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MLA/SLA 2023


california; oregon


Program Objectives:

Amidst shrinking staffing levels and expanding business, a health system library department developed a peer-learning program in order to build literature search capacity and self-efficacy amongst librarians and library support staff.


Library staff are partnered and rotate monthly; pairs include those in same and different job roles and experience levels. Staff are encouraged to choose real patron clinical questions that would serve as optimal learning opportunities, reinforcing best practices in search strategy and/or database functionality or ones that are particularly challenging. Partners independently perform the other’s search then meet virtually to compare results, strategies, and debrief on lessons learned.

After a search for validated tools measuring library staff search self-efficacy turned up no appropriate tools, a brief survey was created based on feedback from senior librarians. REDCap was used to conduct a pre-survey of brief impressions on search self-efficacy and comfort with reaching out to colleagues for support when faced with a difficult search. A post-survey will be done at 6 and 12 months, as well as solicitation of candid feedback.


We expect to measure an increase in search self-efficacy and comfort in asking colleagues for assistance at both 6 and 12 months. We hope to use staff’s candid feedback to inform and develop our peer-review program for continued use.

Initial response to the program has been positive. While some staff indicated feelings of nervousness or lack of confidence going into the first debrief, most have expressed that they found the exercise useful and noted that it gave them a welcome opportunity to connect with geographically disparate colleagues they might not have otherwise.


Library Science