DAHSL: Developing Academic Health Sciences Libraries


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

Vision for Version 2.0 of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library


Beginning in December, 2007, a small group of faculty (see last page) from the UA COM-Phoenix & Tucson, the UA College of Pharmacy, the ASU Libraries, the ASU CONHI, and NAU was convened to identify space needs for the new library. We were constrained by the fact that the original building program for the Health Sciences education Building (HSEB) conceived in the early 2000s mandated a maximum of 17,570 square feet, and that the library’s collections and staff would combine what is currently in the AHSL-Phoenix and the LRC of the ASU CONHI. The intent of this document is to collect and record thoughts in support of creating a 21st Century health sciences/biomedical library for this new and evolving campus.

This new library will serve the education, research, and clinical information needs of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, specifically the UA/ASU College of Medicine, the UA College of Pharmacy, the ASU College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, the ASU Department of Biomedical Informatics, and NAU-Phoenix. As the state’s only public health sciences library, it will also serve the citizens of Arizona and community health professionals with the following assumptions.

As we operationalze this vision, we will take advantage of:

  • new and emerging information and communications technologies
  • new curricular imperatives and models, methods and formats
  • evolving student learning needs, behaviors and preferences
  • evolving faculty teaching styles and practices, and
  • evolving values and perceptions of health professions students, faculty and educational administrators.

The ideal library will anticipate and fill information needs of all user groups in as seamless a manner as possible so that users can access and use resources and services irrespective of the which campus is identified as the user’s home campus.

Physical Space (Flexibility and reconfiguration capability is the key word here; as little dedicated or specific-purpose-space as possible)

A building or part of the Education building that reflects its scholarly intent as one of the centers of scholarship at the campus, and builds on the notion of the “library as the “heart” of the university, a true treasure that attracts community health professionals to visit and use the resources and creates pride and support in the community.

Space and equipment for an information/electronic commons or learning center that can accommodate students enrolled in programs on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus from COM, ASU, NAU, etc. The Info Commons space should be central to learning and teaching spaces, faculty offices, etc.

Collaborative space for enabling positive group dynamics; to be used by faculty, staff, and librarians. This includes enclosed and private small group study rooms, large general purpose study rooms, carrels, etc. Should include media capabilities, data projectors, white boards, capabilities for presentation rehearsal, etc.

Adjacencies to:

    1. PBC IT
    2. Educational and classroom spaces, smart classrooms, lecture halls, faculty offices, other learning spaces, e.g. writing centers, technology spaces, etc.
    3. Refreshments, e.g., coffee, snacks, etc. Could include a small galley.
    4. Conferencing center.
    5. Clinical education suites
    6. Campus store(s)
    7. Space that is available on a 24/7 basis, with restrooms. (this could be IN the library or nearby)
    8. Student Affairs

Space to display community and COM, ASU, NAU a

At least one computer-equipped classroom where students and staff can receive training without using their own PCs or laptops; including PDA capabilities

Sufficient #s of flexible seating that is inviting for: study, lounging, collaborating, working

Lighting that is appropriate and conducive to different needs.

Furnishings that are comfortable, appealing, and can be moved about to meet different needs. This includes tables, chairs, instructor stations, chairs with attached laptop work surfaces.

Desk space for student use of their own laptops, with lighting, power, network accessibility (wireless and hardwired connectivity)

Private office space for librarians who may not have office space elsewhere. Open or cubicle space may be sufficient for support staff.

Private and secure “backroom” staff workspace for library operations (shipping & receiving, digitization, preparation of materials, faxing, ILL, etc.)

Flexible space for the evolving use of print collections including comfortable seating and lighting for browsing.

Meeting room that can hold at least 40 people with food prep area, sink, small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker and a place for 10 gallon water like Arrowhead dispenser. (could be closely adjacent)

Space to house and make available special collections (of monetary or historic value) which may be gifted to AHSL- and require extra security and environmental controls. This space will be planned in collaboration with existing health sciences collections in the state and very well could be off campus storage.

