Delivery Services Goes the Distance for the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

This past fall, the Yale School of Medicine launched the Online Physician Assistant program. This program currently boasts 44 enrolled students from 16 states, including Hawaii, and is set to scale even larger in future cohorts. Since these students will not have the option to come to the library in person, providing the same level of access to materials posed a challenge to traditional delivery methods.

Library IT, Access Services for Sterling Memorial Library/Bass, and Cushing/Whitney Medical Library (CWML) staff came together to create a new workflow enabling the CWML to provide equivalent services to online students and students enrolled in a traditional program. To access articles remotely, students will now be able to request scans of articles by placing an interlibrary loan request in ILLiad.

Physical books were more complicated: how do we distinguish distance education students from on-campus students? For books owned by the YUL system, the distant students can select the new “DE PA” location via the ORBIS OPAC and Access Services staff will know to mail the book(s) to the student’s address. Work to incorporate a similar workflow for Borrow Direct books is underway.

Accommodating this new educational venture and getting workflows in place will make it easier to support future Yale distance education programs. Library IT is ready to support the libraries to ensure every Yale student – remote or on campus – has the same access and Library experience.


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