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Dude, Where Are All of the Books?!

by Erin Moore on 2023-08-08T05:00:00-07:00 in Education | 0 Comments

I'm giggling to myself as I write this blog post. Why? The irony is just too much to handle on some days. You see, celebrated or scorned, libraries have always been particularly susceptible to double-standards. They're expected to contain print books and archival materials yet we expect them to reinvent themselves endlessly to "stay relevant." (If libraries had a super-power, it is definitely shape-shifting). With the shake-up created by the pervasiveness of AI algorithms, we again find ourselves doom-scrolling and asking page-old provocative questions about the relevance of libraries. My giggle just turned into a cackle.

Library lovers may recall the 2018 (now-removed) heinous Forbes article purporting to favor supplanting local libraries with Amazon bookstores. We know better: that libraries are concrete and symbolic representations of community, literacy, shared access to information, intellectual curiosity, and information-as-public-good rather than as costly commodity available to only those who can afford. Sure, libraries are deeply flawed--and that's not a mere afterthought. But oversimplified and reductionist stances on libraries (like anything, really) within their historical and cultural context, is a high-flying red flag for ignorance and inexperience. Also, libraries are not bookstores, dude.

In my days as a former public and academic librarian, I couldn't escape the "will libraries remain relevant?" question. And even now, as a systemwide librarian at a large health system, another question remains ubiquitous: Where are all of the books?! I sympathize. The physical act of reading print books was a legit contact sport for me. If libraries no longer contain books, are they even libraries? Trick question: the answer is yes. Libraries are more than books. At their core, libraries are more about relationships and interaction and less about the materials contained within. Libraries care not your about your status as a paying consumer but more about your humanity and your right to ask the questions.

National Book Lovers Day falls on August 9th, so I've been thinking a lot more about books. (If you've made it this far, that's probably pretty apparent.) If you're looking for clinical books, Banner Health Library provides access to a few different collections of ebooks across a few different platforms. The current system isn't perfect, but we hope the health sciences and biomedical publishers will begin working closely with vendors like Overdrive to make their content readily accessible on a variety of devices. (If you haven't experienced the ease of obtaining entire books on your phone through the Libby app, check out your local public library!)

 Aside from discovery platforms, article databases, and point-of-care tools, the availability of and budget for eBook and Clinical Reference materials vary from library to library. Health science or hospital libraries align their mission to the parent organization. The selection of materials and notably the licensing and subscription management processes conducted by librarians are guided by a collection development policy. That policy is informed by the Banner mission, stakeholders, Clinical Consensus groups, and professional "lists" and tools. 

At Banner, electronic books (ebooks) are searchable and browsable on the library site are available through a single sign-on system. When you visit the Banner Health Library Services website, you'll search for or click on the title of a book. Then you'll be prompted to enter your Banner credentials and linked to the full-text content. Librarians work with information vendors and IT staff to enable use of resources whether someone is on or off-site. In the event that you search for a title that is not available, you can request one or more chapters through a form submission process or even recommend a book for purchase. Those purchases are evaluated yearly during the subscription renewal period. 

eBooks Available at Banner

  1. Select "Books" Under Resources Dropdown
  2. View available Book Collections
  3. View rotating image carousel of Top 10 Most Frequently View Books
  4. See most recent book purchases

How To Search (or Browse) for Specific eBook Title

  1. Ensure you've clicked on the eBook tab and enter title of ebook

Linking to eBook Content

  1. Under "Full Text Access", view the platforms that provide access. Click on the blue links to open ebook content

I hope you feel confident in searching for ebooks at Banner! Please remember that even if we do not appear to provide access to an ebook, we can still obtain one or more chapters on your behalf. You may also request that the library purchase a book. Those recommendations are evaluated around the time that subscription renewals take place annually. Please contact the library with any questions. We look forward to supporting you!

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