Turkish STEM Librarian Uses Databases to Support Science

Kubra Zayim Gedik
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Our university is established on the theme of health. It conducts education and training activities exclusively in health care. Through its two main hospitals, it also provides convenient health services to students.

Another of the university’s activities is research and development. It houses many R&D centers. Accordingly, our university has three main areas of activity: health care; education; and research and development.

So, our libraries operate in these three areas. Out typical library patrons are students, academicians, physicians, and other health professionals and researchers.

Librarians Boosting Science

Since 2016, I have worked as an expert librarian at Bezmialem Vakif University (BVU). Additionally, in 2018, I took on an academic role. I support the scientific studies of our university as a librarian and academician. Our library supports scientific and academic studies. It has made strong efforts to make thousands of its print and electronic resources more visible and accessible for the users.

I and my director have been especially focused on promoting the school’s JoVE resources. We wanted to bring JoVE visibility to our patrons into a different dimension, doing work with the JoVE video database. In 2017, we used JoVE to help us improve the framework of our own library database.

Databases Opened Visibility

We posted database banners in the library, hospitals, research centers and related faculty boards.

  • There is a presentation desk in the library with print database guides.
  • The database developments are communicated to all university staff via e-mail.
  • The developments in databases are announced via the social media accounts of the library.
  • With the help of companies and database savvy librarians, have developed general training programs. We share the plans with all users.
  • In the medical education courses at the Faculty of Medicine, students take a course on medical librarianship. In it, they learn about the databases.
  • The database is continuously communicated with representatives of the company and the developments related to databases are followed.

Database/JoVE Activities

Since I started working at Bezmialem Vakif University, I have often been in contact with users in research activities. I know their expectations from the library. With that experience, my director and I started to create a researcher collaborations program, relying on the library’s reference services.

Our collaboration strategy included integrating the library into the research and learning activities of the students. We also participated with students in their research, development and teaching activities. In addition, as part of our revised work, we engaged in individual communication with users and held planned public activities to make sure that our patrons were aware of what we were offering.

The library directors also attended university research and development activities, as well as administrative and academic meetings. The meetings’ main purpose is to make national and international research and development activities as good as possible.

They also help support R&D focused academicians to train qualified personnel and researchers, and to determine the best method of education. Participation in these meetings strengthens the relations we have with academicians and the ties between the university management and the library. In these meetings, we discuss many issues related to library services.

  • During academics’ sessions we offer training in the database systems Our academicians provide health contact training and frequently use visual tools in their classes. Our lecturers are shown how to use JoVE (via familiar web interface), including the methods of transferring videos for use in their classroom presentations.
  • In 2017, we developed different training strategy to replace the general curriculum and existing library training programs. Groups connected to university departments were created, with individual training provided to groups of less than 10 people.
  • To increase the visibility of library visibility activities, in 2018, we held a national symposium on medical librarianship at our university. The symposium was attended by health personnel, academics, and librarians interested in the topic. (JoVE was a sponsor of a symposium.)

(Editor’s note: the author is a JoVE award winner: read about it here.)