Looking back

This blog was a fun project for me. I greatly enjoy any excuse I can find to visit the library were I work; it is such a happy environment in a not always happy place. One of the things that stands out to me most about the library is how well the staff manages together. They essentially keep the entire system of Gwinnett Health running, and that is nothing to be overlooked. Gwinnett Medical Center has two hospitals, many out patient facilities, a rehab location, and various other health facilities. The library caters to every single location! It amazes me how just four people can manage it but they do the job so well you would think there are four hundred people working in the library!

A personal gain from this project was reestablishing my connections with the library Director and Medical Librarian. They are both such lovely people who are more than willing to contribute to someones education.

Creating this blog has made me realize how much I actually enjoy blogging. This may or may not be a good thing! I have been toying with the idea of keeping this blog going throughout all of my education and maybe using it as a portfolio of types. I’m not sure if I can actually spare the time to keep this project going; but I believe it was Walt Disney who said “the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”


When one door closes….

As this project comes to a close, it should be noted that the medical library is not so different from your average public library. The patrons are medical professionals, the books are medical journals, and the clients still needs help learning how to use technology! ( Those copiers can be tricky!) Something that the library, which I think is wonderful, is help all employees stay current on their certifications. They keeps a posting of when renewal test will be offered as well as the most up to date study guide available. Seeing as how the library is also the medical education department, it is crucial to the hospital system. The library is really at the heart of the matter as without the support and drive to keep learning and succeeding, the hospital system would come to a halt. Over all it is a well-developed team contributing to a highly functioning system. The great Babe once said: “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success” This library greatly contributes to the success of Gwinnett Medical System.

In which I was Barbara Walters…

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.


Project is a go-

I’m not sure if it has been mentioned before, but I work for a major hospital just outside of Atlanta. This puts me in a unique opportunity as I am lucky enough to have relationships with most of the educational staff on site. The library I selected to visit was the Medical Library for Gwinnett Medical Center. I cannot post a URL for this library, as the site is only available via intranet, however, I can link the URL for the actual hospitals page.


Initially, I sent an e-mail to the Director of Medical Education, Anne Kramer. Please keep in consideration, it takes a lot of people to run a medical center and those people stay busy constantly. With that being said, Mrs. Kramer was more than willing to help me with my project. We set up an interview date for October 10th. I’m very excited to continue on with my project, as I feel medical libraries are often the Wonderland to our rabbit hole! After all, it was Alice that said “Curiouser and curiouser!”


Words are something I enjoy. Words are something I use to the point of excess. Words are something I am running short on at the moment.

I have been tasked with the objective of becoming familiar with the technology used in a library. I get to pick the library, in hopes of conducting an on site interview and learning more about the information field. I am going to take a slightly different approach on this topic.

Personally, I love a good spoiler, but seeing as how most people avoid them, I am going to save the library I selected for my next post! After all, it was Tolkien that said, “Still around the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.”