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Health Library & Resource Center

El Camino Hospital’s Hidden Gem: Health Library & Resource Center

Open to everyone, free to use and full of great materials, the El Camino Hospital Health Library & Resource Center is a valuable community tool dedicated to helping patients, families and the community find the resources and information they need to make important decisions about their health.

The Health Library & Resource Center is centrally located on both the Mountain View and Los Gatos campuses and is free and open to community members, as well as to El Camino Hospital staff and physicians. The library collection includes a large assortment of patient-friendly books, newsletters and more which can be helpful for community members and patients, as well as standard medical textbooks. Library members can even borrow books on DVD and relaxation skills CD’s.

“Our library is a combined consumer health information center and medical library,” says Mike Liddicoat, senior medical librarian for the Health Library & Resource Center in Los Gatos. “We act as a resource for many families trying to understand difficult medical conditions. In one experience, I worked closely with a woman whose father was battling prostate cancer. As a way to honor him, the woman asked guests at her wedding to make a donation to our library which ultimately established the Edward Hook Memorial Prostate Collection. These resources are extensively used by prostate cancer patients and their families.”

For staff and physicians, the Health Library & Resource Center provides a critical service. They can make use of the many medical texts, abstracts, articles and subscriptions to medical journals, including access to more than 3,000 full-text online journals through MEDLINE, to stay up to date on advances in their field. The medical librarians provide literature searches and document delivery related to evidenced-based clinical care.

Mike has worked at the hospital since 1998. He has a background in medicine and worked in radiation therapy for many years before becoming a medical librarian. Surprisingly, he says that being a hospital librarian is focused on lengthy research as opposed to public librarians who often need to quickly answer patron inquiries.

“I love working with the community, being there to help people find additional information on whatever it is that they are looking for,” says Mike. “We welcome community members, staff and physicians to the library, so you never know what the day will bring. This mixture of public and hospital staff patrons provides a constantly evolving environment in which to practice librarianship. Lately, my biggest efforts have included educational outreach and providing help for those trying to find reliable medical and health information on the internet.”

In addition to medical librarians, the Health Library & Resource Center has social workers who can assist by providing services to seniors and their families who have eldercare issues. Specially-trained volunteers also provide counseling regarding Medicare and help individuals complete the California Advance Healthcare Directive form. These volunteers help coordinate the many other health services provided to the community by the center.

The Health Library & Resource Center in Mountain View also offers wellness programs such as weekly “Ask the Pharmacist” sessions. Community members can sign up for a free, thirty-minute appointment with a pharmacist to learn proper use of medications, interactions and possible side effects. Once a week, a registered nurse volunteer is available to provide free blood pressure monitoring. Dietitians are also available for free consultations to help identify personal nutrition goals and more.

Find out more by reading about the Health Library & Resource Center on our website, read Mike’s Experts’ Blog entry to learn how to find reliable health information online.