Space to house long journal runs of older titles from the Maricopa County Medical Society if it is determined that the Phoenix COM wants to accept that gift. This space will be planned in collaboration with existing health sciences collections in the state and very well could be off-campus storage.

Space to house, store and display special collections and rotating exhibits.

Exterior views/natural light.


Collections that are based on, but not exclusively oriented to the COM-P, NAU and ASU curricula, and are in convenient and appropriate formats for use, i.e. print and electronic or both.

Collections are planned and developed in collaboration with ASU and UA Tucson, as well as the curricula of all clinical teaching sites

Carefully selected sufficient print resources to meet immediate (and emergency, i.e. no power or network) “reference” needs.

Space to allow for growth of the collections. (need detail)

Services (and space for)

Virtual and physical service points that are intuitive and convenient to use.

Library education in:

    1. Information Management/Informatics
    2. Effective searching etc
    3. Software specific training, e.g. RefWorks, EndNote, PubMed, etc.
    4. Document retrieval
    5. Web 2.0 technologies
    6. Others as discovered adapted and requested…

Interlibrary Lending and Borrowing, AKA Document Delivery

On request search services,

ArizonaMed support

Specialized web page development, e.g. curriculum support

Outreach health information and education services to the state of Arizona

Laptop computers for loan


Skilled and dedicated professional information staff who thoroughly understand and can apply their knowledge of :

    1. The curriculum
    2. The educational methods used (CBI, TL, etc.)
    3. The content areas and how they are integrated
    4. How information literacy goals are integrated into the curriculum
    5. Faculty goals and expectations for students
    6. Student personal and academic goals and interests
    7. How to anticipate and identify information needs
    8. How to successfully meet information needs
    9. Evidence based practice
    10. Use of the most current and effective information technologies
    11. Trends in information technologies
  1. Sufficient staff to serve growing population of users (need detail)

Collaboration and Partnerships

Library staff will develop and nurture collaborations with:

    1. ASU DTP and other campuses
    2. UA Tucson
    3. NAU
    4. Other health sciences libraries in Arizona
    5. Clinical Education Librarians at COM Teaching Hospitals
    6. Arizona State Library and public librarians who work directly with community users needing answers to health questions
    7. Library staff will collaborate in the areas of:

Collections development (selection, access)

Services development

Space planning

Digitizing (institutional repository) plans

Continuing education for library staff

Space planning and use

Mutual staff support

    1. Library staff will serve various advisory bodies on both UA and ASU Campuses, e.g. curricular development, IT, BIOCITI, academic computing, web advisory, etc.


Sufficient (and supported) computer equipment, power outlets, and network connectivity for those times library users don’t have or don’t want to pull out their own laptops for use.

Ubiquitous wireless access

Access to high tech information, communication, and educational technology tools and methods.

Access to ASU, NAU and UA electronic resources (will require contract renegotiation)

Flexible pedestal flooring, with easily moved connectivity to permit the reconfiguration of space

Small group study rooms should include DVD/Video/Data Projection capability. (see #3 above)

Large format printer (for posters)

Technology teaching capability for faculty, staff, students.

Regular Participants in the space planning and challenges identification:

  • Cynthia Childrey, NAU Library
  • Jacqueline Doyle, U AZ COM, AHSL, Phoenix
  • Ruth Brooks, ASU CONHI LRC
  • Kathleen Carlson, ASU Downtown Phoenix Library
  • Gary Freiburger, UA Com, AHSL, Tucson
  • Lindsey Greene, UA COM, AHSL, Phoenix
  • Beth Schuck, NAU Library
  • Kristy Stephens, UA COM, AHSL, Phoenix
  • Sheila Young, ASU Noble Library, Tempe

Others, including Scott Muir of the ASU DPC Library, Keven Siegert, UA COM-P Biomedical Communications, several architects from Co-Architects, representatives of NAU and the UA College of Pharmacy, and Nancy Tierney, UA COM-P Planning and Facilities attended meetings and of course made valuable contributions to these documents as they continue to evolve.


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