Scientific Library Offers New Training Options

By Robin Meckley, Contributing Writer; contributed images
Some of the topics that will be covered by the new webinars.

The Scientific Library is expanding its current training opportunities by offering webinars, allowing employees to take advantage of trainings from the comfort of their own offices.

Due to the nature of their work, some employees find it inconvenient to attend in-person training classes; others simply prefer to use their own computers.

The Scientific Library has been experimenting with webinar sessions since 2016 and expanded the service in 2017. Now, due to the popularity of webinars, it plans to offer even more webinar training sessions. All sessions are free and available to all employees, and some are even recorded and archived for later use. (All webinars use the readily available, NIH-provided WebEx software.)

One of the first webinars offered was “Your Virtual Scientific Library,” a one-hour presentation on the Scientific Library’s available services and collections that served as a type of online orientation. “OneSearch” was another webinar and provided a valuable overview of the Scientific Library’s own comprehensive searchable database. Both webinars will occur again in 2018.

Last fall, the Scientific Library held a four-part webinar series called “PubMed Quick Takes.” Concerning the popular database PubMed, these sessions focused on specific areas of database usage, such as My NCBI, alerts, searching by author, and locating full-text articles. Sessions were offered at noon and lasted just 30 minutes so attendees could join while eating their lunches. The series was well-received, so the Library staff is planning to offer a similar series in 2018, titled “EndNote Quick Takes.”

In addition to “EndNote Quick Takes,” the Scientific Library is also planning to hold a series of seminars to support its “Resource of the Month” (ROTM) service. Each month, staff selects a specific resource to feature on the Library’s website, flyers, and promotional emails to inform its users about the resource. The webinars will demonstrate what the resource is, why it’s helpful, and how to use it.

ROTM webinars will run for no more than 30 minutes, once per month. The first six months of planned topics are as follows:

  • Antibase (January)
  • Henry Stewart Talks (February)
  • RAS Reference Library (March)
  • Pharmaprojects (April)
  • Online books (May)
  • Web of Science family of databases (June)

Whether NCI at Frederick staff members are working at the main campus, the Advanced Technology Research Facility, Industry Lane, the Vaccine Pilot Plant, or are teleworking from home, they’re able to take advantage of the webinars.

“There is such an amazing potential here of the services that you offer,” said a recent participant. “I really appreciate you offering these webinars.”

The webinars can also be used for individualized instruction. For example, last year, an NCI scientist in Africa asked for help in learning how to use several resources, including OneSearch, EndNote, and PubMed. Scientific Library staff was able to teach him remotely using the WebEx software. The scientist was very appreciative of the service, saying, “It was a very big success on my end. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Specific dates for all of the Library’s in-person and online trainings are available from the Scientific Library’s training webpage. The staff encourages you to read over the list of training options and participate in a new type of learning. Please contact the Library if you have any questions.