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Sarah Howard

Liaison Librarian and Project Officer

Queensland University of Technology in Australia

Brisbane Australia

For Queensland University of Technology, Adds 'Wow' to Library Resources helps students visualize and immerse themselves in the content.

When Sarah Howard, a librarian with Queensland University of Technology in Australia (QUT), introduces new students and faculty to the kinds of resources the school has, she always showcases Primal Pictures’ Anatomy.TV to get their attention.

Primal Pictures is our 'wow' tool.

Howard, who has been a librarian for a decade, is currently a liaison librarian and project officer working with the school’s nursing and optometry faculty in Brisbane. A liaison librarian is the main contact in specific subject areas for any library research queries for teaching, learning, or research.

“I learned from one of my bosses a few years ago that you don’t necessarily need to have the content knowledge as long as you know the tools to use to find the content,” Howard says.

Working as a health liaison, Anatomy.TV is “a big part of our tool set, our resources to show our academics and students,” she says.

Howard was first introduced to the Primal Pictures product when she was a reference librarian at Australian Catholic University about eight years ago.

“It was way ahead of its time,” she recalls. “There was nothing like it that we had access to.”

At the time, Howard was asked to help with a series of classes to provide an overview of what the library had to offer to new international students studying a wide variety of subjects.

“I knew that Primal Pictures would get their attention quite quickly,” she says. After getting their attention, she would share other programs and resources to find books and journal articles.

“I used it for more of a promotional way to get people in the library,” Howard adds.

A lot of students say the e-books aren’t giving them what they need. They need tools like Anatomy.TV that help them visualize and really immerse themselves in the content.

In addition to the wow factor, what impressed Howard the most about Anatomy.TV was the way it meets the university’s blended learning policy addressing the needs of students with different learning styles.


Some couldn't learn anatomy through a book, and we didn't have e-books accessible back then," she says. "Even now, a lot of students say the e-books aren't giving them what they need. They need tools like Anatomy.TV that help them visualize and really immerse themselves in the content.

The 3D imaging and video help students better understand the material than a simple 2D image. And the ability to control the anatomical models, clicking through different layers and information, “is just unique and helps the learner to understand the contents on that deeper level for learning,” Howard says.

Anatomy.TV also works seamlessly with the university’s Blackboard learning management system, where faculty post information, video, resources, and other materials for students in their classes.

“Our faculty are always looking for resources,” Howard says.

The Primal Pictures product allows faculty to embed “this interactive content with animated images and videos into their units so students can use it to learn at a deeper level and access it how they need to,” she adds.

“There are so many different capabilities of Anatomy.TV provides that allow us to use it how we need it.”

The QUT library staff evaluates resources annually, looking at usage statistics, feedback from students, and comments from faculty. “That’s how we make the decision to progress with a subscription or a tool,” Howard says.

That process enabled the library staff to successfully make the case for the university to increase its Anatomy.TV license to an unlimited number of users this year. “We unfortunately only had 10 user licenses up to last year, so we would show it to faculty, but they would be put off a little bit because they knew they’d only have certain user access,” Howard says. “We don’t have that barrier any more. It’s just fantastic.”

Now that students and faculty have unlimited access to the Primal Pictures product, the library staff have come up with some creative ways to promote it. One is to print out color images from Anatomy.TV and place them on bookends on the library bookshelves in the section that houses anatomy books.

“Students who are actually in our physical collection will see a little note popping up with a picture and a QR code that will take them to Anatomy.TV,” Howard says. “So we’re referring students from our collection to our online resources.”

The library also added large TV screens throughout the facility and plans to feature big images from Anatomy.TV on them “so it’s really in people’s faces when they come into the library,” she says.

Primal Pictures also donated some “cool 3D glasses” that Howard gave away as prizes during an introductory library session to students who answered questions correctly about Anatomy.TV.

All of those efforts are guaranteed to make a lot more people say, “Wow.”