The virtual naval hospital: Lessons learned in creating and operating a digital health sciences library for nomadic patrons

Michael P. D'Alessandro*, Donna M. D'Alessandro, Richard S. Bakalar, Denis E. Ashley, Mary J.C. Hendrix

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

To meet the information needs of isolated primary care providers and their patients in the United States Navy, the creation of a digital health sciences library was proposed. The creation of the digital library was heavily influenced by the principles of user-centered design, and made allowances for the nomadic nature of the digital library's patrons and the heterogeneous access they have to Internet bandwidth. The result is a digital library that has been in operation since 1997, that continues to expand in size, that is heavily used, and that is highly regarded by its patrons. A number of valuable technical, personal, and political lessons have been learned about delivering digital library services to nomadic patrons. The most important of these is that to succeed in the design and implementation of a digital library, regardless of the field of endeavor, one must focus consistently on the population served and what their mission is, and tailor the digital library to their needs. If this is done, the result will be a tool that is heavily used and sincerely appreciated. These lessons learned will become increasingly valuable as society moves towards a ubiquitous computing environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalD-Lib Magazine
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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