Personalizing a Librarian: Support for a Problem-Based Learning Medical Campus

Document Type


Version Deposited

Not Published

Publication Date




The Rowan-Virtua University School of Osteopathic Medicine opened a second campus in Sewell, New Jersey, to serve a planned increase of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) students and integrate them with clinical care at the new campus. In order to better serve the students and faculty, the new librarian researched how to best engage a cohort of 72 new PBL medical students, as well as 1st and 2nd year PBL students on the main campus as well.


The main objective of ensuring the students, faculty, and staff on campus viewed the library as an integrated resource with their curriculum consisted of: 1) research guidance, 2) curriculum support, and 3) a welcoming space to learn and study.


Researching and using a combination of the “embedded librarian” and “personal librarian” service models, the PBL Librarian created an outreach plan that would integrate library collections and services into campus life and provide a welcoming learning commons space for independent study. Collaboration with the course directors, administrators, and faculty on both campuses required its own form of outreach, using a multi-pronged approach: shadowing PBL groups and researching the curriculum to understand library synergies while simultaneously providing a human face for the Health Sciences Library; liaising with Block Directors to update the PBL LibGuides; introducing herself to and befriending both faculty and administrative staff while reaching out for help and collaboration opportunities; creating monthly newsletters for both students and faculty, which included the PBL student cohort on the Stratford campus; creating instructional videos on various library resources; participating in academic Town Hall meetings in Sewell; and enhancing the décor of the Learning Commons space.


The most immediate goal of putting a face to the library led to more introductions and collaborations as she was put in touch with others who could help make her goals a reality.

This document is currently not available here.