A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI — an intensive training course for medical librarians to be offered April 2014

The NCBI in partnership with the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) will offer the Librarian’s Guide to NCBI course on the NIH campus in April 2014. This will be the second presentation of the course; it was previously offered in the spring of 2013 (NCBI Insights April 11 and May 6, 2013). After the course, we will post lecture slides and hands-on practical exercises on the education area of the NCBI FTP site and video tutorials of the course lectures will be available on the NCBI YouTube channel. Materials from the 2013 course are available, as well as lecture videos for the expression module.

A Librarian’s Guide is an intense five-day exploration of modern molecular biology, genetic, and other biomedical data as represented at the NCBI. The course explains how and why these data are generated, their importance in modern biomedical research, and how to access them through the NCBI Web site. A Librarian’s Guide is intended for medical librarians in the United States who currently are offering bioinformatics education and support services to their patrons or are planning to offer such services in the future.  Learning modules of the course include:

  • Genes and Molecular Biology Basics
  • Advanced Entrez Searching
  • Guide to NCBI BLAST
  • Sequences & Genomes
  • Sequence Variation and its Consequences
  • Gene Expression & Biological Pathways
  • Protein Structures
  • Drugs and Other Small Molecules

A major goal of the course is to establish a community of medical librarians providing bioinformatics support in ongoing relationship with each other, the NCBI and the NTC. After completion of the course, students and instructors maintain collaboration and mutual support through an online forum and monthly NCBI “Office hours” videoconference discussion sessions with course faculty and students.

Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching

Because of the fast-paced and intense nature of the course, all applicants for A Librarian’s Guide must have successfully completed the asynchronous online Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching class. The Fundamentals class is a six-week introduction to molecular biology and bioinformatics taught by Diane Rein, Ph.D., MLS, and offered through the NTC that provides essential background for A Librarian’s Guide. Prior to the initial Librarian’s Guide course in 2013, Fundamentals was only offered as a pre-course to the Librarian’s Guide. The NTC now offers the Fundamentals course separately, and it is open to any medical librarian in the United States interested in an introduction to bioinformatics and NCBI resources.  A fall 2013 Fundamentals class recently completed, and the just-announced winter 2014 class, which runs from February 10 – March 21, 2014, (see schedule) is now open for applications. If you would like to apply to attend A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI in April 2014 (April 7-11, 2014) and have yet to take the Fundamentals class, be sure to apply for the winter 2014 Fundamentals class.

Applying to attend A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI

Only people who have successfully completed the Fundamentals class may apply to A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI. We will announce the application process to eligible Fundamentals candidates in February 2014.

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