A blog from WHSLA (Wisconsin Health Sciences Library Association). What do we blog about? Medicine, medical libraries, health science libraries, NLM, medicine and graphic novels, CE and conference opportunities for medical and health science librarians and library staff.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
WHSLA Spotlight – Janice Curnes at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI
Hello, I’m Janice Curnes. I’m the Medical Library at the
Milwaukee VA Medical Center. I’ve been at the Milwaukee VA since 1990. I manage
day to day operations of both the Medical Library and the Patient Library.
The Milwaukee VA Medical Center is celebrating 150 years of
Outstanding Veteran Care this year. I
thought I would share a little of our library history.
In May of 1867 the
first veterans moved onto the grounds. There has been some form of library
service for 148 years.
1869 – Old Main, the main residential building whose tower
you can see from Miller Park, included a reading room for Veterans, containing
all the daily and weekly papers published in Milwaukee.
Old Main Reading Room
1891 – Wadsworth Library was built. Wadsworth is still open
and under library service supervision. It is staffed by veteran patients. Its
primary focus is recreational reading.
1946 – Medical Library service started and a medical
librarian was hired when the VA became a teaching hospital, establishing a
residency program with Marquette University school of Medicine. The medical library
collection would grow rapidly in the 1950s moving first to a Quonset hut until
a larger medical library was opened.
1966 – The Medical and Patient Libraries moved to a shared
space in the then new hospital.
2003 -The Medical and Patient Libraries moved to their
current location on the 6th floor. Veteran and staff computer areas
were added as well as archive storage.