Document Type

Campus Connection

Publication Date



This presentation will explore how a library’s academic liaison program led to a strong teaching partnership within an academic division. The goal of the liaison program is to provide an essential link between the University of Southern California’s Norris Medical Library and the University’s academic communities. This goal was achieved when a research support librarian teamed up with a professor of physical therapy to develop a curriculum for physical therapy students.

The objective of this teaching alliance was for first-year doctor of physical therapy students to learn basic skills for Evidence Based Practice. The collaboration combined the librarian's expertise in database searching, library instruction, and information literacy with the subject knowledge of the physical therapist.

In developing the learning experience the professor of physical therapy requested assistance through the liaison program. Her requests, however, did not fit within traditional teaching methods used by the liaison. The librarian and the professor were able to maintain and enrich the interdisciplinary partnership through flexibility, communication, and cooperation. The collaborators will share how they overcame obstacles, learned to speak each other's language, and quelled colleagues’ concerns that they were abandoning traditional teaching methods.

The conceptual basis of the instructional model will be illustrated with specific teaching examples. A student-centered outcome measure to assess the efficacy of the teaching model will be presented.