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Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2

The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources. (Instruction of library use)

√ CompliantNon-Compliant


The Moody Medical Library administration and staff at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) ensure that students, faculty, and staff have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources. The library offers orientations, tours, individual walk-in instruction, and formal instruction programs throughout the year. UTMB librarians encourage faculty to schedule library sessions tailored to specific courses and assignments. Library staff is also available to faculty who are unable to attend regularly scheduled classes. Professional librarians will meet with faculty members and offer customized instruction based on particular information needs.

Library instruction is marketed to the University community through the UTMB daily announcements (1) and the library’s website (2). Library staff manages a weblog (blog) called LibraryLink (3) that monitors recent developments in scholarly publication, computer technology, academic communication, and scientific research, with special reference to their implications for libraries, library services, and the provision of needed information to the University community. Additionally, a professional librarian attends the monthly meeting of School of Medicine course directors to announce the availability of new products and services. The library’s director attends the monthly Council of Deans meetings and is a member of the Strategic Executive Council.

The library’s public access computer area has 64 computers and the reference department has a comprehensive collection of print and electronic reference materials, 24 computers for public access, and printing and copy services. Reference librarians are available 40 hours a week to answer questions and provide assistance, including personalized instruction on a walk-in basis. An electronic reference service is also available from the library’s website, "Ask a Librarian"(4). During 2011-2012, 2,574 reference questions were answered from this service, up from the 1,917 questions received in 2010-2011. The electronic reference service allows clients to reach librarians through interactive chat sessions, text message, Web forms, or e-mail, regardless of the client’s location. The service includes a frequently asked questions (FAQ) component to allow instantaneous access to previously answered questions. Librarians also receive questions via their personal email and telephone extensions. In 2011-2012, reference librarians conducted a total of 33,038 reference transactions.

Library orientation classes are offered at the beginning of the semester for all new students. At these orientations, students are given an overview of the library including circulation, reference, document delivery/interlibrary lending, computer use services and policies, physical layout of the building, and opportunities for library instruction. Distance education students attend library orientations at the library in Galveston.

Library classes are updated as needed to reflect changes in technology and database availability and to address frequent questions that librarians receive from clients both in classes and at the reference desk. The library learning lab, offered to all first year medical students in the first weeks of class, is an example of customized instruction for students. The hour-long lab serves small groups of approximately 30 students and is arranged around questions and answers that encourage students to be critical consumers of information. It covers the best information resources available for different types of questions. Second year medical students also attend a mandatory library learning lab where they are taught how to search the Medline database. The class supports evidence-based medicine assignments given in courses throughout the second year of medical school. The structure is case-based so students have the opportunity to create a search strategy to answer a specific patient question. Students are given a self-evaluation form for their search strategy and can seek personalized feedback by request.

Labs are also offered to students in the School of Nursing and in the School Health Professions and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, professional librarians attend lectures to demonstrate biomedical databases. Regularly scheduled library instruction classes are held in the Carruth Room on the second floor of the library building. The Carruth Room has twelve computer workstations and an instructor’s station attached to a ceiling mounted data projector. Special library instruction sessions are also scheduled in the library’s Online Testing Center and in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) in the School of Health Professions and Nursing building. The Online Testing Center has 60 workstations; the LRC has 39 computers.

Operating as a branch of the library, the LRC enhances the instructional, research, and community service missions of the School of Health Professions and the School of Nursing through the use of independent learning resources. The LRC occupies 3,293.50 square feet and its two computer laboratories are available for classes or in conjunction with the student testing center in the library. Three small group study rooms that can accommodate two groups of six and one group of eight are available for students on a first-come, first-served basis, Monday-Friday 8-5.

Personal computer facilities are also available to students in Research Building #6 and other smaller facilities are available in teaching, research and clinical areas throughout the institution. A Web page is available to help students access University computer standards and help (5).

Librarians support faculty with learning/information sessions known as house calls. House calls are available to faculty who are unable to attend regularly scheduled classes. Librarians meet with faculty, often in the faculty’s office, and offer customized instruction. The sessions are personalized to match the faculty member’s particular information needs. Additionally, librarians often provide lectures to faculty on the future of scholarly publication. During the 2011-2012 academic year, UTMB librarians conducted 289 instructional sessions attended by 6,757 users.

Handouts and online tutorials to help students with library resources are available on the library’s Guides and Tutorials page (6). Tutorials are either created in-house or made available by the resource providers. In 2011-2012, 65 tutorials were available and accessed 614 times.

