Creating a Role for Embedded Librarians Within an Active Learning Environment

Dawn E. Hackman, Marcia J. Francis, Erika Johnson, Annie Nickum, Kelly Thormodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In 2013, the librarians at a small academic health sciences library reevaluated their mission, vision, and strategic plan to expand their roles. The school was transitioning to a new pedagogical culture and a new building designed to emphasize interprofessional education and active learning methodologies. Subsequent efforts to implement the new strategic plan resulted in the librarians joining curriculum committees and other institutional initiatives, such as an Active Learning Task Force, and participating in faculty development workshops. This participation has increased visibility and led to new roles and opportunities for librarians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-347
Number of pages14
JournalMedical Reference Services Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge contributions to this article made by their colleague Wendy Lehar, MLIS, AHIP. Wendy, an avid mountain biker and a tree hugger, passed away on December 26, 2016. The authors also acknowledge the Greater Midwest Region Office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine for financial support of an active learning workshop.

Funding Information:
The library also held its own active learning workshop on librarians’ roles in supporting active learning. This was planned with the assistance of the SMHS Active Learning Task Force, funded in part by a professional development grant awarded by the Greater Midwest Region, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and was held the day after the SMHS active learning conference. Librarians from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in New Jersey, a relatively young medical school that has involved librarians in its own active learning curriculum, taught the workshop. The aim of this workshop was to introduce the attendees to three active learning models commonly used in medical schools: team-based learning, problem-based learning, and case-based learning.3,16 The instructors provided a didactic review of the models, shared best practices for facilitators, led the class in mock learning sessions using the three models, and discussed student assessment in active learning.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Published with license by Taylor & Francis © 2017, © Dawn E. Hackman, Marcia J. Francis, Erika Johnson, Annie Nickum, and Kelly Thormodson.


  • Academic health sciences librarians
  • active learning
  • collaboration
  • curriculum
  • embedded librarians
  • interprofessional education
  • medical education


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