Award Report – Start the ball rolling…
Last January when the NN/LM technology grant applications were made available, I looked around at my library and knew we needed to upgrade. The library had 4 PCs and 2 printers for the patrons, all situated in an open desk setting, no privacy, and no room and just not comfortable.
The problem is how does one begin? Well, I guess the answer to that is read the directions. I read and reread the grant application form, wrote a draft, re-wrote the draft, then I sat in my library and stared. New computers would be grand but where would they go if we would have to reconfigure the library. We will need furniture to put the additional PC’s on and along with new furniture we would need hard wiring to connect into the hospital network. This was beginning to seem like an amazing task but I was determined to push ahead.
To get the ball rolling the first thing I did was to set up a meeting with our Chief Medical Officer, my Administrator, to discuss the need, finances and process of the library reorganization. I outlined the need citing the increasing number of books, journals and knowledge-based web sites available online, requests of the library patrons for more computers, as well as HIPAA for privacy noting the closeness of the existing work areas. Dr. Dhuper was very supportive and agreed with the need to modernize our library facility. He suggested I contact finance to review the library budget, then to our Hospital Information Systems Dept, regarding the computer equipment and wiring; then to the VP of Materials Management for new furniture; basically organize a team.
The budget review was not as traumatic as anticipated because the previous librarian had the foresight to create a special library fund. In this fund, all of the overdue fine monies; book sale monies and any financial gifts given to the library had been set aside.
Next I contacted our IS Dept, and told them what we would like to accomplish, how much money was potentially available through the grant and asked them to provide a quotation for the appropriate equipment and wiring. My contact in the IS Dept. was very helpful and made sound recommendations, ultimately figuring we could order 5 new Pentium PC’s with all the trimmings and two printers.
Armed with the information, I contacted the VP of Materials Management. He arranged a meeting with the vendor. The furniture was costly, however; it will provide a comfortable, quiet, private working space. Now the question, if the grant does not come through and I order the new furniture, I won’t have money for new computers. After much deliberation I decided to proceed with the new furniture, worse come to worse we will set up the old computers in the carrels and at least provide a good working space for our patrons until finances become available to purchase new computers. So, the decision was made, we ordered the furniture, contacted the engineering dept, regarding wiring and installation and kept our fingers crossed.
The final step was to complete the grant application, with all of the supporting documentation requested and wait. The furniture arrived and was being assembled, when the great news came! We got the grant. The PCs and printers were ordered ASAP… the boxes began to arrive.
Finally, all was set and now we are planning our ribbon cutting for Septmeber 25, 2007, in the meantime our libary patrons are thrilled. We noted that the library is busier than prior to our update. We are keeping a record and the number of PC users has substantially increased. The noise level in the library is down in spite of the increase number of users; this was an unanticipated positive outcome. We figure since the carrels provide more individual work space there is less conversation.
The success of our new set up is tremendous and has been met with much enthusiasm and gratitude. Our administration is so pleased with the outcome they are considering increasing the number of carrels and changing the self-study room. Many of the residents and medical students have made a special effort to say thank you to the library staff. So now, the very last thing for me to do is say thank you, to the NN/LM for providing the inspiration and resources to start the project; to our Administrator for supporting the library and finally to all those who had a hand in the implementation of our reorganization.
Laraine Tursi- Harold Fink Memorial Library- Coney Island Hospital- Brooklyn, NY