DAHSL: Developing Academic Health Sciences Libraries


a collaboration to create the 21st century academic health sciences library…

AAHSL – New and Emerging Health Sciences Libraries Group (NEHSLG) – Meeting: Sunday, 8 November 2009 in Boston, MA.

Thanks, Joanne!


  1. Introductions:  Debbie Rand; Ginny Tanji; David Boillard; Nadine Dexter; Jane Bridges; Nancy Bulgarelli; and Joanne Muellenbach.
  2. Listserv for the NEHSLG on AAHSL
  3. Collaborative Research Amongst the NEHSLG
  4. Issues Related to NEHSLG – relationship with main campus; legal; organizational; etc.

Although an agenda was set, the meeting proceeded with each attendee introducing him/herself and bringing up any important issues.

Debbie Rand, Director of the SOM Library at Hofstra University in New York.  Their LCME visit will take place in March, and they hope to enter their charter class in the fall 2011.  24/7 library access will be in effect.

Ginny Tanji, Director of the SOM Library at the University of Hawaii.  The library has been in existence for 5 years, since 2005.  The College of Medicine began in the 70’s.  Ginny reports to the Dean and has a close relationship with the main campus.

David Boilard, Library Director at the SOM, Florida International University.  The SOM entered their first class of 43 MD students in August 2009.  They hired a Reference Librarian in fall 2008.  Students have laptops, but no administrative rights.  The student laptops were without DVD or CD drives.  Software that the students want has to be loaded globally by IT. They also offered hard-wired computers in the library.  David recommends the VH Dissector (Touch of Life Technologies)– loaded from a DVD;  $850 / software.  David mentioned that a Florida medical librarian conducted a mini-survey “hit” rates for print and electronic versions of the same titles and the print titles were way behind the electronic versions.  Contact David for further information.

Nadine Dexter, Library Director at University of Central Florida College of Medicine.  They received 8 million to name their library!  They are moving, in June 2010, to the 2nd floor of a new building.  One goal is to try to get library content into their integrated curriculum.  Library training also needs to be included in orientation.  At present, the library has 30 minutes for their library orientation.  One strategy has been to work closely with the Dean of Student Affairs.  They also have a Director of Medical Informatics.  They use mobile devices, because students want to use them!  All students have fully loaded, but locked, laptops.  Eventually, they were forced to “unlock” so that students could have administrative rights.  The university had a hard time with that.  All students have full scholarships.  There are 41 students and 50% are from Florida.  They have organized an “EBM week: Sick Around the World” program.  They use the EBM pyramid and this has been effective; this was taught during the second week of class.  Library is recruiting for a Head, Public Services, with some difficulty, due to challenges of working with HR.  The SOM provides students with 500 free copies.  Question: What are others doing?  Collections budget is adequate:  $550,000.  Nadine predicts a $1,000,000 collections budget over 5 years.  Nadine mentioned some of their popular resources:  Facts & Comparisons, by Wolters Kluwer; Epocrates (mobile devices); Clinical Pharmacology (Access Pharmacology); Netter Online; Acland’s Anatomy;  VH Disectors – body program – rotates the body.  Check out their electronic textbooks for anatomy on their website.

Jane Bridges, Associate Director – Savannah Campus, Health Sciences Library, Mercer University School of Medicine. They admitted their 1st class of 30 students in August 2008 and they now have 60 students.  They only accept students from GA, as their goal is to increase the number of doctors in rural areas of Georgia.  The library serves the hospital and medical school.  This gives students opportunities to form relationships with practicing physicians, among other things.  The library has cancelled most of its print and greatly increased its electronic resources.  An E-Resources Librarian has been hired, and an Educational Services Librarian is being recruited for the Savannah campus.  Jane is associated with the hospital’s Director for Medical Education and reports to the Library Director in Macon – Jan LaBeause.  At present there is a search in progress for a Dean in Savannah.  Jane has 1.5 other professionals and 2 LTAs.  No after-hours access. Before the hospital library became a medical school library, any badge holder could swipe in. After the library moved, the doors were locked after hours, but there are no complaints, probably because electronic access has increased.  Students have a copy allotment via swipe card.

Nancy Bulgarelli, Library Director for the SOM at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  LCME visit was last week, in early November, and they expect to be approved in February 2010, and to enter their charter class in 2011.  Nancy does not yet have any staff and is working on securing a library budget.  So far, the focus was to get through the accreditation site visit!  The next steps will be planning: their vision will be cutting-edge; innovative; focus on electronic!  However, there will be a small print collection.  At the SOM, there is a 6-week block, 4 hours/week for an “Information Literacy Curriculum”.  This includes: library orientation; PubMed; Reference Manager; Copyright, and more.  They incorporate LCME objectives, found through an AAMC document.  Discussed the “Medical Informatics and Public Health” (1998-2001) project that AMIA has been working on; it’s available on the AMIA website.  MSOP – Medical School Object Project was mentioned.  Nancy has a broad outline of her curriculum broken down by week that she will share.  She is working towards integrating library content into the curriculum.  So far, this is being welcomed at her institution.  Nancy is facing issues of the librarians being tenure-track at her institution.  They are a part of the union.

Joanne Muellenbach is Library Director at The Commonwealth Medical College, in Scranton, PA. TCMC entered their first class of 65 MD students, as well as their first class of 13 Master of Biomedical Sciences students in the fall 2009.  The library collection is over 95% electronic.  Approximately 350 print texts are available in their reserve, reference, circulation and leisure reading collections.  TCMC is an independent medical college, with three regional campuses, located in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport.  In our temporary facilities, the library space consists of 4,000 square feet, including seating for 80, 6 public access computers, 2 Canon printer/scanner/fax/copy machines, and an information services desk equipped with the Millennium integrated library system.  The library is open 88 hours per week.  When we move to our permanent facilities in 2011, the library will consist of 5,000 square feet, including 2 small group rooms, a conference room and an information commons.  The library provides a 1.5-hour library skills training during orientation week, and provides additional library instruction which is integrated at specific points within the curricula.  At present, an informatics curriculum is under development, which will include library skills and evidence-based medicine training.  Library staff includes 5 FTEs: 2 librarians (including the library director), 2 library technicians and 2, part time library assistants.   By Year 5, we expect to increase our staff to 7 FTEs, with the hiring of 2 additional librarians.  Our library website may be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/ncsbcu.

General Discussion:  There was discussion about Bates’ Guide to the Physical Examination & History Taking, via Vital Stream.  Nadine has information about this.  She has worked with Keith Pyle, representative.  Cost is $4,000 for their College of Medicine – site license.  Check with Nadine for further details.  ACTION:  Nadine will approach Keith Pyle on behalf of the NEHSLG to find out the cost of a site license.  There was some discussion about UpToDate and consortia licensing, as well as licensing for the entire university campus.

EZ Proxy: we discussed the ability to provide successful remote access to resources being integrated from different sites and IP addresses, the campus location and the Health System.

There was also a brief discussion on Blackboard vs. home-grown systems, and on Serials Solutions.

Minutes were submitted by:  Joanne Muellenbach – jmuellenbach@tcmedc.org


Filed under: New Libraries,

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