Nicole Theis-Mahon

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    The change that lies ahead: teaching the history of dentistry with rare materials
    (2023) Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Hendrickson, Lois; Miller, Ai; Opryszko, Anna; Beck, Emily
    Background: All year one dental students (105) have a two hour history of dentistry class as part of their professionalism course. In 2022 the course director invited the dental librarian and curators of the health sciences rare book collection to develop a new direction for this class. The librarian and curators wanted the class to be an engaging, relevant, active learning session for the students. They created a novel approach where groups of students engaged with historical materials. Class objectives were to understand dentistry’s past, present, and future; juxtapose history and progress; and reflect on the past and one’s place in dentistry. Description: The dental librarian collaborated with the course director to identify current themes in the dental literature to explore in class, including oral/systemic health; disparities; diversity, equity and inclusion; technology; consumerism; and oral healthcare settings. Curators from the rare books library identified over 100 print materials and artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th century related to the themes. Students were divided into groups of 8-10 and rotated through six themed tables using a World Cafe methodology. Each table had rare materials relevant to that theme and questions for the students to discuss. Questions were provided on large post-it notes and a Google form to provide multiple options for responding. Groups were asked to think about and discuss the questions within the context of the materials and the contemporary theme they were paired with. Thoughts were recorded on the post-it notes or entered into the Google form. An optional Qualtrics survey was distributed at the end of class to gauge their interest in the themes discussed, reflections of working with rare materials, if the class enhanced their understanding of the history of dentistry, and how the themes applied to their education and future as a dental practitioner. Conclusion: 80% (84/105) students responded to an optional Qualtrics survey. Results showed that the class stimulated students' interest in the history of dentistry, that they learned something new, they were going to share what they learned in the class, and that engaging with historical materials provided a different way of learning history. An open-ended question prompted students to reflect on the session and how it would apply to their education and future as a dental practitioner. Students made connections between the history of dentistry and evidence-based practice. This class presents a model that librarians can use to actively engage students and learners with historical themes in the health sciences, encouraging students to consider ways of improving future dental practice.
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    Looking Back to Move Forward: a reflection of the Dental Section’s history
    (2019) Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Nevius, Amanda; Schvaneveldt, Nena
    Background : The history of the Dental Section illuminates our own history as communities of librarians with the Medical Library Association (MLA). Reflections on a community’s history can reveal growth, development and changes, or shed light on similarities between the past and present. Knowledge and awareness of a community’s past can be used to guide members through change. Description : We examined historical documents from the Dental Section and conducted interviews with community members to generate a history of the community within the broader context of medical librarianship. To add context, a general history of dentistry and its relationship to medicine was also conducted. Themes between dental and medical librarianship and between dentistry and medicine were identified and described. Conclusion : The history of a community of librarians is important to understand future directions of MLA, and is informed by the history of the practitioners the librarians serve.
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    Something to Smile About: Librarian Support for Evidence-Based Dentistry
    (2018) Theis-Mahon, Nicole R; Bakker, Caitlin J
    Purpose: This poster examines the impact of librarian-led faculty development in research methods as a component of the Dental Education (CDE) Certificate Program in Contemporary Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry level III course. Setting/Participants/Resources: The Certificate Program in Contemporary Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry is a three-part CDE course for dental practitioners who are interested in increasing their knowledge of esthetic dentistry. The third level of this series involves conducting research and writing a paper on a topic in restorative or esthetic dentistry. Description: Librarians have been invited instructors in this course and presented on searching the literature and finding evidence since 2013. In 2018, the role of librarians expanded to instructing about the publication process and understanding the structure and design of a research paper. The librarians developed and delivered a course on how to write and critically appraise a research paper for dental practitioners who were new to research. Outcomes: This poster outlines the opportunities for librarians to engage with new researchers about the research process and how to write a research paper. It presents ideas for engaging with practitioners who are new to research. Evaluation: Feedback from former participants has referred to the program as “a turning point for me professionally” and noted that “it got me outside of my comfort zone.”
