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How Academic Librarians’ Roles are Changing
The role of the academic librarian is shifting and it’s important to highlight the need to embrace external resources in the form of technology.
While the way in which an academic library fulfills its mission has changed over the past decades, its role in ensuring access to knowledge remains crucial to education and research. Yet, given rapid advances in technology, there is an overwhelming amount of information and materials now available to students.
As knowledge becomes more widespread, the role of the librarian in identifying the best resources—those of the highest quality that are truly differentiated in meeting the needs of students, and those that really move the needle in learning outcomes—has become ever more important. But given the sheer volume of material now available, this has also become an immense undertaking. This task is further complicated by an institution’s budgetary constraints and the complexities of digital products, which may involve a multitude of services and access requirements.1
At Sketchy, we are dedicated to creating a student-first product that harnesses memorable, engaging learning strategies for even the most complex medical and science topics. With features like our student-progress dashboard, symbol review cards, and corresponding quiz questions, Sketchy supports students throughout their learning journey.
Students love Sketchy—because we make learning fun, because we make it truly easy to understand and remember the most difficult concepts, and most of all because we help students succeed. We frequently hear from our students about the positive impact that Sketchy has had on their education, whether they’re preparing for admission to a health sciences program, or working through some of the most intense and stressful times of their educational careers while studying for major professional school exams.
But not all students have access to Sketchy. By providing a resource to an entire program or cohort of students, librarians are positioned to have one of the largest impacts on an institution’s overall student success. And across the board, Sketchy benefits both students and schools. When our partners survey their students, the results speak to the power of Sketchy and its relevance to student studying—94% of students say Sketchy makes them more efficient, and 90% use Sketchy at least weekly. Sketchy is a truly unique resource that moves the needle on student and institutional success.
And our goal is to make it as easy as possible to integrate Sketchy into existing workstreams, for both students and institutions. In working with librarians across different academic centers, Sketchy has sought ways to streamline access for students, such as by adding Single Sign-On (SSO). SSO allows students to access their Sketchy account quickly and easily without the need to create additional login credentials, reducing friction for them and support burden for librarians. By integrating SSO, librarians can ensure that users accessing Sketchy are authenticated and authorized based on their institutional affiliations without the need of sending a roster containing student information over to Sketchy. Thus, SSO provides a convenient and compliant solution for medical librarians to manage licensing requirements when utilizing external resources like Sketchy.
Sketchy also seamlessly integrates with a variety of leading LMS providers. This means faculty and administrators can easily make Sketchy a part of their curriculum workflow, giving students a more coherent experience, and one they are more likely to take advantage of.
With the rapid pace of recent advances in artificial intelligence, the role of librarians in managing access to educational resources will undoubtedly become even more complex. While the full impact of AI remains to be seen, it is clear that high-quality products that are supported by research and have demonstrated successful outcomes will be even more essential to the future of education.
For more on how we can partner with you, head over to Sketchy.