Award Report – Improved Access to Digital Library Resources via an Increased Number of Public Access Computers
In October 2009, the Harrell Health Sciences Library, Penn State College of Medicine, submitted a Technology Improvement Award proposal entitled “Improved Access to Digital Library Resources via an Increased Number of Public Access Computers” to the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region. The library requested funding in the amount of $6812.52 in order to acquire an additional 7 computers.
With the shift from a print based collection to what is now a digital library, the need for additional public access computers was acute. Competition for access between students, faculty, patients and their families, outside vendors and community walk-ins had increased significantly. The Harrell HSL was notified in December we received the award. The library, as a byproduct of the Penn State Hershey Clinical Simulation Center construction project, was in the process of purchasing 24 new computer carrels to house both the existing computers, as well as the new computers we would acquire through the grant. Once the new furniture arrived and was installed we went ahead and placed the order for the new computers in May 2010. The 7 new computers were installed and made available in June.
They are already being heavily used and the fall semester is a month away. We plan to conduct a week-long survey in October 2010 to collect data documenting use. The data will be used to demonstrate the value of the library and the need to continue to support public access computers.
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. NO1-LM-6-3501 with New York University.
Cynthia Robinson, BA, MA, AHIP
Director, George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library
Penn State Hershey
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State College of Medicine