The Class That Wouldn’t Die

HSLS has a robust portfolio of classes available. We offer classes on core topics such as searching PubMed and using EndNote software, with more specialized classes added based on our expertise, changes in the information environment, and patron needs.

Most class additions are initiated by HSLS research and instruction librarians. But sometimes a new class is born from patron requests. As an example, here is a brief history of one class, “Searching for Dollars: Grant Seeking to Support Research.”

Our grant seeking class was created in 2003 as a request from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). Funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, we were providing ACHD with a menu of predetermined trainings focusing on National Library of Medicine products and specialized topics requested by ACHD. One requested class HSLS did not anticipate was how to find funding. We thought this would be a one-time class.

We took the opportunity to explore the topic in depth, and partnered with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Nonprofit Research Center to offer a half-day session on finding foundation and government funding.

The class was a success, and seeing its value we decided to repeat it if the occasion arose. After a few small nudges, it took on a life of its own. Over the years we have adapted it for health sciences post docs, Pitt faculty, UPMC clinicians and researchers, and public health professionals in state and local agencies. The basic material has been compressed and stretched from a 10 minute segment of a career development workshop to a two hour stand-alone session, and presented as part of a popular day-long grant writing workshop for the MAR-PHTC (Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center). Resources covered vary with the audience.

Fifteen years after its debut, the class is going strong. As the principal instructor, I refer to it as the class that wouldn’t die. I didn’t look for it, don’t continuously promote it, and yet here it is, still chugging along and finding new audiences.

Please visit our HSLS Instruction Web page, and become acquainted with the array of classes offered. Let us know if you are interested in requesting a customized session for your audience, or if there is a class you wish we offered.

And if you need to know more about finding funding, visit the Finding Funding page on the HSLS website.

~Barbara Folb