Developing library bioinformatics services in context: the Purdue University Libraries bioinformationist program

Diane C Rein
2006 Journal of the Medical Library Association  
Purdue University is a major agricultural, engineering, biomedical, and applied life science research institution with an increasing focus on bioinformatics research that spans multiple disciplines and campus academic units. The Purdue University Libraries (PUL) hired a molecular biosciences specialist to discover, engage, and support bioinformatics needs across the campus. After an extended period of information needs assessment and environmental scanning, the specialist developed a week of
more » ... used bioinformatics instruction (Bioinformatics Week) to launch system-wide, library-based bioinformatics services. The specialist employed a two-tiered approach to assess user information requirements and expectations. The first phase involved careful observation and collection of information needs in-context throughout the campus, attending laboratory meetings, interviewing department chairs and individual researchers, and engaging in strategic planning efforts. Based on the information gathered during the integration phase, several survey instruments were developed to facilitate more critical user assessment and the recovery of quantifiable data prior to planning. Given information gathered while working with clients and through formal needs assessments, as well as the success of instructional approaches used in Bioinformatics Week, the specialist is developing bioinformatics support services for the Purdue community. The specialist is also engaged in training PUL faculty librarians in bioinformatics to provide a sustaining culture of library-based bioinformatics support and understanding of Purdue's bioinformatics-related decision and policy making.
pmid:16888666 pmcid:PMC1525331 fatcat:n7bpa3hxo5cj5o7xzybuwfa2by