Under the PURR scheme (Professionals Unleashed forRefreshment and Reflection), I spent several days in April at the Canterbury Medical Library looking at their collections and at the training programmes they offer to their customers.
The library is on the 6th floor of the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences building next to the Public Hospital. As you’d expect the views from the library are stunning, especially looking over Hagley Park.
The dedicated and small team of about ten staff at the Canterbury Medical Library provide services to medical students and staff of the Christchurch School of Medicine as well as to Canterbury District Health Board staff. Sometimes members of the public come in to use their services but they are encouraged to use Christchurch City Libraries.
February and March are the busiest months for the Medical Library staff. Large numbers of students come in to join, have a library tour, receive training on assorted medical online resources, and training on Endnote, a tool for managing bibliographies and references. At this time of year, it’s not unusual for individual staff to be involved in three or more training sessions in one day!
One of the highlights of my visit was a look at the Cotter collection started by retired Christchurch surgeon, Patrick Cotter, in 1997. It includes a fascinating collection of historical medical books and journals as well as 19th Century surgical and medical equipment such as microscopes, old medicine cabinets and even an antique dental chair!.