160 · 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 4
campuses. Achieving and maintaining reliable remote access to these resources is a long-
standing and ongoing challenge. In 2006, when the number of unresolved online problems had
reached over 500, MSL piloted the development and deployment of an Electronic Resources
(ER) HelpDesk to reconcile not only the backlog of reported problems but to provide timely
resolution and point-of-need instruction on the use of electronic resources. The program was
staffed wholly by MSL personnel and served the TAM HSC and the Texas A&M University
communities. Typical problems besides providing assistance and instruction in the use of online
resources included correcting the libraries’ electronic resources management systems, contacting
vendors directly to remedy access and licensing issues and resolving user authentication
credentials. The ER HelpDesk has evolved significantly since 2006. This electronic resources
point-of-need instruction program and problem resolution system has now been folded into the
virtual reference service offered by the TAMUL. With increased hours of availability, the ER
HelpDesk service continues to provide an important component of MSL’s online assistance in
the use of library resources.
Instructional Programs Delivered to Unaffiliated Health Care Providers and the Public
Besides the instructional programs developed to support the academic and research goals of the
TAM HSC, MSL offers a program of instruction and outreach to support the TAM HSC service
goals. The instruction offered through the MSL outreach program is made possible through a
contract with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) through its Regional Medical Library
Program. The intended audience for this instruction is not only unaffiliated health care providers
but also the general public of this Central Texas region. The goals of this instruction program
are to promote the awareness of the biomedical information resources of the NLM and to
improve access to both the professional and consumer information resources available from the
NLM. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of care provided to the citizens of Texas and
to enable Texas health care consumers to make informed decisions about their health and health
care. MSL faculty provide training on NLM databases and consumer health information to
individual health care providers, professional organizations and community groups. MSL
faculty also demonstrate and promote NLM products and services at local, regional and national
conferences and events.
Participation in Library Instructional Programs
MSL instruction faculty have developed strategically scheduled and highly attended programs to
deliver information to support the TAM HSC curriculum needs in a timely and regular basis.
Additionally, MSL offers on-demand course support, instructional class delivery and one-on-one
consultation efforts. Table compares 2009 MSL instructional efforts to the Association
of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) national mean values for instructional
activities. As the table indicates MSL has developed and sustains a strong instructional program
that is evidenced, among other factors, by the large number of participants and clearly exceeds
the national mean in three of four areas. With the addition of MSL faculty and reorganization of
responsibilities the MSL’s outreach efforts are expected to grow in the coming years.
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