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New Institute Will Provide In-Depth Research Training for Librarians

In Toronto the MLA Board of Directors approved the concept of a Research Training Institute for health sciences librarians who want to improve their research skills and increase their research output. The proposed institute, to be offered on an annual basis, will consist of a five-day training workshop in research methods, mentorship during the workshop so that participants can refine and enhance their individual research projects, and a full-year of post-institute support that will encourage participants to complete their research projects and communicate findings via the MLA annual conference or publications. 

This concept was put together over the past year by an advisory group of the Research Imperative Task Force (RITF). The institute is designed to:

  • produce a highly skilled cohort of health sciences librarian/researchers that will grow in size over the years.
  • generate more and better health information research to affect practice decisions, improve services, and demonstrate value to and impact on librarians’ information consumers and the institutions they serve.
  • forge a strong research community to share and discover research, get answers to research questions, mentor and motivate one another, and find research partners.
  • build the research capacity of health sciences librarians across all health sciences library sectors over time.
  • assess and communicate learning, institute and participant outcomes.
  • create a cost-effective, sustainable business model that potentially generates revenue for research instruction and research capacity-building among health sciences librarians. 

In the coming year, the RITF will be developing detailed implementation plans for the Institute, investigating funding opportunities to help support practicing librarians attending the institute, and exploring grant and foundation funding to support startup costs. The first institute is expected to take place in 2018. 

This program is part of our task force’s efforts to create and sustain a research culture. It will create health sciences librarian “research change agents,” who will return to their home institutions with increased research competencies, tools, support, and commitment to enhance their libraries through evidence-based librarianship. 

--Susan Lessick, Chair, Research Imperative Task Force

Planning Group
Rosalind Farnam Dudden, AHIP, FMLA
Sally Gore
Lorie Kloda, AHIP 
Denise Koufogiannakis
Mary Langman, Staff Liaison
Mark MacEachern
Joanne Marshall, AHIP, FMLA
Carol Perryman

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