Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Janene Batten

June 5, 2012
"If I don't know, I'll find out." This is the pledge of Yale School of Nursing's librarian.

Janene BattenBatten keeps a keen eye out for breaking developments in the field of scholarly nursing and research tools. At YSN, students have their own personal librarian introduced to them on the first day of orientation.

“We can’t afford to be sitting in the stacks waiting for students to come to us. We have to go to them,” she said. Batten then follows students through their careers, teaching search skills and citation management as part of the student’s curriculum, and maintains a close relationship with the faculty and students. Batten reports that the students and faculty who seek her help are always very grateful, “which is surprising because it’s my job.”

The Medical Library serves the entire Yale medical campus, which includes the Yale-New Haven Hospital and affiliated clinics, as well as the Yale Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health, and the physician assistant program. Batten credits medical campus librarians for a progressive model of service. “In many ways, the medical library has led innovation because its students need the results now of research that will be published next month.”

Eight years ago, the Harvey Cushing/John Hay WhitneyMedical Library “realized that the future was in ensuring that as much as possible was available electronically,” Batten recalled. “The people we’re serving want the information available to them on their desktops rather than having to go to the library to find it.” As a result, the Medical Library carries thousands of journals and books in digital form, as well as a multitude of online access points to information.

Batten also teaches nurses at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The class, team-taught with nurse educators using evidence based practice, is essential for the hospital’s magnet status.

“Your librarian is an expert in finding information to support clinical practice. It’s vital for clinicians to know where to find current best evidence,” she explained.

Her perspective is uniquely valuable, as her role provides a view of both the proverbial forest and the trees.

Batten advises on several senior leadership initiatives at YSN, including curriculum, strategic planning, technology, and academic integrity. “If you’re involved at that level,” she explained, “you have an understanding of the organization you’re trying to support.”

“I love that first day when the students are back—that vibrant energy,” Batten said. “I’m always amazed at how clever they are. They’re brilliant in their own right, even before they get here. I can only imagine what they will do after graduation.”