The changing role of the health sciences librarians with the introduction of problem-based learning at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Moodley, Kunnagie Ramasamy.
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From 1950 to 2000 the former Faculty of Medicine, University of Natal, Durban, pursued the traditional, didactic curriculum. The implementation of problem-based learning, Curriculum 2001, introduced many changes in the curriculum where facilitators guide instead of teach students. Based on this it is important to understand the principles of problem-based learning (PBL) more extensively and the demands that may be made on the Library and the Librarians. It is assumed that a partnership exits between the librarians and the School of Undergraduate Medical Education (SUME). The object of this study is to determine whether the introduction of Curriculum 2001 impacted on the role and functions of the library and the librarians. The 5th year students from the Traditional Curriculum and 2nd year students from Curriculum 2001 were selected to participate in this study. The methods used in this study were the analysis of the minutes of the meetings that were held to discuss and plan Curriculum 2001 of the Curriculum Development Task Force, questionnaires for the undergraduate students and semi-structured interviews with the facilitators in Curriculum 2001 and medical librarians. The minutes of the CDTF were examined to ascertain if the librarians had any input in Curriculum 2001. The interviews would determine whether PBL had an impact on the role and functions of the library and the librarians. Four librarians and 15 facilitators were interviewed. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used in this study with the assistance of the EPI Info and NVivo software to analyze the results. The results of this study indicated that there is room for greater and enhanced collaboration and faculty partnerships between SUME and the library to assist the students to improve and develop their information literacy skills that are integral part in problem solving in the PBL curriculum.