Leonard, K., & Earl, M. (2016). Health information without limits: A print collection for consumers in the heart of the hospital. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 16(2), 132-144, DOI: 10.1080/15323269.2016.1150739.
This article describes how the Health Information Center (HIC) at the University of Tennessee Medical Center developed a print collection primarily for patients, family members, and community visitors, in order to help improve health literacy. The print collection was used in-house and circulated to patients, family members and the hospital community. The authors provide details about the selection criteria for the consumer health collection, the relationships formed between the Centers of Excellence leadership and librarians, and the success of the HIC membership and print collection. The authors infer that while many libraries are weeding and decreasing their print collections, there are still many patrons that prefer a print collection over electronic resources.
This article is a good example of why libraries should not eliminate print collections altogether. Although the current trend is to weed out print collections and focus on electronic resources, it really comes down to the library’s needs and preferences of the community. It is important to consider the individual needs of the patrons and other factors such as the percentage of the population that has below basic literacy skills and technology skills.