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RTI News: 2019 RTI Fellows Open Forum

The RTI Program

For the past two years, health sciences librarians from a wide variety of health-related environments across the country have had the opportunity to develop research skills and confidence and lead a research project from conception to completion to dissemination through the Research Training Institute (RTI). This unique and highly successful MLA learning program delivered a combination of a one-week residential workshop in advanced research methods at the University of Illinois–Chicago over the summer, individual mentoring, and a full year of post-institute support for participants as they complete their research projects.

To date, two yearlong RTI institute sessions (2018 and 2019 cohorts) have been completed, providing RTI fellows with opportunities for advanced research training and experience. An essential ingredient of RTI’s success is the superb 2018–2019 faculty of research and teaching experts that includes:

  • Sally Gore, Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School–Worcester
  • Lorie Andrea Kloda, AHIP, Planning & Community Relations/Library, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Mark MacEachern, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Jodi L. Philbrick, AHIP, Department of Information Science, University of North Texas–Denton
  • Emily Vardell, School of Library and Information Management, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS

RTI assessment findings demonstrate that the RTI learning model is highly effective and increases research competencies, confidence, and productivity of participants, as well as having many other positive impacts on librarian careers and institutions. There is also evidence that RTI is building the research capacity of health sciences librarians nationwide to contribute to health and library improvements. By the end of this month, forty health library professionals nationwide will have participated in and received training via the RTI.

The learning framework for the RTI program includes an immersive workshop, mentoring and monitoring as fellows complete their research projects, active participation in an online community of practice, and a capstone presentation at the MLA annual meeting. Fifteen fellows in the 2018 RTI cohort developed and presented electronic posters at MLA ’19 in Chicago, covering many important and impactful research questions.

Open Forum on August 5

Join the RTI fellows and faculty on Wednesday, August 5, from noon–1:30 p.m., central time, as they present their research work and discuss their perceptions and experiences of conducting research in practice. All MLA members are welcome to attend.

Link to the Open Forum: RTI Fellows, Password: mla20.

This year at the RTI Fellows Open Forum, fourteen RTI fellows will give five-minute “ignite” talks on their research projects that they conducted as part of the RTI program. Some of the wide-ranging research topics will include:

  • diversity in Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries mission statements
  • librarian research capacity impacts on graduate medical education scholarly activity
  • health literacy of nursing students
  • librarian engagement in work-related reflection
  • use and perceptions of a graphic medicine collection
  • LGBTQ+ cultural competency integration into a dental school curriculum

All of the research presentations for the session can be viewed on the MLA ’20 Online Planner by searching “RTI Fellows E-posters.”

This year was particularly challenging for RTI Fellows and other researchers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An open discussion will follow the presentations to allow the RTI fellows to share their strategies for overcoming challenges of conducting research in the workplace, tips for librarians conducting research, and advice for those who are thinking about applying to the RTI program.

On behalf of the RTI faculty and leadership—Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, Anaheim, CA, project director; Barry Grant, MLA director of education; Debra Cavanaugh, MLA director of professional development; and Mary M. Langman, MLA director of information issues and policy—we congratulate the 2018 and 2019 RTI fellow presenters.

  • John P. Bourgeois, AHIP, Isché Library, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–New Orleans
  • Mary Pat Harnegie, AHIP, South Pointe Medical Library and Floyd D. Loop Alumni Library, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
  • Karen Heskett, UCSD Library, University of California–San Diego
  • Hilary M. Jasmin, Health Sciences Library, University of Tennessee Health Science Center–Memphis
  • Mellanye J. Lackey, AHIP, Health Sciences Library, University of Nevada–Las Vegas
  • Sa’ad Laws, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Doha, Qatar
  • Sandra McCarthy, Bailey Library, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Laura Menard, Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University School of Medicine–Indianapolis
  • Jolene M. Miller, AHIP, Mulford Health Science Library, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
  • Tanisha N. Mills, AHIP, Northeast Georgia Health System–Gainesville
  • Ariel FitzGerald Pomputius, Health Science Center Library, University of Florida–Gainesville
  • Holly Thompson, Wilson Dental Library, University of Southern California–Los Angeles
  • Jennifer C. Westrick, AHIP, Library of Rush University Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Ying Zhong, Walter W. Stern Library, California State University–Bakersfield

Apply to Become an RTI Fellow

Are you interested in becoming a future RTI fellow? The application period for the 2021–2022 cohort opens in October. You can learn more about the exciting new plans for RTI Online and the application process on MLANET.


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