Events in honor of National Medical Librarians Month
October is National Medical Librarians Month. Texas A&M School of Dentistry is fortunate to share a library with its next-door neighbor, Baylor University Medical Center. Students, staff, residents and faculty of both institutions use its resources regularly. To celebrate the month, the library is hosting weekly events throughout October.
Rosanna Ratliff, library director, says that libraries and medical librarians can help improve patient care, as well as enhance the education of healthcare providers. Working with medical librarians, she says, can reduce the length of stay, overall costs and improve patient outcomes. For example, she says, when Ratliff was a new librarian she received a call from a nurse from an operating room, requesting literature that was needed immediately for an operation. The information they provided, she says, changed the surgical plans during the surgery.
“National Medical Librarians Month is important because it focuses on the importance of the work medical librarians perform in order to educate future healthcare providers in searching for medical information that can lead to better healthcare outcomes for their patients,” Ratliff says. “All librarians assist people in searching for information about topics of interest, however medical librarians teach healthcare professionals how to access and evaluate medical information that can be used to shape medical research used in patient care decisions.”
Ratliff also wants to highlight some of the resources available to dental and medical students at the library. These include UpToDate, the nation’s leading clinical decision-support tool; BoardVitals to help students prepare for national board exams; various language programs; and Overdrive/Libby to check out ebooks or audiobooks. Not to mention the many books and journals the library has on hand, she says, and anything they don’t have they can quickly get from other libraries.
“The library has a unique relationship with a large health care system that has afforded the dental school access to resources that many dental schools do not have,” she says.
The celebration of National Medical Librarians Month began Oct. 6, with coffee at the library. Other events are:
- Oct. 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Games and trivia night
- Oct. 28, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Therapy dogs visit the library
- Oct. 31: Halloween candy (while supplies last)