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About RTI

Health sciences librarians benefit from using, creating, and applying research-based evidence in their library practice and their support of quality health care. Despite these benefits, too few health sciences librarians conduct high-quality research linked to practice and disseminate the results of their research.

The importance of identifying and filling knowledge gaps through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education led MLA to establish the MLA Research Training Institute for Health Sciences Librarians (RTI). The RTI is geared to practicing library professionals who provide health information, support, and services to health care providers and practitioners, researchers, educators, students, patients, consumers, and the public. These professionals work in a wide variety of settings, including health sciences professional schools, , hospitals, academic health centers , consumer health libraries, public libraries, pharmaceutical companies, and federal, state, and local government agencies.

The RTI builds on other successful research training programs but is a unique program that focuses on the professional competencies that health sciences librarians need, key health information research questions, and the health information needs of the institutions and communities that health information professionals serve.

The institute curriculum is designed to:

  • build participants’ research competencies
  • increase the quantity and quality of participants’ research output
  • mentor participants in taking a single health information research project from concept to completion and dissemination
  • encourage graduates to share their research results through presentations and publications

Evaluation of the institute program will be ongoing and aid in assessing outcomes, research project completion, effectiveness, and goal setting.

The RTI program is central to MLA’s mission of excellence in health information research and evidence-based practice. The MLA Research Imperative Task Force was appointed in 2015 to advance this strategic goal and developed an action plan to establish the MLA RTI, which was unanimously endorsed by the MLA Board of Directors in 2016. In 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded MLA a three-year grant to implement the RTI. This funding will enable MLA to test and refine the institute teaching model at a reduced cost for participants and to develop an institute infrastructure that can be sustained over time.

For questions regarding the institute, please contact Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, Research Training Institute project director.


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