Landstuhl library earns federal honors
July 15, 2008
LANDSTUHL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, Germany - If you continue past the USO office and barber shop at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, you'll come to the end of the hallway where you'll find the 2007 Federal Library/Information Center of the Year.
The medical library was recognized as the nation's best in the small library category in recognition for the service it provides to approximately 3,000 medical professionals spread across Europe, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The award, which encompasses approximately 5,000 eligible federal libraries, is a "great honor and a great distinction," said LRMC librarian Cornelia Camerer, who shares the honor with recently departed fellow employee Craig Wilcox. Library officials from higher headquarters said their efforts have been justly rewarded.
"Receiving this award exemplifies the library staff's hard work and commitment to delivering the highest quality of services to its customers, both locally and remotely," said Ann Russell Potter, Command Librarian at the U.S. Army Medical Command headquarters in Texas. "Using state-of-the art technologies enables LRMC and the Army Medical Department's Medical Library & Information Network member libraries to deliver information resources anytime, anyplace."
The award is based on three criteria: mission support, creativity and innovation in services, and customer support. Most of their daily effort at the LRMC library involves assisting medical, dental and veterinary professionals accomplishing research and reports.
"Fast support is very vital," said Camerer. "Rapid document is the key to helping healthcare professionals accomplish their mission," Camerer said, especially for requests made in support of patient care.
To speed customers on their way, the library offers access to 15 medical databases, 100 bound periodicals, 1,000 journals online, and more than 3,000 books. If customers are unable to track down what they're looking for from the information readily available, the LRMC staff will track it down for them, Camerer said.
In making their selection, the Federal Library and Information Center Committee acknowledged LRMC for the following accomplishments:
Mission Support: Customer service is enhanced through a virtual library webpage, bilingual reference in English and German, mediated searching, acquisition, technical services and cataloging, interlibrary loan, the sharing of resources and a streamlined planning process.
The library is part of a dynamic online card catalog system that currently is supported by a network of 35 Army MWR libraries in Europe. LRMC maintains close contacts with other DOD libraries worldwide. In addition, the staff serves as the European medical library consultant to European Regional Medical Command.
Creativity/Innovation: In 2007, the library created a worldwide reference program especially designed to meet the needs of patrons deployed or serviced in remote locations. The staff offers mediated searches for all databases that the library offers. This program is particularly designed for patrons who do not have suitable access to databases or who appreciate the convenience of obtaining a relevant listing of journal articles about a particular topic without having to formulate and key-in search strategies.
Through this program the staff assists patrons in remote locations by providing information services that are equitable to those found at the LRMC library. This service includes research assistance via e-mail, fax, telephone and mail. The staff of the library developed a number of "How to Guides" that provide assistance to basic search techniques.
In 2007, the LRMC library introduced a number of research online database classes to its patrons. Research classes were provided in English and upon request for local national employees in German.
As a current awareness service, the library brought the "Author Board" to the LRMC footprint in 2007. Through a vigorous advertising campaign the staff petitioned medical staff to submit their books, reprints, articles, or presentations, to the library for posting on a bulletin board. It was the staff's vision to celebrate all the talented LRMC authors and presenters by displaying their intellectual property to LRMC visitors and to increase customer awareness of the hospital's world-class staff and their commitment to excellence.