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    My Doctor Said What!?: identifying and assessing online health information resources
    (2017) Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Hunt, Shanda; Forbes, Nora
    Objectives: Health information consumers look to the Internet to find answers to questions about their health or that of a loved one. We conducted a study to identify where individuals find online health information, how they use it, and what they think is missing. Results from this study are being used to make recommendations of how to improve services to this population. Methods: The University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries conducted a cross-sectional study of adults in August 2016. The survey instrument was adapted from the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) and the Patient Activation Measure (PAM-13), administered electronically on tablets at the Minnesota State Fair, and took approximately six minutes to complete. Convenience sampling yielded a total of 281 participants. Analysis of descriptive statistics and statistics to explore relationships between variables were conducted using R, and a qualitative analysis of one survey item was conducted using NVivo. Results/Conclusion: Preliminary results show that a majority of participants use a search engine, such as Google, WebMD, or the Mayo Clinic website, to locate online health information. While most respondents were confident in their ability to evaluate the health resources they find online, only half identified indicators of quality health information. This result was confounded by the high number of participants who were health providers. Participants identified personalization of and interactivity with health websites as highly desirable.
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    A Comprehensive Summary of Services and Resources Provided by Librarians in Support of CODA Accredited Predoctoral (DDS/DMD) Dental Education Programs in the United States and Canada
    (2017) Stellrecht, Elizabeth; McGowan, Richard; Lubker, Irene; Schvaneveldt, Nena; Arnold, Susan; Cortez, Elisa; Davis, Rebecca; Kronenfeld, Michael; Theis-Mahon, Nicole
    Many academic dental institutions have library services and librarians available to their constituents, but often a lack of awareness prevents these constituents from taking full advantage of these services. The aim of this study was to summarize the library services and resources that support dental education and research. This summary will demonstrate trends in dental librarianship as well as services and resources that can be adopted to serve the needs of dental education programs. To date, there has not been a comprehensive summary of these services. Methods: An environmental scan was carried out to take inventory of services that dental librarians provide. The study population consisted of librarians who work in dental libraries or college/university libraries that serve dental programs. The librarians surveyed were from institutions with a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited DMD/DDS program. Currently, there are 76 such programs in the U.S. and Canada. A questionnaire was distributed via email to the identified librarians. Follow-up phone interviews were conducted when necessary. Results: The results show that the majority of dental programs have a dedicated librarian or library liaison providing clinical, educational, and research support through a variety of approaches. Examples include evidence based dentistry instruction, research and grant support, collaboration on systematic reviews, service on curriculum committees, and involvement in the accreditation process. Conclusion: Librarians perform a variety of services that enhance dental education and research. Librarians provide beneficial services and resources for faculty, staff, and students. Increasing awareness and utilization of available services and resources in the dental community can facilitate research and complement dental education. The results of this survey demonstrate the many ways librarians provide support to their constituents. The service models cited here can be adapted in dental schools across North America.
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    Space as a Service: Advancing the Library’s Mission through Campus Collaboration within Library Spaces
    (2015-10) Jaguszewski, Janice M; Aspinall, Erinn E; McGuire, Lisa A.; Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Hendrickson, Lois; Sayre, Franklin D
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    Setting a Direction for Discovery: A Phased Approach
    (IGI Global, 2012) Fransen, Jan; Friedman-Shedlov, Lara; Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Traill, Stacie; Boudewyns, Deborah K. Ultan
    While many other academic libraries are currently or have recently faced the challenge of setting a new direction for their discovery platforms, the University of Minnesota is perhaps unique in its phased approach to the process. In the spring of 2011, the University of Minnesota Libraries appointed a Discoverability task force to identify a Web-scale discovery solution, the third phase in the Discoverability research process. Discoverability 3 Task Force members are now synthesizing the work of two previous phases and other relevant internal and external analyses to develop requirements and selection criteria for the solution. Some of these requirements and criteria are standard for any large-scale system implementation. Others were derived from the findings of the previous two phases of the Discoverability project. The authors discuss the Libraries’ phased approach to developing a vision for discovery and selecting a solution that puts the Libraries on a path to fulfilling that vision.
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    Discoverability Phase 2 Final Report
    (2011-02-04) Hanson, Cody; Hessel, Heather; Boudewyns, Deborah K. Ultan; Fransen, Jan; Friedman-Shedlov, Lara; Hearn, Stephen; Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Morris, Darlene; Traill, Stacie; West, Amy
    The Discoverability Phase 2 group was charged in spring 2010 to generate a vision for the University Libraries’ discovery environment. In addition, the group was asked to build on the work of Phase 1 (see the Phase 1 report here:, addressing some of the practical implications of decentralized discovery by recommending strategies for making local collections discoverable in external systems, and for integrating remotely-managed data into the local discovery environment.