New Brunswick (NB) and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) are collaborating to upgrade spaces and publicize library services to our users, in particular those from RBHS schools (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), School of Public Health, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Physician Assistants program in the School of Health Professions), in Piscataway. One of the goals in recent draftsof the Libraries master plan for the Library of Science and Medicine (LSM) is to “create a science-focused atmosphere and establish a connection with RBHS.” In addition, the plan includes creating both “dedicated graduate study space,” and “dedicated RBHS study space” within the library.
A plan is in place to encourage RBHS students to identify and use LSM and its resources. Survey data from RWJMS reveals that medical students do not currently identify with the library. The upcoming accreditation at RWJMS (March 5-7, 2018), spurred a feasibility study to upgrade study space and librarian support space at LSM to better serve the needs of graduate students in the health and life sciences on the Piscataway campus. Students from Pharmacy and Public Health are also in close proximity to LSM. Even though Pharmacy has recently opened their beautifully renovated building, LSM is still a very popular destination for Pharmacy students seeking serious study space.
An open house for RWJMS students was held at LSM on Tuesday, February 13, to re-introduce students to LSM, view potential floor plans, the phased design for renovating space on the third floor, and view the location of the recently relocated MED-TEXT collection, approximately 1000 books recently relocated from the medical school to LSM. Approximately 100 medical students attended the event, which was positively received. Victoria Wagner and the librarians from Robert Wood Johnson Library of the Health Sciences (RWJ), along with faculty and staff from LSM, interacted with RWJMS students and faculty in attendance.
The completed feasibility study, along with proposed floor plans, renderings, phasing plan and cost are nearing completion. Presenting and socializing the plan to stakeholders (RBHS schools and NB life sciences schools) and funders is a critical next step toward potential implementation. Mei Ling Lo has taken the lead on planning for the weeding of the bound journal collections on the north side of the LSM third floor. Journals are labeled for relocation to the Annex or discard, and a company will start moving items on April 2nd.
An office, previously occupied by DTS on the LSM third floor, will provide the space for the RWJ librarians, who will begin providing services to students from that location in early March.
A full meeting LSM and RWJ libraries took place on Friday, February 23rd at LSM. Plans were on display, updates were provided by Dee Magnoni and Judy Cohn, and then the 20 plus attendees broke into groups focused on space, access services, and deepening collaboration. One listserv for all LSM and RWJ librarians and staff was proposed to enhance communication. Other recorded recommendations are being transcribed to share back with the full group, which agreed to meet again in 2 months.
These are exciting plans! We look forward to gaining momentum to fund this project.