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Bull Med Libr Assoc. Jan 1999; 87(1): 26–36.
PMCID: PMC226511
Developing a culture of lifelong learning in a library environment.
N B Giuse, S R Kafantaris, J T Huber, F Lynch, M Epelbaum, and J Pfeiffer
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA. nunzia.giuse@mcmail.vanderbilt.edu
Abstract
Between 1995 and 1996, the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library (EBL) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) radically revised the model of service it provides to the VUMC community. An in-depth training program was developed for librarians, who began to migrate to clinical settings and establish clinical librarianship and information brokerage services beyond the library's walls. To ensure that excellent service would continue within the library, EBL's training program was adapted for library assistants, providing them with access to information about a wide variety of work roles and processes over a four to eight-month training period. Concurrently, customer service areas were reorganized so that any question--whether reference or circulation--could be answered at any of four service points, eliminating the practice of passing customers from person to person between the reference and circulation desks. To provide an incentive for highly trained library assistants to remain at EBL, management and library assistants worked together to redesign the career pathway based on defined stages of achievement, self-directed participation in library-wide projects, and demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning. Education and training were the fundamental principles at the center of all this activity.
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