Planning for the Health Sciences Library continues at a swift pace as the university prepares to welcome the first class of students in the UNLV School of Medicine next summer. With additional staff coming on board, resources and collections being acquired, and infrastructure going into place, the Health Sciences Library will be a primary resource supporting the school, our students and faculty, and health care practitioners across Southern Nevada.
The Health Sciences Library is a key part of addressing the urgent health care needs of our region. In addition to faculty and students, we also need to equip physicians with the most up-to-date knowledge and resources to provide best care for our families, friends, and other area residents. Nevada ranks 38th in the nation for overall health care capacity and 46th for the number of primary care physicians per capita. With 72 percent of our state’s residents residing in Southern Nevada, it is even more essential that we support our physicians with the latest advances in health care knowledge.
Since I joined UNLV, we have heard from numerous doctors seeking access to medical research literature to support their practices and improve patient care. Access to these resources can be cost prohibitive for physicians in small practices, and UNLV University Libraries is stepping forward to offer the only comprehensive health sciences library in Southern Nevada.
The interim Health Sciences Library will open this spring, and will serve as an anchor for the new UNLV Academic Health Center campus located on Shadow Lane. When the Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation team conducted a site visit last summer, they praised the plans for the library and how our librarians and services are embedded into the medical school curriculum.
The entire planning process required a strong, shared vision and the efforts of many people, in and out of the University Libraries. We worked closely with Dr. Barbara Atkinson, the medical school dean, and her team to design library spaces and resources that will meet the needs of our students, faculty, and health care practitioners in the community. The University Libraries is proud to share in this vision for the UNLV School of Medicine and our allied health programs and look forward to creating a healthier future for Southern Nevada.