A Message from the Chief
2020 has been a very unusual year, with tremendous changes in the way we all interact, work and learn. Worldwide, libraries closed their doors, yet continue to serve their communities in new and innovative ways. Based on prior surveys, PCOM users strongly agreed that the Library has exceeded expectations for their needs in the areas of service and collection resources. We are now leveraging our electronic collections and services and successfully pivoting to meet users’ needs in this new environment.
With COVID-19 public health restrictions imposed on many aspects of libraries today, we find ourselves challenged to deliver more of our services remotely, with online collaboration replacing on-site instruction and research. We are looking closely at everything we learned during these months. The concept of the library as a physical space is transforming, and we are committed to evolving as an institution. The Library team is extremely effective, pivoting in response to circumstances, looking to new trends in information, knowledge and technology to enhance the PCOM mission.
Our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives at PCOM is ongoing. Our librarians actively participate in campus committees as we strive to promote a positive and transparent work environment based on clear communication. Often, students from diverse backgrounds have challenges relating to peers, unspoken cultural norms, and the demands of university life. We responded to this need by creating a health and wellness guide of e-books, links and recommendations -- a useful toolkit to address issues of resilience, coping, and self-care during these difficult times. Our Race and Social Justice collection of e-texts provides a broad framework for study of timely topics in racial issues in medicine and beyond.
We look forward to 2021 as we continue to celebrate our Library team and the PCOM community.
Service to the PCOM Community
Over the past year, the pandemic tested Library staff in novel ways as they worked to provide excellent service to the PCOM community. The team continued to thrive at home as they developed innovative methods of support and outreach. Some ideas worked and some did not, but the Library was able to continue to fulfill its role as the resource hub for PCOM.
Virtual Service Encounters
The last year presented us with new challenges in providing services to the PCOM community; one of the largest challenges was in assisting users virtually with Library services. From finding e-textbooks to literature searches, from interlibrary loan to UpToDate, the Library team stepped up and was available to answer user questions in many different formats. As the charts below illustrate, users were able to reach us in a variety of different ways, including through email and our Live Chat service (available on every PCOM Library page). We are proud to say that we have been and continue to be present and available to users at a rate on par with many other universities.
The PCOM Library is known for its wealth of e-books and databases. In this time of online education, remote access to information is even more critical to the success of students and faculty. We continue to invest in the tools that the community needs to be successful in their educational endeavors.
Library Education and Research
This was a banner year for the Library's educational initiatives. Liaison librarians put on a variety of classes in topics such as health literacy, scientific communications, and wellness. Library staff also hosted sessions on various resources provided to the community.