On November 16th, 2016, the staff at the Penn Biomedical Library welcomed 30 curious 4th-8th graders from West Philadelphia’s Quba Institute into their spaces to learn about biomedical librarianship as an example of a career in medicine.The visit was the brainchild of Dr. Lily Arya, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at Penn Medicine. Dr. Arya was motivated to bring the children to the Biomedical Library after working with Collections Coordinator and Biology Liaison Melanie Cedrone on a complex systematic review of the literature for her own research project.
Presentations from Melanie, 3D Printing & Visualization Intern Dan Sipzner, and Biomedical Library Director, Barbara Cavanaugh illuminated a variety of topics for the students including: the concept of medical journals and databases, helping health care providers find quality information through literature searching, 3D printing and design programs. According to Biomedical Library Director, Barbara Cavanaugh, the children had endless questions about the process after seeing a 3D printer in action. Quba Institute Principal Nafeesah Muhaimin commented that she has never seen her kids more engaged than on their trip to Penn’s Biomedical Library.
The school visit was part of a larger West Philadelphia outreach program led by Dr. Arya with the support of Obstetrics & Gynecology Department Chair, Dr. Deborah Driscoll. Dr. Arya and Barbara Cavanaugh plan to pursue further exciting collaborations regarding this outreach initiative.