Give ’em what they want

11Jun08

This article reminds me of my time with a now defunct health library called Prevention Source BC. It was heady times as we got a web site which was a pioneering move. Previously the library lent out videos to health care professionals province wide, then it became the hub for Drug Awareness Week (DAW). DAW is an opportunity for schools, workplaces, media, and other community members to talk about preventing drug abuse. As a result of the huge splash of attention and activity, our library was inundated with phone calls for supporting resources (posters, stickers, etc.)

Then the next year the library began to actively support DAW by mailing out resource kits. Basically orders were taken by fax, not by web site. The web site had extras, which complemented the order fulfillment. But, as a library’s mandate shifts, the use of the technology had to change with it. Eventually more sophisticated use of the web site evolved and less phone calls and in-person visits resulted.

Some of the similarities between Prevention Source BC (PSBC) and the Royal Society of Chemistry is that the user groups served are so diverse: PSBC served social workers and health care professionals primarily but it also served kids, parents, and general researchers because of a lack of educational materials. The Royal Society supports people in both large and small companies. Designing a virtual library for many user groups and different search abilities must be a great challenge. My hat is off to the Royal Society of Chemistry for making it work!

— Brenda

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