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Award Report: Catalog Accessibility Project–St. John’s Riverside/Cochran School of Nursing Medical Library

The St. John’s Riverside Hospital/Cochran School of Nursing Medical Library serves close to 200 associate degree nursing students and nursing faculty, as well as over 1,000 physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals that make up the Riverside Health Care System. Our library, in recent years, had gone through great effort to develop a strong collection and establish a comprehensive electronic catalog using Surpass software. Although our catalog was excellent, our patrons had no direct way to access it. In their search for books, they had to rely on random, visual inspection of the shelves or elicit the aid of our limited library staff every time they required a resource. This was an ineffective process for both staff and patron alike.

An NN/LM MAR Technology Improvement Award enabled us to purchase the computer server that was required to install Surpass Safari and, thereby, set up an OPAC that enabled our patrons to manage their own accounts and search our library catalog independently, as well as remotely.

Upon completion of the project, we administered a survey to a variety of students, faculty, and clinicians among our patrons. The level of interest and excitement generated exceeded our expectations. One hundred percent of the respondents expressed that the new resource would be “highly useful” and they would “recommend it to other colleagues/students.” We plan to schedule training sessions for our nursing students and organize library staff visits to various locations and departments that make up our institution in order to demonstrate use of the new system to the hospital employees. I believe that MAR has not only given us the ability to improve our level of library service, but allowed us a unique opportunity to become a central, unifying force within our organization.

Paul Hersh, Director of Libraries
St. John’s Riverside Hospital/Cochran School of Nursing Medical Library

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