Objectives This poster shares the experience of academic librarians turning a traditional, passive library orientation at a Graduate Medical Education Fair for new residents into an active learning activity.

Methods Every summer, new residents enter postgraduate medical training programs at the medical center. In an effort to introduce the library early in their clinical careers, liaison librarians have participated at a Graduate Medical Education fair since 2012. In the past, the library’s orientation activity consisted of a table full of paper handouts, staffed by overzealous librarians. Feedback from the residents, however, revealed that they politely collected the paperwork but frequently used or understood little of its content. In 2016, the library orientation for new residents was completely redesigned and updated. The traditional library handouts were replaced by an active learning exercise centered around a poster that highlighted the essential resources and services provided by the library. Residents were asked to spend just 1 minute reading through the library poster, and then invited to complete a brief poster survey.

Results Results of this new orientation format were quite revealing. Completed poster surveys were returned by more than 85% of the residents, showing that they liked the poster format and its effectiveness in introducing the library. The poster also prompted many questions and interesting conversations among residents and librarians right on the spot. The simple design of the survey questions encouraged residents to identify what they liked and wanted to learn more about the library. In addition, the survey fostered a perfect opportunity to ask questions about anything important that was included or missing from the poster.

Conclusions Librarians plan to continue to use this poster driven learning activity, to study its results, to modify its content when appropriate, and to build on its success in other library presentations.


Library Orientation, Residents and Fellows, Graduate Medical Education, Poster, Survey

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