A Brief Library History
The Medical Department of the Arkansas Industrial University, the first component of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences campus, was founded in 1879. The first statement of the existence of a Library was in 1890/91, in the Department's twelfth announcement. At that time, the college was in a new facility at its second location on Second and Sherman Streets.
In 1913, the medical school moved again; this time to the Old State Capitol on Markham Street. Here the Library was in two locations; one in the East Wing; and another larger area in the West Wing. The McAlmont site was the next campus location. The Library was on the second floor of the new facility and remained there until the 1957 move to West Markham. At its first home at this location the Library was on the main floor of the Education Building. In 1977 the Library moved to its present location in the Education II Building.
During its existence, the Library has been managed by only eight directors and one interim director. Administratively, the Library was a part of the College of Medicine until the mid-1960's when it became a component of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs support structure.
The Library's greatest period of growth in both staff and collection size was in 1977 with the move to the present location. The staff more than doubled in size to provide services in the new facility which increased the library's user space fourfold. The collection has shown an uneven record of growth but today numbers over 175,000 volumes and includes over 1,500 active journal subscriptions. In 1974/75 an audiovisual component was added to the Library and in 1980 the Robert Watson History of Medicine Room was dedicated with the purpose of collecting history of the health sciences publications and preserving archival materials.
The library has had a tradition of providing reference service to health professionals statewide since 1917. With the inclusion of the Area Health Education Center Libraries, in the 1970's , statewide service has been enhanced.
Since 1964 when a computerized list of journal holdings was produced, the UAMS Library has been interested in automation. The Library has provided on-line access to the MEDLARS database since 1972. The use of computer technology continues today providing an on-line catalog, database search, including MEDLINE; and computerized learning resources for faculty and students.
The UAMS Library has participated in networks both statewide and nationally since 1970. It is a member of the South Central Regional group of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine whose purpose is to encourage cooperation among libraries and to promote the sharing of library resources.
The Library continues to be a major biomedical resource and partner with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences whose mission is to promote the advancement of research, education, and patient care for UAMS and the state of Arkansas. In this role the Library supports the creation of new knowledge, the education of health professionals, life-long learning, timely access to information, and informed health care decisions.
|University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 W. Markham Street #586, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
Reference | 501-686-6734 | LibraryReferenceDesk@uams.edu
Circulation | 501-686-5980 | LibraryCircDesk@uams.edu
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