Distance Learners
The library operates with the philosophy that all traditional services should be equally convenient and available to distance learners. Consequently, the library provides a strong information technology infrastructure for students, faculty and staff. The facility is connected to the University’s broadband network and both are included in the UTMB wireless network coverage area. Information on how to access learning resources, including professional assistance, from a distance is given to students during orientation. The library’s staff works with faculty to develop tailored programs for students both in class and at a distance in order to meet specific information educational objectives such as literature searching and information selection and evaluation. In addition, library staff help faculty create persistent links into library resources to facilitate student access to reading materials in the library’s electronic collections.

Distance learners have access to the same library resources as on-site learners. Most access is available through the library’s Web page. Electronic information resources are accessible remotely to anyone with a valid UTMB student identification card and institutional electronic mail address. A distance education page has been created to help distance students with remote access to library resources (7). Print resources are provided to distance learners via electronic mail or Web-based retrieval of scanned pages, surface mail or through reciprocal borrowing/ lending agreements with other libraries. Special borrowing/lending agreements are negotiated with specific libraries when learners are based at another institution. The library also maintains an electronic interlibrary borrowing system and an electronic reference question service.

Other Learning/Information Resources
Academic Technology Center (ATC)
The ATC, housed in the UTMB library, supports the design and development of curriculum and multimedia instructional materials for a Web-based environment. There is a workstation available for faculty to prepare digital imagery for the Web, download images from a digital camera, digitize and edit videos, and build and manage websites (8).

Academic Computing Department
UTMB employs an organizational alignment in which the administrative, educational, research and patient care functions operate under a common information technology infrastructure. Information Services provides institutional information technology infrastructure support, including access management and security, data network, desktop support, help desk support, mainframes and distributed systems, video technical services, and voice communications. Information Services also provides support for most institutional applications.

All classrooms, residence hall rooms, laboratories and offices at UTMB have connections to the University network. Authorized users have access through these connections to institutional administrative systems, Web systems, email, Internet 1 and 2, Texas supercomputing resources, the State of Texas-sponsored Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), and –through LEARN – to medical and research resources nationwide, including the National Lambda Rail initiative, a high-speed national computer network shared by multiple university research institutions. Wireless computing access points are located throughout the University, primarily in areas having high concentrations of students

Classroom Services
Through its Classroom and Technical Services unit (CTS), UTMB’s Academic Resources division contributes to the University’s teaching, research, and service missions by providing meeting space and teaching/presentation technology services consistent with the current and evolving needs of the students, faculty and staff. CTS staff assist members of the University community in scheduling and reserving 48 institutional class and conference rooms and in providing audiovisual and presentation equipment and technical staff assistance. Scheduling services are available through CTS via the Academic Resources website, and includes a listing of available rooms, attendance capacities, and installed teaching equipment (9).

Equipment not installed in a given room is available for delivery upon request. Videotaping and editing services also are available. Videoconferencing capabilities for distance education are in place in thirteen lecture halls and classrooms. Highly skilled technical staff is available upon request to operate equipment or deliver and set up equipment to specific classroom locations. Dedicated help phones located near podiums are provided for faculty to quickly summon technical assistance. Performance of regular equipment maintenance in accord with a ten-year plan ensures customer satisfaction and provides a mechanism for this service to keep pace with advancing educational technologies [10].

Classroom teaching equipment and control configurations are standardized to make it easier for faculty to move from one facility to the next. UTMB’s ten major teaching auditoria are equipped with a lectern or podium with a stationary microphone and a wireless lavaliere microphone, a light, and an AMX push-button control for teaching equipment. Each podium has an IBM-compatible personal computer running the Windows XP Professional operating system and linked to the University network with 100Mb connections. Computers equipped with Zip, DVD, and USB connectors are located conveniently on the podium surface along with an auxiliary network connection for laptop computers. Other installed equipment includes videotape recorder/player, document camera, digital data projector, projection screen, and chalk or white boards. Auditoria have wireless network access ports and audience response system capability.

Smaller classrooms have the same computing equipment that is available in major auditoria. CTS staff are increasing the installed base of teaching equipment in smaller classrooms each year and provide an extensive array of equipment that can be delivered upon request. This includes data projectors, laptop computers, overhead projectors, slide projectors, public address systems, audience response systems, and laser pointers.

1. UTMB Daily Announcements

2. Moody Medical Library Classes

3. LibraryLink Weblog

4. “Ask A Librarian”

5. Classroom Reservations

6. Computer Access and Support for UTMB Students

7. Academic Technology Center

8. Distance Education Library Portal

9. Room and Equipment Services

10. The Ten-Year Plan for Equipment Maintenance
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