Did you know that AHEC librarians have created video tutorials that can improve your search skills?

We all rely on searching as part of our everyday life, but not every question returns a simple answer. When you need to find specific research in the complicated health sciences databases, the top ten results may not have the information you need. When faced with those situations, you can rely on your librarians, who are all expert searchers trained to use different tools effectively. You may know already that you can ask your librarians to search for you—but your librarians can also teach you some tips and tricks so you can search better on your own!

The librarians in Charlotte AHEC have taken this educational mission a step further, creating a series of video tutorials on different search skills. The videos are short and user-friendly, using engaging animations and clear language to translate complex searching techniques into easy-to-understand ideas. Each of the five-to-ten-minute videos addresses a key topic, such as how to craft searches using “and/or” terms (also called Boolean searches), how copyright rules apply to your research, and how to evaluate the reliability of your search results.

According to Alan Williams, director of the Charlotte AHEC library, part of the impetus for launching their tutorial series was to make searching more accessible. “These videos were created as a way for patrons to have a resource for assistance during times when a librarian was not present.” Information needs can occur at any time, not just during normal workday hours when your librarians are available.

These tutorials are freely available to everyone, whether or not you work in the Charlotte AHEC region. While they were originally designed, in part, to support the students in the Carolinas College of Health Sciences (CCHS) online BSN program, they teach concepts that would be of use to anyone who needs to search online.

To learn how you can improve your own search skills, watch the Charlotte AHEC library’s tutorial series!

For more information about NC AHEC library services, visit ncahec.net/library-services/what-we-do.

Written by Lauren Tomola, NC AHEC Knowledge Management Librarian, and Francesca Allegri, Assistant Director and NC AHEC Program Office Liaison, University Libraries’ Health Sciences Library