SMHS Library Resources

Updates and information from your health sciences library

What about the information desk?

The information desk has evolved from the old oak high top desk complete with a stereotypical gray-haired lady with a bun shushing people and stamping books loudly.

We decided about ten years ago that rather than having librarians that specialized in all areas of medicine, we would embed librarians. These embedded librarians specialize in specific fields of study, keep offices, and are based within those fields of study. Also, the library has three librarians who are based at each of the campuses. The information desk is the initial point of contact for those with basic questions or those who need help knowing which librarian to contact. The information desk staff “triage” questions coming in from face-to-face users, those sending emails, chats or calling on the phone and then help connect the library user with the best librarian for the project.

Our staff also, upon moving into the current building, began to act as the initial point of contact for those needing help from Information Resources. We will gather the information needed by the IR staff to give the best possible service they can.

Of course, while most of our books have been converted to digital books rather than physical copies, there are still some books available. We have a collection of historically valuable books, a collection of reference books, which are books not available to our users through the databases we subscribe to, and a collection of reserve books, books assigned by faculty to students in certain classes and which are not available through library online sources. We also have computer accessories, chargers and manages a small collection of laptops which are available for specific needs.

Finally, the information desk is the hub for student printing; acts as the lost and found; hands out the rechargeable batteries, markers, erasers and cloths needed for classrooms; is the graphics pick up point; and generally is where people with questions about where to find something stop and ask for help.