Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hospital Library Closes to Public, Goes Electronic

This article details the upcoming closing of the library at Rapid City Regional Hospital (South Dakota). I know the librarian from professional conferences, and she did everything 'they' tell us to do when facing a cut in library services. She is an outspoken advocate for access to information; she did any other job that was assigned to her (and some that she went out and tracked down); but after she served the hospital for 24 years, the hospital decided to cut the library anyway. They say they will have electronic resources available for their internal audience, but without a librarian to select appropriate resources, negotiate electronic licenses, remove network barriers and trouble-shoot broken links, I can't really call the pile of electronic url's a library. Take a look at the comments, and if you feel led to comment, make it stronger by keeping it focused and brief.
This story proves one thing - it doesn't matter how good a librarian you are (and Pat Hamilton is one of the very best!) - if the decision is to close you down, you get closed.

Update 6-15-09 - this story was featured in the Library Journal:

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