Abstract

Collection management for the health sciences, particularly clinical medicine, is an increasingly complex job which, anecdotally, is usually given to experienced librarians. Health sciences libraries tend to delegate collections responsibilities to one librarian who holds all of the institutional collections knowledge. Replacing these people as they retire or move on can be difficult unless new librarians become trained in collections work. At the Michigan State University Libraries, recent search committee experience revealed that an entrylevel health sciences collections position attracted fewer applicants than entry‐level health sciences positions for instruction, liaison, or educational technology. This may reflect the focus of library school curricula as even applicants for the collections position generally had very little relevant exposure to the subject in library school or internships. Health sciences librarianship in general can involve a lot of on‐the‐job training, but supervisors hiring new librarians for collections may find themselves starting from scratch. This poster will demonstrate a detailed training program developed to teach a newly graduated librarian how to develop and manage an extensive clinical medicine collection at a large university library serving medical schools. The step‐wise approach focuses on learning by doing, moving from the specific to general principles rather than the other way around. Decision making for selection of materials is approached from multiple angles: institutional analysis, subject analysis, and publisher and vendor knowledge. The new librarian will provide insight into which parts of the training were most helpful.

DOI

10.5703/1288284316246

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Training a New Librarian in the What, How, Where, and Why of Health Sciences Collection Management

Collection management for the health sciences, particularly clinical medicine, is an increasingly complex job which, anecdotally, is usually given to experienced librarians. Health sciences libraries tend to delegate collections responsibilities to one librarian who holds all of the institutional collections knowledge. Replacing these people as they retire or move on can be difficult unless new librarians become trained in collections work. At the Michigan State University Libraries, recent search committee experience revealed that an entrylevel health sciences collections position attracted fewer applicants than entry‐level health sciences positions for instruction, liaison, or educational technology. This may reflect the focus of library school curricula as even applicants for the collections position generally had very little relevant exposure to the subject in library school or internships. Health sciences librarianship in general can involve a lot of on‐the‐job training, but supervisors hiring new librarians for collections may find themselves starting from scratch. This poster will demonstrate a detailed training program developed to teach a newly graduated librarian how to develop and manage an extensive clinical medicine collection at a large university library serving medical schools. The step‐wise approach focuses on learning by doing, moving from the specific to general principles rather than the other way around. Decision making for selection of materials is approached from multiple angles: institutional analysis, subject analysis, and publisher and vendor knowledge. The new librarian will provide insight into which parts of the training were most helpful.