After much anticipation, the day finally arrived in which I could get the cold, hard facts! My arranged meeting with Anne Kramer, director of Continuing Medical Education and the Medical Library, was today. Fortunately, I work for an organization were most are familiar and friendly with each other. Please keep in mind, Mrs. Kramer is one of the busiest people I know, and yet she manages to pull off her job flawlessly. With this in mind, I tried to condense my questions to the point were I was covering multiple things at once and kept the formal interview to only about thirty minutes. So without further ado….
Me: If you could change anything about this place, what would it be.
Mrs. Kramer: Nothing! We are fortunate enough to have a very supporting Board who understand how to make a Medical Library work for everyone and truly profit. We have combined the continuing education with the library, which really helps it thrive. You know that all medical professionals have to have so many hours of continuing education a year, so its been working really well. We are allowed to do pretty much anything within reason to benefit the hospital.
Me: Isn’t it nice to feel like that about where you work! I know you guys recently renovated down here, how has that impacted the library?
Mrs. Kramer: Actually, believe it or not, we’ve been busier. When we renovated we really plugged the open house and ever since then, people have been using the library for all sorts of things: a quite place to get away, a study retreat, a quick stop to look something up on the computers, people are coming in and requesting materials!
Me: And it is so much more open now, a better space for really thinking!
Me: How much of the budget is spent on technology like databases, videos, and such?
Mrs. Kramer: A bulk of it, has to be a couple hundred thousand. We have weeded the library down to mostly database materials. We have over 15,000 e-Books on file currently, as well loaning arrangements set up with other hospitals. We have one of the largest medical library databases in Atlanta.
Me: That must make it easier when its time to weed.
Mrs. Kramer: You would think so, but we have it set up where we go in front of a panel and discuss things we want to bring or take from the library. Nothing is just brought in or taken away. We evaluate the numbers of how often something is used. If it is used a lot, we look into renewing the material. If it is hardly ever used, we discuss with the panel what the next step should be. A lot of the material we have is actually requested by staff. Before we purchase it, we make sure that the requested material will benefit more than just the one person requesting it though.
Me: And what about the internal website? Is that maintained by the library or by the web master?
Mrs. Kramer: Our librarian keeps it up. If there is something we need added to it, we let her know and she takes care of it.
Me: I guess the same can be said for repairs. Do the IT staff and the engineering department keep you guys running just like the rest of the hospital?
Mrs. Kramer: Naturally!
Me: So does that mean that all the operating systems and databases are up to date?
Mrs. Kramer: Yes, we update everything as new updates roll in.
Me: What database is currently being used?
Mrs. Kramer: Softlink ( http://www.softlinkamerica.com/ )
Me: Is there an official collection development policy?
Mrs. Kramer: Yes, we have all kinds of policies.
Me: You’ve been so helpful. Thank you so much for sparing what little time you have!
Enjoy some pictures of the newly renovated medical library!
Behind that gray wall in the back is where all the computers are. There are six all together.
The book shelves have buttons on the sides that make the aisles expand and contract!
Staff office areas! The front desk is where the library assistant sits/works. The three work stations to the back are for the librarian and medical education staff.