The Medical College of Wisconsin is a distinguished leader and innovator in the education and development of the next generation of physicians, scientists, pharmacists and health professionals. We are also a national research center and the second largest research institution in Wisconsin. We provide cutting edge, collaborative patient care of the highest quality. This year, MCW Libraries embarked on a journey to ensure the library is positioned to support the Medical College of Wisconsin as it transforms into a health sciences university.
A 20 member Steering Committee made up of individuals from across all four of MCW’s missions and an outside consultant began meeting in March of 2015 to develop a vision for the MCW Library moving forward. The committee was made up of leaders from a broad spectrum of missions and programs at MCW. The goal of this planning initiative was to create a shared vision of what the MCW Library is, what it does, who its patrons are and where it needs to be going into the future to support the evolution of MCW into a multi-site university and health network. This vision would inform the search committee as they searched for a new library director upon the retirement of Mary Blackwelder in July 2015.
A new mission and purpose statement for MCW Libraries was developed from this process.
As a strategic partner, the MCW Library builds integrated capacity to access and translate information into actionable knowledge by:
• Providing technology to enable seamless, intuitive access to information resources
• Empowering people to access and integrate information in their lifelong pursuit of knowledge
• Integrating librarians into multidisciplinary teams to accelerate improved outcomes
To establish MCW Library as a valued partner and resource, as well as increase awareness and access to the many services, links and expertise available to enhance research, patient care, education and our engagement in the community.
MCW Libraries began planning and implementation of the recommendations of the Steering Committee in fall 2015. Some highlights:
· MCW Libraries’ staff created new educational resources including a slide show that demonstrates how to install the UpToDate app, a video that explains how to access saved searches in our licensed funding database, and web pages that highlight library resources such as journals, books and databases and video tutorials that are specific to students’ educational pathways programs.
· A proxy server bookmarklet was developed to provide a convenient portal to library resources for those who discover subscription resources outside of the library’s normal channels. Off-network users who discover resources via methods such as Google can launch the bookmarklet to instantly reload the page as a proxied link enabling the user to log in and view the resource via the library’s proxy server.
· 24/7 access to the Todd Wehr Library in support of medical students’ desire to have unrestricted access to the library’s study spaces was made available. MCW users may enter the library even during non-staffed hours. When unstaffed, the library’s large study area, computer center, and reference collection are accessible, but the book stacks are not. Despite these restrictions, the pilot has been successful and has met with general appreciation from the students.
· A large portion of our on-campus print book collection (approximately 20%) was deaccessioned and shipped to Better World Books.
· A request to eliminate the off-campus storage for library print journals was submitted and granted. Library staff analyzed the collection usage and identified that a small portion (6%) of the physical journal collection accounts for nearly half (44%) of the usage. This small subset of the print collection will be integrated back into the library space using the space freed up by the deaccessioning of print books in early July 2016. NLM will accept items from the remainder of the collection which will complete gaps in their print journal collection.
· The library continues to provide Clinical Medical Librarian services to various hospital departments and groups such as Pediatrics, Dermatology, Medicine, Nursing Research Council, Sarcoma Research Group and the Fetal Concerns Group and is continuing to develop services to those groups to improve their outcomes.
These accomplishments were achieved at a time of great change and turnover of staff for the library. The library was reorganized at the recommendation of the Steering Committee and five staff members were transitioned out of the library and into different departments at MCW. Transition plans were implemented and continued for several months. Of the remaining library staff, in addition to two retirements in July 2015, two other staff members left the library in fall 2015. Three new staff members were recruited to join our team throughout the fall and spring and our new library director will begin July 1, 2016.
As interim director of MCW Libraries in FY15-16, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the library staff during this transitional year. I feel that we are deserving of the title of Wisconsin Health Science Library of the Year.