By Wendy Sarubbi | December 3, 2018 8:54 am

An innovative outreach program has earned regional recognition for the Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library at the UCF College of Medicine.

The library received the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries’2018 Distinguished Library Award, which recognizes innovative programming for the library’s users.

The award honored the College of Medicine library for its Info Expo series, the library’s longest-running and most well-attended event.  Held twice a year, the HSL Info Expo began eight years ago as a way to share information on the library’s programs, technology and expertise with the medical school’s faculty and staff.

“We started the expo as a unique and innovative way to reach out to a user group that most medical schools don’t think about – our staff,” said Shalu Gillum, who leads the library’s public services department and organizes the event. “It was a way for us to tell our story and showcase some of the cool resources, initiatives and programs that we offer for faculty, staff and students.”

The Info Expo is formatted as a themed lunch-and-learn with an emphasis on fun, interactivity and learning.

“We always try to come up with a theme, and we try to match the theme in our food and the décor and weave it in to our presentations, so that it gives the staff something exciting to look forward to,” said Gillum. “We try to encourage audience participation by having fun quizzes and games using interactive technology often used in our classrooms, and apps like Kahoots, which allows them to chime in their answers from their smart phones.”

Martin Wood, chair of the consortium’s award committee commended the library’s initiative, saying it could serve as a model for other biomedical libraries.

“The HSL Info Expo is a great example of what we look for in our Most Distinguished Library each year, and the team at UCF should be as proud of this accomplishment as we were in selecting them for this award,” he said.

This is the second CONBLS award for the library. In 2013, they were awarded for their “Library-Centered Tablet Technology Deployment”, a program in which iPads are distributed to all medical students to allow them 24-7 access to library’s resources that are 98 percent digital.

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