UMass Medical School's Experience: NAHSL Open Forum 2013
UMass Medical School School Library Director Elaine Martin, Head of Education & Clinical Services Len Levin, and Associate Director Jane Fama present how Lamar Soutter Library has implemented the 4Rs to reject old models, rethink, redo, and rejuvenate the library to offer improved services and resources for patrons.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - UMass Medical School's Experience: NAHSL Open Forum 2013
UMass Medical School’s
Elaine Martin, D.A.
Director of Library Services
Len Levin, MS LIS, MA, AHIP
Head, Education and Clinical Services
Jane Fama, MSLS, AHIP
Lamar Soutter Library
$20 million deficit institution wide
5% cut across the board FY 2014 (all departments
except those involving public safety)
Rising cost of journals
Sequestration- resulting in mandatory 5-10% cuts to all
NIH-funded research grants
Loss of revenue from Commonwealth Medicine
Reduced contracts with state agencies including
Clinical partner in financial straights as well
Institution is preserving mission critical programs
UMMS proposed operational goals mandates all
departments to decrease expenses by anticipated 10%
LSL Mirrors National Trends
to Single Service Desk
24/7 Access to the Library
Library Work is Changing
Professional Work Is Changing
The professional work is increasing in volume and becoming more
complex and technology focused:
Participation in systematic reviews, chart rounds, IRB
Developing custom portals for departments
Website consultation service
Library as publisher
Participating as primary staff on research grants
In-depth reference requests such as
Developing complicated search strings for requests from the
Office of Research or the Dean’s office.
Getting people started with research
Helping people decide where to publish
Complex IR work (Institutional Repository is expanding)
Complex cataloging work / metadata
Library professionals are spending more time bringing services off
site to locations such as Memorial and Mass Biologics.
The 4 Rs
Reject (the old)
Rethink (the model)
Redo (implement new model)
Rethink the Librarianship Model
Rethinking the Library in “mission critical” terms leads us to a
totally professional model that better meets the needs of
faculty, students, and staff of UMMS.
As we take a more universal view of what it means to be a
librarian, we concentrate in new areas:
Focus on UMMS programs
Questions to address?
Will our library continue to be “equal access” ?
Will we provide baseline service, but move to an entrepreneurial
chargeback model “pay to play”?
Will our budget fluctuate based on who uses our services and who
What changes do we need to make to morph into a Library that
continues to meet the needs of the medical school as it changes?
Summary of Staffing Changes
Transition staffing from current non-MLS
support staff to recent MLS graduates
Layoff 5 support FTE
Cut 2 vacant support FTE
Recruit 3 MLS degreed Library Fellows
Layoff copyright and licensing services
librarian. (1 professional FTE)
Summary of Library Fellows Program
Incorporates training, professional development, and
Guides the fellow toward a professional career in
academic medical Librarianship.
LSL is the learning laboratory for exploring the ins and
outs of assisting clinicians, researchers, educators, and
students with their information needs.
Fellows contribute to LSL by performing meaningful
projects and assignments and bringing passion and
new ideas about librarianship to the organization.
Provides a two-year work experience emphasizing
hands-on learning and research into topics of
information management, medical librarianship, and
the biomedical sciences.
Developing the Fellows Program
Curriculum Task Force
Overall plan for a two year integrated curriculum
Rotations and Projects
Research Task Force
Research ideas database
Develop criteria for research projects, including
Reference Task Force
Eliminate pager and “on call”
Develop appointment based model
Current Reference Model
– “Library Service Point”
(staffed, until recently, by library assistants)
Model including pager
Librarians “on call” in the Library
Some librarians conducting
“embedded” liaison work
Reference Desk – – Today
Reference Desk pre-2009
“Organic” Library Liaison Service
New Service Model
No Desk, Paging System or “On Call” Librarians
Consultation service model; appointment based
Librarians off-site; assigned to specific projects or
departments (The “Informationist”)
Less “library as place” based service
More librarians going out of Library to provide service.
More grant funding for partial salary support – charge
back model of reference service.
This will include a) a review of what we collect for statistics, b)
how we market ourselves to our users and c) how we
communicate amongst ourselves.
Changing the Space
Remove single service point desk
open space inviting
patrons to work with Librarians
reserves to floor for self service
optimistic view of the Library.
Flexible and ready to change as needed
to meet current needs.
Opportunities for individual growth
Creating an environment that promotes
contributions to the profession of