The Bio-Medical Library has recently undergone many changes through remodeling and restructuring to better serve both the patrons and the staff who use the library. According to Steven Llewellyn, Head of Access Services at the Bio-Medical Library, the project began by shifting the entire print journal collection, which is over six miles worth of journals, and "by compacting the collection to decrease its footprint by 1,200 shelving sections in recognition of canceled titles, foreign language titles sent to MLAC storage, and the trend to e-resources."
Because of these shifting and compacting efforts, over two thousand square feet of floor space has been made into study space for patrons. In addition to these changes, the computer stations were remodeled with new furniture which allows for more work space and improved aesthetics.
The second floor of the Bio-Medical Library, which is the tunnel level connecting the library with Moos Tower and the surrounding area, has become the hub of the library with an integrated service desk featuring both circulation and reference services. Staff offices, including ILL staff, have been moved to put staff in closer proximity to patrons.
With the new hub of the library on the second floor tunnel level, four thousand square feet have been opened up on the third floor for construction of office space for a new AHC interdisciplinary program, the Institute of Health Informatics. All these changes have put the Bio-Medical Library in a great position to meet the challenges of the future and the needs of the patrons.
These changes were brought about by trends seen over the last few years including reduced photocopier usage, declines in reference questions asked in person, and the declining use of print resources and the increasing use of electronic resources. These changes have fundamentally altered how the patrons view the library and the services it offers.
Because of these trends a HSL Space Planning Team was created in 2007 to work on the goals of improving the computer areas, increasing study spaces, consolidating service points, providing more printing and copying options, moving staff closer to users, and to create space for the new AHC interdisciplinary program. Starting with the shifting of the journals in Fall of 2007 many people including student workers, HSL Tech Services staff, and HSL Access Services staff have worked hard to make this large project a reality.
With the loss of the third floor service desk, much work has been put into the integrated service point on the second floor tunnel level. Cross-training between Reference and Circulation Desk Services is underway to provide patrons the services they require more cohesively and efficiently.
Additionally, work flow at the new service point will be monitored so that more targeted service can be provided when patrons need it most. No formal data has been collected from patrons yet, but anecdotal evidence has been positive on the new computer stations. The newly expanded study spaces are often filled with students too. The move to a self-service model for printing and copier service has made it possible to provide such services when other circulation services are not available. With all the work that has been done in the remodeling and restructuring, the Bio-Medical Library is well-situated to meet the changing needs of patrons both now and in the future.~ Submitted by Nick Fugate, Magrath Circulation, January 2009