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Border initiative aids Laredo library expansion (11/24/97)

Students and health professionals in Laredo will have access to expanded library materials and health information during the coming months.

The expansion is being done with the latest funding from the South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative. Six libraries and hospitals in Laredo are involved. Services are provided by the Dolph Briscoe Jr. Library at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Much of the expansion will involve the addition of computerized data bases, which will provide access to hundreds of specialized journals and full-text articles.

Among the expansion projects, additional licenses to use the Ovid and Medline data bases will be offered for the physicians and staff members at Mercy Regional Medical Center and Columbia Doctors Hospital. Medline is the nation's premier biomedical data base.

About 100 additional books on nursing will be added at the Killam Library at Texas A&M International University as well as increased data base access to medical and biological literature, including Mexican biomedical publications.

At Laredo Community College's Yeary Library, compact disc reviews of nursing programs will be purchased along with two CD-ROM towers, each with the capacity to hold seven compact discs. A workstation for document delivery through the Internet will be installed and a commercial document delivery service will be established for 200 to 300 articles a year. Nursing and allied health textbooks also will be added.

The Laredo Public Library's Collection of books and videotapes on consumer health care will be expanded. In addition, the library's electronic resources will be enhanced with the acquisition of several compact disks related to health care and the life sciences.

"We are looking forward to working with Laredo librarians and health care professionals to increase access to health care information," said Rajia Tobia, associate director for outreach services at the Briscoe Library in San Antonio.

Library services to Laredo under the South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative are in their third year. One of the major established programs, a health information network that involves a "circuit librarian," provides information on request to health-care practitioners at Mercy, Doctors Hospital and Gateway Community Health Center. The circuit librarian, Mary Jo Dwyer, is a professional medical librarian with the Briscoe Library, and responds to individual requests for specialized medical information.

Contact: Jim Barrett (210) 567-2570