Cristina Yu made arrangements for Ellen Makaravage, Patty Strickland, and me to visit the Carpenter Library on Monday, March 23. The three of us had never been to Carpenter, so the purpose of the visit was to see the library and learn more about how they operate.
We entered the hospital at the door closest to the public parking garage, then began the long walk to the far corner of the hospital. When we finally made it there, we saw that the front door has been set up for card access-staff and students only. The public is allowed access, but only by prior appointment or by buzzing the front desk via intercom. We learned later that the library has had some problems with a few people essentially setting up camp in the library, so they instituted the security not to limit access to library materials, but to help with crowd control.
We started with a tour of the library’s public areas. Carpenter has a computer lab, open to all patrons (students and public alike). They have several study rooms, color-coded (so you can use the “blue study room” or the “yellow study room”). We saw the History of Medicine room, and got a peek at the 5 levels of stacks, mostly bound journals. Carpenter is also in the process of combining their reference and circulation desks into a single service point.
After touring the public areas, we went through the keypadded door into the staff offices. Then we (well, Cristina and Ellen mostly) had a conversation with Hilary Doane about Carpenter’s ILL operation. Carpenter is a net lender, and they often provide resources to community medical providers. For interlibrary borrowing, they charge their patrons a set fee (though I forget the amount). They also provide document delivery, including (for a fee) to outside users-community clinics, lawyers, businesses.
When we were finished, Patty impressed us all with her sense of direction as she led the way, without any hesitation, back to the parking lot!