief didactic session on library resources and services relevant to the specific information need. The case and teaching session were both presented by the liaison librarian with the assistance of the pediatric chief resident, serving as her scribe. Besides the specific questions that were “planted” among the residents and medical students, audience participation was strongly encouraged, especially during the review of information systems section of the presentation. With the unexpected success of this orientation activity, we hope to have the opportunity at the ACRL-NEC Conference to demonstrate and describe for a wider audience how we took an outdated library orientation activity and completely transformed it. Hopefully, our presentation will give other librarians the motivation and the encouragement to explore new teaching and learning formats in their own liaison areas and to adapt those models to library education and orientation activities, just as we did with the Case Presentation format in a pediatric residency program.


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