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Improved service to students and professional development of staff at the Learning Centre Studietorget Hälsovetarbacken, Gothenburg University Library

Authors Lena Larsson
Carina Torildsson
Published in WLIC 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress 83rd IFLA General Conference and Assembly 19–25 August 2017, Wrocław, Poland
Publication year 2017
Published at Gothenburg University Library, Biomedical Libraries
Gothenburg University Library, Humanities Libraries
Language en
Keywords staff development, learning centre
Subject categories Library and information science


In a survey made 2014 75% of the staff at the medical libraries at the University of Gothenburg felt they partially or not at all were able to give the help students needed. Being a Learning Centre, the workplace of the students, the librarian on duty often gets involved in the students’ academic writing process. The aim of our study was to improve and develop the service to the students by finding out which skills the librarians need to be safer in their professional role when working alone. During a period of 25 days we counted and sorted by category all questions asked by the students. The questions were analysed, evaluated and further categorized. We identified several areas where professional development was needed: search support in finding and evaluating information, advanced knowledge in software programs such as EndNote and Microsoft Word, competence on how to help and guide students in academic writing and reference management, knowledge of activities in the surrounding area. We moved the reference desk to a new, more central, location at the Learning Centre and repeated the counting of questions. There was a small increase in questions related to the book collection. We find the new location of the desk makes it easier to communicate with the students. There is a mobile green whiteboard where the students communicate to staff about things they wish for, they agree with or dislike. The staff have had workshops in Microsoft Word based on the questions asked by the students. Additional workshops in other subjects are planned. Training in Microsoft Excel has been offered to the staff. In the future we plan to use UX and do observational studies at the Learning Centre.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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