Health sciences librarians supporting health and nutrition education in a culinary medicine curriculum


  • Trey Lemley Senior Librarian, Information Services Librarian, and Head of Reference and Collection Development, Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
  • Rachel Finch Fenske Assistant Librarian and Information Services/Outreach Librarian, Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL



Nutrition, Knowledge, Students, Health Professions, Evaluation, Service Learning, Obesity Health Promotion


Background: Culinary medicine is an innovative approach to teaching health sciences students and other health professionals the basics of healthy eating, food preparation, and nutrition through applied instruction. It is hoped these professionals will, in turn, share their knowledge with patients. The University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute licensed the Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine curriculum and began teaching medical, nursing, and other health sciences students as well as community members in 2017. The authors describe a collaboration between librarians and health professionals to connect with underserved community members by teaching the basics of good nutrition and healthy meal preparation.

Case Presentation: Two health sciences librarians provided instruction to community members in the use of quality health information resources during various modules of the culinary medicine curriculum. Demonstrations of the use of MedlinePlus and ChooseMyPlate were conducted using topics from module content. Evaluations were distributed after each module to evaluate the effectiveness of the library component, the results of which enabled librarians to subsequently increase their instruction time and implement iPad use for more engaging participation.

Conclusion: Librarians were seen as invaluable partners in this innovative program and became an integral part of the curriculum. Evaluation results helped librarians advocate for more instructional time. As a result of their involvement, librarians were given additional outreach opportunities to educate younger populations at risk of developing chronic health diseases.


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Case Report