Medicine and Library
Dear Colleagues,

This spring, we asked Dr. Richard Cruess and Maître Daniel Boyer to conduct a consultation on the future of the McGill Life Sciences Library. The request was made in the context of the current budgetary challenges, as well as ongoing discussions about how best to re-imagine library space and services given actual usage and future needs. The consultation was to address three specific areas: space, access to librarians and collections.

In May, Dr. Cruess and Maître Boyer proceeded with three formal consultation meetings open to the librarians and staff of the Life Sciences Library, as well as to the students and residents and the faculty and staff of McGill’s health sciences community. Formal written submissions and many emails were also received and taken into account. We take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of you who actively participated and contributed to this crucial process.

Following the consultations, Dr. Cruess and Maître Boyer submitted their report, the complete text of which can be found at the link below. Upon careful review, discussion and agreement, we are pleased to confirm the following:

·        Space – As of Sept. 1, 2013, the Life Sciences Library space will come under the jurisdiction and care of the Faculty of Medicine and the name will remain the same. Space will be reorganized by the Faculty to better meet the needs expressed by students, residents, faculty and staff during the consultation, for example, more space for study, learning and research. A preliminary redesign is being prepared based on the input received. Additional feedback will be sought to finalize the reorganization.

·        Access to librarian support – Those using the Life Sciences Library will have the same access to librarians as they do today, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. A Service Point will be located in the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building to provide consultation and circulation services, including inter-branch delivery of print materials. Librarians will be based at the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering and continue to provide services through several pathways: scheduled office hours on-site at the McIntyre Building, individual consults, instruction and online assistance. In addition, librarians will partner extensively with faculty, researchers and students by being embedded in the departments with which they have been traditionally associated, providing support in the classroom, lab and office.

·        Collections – Life Sciences Library Reserve materials will remain in the Life Sciences Library. Effective Sept. 1, 2013, collections that are not reserved will be transferred to the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering and will also be accessible through inter-branch delivery services. Back runs of journals will be housed separately for daily retrieval. Digital materials remain unchanged, with plans to expand them.

It is important to note that both the historical and circulating collections of the Osler Library remain as is, in their current location.

As per Dr. Cruess’s and Maître Boyer’s recommendations, we will conduct a formal evaluation of these changes within 12 to 18 months following implementation, in consultation with students, residents, faculty members and staff of the health sciences community.

Once again we would like to thank all who provided their input throughout the consultation process, and we gratefully acknowledge the commitment and judicious work of both Dr. Cruess and Maître Boyer.

To access the full report, click here.








June 20, 2013