Message from Our Staff: Medical Library – more than a view

By Mr Lim Kong Meng, Head, Medical Library

Often it is heartening to hear from users and visitors that our Medical Library has an awesome view. However, our Medical Library does offer more than just a view.  

Our space

Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library” and a library with an awesome view certainly helps. 

As our Medical Library is located at the topmost floor (Level 20) of our Clinical Sciences Building and with our campus in quite a centralised location in Singapore, we are blessed with an almost 360-degree view of our island state. 

While the Medical Library offers a breath-taking view of our island, it also offers a diversity of spaces (and serendipity) for studies and learning, for example, the Collaborative Zone, Quiet Zone, and the Flexi-space. Our Café space offers opportunities for users to connect, eat and mingle.  

Our collections

In today’s context where information is easily available through the Internet or with Google, one may wonder if Einstein’s quote is still relevant today. Without a doubt, the internet provides access to billions of web pages and free information, sometimes high quality and scholarly too. However not every information that is free is good or the latest. Paid resources are still needed especially for academic content.  

Our Medical Library shares a common library system with NTU Library which means users are able to access seamlessly the paid subscriptions of more than 1 million electronic books, near to 900,000 print books, about 110,000 periodical titles (print & electronic) and 270 databases. You can search the entire library subscribed collections with your keyword(s) at the OneSearch search engine found at the Library webpage.

To support learning and teaching of our medical programme, our Medical Library has subscriptions with established publishers and associations on clinical or medical related resources covering textbooks, journals, medical and surgical videos, practice guidelines, drug monographs etc. Some of these resources include ClinicalKey (Elsevier), Anatomy.TV (Primal Pictures), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature or CINAHL & Global Health (EBSCO), Cochrane Library (Wiley) and Embase, EBMR on Ovid platform, just to name a few.

Our services

Lastly, a library collection or resources is an important component of the library, and it is also the base upon which we would like to add value and provide essential services to our users.  

While users can use the library tools or search engines to conveniently discover useful information, medical librarians can and do help and educate users in connecting them to these resources. We collaborate with faculty and teach Information Literacy (IL) which is embedded within the undergraduate curriculum. We also provide Systematic Search Services where we assist users with literature searches as well as ensuring their search strategy is comprehensive. 

In the words of novelist Matt Haig, “Librarians are like search engines, except they smile, and they talk to me and they don’t give me paid-for advertising when they are trying to help. And they have actual hearts.”