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Project Spotlight: CTSA Community Engagement Award

Guest Author: Pegeen A. Seger, Head of Outreach Services, UT Health Science Center San Antonio Libraries

In August of 2012, in partnership with the South Central and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries was granted a CTSA Community Engagement Pilot Project Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR). The project was intended to allow librarians to participate in brainstorming about how librarians can take a more active role at CTSA Institutions particularly in the area of community engagement.

The proposed project had two components: 1) to host two Asset-Based Community Development workshops at UT Health Science Center Libraries in San Antonio and Harlingen in order to support community engagement efforts in these areas and in the other CTSA funded areas within the NN/LM SCR region by training CTSA librarians and others in the concepts of Asset-Based Community Development and 2) to host a strategic planning session for CTSA librarians in the NN/LM SCR region with the goal of developing a strategic plan to promote librarian interactions with their CTSA Key Function Groups, especially the Community Engagement Key Function Groups.

Workshop attendees sit at a table and create a map

On February 21, 2013, the UT Health Center Science Center Libraries hosted an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Workshop as part of the pilot project. Attendees of the workshop learned how to build community connections and partnerships in support of medical research, education and practice in order to impact community health. Participants included CTSA librarians, researchers and administrators, public health workers, area health professionals, public and academic librarians, community health workers, and AHEC Translational Advisory Boards (TABS).

Librarians sit at tables and discuss topoics

On the following day, a Strategic Planning Workshop was held for librarians and other personnel from CTSA institutions to brainstorm about how librarians can be actively involved with CTSA key functions, CTSA administration, grant applications, research output and impact tracking, community engagement, and other CTSA initiatives.

Out of the strategic planning session came a roadmap for librarian contributions and engagement with the work of the CTSAs. A report based on the strategic planning session was prepared and distributed to the librarians who attended the planning workshop; library directors at CTSA funded institutions in the NN/LM SCR, and to CTSA administrators.

 

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