The Talbot Research Library of the Fox Chase Cancer Center serves the clinicians, researchers, and staff of Fox Chase; the medical staff of an adjacent community hospital; rotating medical students; and residents, patients, patients’ families, volunteers, and members of the community. The aging public computers were no longer adequate to meet the needs of our clientele to access information from the almost entirely electronic collection, databases, and website. Financial constraints did not allow us to replace our public computers in the summer of 2010. Thus, we applied for a MAR Technology Improvement award to replace them. We had also hoped to improve library traffic and visibility through this upgrade.
Last fall, we were able to purchase one iMac and four PCs for the library, enabling us to replace half of our existing PCs and our only Mac. Shortly after installation, we publicized the upgrade through emails, blog postings, and announcements in our employee newsletter. We hosted an open house in early December during our traditional “tea time.”
Survey results indicate satisfaction with the new computers and that these machines have improved users’ experiences. A majority (81%) of respondents indicated that they would use the library more often to use the new computers.
There were some pleasant unexpected successes of the project, too. These include establishing a great working relationship with other departments and increasing my personal visibility in the institution. We also donated our old computers to a shelter so that residents could learn computer skills. As you can see, there were many benefits in doing this project. Thanks, MAR!
Beth A. Lewis, MLS
Talbot Library, Fox Chase Cancer Center