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Miner Library Reading Room

History of the Institute for Innovative Education

In 2011, the University of Rochester Medical Center recognized the need for centralizing our educational infrastructure to support a medical center-wide simulation center. Within URMC, simulation-based training facilities and related programs were scattered among 22 different departments and schools. As a result, the administrative resources needed to develop programs and maintain equipment were duplicated. Additionally, there was limited sharing of resources or knowledge, resulting in minimal multidisciplinary or interprofessional practice as well as low utilization rates of space, equipment, and staff. Finally, training modules and curricula were developed without centralized support or expertise sharing. The rally cry to centralize simulation inspired novel conversations between clinical departments, SON, and SMD. As a result, these interprofessional discussions around shared learning needs spurred broader conversations beyond simulation. Emerging from this education strategic planning process was the creation of two key infrastructures that redefined our learning environment: the Institute for Innovative Education and the Center for Experiential Learning.

The IIE was developed initially as a board of directors (BOD) of URMC’s educational leaders with the aims of integrating technology and the science of learning into existing educational programming, and preparing our learners to be leaders of tomorrow.

The CEL was created as a centralized educational delivery system of support for our schools of medicine, dentistry, and nursing as well as for postgraduate clinical training and continuing professional development. To create this structure, we reorganized the Office of Educational Resources and the Office of Continuing Professional Education to become one unit, which enabled us to pool capital and human resources toward this new vision. Within the first two years, CEL also absorbed the media services in the hospital and grew the simulation program to have dedicated centralized staff. Harnessing these resources in a centralized model, related to the IIE, CEL was becoming the operating arm to implement the IIE’s strategic vision.

"Figure 1: The Timeline of IIE"


Since their inception in 2012, the IIE and CEL have seen unprecedented growth in both services and programs. The CEL supports more than 40,000 educational events and programs throughout the Medical Center annually, growing beyond simulation (standardized patients, mannequins, and anatomical gift program) to include the continuing medical education office, symposium and event planning, media support, online learning specialists, and classroom technology and support. In 2017, CEL merged with the oldest educational resource in the medical center, Miner Libraries, to complete its comprehensive educational offerings (See Figure 1).

The Edward G. Miner Library is the symbolic heart of the Medical Center. Patients, staff, clinicians, researchers, and students are welcome to utilize any of the three library branches affiliated with Miner Library: Basil G. Bibby Library at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, John R. Williams Health Sciences Library at Highland Hospital, and Golisano Children’s Hospital Family Resource Library. The libraries are committed to providing skilled research assistance, increasing access to resources, developing educational opportunities, and equipping our patrons with technology and professional expertise.

Miner Library opened in 1925, and focused on establishing a collection of books and journals in medicine and science to support educational, research, and clinical programs. We are proud to have one of the nation’s finest collections of anatomical atlases printed before 1800 in our Rare Books and Manuscripts section.

As time passes, and technology advances, the aims of the Miner Libraries have continued to evolve. Modern collections, like the Graphic Medicine collection, have been adopted and collaborative partnerships in health literacy and on research teams have been forged. Miner librarians support medical student education with classes like, “Medical Evidence and Inquiry” (first taught in 1999) and attend weekly clinical teaching rounds. Most recently, the @miner_library Instagram account was launched. Miner Libraries continues to be a hub for the dispersion of knowledge throughout the University of Rochester Medical Center.