Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012
Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock folks will certainly be aware that the College continues to face serious financial difficulties. It is unclear at this writing what exact paths the College and the Medical School and their libraries will take for next few fiscal years (beginning with FY11 on July 1, 2010). We in the Biomedical Libraries will consult with our clientele as soon as we have contexts in which to do that.
In the meantime, note the following principles that have guided previous financial contractions:
The Biomedical Libraries have three functions in support of the health and life sciences at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
- Information resources – books, journals, databases, and clinical decision support tools, both digital and printed. The Libraries already are not providing the information resources needed now by Dartmouth researchers and clinicians, and this lack is exacerbated by high inflation rates in the cost of biomedical information. The information resources budget needs to be increased merely to maintain status quo, much less maintain pace with growth of programs.
- Information services – professional librarian engagement in research, education, and patient care.
- Facility hours – the libraries as spaces in which students study, educators teach, and staff work.
Of these three functions, the first two are perhaps most critical to supporting the university and medical center in the long term, and should be sustained to the fullest extent possible.
I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.
It is well known that the Dana Library (at the College/Medical School campus in Hanover) is inadequate for research support and student learning, not to mention for library and information resources and services proper. This reality has become more stark as the Medical School wrestles with growing class sizes and a contracting—or, at best, static—number of classrooms.
Consequently, I am very pleased to write that the Medical School has approved some modest, yet significant, improvements to Dana's first floor. Broadly, the changes are
- Removing the little remaining current journal shelving, as nearly all our journals are digital-only
- Building three classrooms/large study rooms/reading rooms on the north half of the floor, extending essentially from the stairwell core to the east wall of the building
- Incorporating lots of glass to preserve light and sightlines
- Configuring one of the rooms for 24-hour medical student access, including an outside, secure door
- DMS classes getting priority during the day, and the new rooms being open to everyone otherwise (as is now the case for all the classrooms in the building)
Blueprints are in my Dana office, should anyone want to inspect them. The building permit applications have been approved. The construction firm is teed up and ready to start. Construction could take three to four months. We are looking at a late spring or early summer opening.
I and the rest of the Biomedical Libraries staff are excited about the changes. Climate control for the building as a whole, and other improvements, are additional projects. We continue to press for substantive improvements to the whole building.