Keep Calm and Ask a Medical Librarian!

December 21, 2017

In this age of information overload, it may seem that the role of libraries is diminishing. However, it could also be argued that they are becoming more relevant than ever. It is becoming increasingly important to curate the vast quantities of information available to us — librarians and libraries are here to help with this important navigation. With the constant changes in technology, they can also keep us informed of all the latest resources, while also providing physical spaces in which to study.  

Here at YSN, we have a beautiful library — also known as the “Learning Commons” — that is staffed by a dedicated librarian, Janene Batten. Students are introduced to Janene during orientation week. From day one, they are encouraged to consult with her about study and research, so they can be aware of the vast array of resources available through the Cushing /Whitney Medical Library, part of the larger Yale University Library system, of which the YSN Library is a part.

Walk into the Learning Commons on any given day and you will find students reading, studying, or writing. They may be between classes, taking advantage of the break to get readings done, or may simply be taking a mental breather to surf the Web. Some prefer the quiet study areas, where the door can be closed, and others enjoy the openness of the atrium-like space with windows on all sides overlooking the inviting green space of West Campus.

The library’s print collection is small, but well used. Janene works with faculty and students to ensure required class textbooks are readily available. There is a small collection of core textbooks relating to specialty areas that form the permanent collection. However, while books are important resources for timeless concepts, the library delivers most of its content electronically. Faculty and students have access to indispensable electronic resources for up-to-the-minute evidence. Students access databases and an almost limitless number of online journals, via personal laptops or through one of the six computers housed in the Learning Commons. 

The Librarian’s office, located within the Learning Commons, enables Janene to be available for immediate questions and to meet with faculty or students to solve an information problem for course work or for research. Janene is integrated into coursework across the GEPN, masters, and doctoral programs, where she might be introducing students to an information-seeking concept in a one-off class, or she may be spending the semester co-teaching an online class.

In September, Janene was honored by the Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) system with the Nurses Choice Award, presented by the YNHH Nurses Awards Committee for her tireless work supporting the nursing profession. A small ceremony was held in the hospital atrium, attended by staff from the hospital, YSN, and from the Yale Medical Library. Read more on pages 10-11 of Yale Nursing Matters.