Senior Librarian UT MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas
Background: A cancer hospital library created a separate “Grief/End of Life” section within its larger book collection. Books with a grieving/end of life focus were gathered from their various and differently catalogued locations and relocated to a new area. This area is strategically located adjacent to the library’s pamphlets on grieving, end of life, and hospice. This created a larger, focused area on these topics so library users can have a streamlined browsing experience.
Description: The first stage of identifying which books would be appropriate for this new collection was for library staff to collectively self-nominate relevant books. Some titles were easier than others to identify, such as classic books on grief and dying. The second stage was to create a new location in the cataloging management system for these titles, so they could be located when users and staff searched the online catalog. The third stage was to better define the parameters of the collection. Scope and content decisions were made so that staff had an understanding and agreement on what titles--present and future--would be appropriate for this area.
Conclusion: The topics of grief and end of life are certainly ones that present themselves in a cancer hospital library. While our library has always supported patients and caregivers by collecting on these topics, this new and thoughtfully maintained area serves these specific information-seekers in an improved, focused manner. Circulation data is being monitored within the cataloging management system, and the most updated numbers will be shared on this poster.