“It’s a great service to pick up the phone and get what you need,” says Elaine Coon, coordinator of education services at Porter Medical Center, a small hospital that serves the health care needs of Middlebury, VT and surrounding communities.
Ten years ago, the Dana Medical Library started sending a librarian to Porter Medical Center for assistance with a variety of information needs. In the beginning, the librarian answered research questions and helped develop and catalog the hospital’s small book collection. As the information environment changed however, Dana librarians have taken on management of electronic journals, the creation, maintenance and hosting of Porter’s own library web site, and more of an educational role to elevate the health literacy of Porter’s employees.
Dana’s contract with Porter Hospital agrees to provide literature searches, inter library loans, and articles to nurses, physicians, and administrators at Porter. In addition, the contract librarian agrees to develop and teach classes, provide educational materials to Porter staff, and facilitate the physical processing of new materials. Administrative oversight, such as collection development and management of electronic content contracts, web site production and hosting, and promotion of products and services for the library, is provided for in the contract as well.
Recent activities and accomplishments at Porter include a completely redesigned web site, two successfully negotiated contracts for clinical point-of-care databases, educational sessions on topics ranging from “What is Evidence-Based Practice?” to “Finding Good Patient Information on the Web,” and a journal research project that will help determine the future of many of Porter’s subscriptions.
Elaine Coon is Dana’s regular contact at Porter, and she has only good things to say. She appreciates having input on collection development, and the exposure to current technologies and databases. “It’s just great to be able to talk to a librarian,” she says, “It’s important to have a liaison and face to the Dana Library.”