MLibrary@NCRC, located on the ground level of Building 18, integrates a wide breadth of library and information services to meet the complex information needs of NCRC. According to Jean Song, the Taubman Health Sciences Library’s Assistant Director for Research and Informatics, the library “serves as a connector to quality information tools, people, and ideas across disciplines, throughout the campus and beyond. We are often the first stop for people’s information needs because if we don’t have the answer ourselves—we help them find it.”
Informationist Marisa Conte, for example, provides consultations for labs or investigators engaged in complex literature searches, including systematic reviews, searches for protocols and methodologies, or alternatives searches for laboratory animal use. She also partners with researchers conducting guidelines searches or systematic reviews. Co-location at the NCRC has enabled a closer collaboration with clinical and translational researchers, including the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. In addition to supporting literature searching, Marisa also provides consultations or instruction in citation management tools, including EndNote, Papers and web-based knowledge management platforms.
Informationist Judy Smith also provides consultations, and works with information-seekers at all points during the search process. She advises researchers spanning a variety of disciplines—from the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, as well as Business Development, for example—with ideas about search terms, database selection, and overall strategies.
In addition to individual consultations, librarians hold larger training sessions on information tools and resources. Bioinformationist Marci Brandenburg teaches on informatics tools such as Cytoscape, an open source network visualization application, as well as a workshop to maximize the use of Google.
MLibrary@NCRC informationists have in depth knowledge about existing campus resources, and can refer individuals to units across campus that offer assistance with specialized services such as statistical analysis, 3D printing, publishing, copyright and more.
The informationists also seek to facilitate collaboration at NCRC. Faculty and staff interested in identifying potential partners and collaborators to expand their research and teaching capabilities. Smith and Song offer instruction on the use of Michigan Experts, a faculty expertise tool that allows for identification of collaborators on campus and beyond. They are currently working with the Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation leaders on utilizing Michigan Experts information and other strategies to understand the impact of individuals’ research.
MLibrary@NCRC offers walk-in access for U-M Library resources as licenses permit. This access has been particularly important to those in the Venture Accelerator. Nicky Slawny of 3D Biomatrix notes that: “it is crucial that we keep up with the newest biotechnology research advances…so having access to the University of Michigan library has been and will be critical to our development.”