Submitted by Nadia Lalla, Assistant Director, Collections & Information Services, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
The Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan (U-M) has temporarily relocated to a new home in the Neuroscience Hospital Building (formerly the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital) on the Ann Arbor Medical Campus. The Library supports five health sciences professional schools (Medical School, College of Pharmacy, and the Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Dentistry) as well as the U-M Health System including all hospitals, clinics, and satellite locations. The Library’s staff includes informationists, paraprofessionals, administrative support, and interns from U-M School of Information.
What prompted the move? In April 2012, the U-M Board of Regents approved an 18-month, $55 million renovation project which will transform the Library building into a health sciences education hub to support in-person, collaborative, active learning. While the building consists of five floors, the Library occupied the upper three floors from 1980 until December 2013. When the Library moves back into the building in mid-2015, its footprint will be significantly smaller (i.e. a single floor). Our new space will include a conference room with the latest technologies, an audio-visual studio for in-house production of instructional videos and other enabling technologies, and a formal exhibit area. The other floors will support an expanded clinical simulation suite, more group study rooms, and flexible classroom spaces. Many of the building’s occupants are also looking forward to the coffee shop that will be located just outside of the library.
In anticipation of the formal construction activities which started in January 2014, the Library moved more than 450,000 print volumes last spring to an off-campus storage location. Access to these print materials is provided on-request using paging and delivery systems. Most of the print volumes are low- or no-use items. Course Reserves materials were relocated to central campus for convenience. This solution worked for us because Taubman’s primary clientele overwhelmingly use and prefer the Library’s digital collections.
In December, the staff was relocated to their new temporary home: former patient rooms complete with oxygen buttons, shared bathrooms, and that unique hospital smell. We’ll be here for 18 months. It’s the first time that the entire staff is located on a single floor. We like the windows (!!!) and the larger space, but we are also very excited about our renovation.
Our primary goal during this relocation period is to seamlessly provide most of our previous services (reference, consultation, and instruction) from our temporary space. We are also creating a new vision of how our staff works together. This includes expanding the responsibilities of our paraprofessional staff and developing their skills and knowledge in preparation for greater integration into our teams (e.g., medical education team, citation management SWAT team, etc.).
If you’d like more information, you can read about the renovation activities on our blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/category/building-renovation/
Watch our videos:
“The Last Book” starring Taubman Library Director Jane Blumenthal and then Library Dean, Paul Courant