In the summer of 2009, the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School applied for and was awarded funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region (NN/LM NER), to begin the construction of an e-science educational web portal specifically for librarians.
The e-science web portal team's first task was to assess the region's health sciences and science and technology librarians and their e-science needs and learner preferences in order to help guide and inform the construction of the portal. The objectives of this assessment were threefold. The first was to establish that there was indeed a need for an e-science portal for librarians. The second was to examine what types of e-science and data services were being undertaken by these librarians and their libraries in New England. The third was to identify the background of the region's health sciences and science and technology librarians as well as their educational needs and Web 2.0 tool preferences in order to develop the scope and transmission mechanism of online educational materials concerning e-science.
Using feedback from librarian interviews from attendees of an e-science symposium and boot-camp, we researched and developed questions to survey learner needs.
The results of the survey clearly show that a small, but significant number of New England libraries serving the health sciences are currently engaged in e-science activities within their institutions or with other institutions and that a larger group of health sciences and science and technology librarians see potential for e-science collaborations in the future. These results, from a sizeable representative sample of respondents, clearly establish that an e-science web portal specifically for librarians is both wanted and needed by New England's library community. These results also show a regional demand for a portal centralizing e-science and data services tools and scientific content tutorials to serve patrons in basic as well as emerging information technology and data-intensive scientific disciplines. Moreover, the results present a community that is comfortable utilizing a variety of educational Web 2.0 tools for its self-guided learning and that is interested in future continuing education and professional development opportunities focusing on e-science.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/martine/40/