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The role of medical libraries in undergraduate education: a case study in genetics

The role of medical libraries in undergraduate education: a case study in genetics

Journal of the Medical Library Association 90(2): 181-193

Between 1996 and 2001, the Health Science Center Libraries and Department of Zoology at the University of Florida partnered to provide a cohesive and comprehensive learning experience to undergraduate students in PCB3063, "Genetics." During one semester each year, a librarian worked with up to 120 undergraduates, providing bibliographic and database instruction in the tools that practicing geneticists use (MEDLINE, GenBank, BLAST, etc.). Students learned to evaluate and synthesize the information that they retrieved, coupling it with information provided in classroom lectures, thus resulting in well-researched short papers on an assigned genetics topic. Exit surveys of students indicated that the majority found the library sessions and librarian's instruction to be useful. Responses also indicated that the project facilitated increased understanding of genetics concepts and appreciation for the scientific research process and the relevance of genetics to the real world. The library benefited from this partnership on a variety of fronts, including the development of skilled library users, pretrained future clientele, and increased visibility among campus research laboratories. The course and associated information instruction and assigned projects can be considered models for course-integrated instruction and the role of medical libraries in undergraduate education.

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Accession: 047727568

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PMID: 11999176

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