Friday, August 16, 2013

Everybody’s library


BETWEEN THE STACKS: A quiet spot in the Treadwell Library

When it comes to researching health care, everyone wants high-quality, trustworthy information. At the MGH, the Treadwell Library has been a valuable resource for MGH employees, patients and their families for more than 150 years. “We provide what has been published and peer-reviewed by knowledge leaders in the field. We can help a patient gain a deeper understanding of a health problem or save an MGH employee time by creatively searching biomedical literature. We teach our users how to find and manage the resources they need,” says Elizabeth Schneider, director of the Treadwell Library.

Although the library has changed significantly in recent years as more information has become available electronically, it remains relevant by offering thousands of online books, a mobile phone version of its website and new services such as a downloadable foreign language tool with 40 languages and 15 ESL courses. More than 1,500 people walk into the library in Bartlett Hall Extension every week, some to find solitude or work quietly in groups, others to use print resources or public-access computers. The MGH Learning Lab – which connects hands-on, simulation-based learning with reflective learning is also located at the library. 

“The resources at Treadwell are comprehensive,” says Schneider. “Clinicians can use tools to find supporting evidence for clinical decisions and practice; researchers can use QUOSA, which helps automate knowledge management workflow; and students and faculty have access to online books, journals and videos.” 

Schneider says she wants to eliminate the common misconception that the library is only open to clinical staff. “Treadwell is a place for everybody,” she says. “We are available not only to consult on clinical questions, systematic reviews, publications or grants, but also to assist employees going back to school who need help finding information for their paper or project. Or to answer questions ranging from ‘What is the preferred treatment for a particular cancer?’ to ‘What was the typical life span of a Neanderthal?’”

The Treadwell Library is located next to the Their Building, across from the Wang lobby. Hours of operation are 7 am to 8 pm Monday through Thursday and 7 am to 7 pm Friday. For more information visit or call 617-726-8600.

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