Mary Simons & Karen Marks
Macquarie University Library
To identify which library services will meet the evolving information needs of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine during 2007 & 2008. Specifically:
How can we develop services for clinical postgraduate students and academic/surgical staff?
How can we develop services for research postgraduate students and academic staff?
In what ways can we support the educational goals of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine?
Background to this study
The Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM) at Macquarie University is a unique venture that will offer advanced subspecialty training for doctors. The School and the adjoining Macquarie University Private Hospital will open on campus in 2009, being the first of its kind in Australia. ASAM is modelled on the American Mayo Clinic principle of excellence in health care and life long learning, providing team interaction in education, research and clinical care. An advanced neurosurgery course will begin in 2007 and other subspecialties will be available from 2009. Students will also enrol in the Master of Higher Education (Medical Education) program at Macquarie University. The School’s Neuroscience Research Group and clinical programs will complement Macquarie University’s existing specialties in cognitive science, speech therapy and audiology.
The following methodologies are being utilized to identify useful Library services:
Evaluation of Library Impact Statements (prepared by academics when proposing new courses) to determine key resources and services.
Assessment of feedback from the Research Group’s Library orientation session.
Analysis of focus group interviews with staff and students.
Analysis of individual interviews with staff and students.
Environmental scan and benchmarking.
Collaboration and networking with other universities and hospitals
This study is being carried out whilst the School and Hospital construction is underway. ASAM services are currently fragmented across the University campus and Dalcross Private Hospital. Library services need to be accessible from these settings.
Clinical, educational and research staff and students of ASAM.
The information needs of the clinical, educational and research streams differ in ways that require varying levels and types of Library support. Library Impact Statements revealed that the Library holds several key online resources, however, there is a need for additional materials. Feedback from the orientation session and interviews revealed a lack of awareness of the Library’s print and online resources and its Document Supply service. Library tutorials and electronic guides for medicine have been recommended as a means of promoting self-sufficiency and life long learning.
The study so far has revealed key journal titles already held as well as gaps in both online and print resources that need to be addressed through an increase in Library funding.
The focus groups, interviews and orientation feedback have been essential for identifying relevant services and resources: plans for an e-Guide for Medicine, further orientation sessions and regular meetings with ASAM senior staff are underway as a result of staff feedback.
A regular online newsletter has been developed and further communication initiatives with ASAM are planned to identify key resources and services for this unique user group.