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Library reaches out to ophthalmologists around the world

Thanks to two area ophthalmologists, the department’s Louise Gruber Library has reached out to libraries around the world with shipments of professional books.

The Department of Ophthalmology’s library received two professional book collections in recent years, the first from Twin Cities ophthalmologist Harry Friedman, M.D. His collection was comprised of “books that were central to his life and to his medical practice,” says Ruth Alliband, the department’s administrative aide. A collection of his bound journals and a set of Duke-Elder’s System of Ophthalmology were sent to the National Eye Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The second donated collection was accumulated over a lifetime by Twin Cities ophthalmologist Yale Kanter, M.D.

After sorting through Kanter’s books, the library kept some for its own library and called on James Standefer, M.D., chairman of the International Educational Development Task Force of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, to help find the best places to send the remainder of the donated books.

Standefer left private practice 12 years ago to become an international volunteer. He conducts two-week glaucoma workshops several times a year in various countries around the globe. Because of his extensive familiarity with reputable teaching ophthalmologists and eye hospitals in developing nations, the library valued his opinion.

On Standefer’s recommendation, Kanter’s ophthalmology texts were split between the university library in Kabul, Afghanistan—where the original book collection was destroyed by the Taliban—and Gaza City Hospital. Pediatric ophthalmology and general medicine texts were sent to the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Audiovisual resources went to Sight Savers International in the African country of Gabon.

Thanks to Friedman’s and Kanter’s generosity and the help of department staff and volunteers, the Department of Ophthalmology has served as a conduit, sending these important resources to help educate and inform ophthalmologists on three continents.

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