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Award Report: Mobile Computing Technology Upgrade Project–Hunter Rice Health Sciences Library of Samaritan Medical Center

On September 15, 2010, Hunter-Rice Health Sciences Library was granted funds from the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to purchase six Apple iPads, two Amazon Kindle DX book readers, and a 24-inch Samsung monitor.  The project lasted from  November 1, 2010, until April 30, 2011.   The devices were used by staff and patrons from all the institutions served by the library, which includes eight hospitals in a very rural areas of northern New York State near the Canadian border.  iPads  were distributed to staff and patrons starting on November 4, 2010.  The circuit rider librarian to whom the iPad was assigned wrote in her report,  “The iPad is lighter and smaller than most books I have to carry and is easy to connect to a wireless Internet network.  That makes it possible to check for articles in PubMed and check the Worldcat catalog for book availability, while talking to the patron wherever they happen to be.”

Circuit Librarian Leslie Beale using an iPad to perform a literature search for a patron.

The iPads generated quite a bit of buzz about the Hunter-Rice Library/Hospital Library Program.  We circulated (or put on a waiting list) iPads to 11 staff physicians, including two medical directors, one senior resident, two residents, and one medical student.  In addition, we circulated iPads to 19 nurses of all specialties and 13 various allied health positions including speech pathologist, medical transcriptionist, and management information systems technicians.  Patrons were from four hospitals (Samaritan Medical Center, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Canton-Potsdam Hospital, and River Hospital).  We still have over 20 people on our waiting list to check out an iPad.

Michael K. Chartrand, M.A.
Library Technician
Hunter-Rice Health Sciences Library

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