The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial inequity brought renewed attention to establishing a leisure reading collection in our Health Sciences Library. Such a collection had long been on our wish list, but had never been achievable due to budget constraints. With a renewed University emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, and an unexpected $5,000 donation, the decision was made to feature books written by patients and medical practitioners of marginalized groups and those offering diverse perspectives on the practice of medicine. This emphasis dovetailed with the Libraries’ Strategic Roadmap goals and the campus’s Wellbeing Priorities. It is hoped that this collection will allow current students to see themselves in their future careers in new and unique ways, and that it will introduce health sciences students to the conversation around implicit bias in medicine early in their careers.
Books chosen for the collection included graphic medicine titles, medical memoirs and reflections, and those emphasizing diversity, equity and inclusion in medicine. The initial titles were selected using the following recommended reading lists: Essential Graphic Medicine: An Annotated Bibliography, the National Network of the Library of Medicine’s Reading Club, and the Medical Library Association Reads selections. Formats included 92 print titles, 42 eBooks, and 10 eAudiobooks. Librarians collaborated with a graphic designer to create marketing materials, including an easel poster, tabletop signage, and an announcement for the online information system used by the University. The collection was also made a “featured collection” in the University’s Overdrive platform.
This poster will present and discuss to-date circulation statistics for the collection.
Next steps for the collection will be based on actual usage data and title recommendations from library users. Books written by patients and medical practitioners of marginalized groups and those offering diverse perspectives on the practice of medicine will continue to be prioritized.
Digital Commons Citation
Arnold, Susan and Monnin, Jennifer, "Pivoting a Health Sciences Leisure Reading Collection in a New Direction" (2021). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 3057.