158 · Representative Documents: Regional Accrediting Agency Reports
Texas A&M University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation. Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2
Section 3: Comprehensive Standards Standard 3.8.2, Page 2
The Texas A&M University Medical Sciences Library (MSL) provides a rich complement of
regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources to
the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAM HSC), unaffiliated health care providers and the
general public of Central Texas. MSL has four physical sites and serves the students and faculty
at all of the TAM HSC’s schools, centers, institutes and campuses. The central administration of
MSL is located in College Station, with specialized onsite instructional services provided at
campuses in Bryan, College Station, Kingsville, Round Rock and Temple. Instructional
resources and services are being regularly developed and expanded to support the growth of the
TAM HSC, its programs and areas of focus.
MSL provides standard, traditional in-person instructional programs, virtual online guides and
tutorials and customized programs and services to best match specific TAM HSC needs and most
effectively support TAM HSC initiatives. The desire to identify and serve the needs of the TAM
HSC students, faculty and staff has led MSL to develop programs beyond the traditional
classroom instruction efforts to reach out to its clients. This has been particularly challenging as
more and more resources have become web-based and the user preference is also for online
resources available when and where they need them. In 2009, 50% of the MSL’s total
expenditures were spent on electronic resources. Furthermore, findings in the 2010 LibQUAL+®
survey (an internationally recognized library user centered survey) indicated that 57% of TAM
HSC users are primarily online users. By necessity, MSL must continue to develop new and
effective ways, other than strictly classroom instruction, to reach out and support the TAM HSC.
MSL employs two full time library faculty to develop the curriculum and manage the library’s
instructional programs for TAM HSC. Each TAM HSC unit has a dedicated MSL library faculty
liaison. All of the other twelve faculty members participate in the MSL instructional programs at
various levels. The total MSL staffing complement for instruction is about 4.5 FTE.
MSL Instructional Initiatives
In-Person Instructional Programs and Activities
The in-person instructional services offered to TAM HSC include library orientations, open
houses and information fairs, personalized one-on-one sessions, clinical point-of-care focused
instruction, customized group instruction, contribution of modules within Health Science Center
courses, and provision of Health Science Center for-credit courses. The timing and content of
instructional services is usually developed in collaboration with TAM HSC faculty. The sessions
are often scheduled to best match the needs of TAM HSC students such as at the beginning of
semesters or coordinated with course assignments they may also be requested by individuals
based on particular needs. The primary objective of MSL instruction efforts is to increase the
information management skills of TAM HSC students, staff and faculty, including the ability to
evaluate their professional literature and to integrate evidence into their patient care decisions.
Between 2005 and 2009 the number of group presentations offered by MSL increased 150%.
With its particular variety of instructional programs, MSL is able to reach every TAM HSC
student at least once, and usually more often, with in-person instructional programs during their
academic career.
In addition to the customary instruction on library use and information resources, MSL faculty
and BHSL librarians provide a number of TAM HSC for-credit modules and courses including:
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