The healthcare librarian as educator:roles and attitudes

Authors Organisations
Type

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economics and Social Studies

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Janet Cooper
Award date2002
Links
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Abstract

Background: The NHS is undergoing major change and libraries are not sheltered from the impact of this change. The demands of evidence based practice and clinical governance mean that librarians are increasingly expected to have an educational role. The professional and official literature promotes the educational role of librarians. This encompasses teaching literature searching skills and critical appraisal while focusing on finding evidence based pieces of research. To date little research has been done on the role of librarians as educators or on the impact of user education. Aims and objectives: the study aimed to discover what librarians think about having an educational role. The narrower objectives were: do librarians think they have the right skills and knowledge to have an educational role; are librarians' attitudes reflected in their day to day work; do librarians think they have a role in teaching evidence based practice and critical appraisal and what motivates librarians to provide user education. Methods: The project used semi-structured interviews followed by a postal questionnaire. The population group was librarians working for the NHS in the North West of England. Main findings: The study found that while the respondents feel confident as educators they remain unsure as to whether they should be teaching the more advanced aspects of critical appraisal and evidence based practice. In reality, very few librarians are involved in teaching these information skills and the rhetoric of the official and professional literature does not appear to be carried through to the day to day practice of the librarians

Keywords

  • healthcare, educational literature, health education, National Health Service, Great Britain, medical libraries