Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2016

June 16, 2016

OSU-CHS Medical Library breaks stereotypes, builds community

Librarians Michelle Farabough, left, Linda London and Director Dohn Martin get together with the OSU-CHS Medical Library’s resident skeleton model.Librarians Michelle Farabough, left, Linda London and Director Dohn Martin get together with the OSU-CHS Medical Library’s resident skeleton model.

The OSU-CHS Medical Library is more than just a quiet place to study. It is a place to get expert help with research, to become familiarized with the latest advances in medicine and to prepare for exams in comfort.

“Yes, we are developing a strong collaborative learning environment with innumerable library resources,” said Dohn Martin, library director. “But we also are geared to enhancing the student experience through personalized service. We want students to feel at home here.”

Throughout the space is a variety of seating configurations – all designed with student comfort and accessibility in mind. Group study rooms are situated throughout the facility, each with a white board and a large monitor to accommodate study groups. A large conference room has proven to be popular among faculty.

“Students are allowed to bring in food and drink because they study long hours and that provides greater convenience,” Martin said. “We think it is very important to create an inviting, user-friendly atmosphere.”

Linda London, librarian for outreach, marketing and research, implemented a new outreach program last year featuring special events such as Root Beer Float Day, Lemonade Day and Peppermint Patty Day.

Root Beer Float Day was the most popular event, she said, drawing a long line of students, faculty and staff. At least 10 two-gallon tubs of ice cream and 30 liters of root beer were needed to fill all the orders.

“Students need a break from the intense environment and these events are fun and relaxing,” London said.

Michelle Farabough, senior librarian for research and scholarly communications, feels strongly about the philosophy of the medical library as a hub of study, socializing and relaxation.

“This library is unlike the old stereotypes where librarians ‘shushed’ you,” she said. “Our library has been purposely developed to be a student-focused experience.”

Over the decades, the medical library has undergone an evolution due to advancements in medicine and technology, Martin said.

“Medical school still lasts four years just as it did 100 years ago,” he said. “But there is a thousand times more information students need to learn now.”

To help students keep up with changes, the library provides the most current reference materials, including a number of highly regarded electronic databases. The library has access to databases from National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine as well as those that specifically cover clinical procedures, physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment and more.

Because database queries can be complicated, the librarians provide a valuable service by helping students, residents and physicians find the information they need, Martin said.

In addition, the library offers consumer health outreach programs sponsored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine throughout northeastern Oklahoma and occasionally hosts National Library of Medicine traveling displays on campus.

“We are proud to provide a lot of specialized services to students and faculty,” Martin said. “Our library has made a strong investment in our students and their education. We want our students to succeed.”

To learn more about the library or its services and resources, visit the OSU-CHS Medical Library website.

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