A Fascinating Behind-the-Scenes Look at Emory Health Sciences Library.

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What is emory health sciences library?

Emory Health Sciences Library is a part of Emory University and the Emory College of Arts and Sciences. It is one of the largest academic medical libraries in the state. The library offers services to over 150,000 faculty, staff, students, alumni and other patrons each year with an extensive digital collection available at www.lib.emory.edu

The library houses over 500,000 book titles (300 print journal subscriptions), 16 million serial titles (500 electronic journal databases), 4 million monographs & serials (1000 databases), as well as numerous artifacts related to science education that date back to the beginnings of Harvard Medical School in 1782. The library has two buildings, one is the 1969 building which is a three-story building with over 400,000 books, 2.5 million prints and serials, 6.2 million digital titles and other artifacts, and the other is the 2012 building. The 2012 building houses most of the 300 journal subscriptions by occupying 14% of the space or around 4500 square feet in floor area.


In May 2010, Emory University announced their plan to build Emory Health Sciences Library on Clifton Road to replace their 1969 library located on South Quad. The library was designed by Cooper Carry architects while Moseley Architects provided interior design services as well as managed construction for this new facility. Opened in December 2012, Emory Health Sciences Library is a $140 million facility that covers , and has designated 15% of its space as a school library. 

The addition of the library has provided an additional 4500 square feet of building space, allowing for the addition of over two hundred new titles to their current collection. In summer 2014, Emory Health Sciences Library established an inter-library loan agreement with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Emory also has one other health sciences library which is located at the Emory University Hospital Midtown Center next to MedStar Franklin Square and on around 1960 Clifton Road.


The current building on Clifton Road currently houses 420 books per square foot or over 6,144 square feet and is designed to house their expanding collection. In 2011, the library opened up their first reading room and computer lab located in the new building.

Emory Health Sciences Library contains the highest percentage of e-books at 11% of the library’s overall holdings (as of June 26, 2012). Approximately 44,000 titles are available for loan via inter-library loan agreements and fully digitized. This includes both full text resources and information retrieval & delivery systems such as DataONE, EBSCO and EndNote.

Emory Health Sciences Library holds an annual DCI DMA award for their digital collections on the DCI DMA Online Database for Education. Emory is one of two academic medical libraries to receive this award every year.

Emory Health Sciences Library administers one of the largest collections of digital collections on the DCI DMA Online Database for Education. In 2011, Emory had 310,051 digital resources in 39 different databases. These databases include: EBSCO (65%), Ovid (12%), PMC (10%), Scirus (6%), DataONE (5%) and many others.


The Emory University Health Sciences Library’s Board of Trustees are made up of: The Emory University Health Sciences Library in a School of Medicine Library as part of the medical school is committed to providing medical research services that support, enhance and promote education in the field. One of their primary goals is to work with faculty, staff, students and all library users to provide the highest quality resources and best user service while fostering an environment that promotes the teaching and learning process. 

The library provides reference assistance (academic, general health sciences, health related issues) to students, physicians and patients through academic subject librarians. The library offers access to over 200 research databases through their subscription database program.


The resources at Emory Health Sciences Library are not just available online, but in physical form as well. These resources are available to library users in the library, on the south quad and can be accessed by patrons at home or at work through the internet.  The library provides access to electronic journals (full text) and indexing services that allows users to search multiple databases simultaneously. 

The library also has access to a large collection of art collections which includes historical Egyptian collection, a specific area for medical sciences per instruction of Donald French in 1981, an extensive medical illustration collection including anatomical charts going back to 1886, as well as a significant collection of historical artwork from African American artists that dates back over 300 years. The library also has a collection of over 4000 rare books that date back to the 16th century. The library offers a variety of print and electronic resources designed to support and enhance basic science research interests or clinical education needs in all areas of medicine.


The library’s hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:45 PM and can only be accessed by Emory students, faculty, and staff. There is no public access to the resources in the library. The library store has limited hours and patrons must register with the library first before purchasing books.

Emory University Health Sciences Library is a “Best Library” from the Chicago Tribune, Southern Living Magazine and HomeTown Family Magazine. Emory Health Sciences Library has a collection of over 40,000 different types of print and electronic resources and supports over 10,000 research papers per year in its inter-library loan program. 


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