Mission in the Media
American Medical librarians to travel to South Africa
University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine Librarians will Train Overseas Counterparts
Medical librarians from the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine travel to South Africa later this month to train public librarians there how to find the best online health information available to share with families in their communities.
The trip for the librarians with Preston Medical Library at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in South Africa in partnership with the Library and Information Association of South Africa.
Cynthia Vaughn and Martha Earl will conduct numerous workshops throughout South Africa to help community librarians successfully navigate and access the wealth of quality online health resources. The workshops are patterned after those utilized in a successful study, called A Simple Plan Extended, in which Vaughn and Earl participated and taught librarians throughout the state of Tennessee about health information
“I’m humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” said Vaughn, a clinical information librarian and assistant professor with UT Graduate School of Medicine. “Finding medical information is my passion and having the chance to share this knowledge with public librarians in South Africa is something I never dreamed possible.”
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) developed the classes Vaughn and Earl will teach during the trip. The schedule includes presentations to librarians in major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban, as well as in the areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
“Wherever we go, whether rural or in urban Tennessee or South Africa, people want to learn about the most reliable sources for health information for themselves, their communities and their families,” said Earl, assistant director of Preston Medical Library and an assistant professor with UT Graduate School of Medicine.“Health information empowers consumers the world over. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to share and learn from our colleagues in South Africa.”
Portions of the visit will coincide with South African Library Week, celebrated March 17 – 24. Earl and Vaughn have been invited to participate in the inaugural ceremonies to mark the opening of the observation.