A&M International Library Sees Health Information Expansion Thanks to Grant

A new service that links Texas A&M International University's library system to various electronic medical databases has brought health care information closer to students and community members than ever before.

Rodney Webb, director of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, said that a computer link to the University of Texas Health Science Center's Briscoe Medical Library and subscriptions to various medical databases now make it easier for students and Laredo residents in general to access health-related information ranging from diseases and medical tests to cross-cultural nursing and nutrition.

While the computer link to the University of Texas Health Science Center is being provided free of charge, the subscriptions, which consist of electronic resources and books, were obtained with a $25,000 grant provided by The Mid-Rio Grande Border Area Health Education Center (AHEC).

One of the advantages of having the subscriptions is that some of them are available through the Internet, which enables faculty members and students at the Dr. F.M. Canseco School of Nursing to access necessary information without having to go to the library.

"This brings information down to the desktop of the nursing faculty and students. They don't even have to come to the library to get these resources," Webb said.

Community members wishing to gather health information using the University's link may do so by visiting the library.

"The AHEC program gives us rapid access to an entire health science library and it also enables us to purchase subscriptions to electronic databases that would not otherwise be affordable," Webb said.

Dr. Susan Baker, director of the Canseco School of Nursing, said that the AHEC program not only provides ready access to clinical literature for nursing students and faculty members, but also allows those in the Canseco School of Nursing to request information through a circuit librarian.

"That is a service of the Briscoe Library at the UT Health Center in San Antonio. We can either call the librarian or fax them our needs and they will fax us a selection of journal article titles. In emergency cases, we can get complete articles within a few hours. Therefore, students and faculty can readily conduct the literature review needed for any kind of study or paper they are doing," Baker said.

Baker also spoke about the availability of a database, which includes more than 150,000 citations to articles published in more than 670 Latin American biomedical journals since 1982. As the University's Canseco School of Nursing starts educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and other Latin American countries, access to Latin American biomedical journals will become increasingly important,, she said.

For more information, please call the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library at 326-2400. Library hours are from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and noon - 8 p.m. Sundays.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu