From the Director

February 25, 2013 - 2:55pm

What's happening with the library?

If you've walked from the Medical Center lobby east through the breezeway toward the Smilow Building, you may have noticed that the library facility is closed. I want to reassure you that planning is underway to reopen the Ehrman Medical Library, once Medical Science Building systems are restored. No date has yet been set for that.

You may not know that the NYU Health Sciences Libraries include 5 separate locations, bridging schools and colleges (Medicine and Dentistry), institutions (NYU and Bellevue Hospital Center), hospitals (Tisch and HJD), and even a location out of the city (Institute for Environmental Medicine at Sterling Forest, NY). Damage from Superstorm Sandy forced the closure of our 3 largest and busiest locations: the Ehrman Medical Library in the MSB, the Bellevue Medical Library, and the Waldmann Dental Library in the Manhattan VA Hospital. The Bellevue Medical Library reopened recently, with the reopening of Bellevue Hospital in mid-February. The Waldmann Dental Library will reopen when the VA Hospital opens its doors once again, sometime in March.

With all of these issues with our facilities, you may be wondering what library faculty and staff are doing? Since late December, most of the faculty and staff have been located in temporary offices at 577 First Avenue, across from the hospital. This temporary location has not impeded the work of the library faculty – they're out in classrooms, labs, offices, and patient wards, actively working to identify and meet the information needs of students, trainees, researchers, and care providers. This reflects two truths about modern research libraries in general and our library in particular: 1) virtually all of the knowledge resources and services we offer are digital and 2) our library faculty do not sit behind a reference desk waiting for questions to come to them.

Increasingly, librarians are embedded in the workflow of the people they support and are active partners in solving information problems. Because of this, the value of the library, like that of library faculty, is embedded in the fabric of education, research, and patient care. The knowledge resources, services, and tools that the library delivers are at the network level and not dependent on a physical location. Nevertheless, like many of our users, we too look forward to welcoming you back to a renovated facility that is designed to facilitate discovery and reflection. 


Neil Rambo

Director, Health Sciences Libraries and Knowledge Informatics