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Extramural and Outreach Services

Extramural and Outreach Services


Edited August 17, 2007

Richard C. Wood, M.L.S., Executive Director of Libraries/TTUHSC


The TTUHSC Libraries have had a highly developed extramural and outreach program in place for the past thirty years. The geographic target area for this program is the 108 county area of West Texas. This vast area is divided into four subregions, each of which is served by one of the four campus libraries of the Health Sciences Center. The decision to provide some type of service to the unaffiliated entities of West Texas is based upon the fact that, with the exception of the resources of the four libraries of TTUHSC and those of two other small unaffiliated hospital libraries, there exists no other biomedical information resource network to meet the needs of the region's hospitals, medical, nursing, and health rehabilitation clinics, private practices, nurse practitioner programs, and school nurse programs. Nor is there any other such service to meet the biomedical information needs of biomedically-related researchers and industries in this area. Finally, health care consumer user groups have no other reliable resource for accurate health care information throughout this vast area. It is noteworthy that there are no hospital libraries in Amarillo, Odessa, Midland, San Angelo, nor in El Paso.

The TTUHSC Libraries have therefore developed a tiered set of services to meet the information needs of this diverse unaffiliated set of entities. For a relatively small expense hospitals, biomedical research firms, clinics, and law firms may contract with the TTUHSC Libraries on an annual basis. These contracts provide the recipient interlibrary loan services, document delivery, borrowing privileges, and reference services for a nominal fee. Once the contract amount is expended during the contract period, the recipient of services is billed at internal fee levels on a monthly basis.

Individuals are also eligible to receive for-fee services. For an annual fee, members of the unaffiliated public may join the TTUHSC Friends of the Library. This membership provides members with borrowing privileges, Loansome Doc ILL services, and document delivery services at internal fee levels. None of these services include access to TTUHSC Library electronic books, journals, nor databases. These may be freely accessed from within any of the TTUHSC Libraries.

In addition to this set of for-fee contract services, TTUHSC Libraries deliver free biomedical information services training and healthcare awareness services to the citizenry of West Texas. Through its contract with the National Library of Medicine, the library system administers training on databases, healthcare topics, and consumer health information. The libraries demonstrate these products and services at city and town, county, regional, and national conferences. With three public services librarians at Amarillo, two at Odessa, four at El Paso, and four at Lubbock, TTUHSC Libraries have an outreach delivery team positioned to efficiently and effectively deliver these services to communities and individuals throughout West Texas. Strategies and programs to meet the biomedical and healthcare information needs of the citizens of West Texas have been developed under the leadership of the Senior Director/Extramural and Outreach Services/TTUHSC Libraries.