Military Libraries come in all shapes and sizes. We’re academic libraries, supporting Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees. We’re public libraries, complete with children’s story hours and retiree’s financial resources. We’re also other types of special libraries: medical; history; science, technology & engineering; intelligence; and headquarters support. The Military Libraries Division brings together members from all U.S. military services, Canadian Combined Armed Forces, international military services, contractors, vendors, academic institutions and anyone with an interest in military librarianship. Check us out at http://military.sla.org/. – Gloria Miller is a Librarian at the Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville), Alabama. She is currently the Chair-Elect of the Military Libraries Division.
by Steven Grove, Texas Chapter, Military Libraries Division
How many of you do world-wide interlibrary loan? And if you do, what problems do you encounter? If you don’t, why not? Do you think your holdings should be requested by that world-wide audience? If not, why not? Is there value in marketing your collection to an international audience? Or is it the “luck of the draw”? That is, did OCLC choose you to be the lucky lender? Maybe Docline found you??
Since the Franzello AeroMedical Library (formerly the AeroMedical Library at Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX) serves those countries that have aeromedical organizations, we are fortunate to serve several continents! However, this can be said for other governmental agency libraries as well.
When I began as Director of the Library, I heard a lot about our unique collection and its international demand. When we moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH and began our interlibrary loan service in May 2011, I explained to the new staff that we had a reputation to keep that was world-wide! The library staff had an idea to test this reputation. They suggested we place a world-wide map next to our front desk and place a pin on the map each time we got a request from outside the United States. As of 26 October, we counted interlibrary loans to 21 countries. I believe this impressed our customers as well as our administration. This is good for marketing your library (and probably for your positive service attitude as well). When you see it in a picture format, it is truly worth a thousand requests!
When we have a full year’s data, we may explore any patterns by country or even medical topics of interest to aeromedical practitioners in other parts of the world.
Never underestimate your library’s international appeal!!
Steve Grove is Director of the Franzello AeroMedical Library at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. He holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.L.S. from the University of Iowa. Over the last 30 years, he has worked in special, public, academic, hospital, and military libraries. He moved to San Antonio in 2009 to begin his military library career and returned to Ohio in 2010 along with the 300,000-item collection when the AeroMedical Library and the rest of Brooks went through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program.