Joanna Anderson has joined the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine as its new reference and instruction librarian. She comes to the medical school after serving as distance education librarian at East Tennessee State University, where she supported many of the students pursuing Ph.D. and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.
Anderson was attracted to the position due to the Boonshoft School of Medicine’s curriculum, as well as the requirement that all students complete research projects before graduating. She appreciates the teaching style that allows students to help one another learn, with guidance from professors.
“The Wright Rural Medical Scholars program and the varied number of teaching hospitals and practices also appealed to me,” Anderson said. “I would eventually like to help educate the rural community in North Central Ohio, in which I grew up, on making healthy food choices, including teaching them how to grow their own food.”
At East Tennessee State University, Anderson helped nursing students and health sciences students find information for their research projects. She created tutorials for courses, created research modules and eventually helped teach nursing courses. Anderson also co-published research with nursing faculty members.
“At first, I primarily helped nursing undergraduate students, but word eventually got around I could help with more than just basic research questions,” Anderson said. “That is when I essentially became the health sciences librarian.”
Prior to that role, Anderson worked as a distance learning librarian for Mohave Community College and was coordinator of reference services at Columbus State Community College. She conducted literature searches for nursing faculty, helping them with their publications, searching journal titles and assisting with grant and Institutional Review Board applications.
“One of the students I helped through capstone research was hired as a clinical faculty member. She needed help beginning systematic review and meta-analysis, but didn’t know where to start,” Anderson said. “This ended up being a wonderful opportunity for me because I co-authored the review with her and another faculty member.”
Anderson’s experience and interests align perfectly in her new position. She is enthusiastic about helping students, faculty and staff and has a great deal of experience with evidence-based practice research and systematic reviews.
“I hope to make the research process as simple as possible. Teaching students how to conduct library research systematically will provide a foundation for their success. I want students to know I offer more than library research help,” Anderson said. “Most people do not know this, but librarians are sometimes counselors and cheerleaders. I hope I can be a support for students beyond what a typical ‘academic’ librarian offers.”