Library Instruction at Mayo Clinic

November 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Classes are available for all library users upon request, ranging from introductory sessions to more in-depth training on special topics. Learn how to construct effective search strategies, how to use Micromedex to find drug information, how to access MEDLINE through both Ovid and PubMed, or how to check the online catalog from your office to see if the library has what you need before you make the trip.  Because there are a multitude of sources to consider, endless topics to search, and different types of library users, classes can be tailored to a group or to an individual’s needs. Just contact your library.

Tailored Educational Opportunities

Jacksonville Libraries
Jacksonville libraries provide tailored educational opportunities for library resources, including the online catalog, Ovid, MEDLINE, Micromedex and Web of Science. We also offer a general overview of the Library, its collections and its service offerings
Contact: Ann Farrell, 3-2176
Contact: Carol Saville, 3-3735

Arizona Libraries
The Arizona Libraries provide tailored educational opportunities for Library resources, including the online catalog, Ovid, MEDLINE, Micromedex and Web of Science. We also offer a general overview of the Library, its collections, and its service offerings.
Contact: Kay Wellik, 2-4422
Contact: Joseph Esposito 2-8763

Franciscan Skemp Library
The Franciscan Skemp Library provides tailored educational opportunities for Library resources, including the online catalog, Ovid, and MEDLINE. We also offer a general overview of the Library, its collections, and its service offerings.
Leah Osterhaus, 608-392-2685

Luther Midelfort Library
The Luther Midelfort Library provides tailored educational opportunities for Library resources, including the online catalog, Ovid, MEDLINE, Micromedex and Web of Science. We also offer a general overview of the Library, its collections, and its service offerings.
Contact: Matt Hoy, 715-838-3098

Current Classes in Rochester

Introduction to Mayo Library Resources offers an overview of the library’s electronic resources and services, including online catalogs, books, and journals, Ovid databases, MDConsult, Micromedex, and more. This is a great introductory class for new library users and one that also provides helpful tips to not-so-new library users. Learn how to search bibliographic databases, find full text, and request library materials online. If you are interested, please contact Mona Stevermer (SMH) or Dana Gerberi (Colonial)

Essential Library Skills provides a general overview of available library services, emphasizing tips and techniques to help you locate information more quickly. Learn how to search the online catalog, find full text articles, request materials for delivery, and request a librarian’s assistance, all through the library website. Other topics include bibliographic citation formats, evaluation of medical resources on the Web, and more! Contact Lois Peterson or Jessica Gunther

Accessing & Navigating Electronic Journals will help you navigate the many databases and electronic resources more confidently. Copyright and vendor licenses will be discussed, and you will learn how to access Document Delivery when an article is not available online. It is a good idea to take the Introduction to Mayo Library Resources class before this one, although it is not required. Contact Mona Stevermer

Ovid MEDLINE: Basic Searching Techniques & Strategies covers how to search MEDLINE through Ovid’s interface. Some highlights of what you will learn in the class are: how to search by subject, keyword, author, and title, how to build searches for optimal results, how to apply limits and refine search results, and how to use Medical Subject Headings. Contact Dana Gerberi

More than MEDLINE
In this class, users will explore MEDLINE, Scopus, EMBASE, and other databases. The unique features of each database will be shared, as will tips for more effective searching. One of the main objectives for this session is to help participants select the database most appropriate for their specific research question. Contact Dottie Hawthorne

PubMed MEDLINE: The Basics
Participants will learn to search MEDLINE through the PubMed interface. The class will cover search strategies, Advanced Search, and some of PubMed’s special features, such as the Clipboard, My NCBI, and History.
Contact Melissa Rethlefsen

Mayo Authors Database Searching
In this hands-on class, you will learn to search through publications written exclusively by Mayo Clinic authors. Search tips and instructions on limiting results to articles, abstracts, and book chapters will be given. While not required, it is helpful to have taken a previous class in database searching prior to this one. If you are interested, please contact Dottie Hawthorne

Searching CINAHL for Nursing and Allied Health Information is also available upon request. Contact Karen Larsen or
Dana Gerberi

Online Learning Opportunities in Rochester

Tutorials on several topics are available through the library webpage. There are links to written instructions and video tutorials on topics such as EndNote, finding full text, searching the catalog, and setting up an RSS reader.

Adventures in Social Media is a self-directed online course that can be accessed from Rochester. Through a collection of several modules, users can explore Blogs, RSS, Wikis, Online Collaboration Tools, Social Bookmarking, Social Networking, and Media Sharing. CE credits are available upon completion.

Mayo Clinic Library Instruction of the Past

Instruction has been offered to library users throughout the history of Mayo Clinic. A look at annual reports of the library back through the 1930’s reveals that instruction focused for decades on the arrangement of the library and the use of various indexes and reference materials to find information.[1] In the year 1950, instruction to new fellows consisted of viewing an introductory film on use of the library and going on “book walks” with the librarian, who would point out subjects of individual interest to each fellow.[2]

Instruction to library users was largely about arrangement and searching indexes until Medline entered the scene in the 1970’s. Library users, who were previously taught arrangement and how to search indexes, wanted to learn how to use computers. End-users began doing their own searches of Medline, where librarians had traditionally mediated their searches.[3] Classes on the techniques of bibliographic searching were offered. By 1991, it was reported that users had begun requesting “supervised search training” over mediated searches.[4]

It is interesting to note some of the similarities over time. In the past, instruction was given on MEDLARS, PaperChase, BRS Colleague, and Grateful Med, which were all used to access Medline. Today, classes on Medline are still available, but through Ovid and PubMed, for example. Another thing that has remained constant over time is classes being targeted to certain populations within the Mayo Clinic. Of course different types of users have different needs of the library, and any one instructional topic might be more beneficial to one group than another. Old reports reveal a breakdown of some of the long-time groups that received library instruction. Year after year, from 1944 forward, instruction was given to new fellows, dieticians, student nurses, medical secretaries, and physical therapy students. The varying needs between user groups is still acknowledged today and is reflected by the tailored educational opportunities.

Technology has brought on an abundance of change, and current library classes address this. An understanding of the library’s arrangement remains helpful, but it is the ability to effectively navigate the library’s website and electronic resources that really empowers people to find the information they need today.

Jessica Gunther
Public Services
Plummer Library

[1] Report of the Mayo Clinic Library for the Year 1938, p. 8.

[2] Report of the Mayo Clinic Library for the Year 1950, p. 32.

[3] Annual Report Mayo Clinic Library, 1985, p. 51.

[4] Annual Report Mayo Clinic Library, 1991, p. 57.

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Health Literacy Impacts Health Outcomes Issue 36, November 2010



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