Friday, August 31, 2018

Reports from MLA’s Research Training Institute (RTI)

Hello WHSLA Blog readers,

My name is Liz Suelzer and I’m a librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Libraries. I recently started a yearlong fellowship with the MLA Research Training Institute for Health Sciences Librarians (RTI). The RTI was developed to help health sciences librarians learn more about the research process by having librarians undergo a research project of their own with training and support from experienced researchers. I hope to keep you updated on my journey through the RTI over the next year.

This past July I attended the inaugural Research Training Institute (RTI) Workshop in Chicago. The RTI Workshop was led by five faculty with extensive experience in library research, and twenty fellows who are participating in the program. We spent the week at Library of Health Sciences-Chicago, University of Illinois–Chicago, and most of us stayed in the dorms on campus.

RTI participants
The workshop was five days of intensive learning about the research process. We started out by getting to know each other and developing our research questions. In the middle of the week we covered theoretical frameworks, literature reviews, research design methods, data management and analysis, and we got practice with using different research methodologies such as interviews, focus groups and surveys. The week ended with discussions about disseminating our research and each participant walked away with a research plan and timeline.

Me and my research plan timeline
As you can see, a lot of information was given out during the week. However, it wasn’t as challenging to stay focused as I thought it would be. The topics were taught by different faculty members using different teaching strategies. During the breaks and in the evenings, the fellows spent time talking about and processing the information that we learned during the day and finding ways to incorporate what was learned into our own research projects.
Spending a week with librarians who are all in the same research boat was great. It was nice being able to talk shop with colleagues who have different work experiences, and it wasn’t hard to make new friends. I left Chicago at the end of the week with a full mind and motivation to continue work on my research project.

In my next report, coming in a few weeks, I will share information about my research project.

Be well!

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