By Wendy Sarubbi | July 9, 2012 12:52 pm

Library leaders from around the country gathered at the UCF College of Medicine in June to share ideas about how new health sciences libraries can grow and support their medical schools.

“The library is the heart and soul of research and patient care. It gives us knowledge to create innovative ideas,” Dr. Deborah German, vice president of medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, told delegates on June 25. “There’s this magic that happens in the library.”

Library director Nadine Dexter and her staff at the College of Medicine’s Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library organized the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Symposium. A total of 18 directors of new medical school libraries and other representatives sought advice on redefining their institutions’ roles in a digital age. Critical issues new libraries face include staffing/hiring, electronic vs. print collections, teaching, medical informatics, budgets, and accreditation standards from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

After a tour of the College of Medicine and dinner,   delegates heard from Robert F. Sabalis, assistant secretary of the LCME and director of the committee’s surveys and team training. He discussed accreditation standards that apply to medical school libraries and how those fit into the LCME’s accreditation of medical education programs leading to M.D. degrees in the United States and Canada.

“I’ve seen so few library citations, in the main, that I know librarians are meeting their mission,” he said.

Participating groups included Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, Central Michigan University, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (New Jersey), Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine/New York,  Mayo Clinic (Arizona), Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (Michigan), Palm Beach Medical College, University of Arizona, University of California (Riverside), University of South Carolina, and the University of Central Florida.

Dr. German’s welcoming comments were met with smiles and nods.  “It’s a real treasure to know someone like you appreciates what we do,” said Fay Towell, director of the health services library for Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center in Greenville, S.C.

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