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Primus inter pares

Fundamental Study Library: Our Armoured Train

Sechenov First MSMU has just finally got the cutting-edge library facility, located in fully renovated building within the Moscow Golden Mile, 37/1 Zubovsky Boulevard. Advanced comfort, subject departments, solitary reading rooms, digital hi-tech making the venue, which is not a bit inferior to European best practices, a model for all medical universities throughout the RF. 
Solid history and marvelous transfiguration of this oldest university division is the matter of the following interview with the Fundamental Library director Olga Abramova. 
This library, destined particularly for students, was established about a year ago on decision of the First MSMU Academic Council initiated by Petr Glybochko, the University rector. The library is meant to increase capacity and convenience of visitors. Now, elaborated internal logistics allow maximum readers’ flow enabling prompt retrieving of entries of any kind, receiving or delivering the desired hardcopies, studying in the comfort of reading rooms, using third-party electronic databases and so forth.
Taking the library in operation, prof. Glybochko expressed the belief that proper further development is sure to transform the facility into the ultimate standard for each medical university all over the country. Now the Fundamental Study Library includes three academic specialty lending departments, the lending departments of scientific and educational literature, and also the reference and bibliographic department. Spacious open-space reading room and internet gallery are also available. 
And do you remember how it was before? 
Initially it belonged to the Moscow University Library, established in 1820 under the initiative of Prof. E. Mukhin. In 1886, Prof. N. Vorontsovsky bequeathed his books and 10 thousand rubles to medical faculty for establishment and further deployment of particular library for medical students. Study library was being permanently updated: in 1905 it consisted of 7000 volumes, whilst in 1930, at the moment of reestablishment of Faculty of Medicine as an independent institution, the stock achieved 28 thousand volumes. 
How long has the library been resided at Zubovsky?  
In 1973, thanks to the Vice-Rector I. Sychennikov the Fundamental Library got totally refurbished building at 37 Zubovsky Boulevard, the former medical university dorm. 
Another milestone as of 2002 was merging with the Central Scientific Library of Medicine (49 Nakhimovsky prospect) affiliated with the University in 2001. 
What’s the significance of the occasion? 
The Central Scientific Library of Medicine (CSLM) has become the unified library and information platform of national importance. Decades of librarianship expertise, two leading medical libraries and stable material and technical basis have opened up new prospects for upgrading of existing techniques and methodologies, development of new approaches. Here’s the single source service for education, science and practical healthcare, with each particular specialized library sharing its database, IT structure and resources. 
What technologies you employ are all the rage? 
Thanks to implementation of automated library based on OPAC-Global applications the full-text electronic library for higher medical and pharmaceutical education was generated to be updated permanently. Since 2014 the CSLM has launched the transition to electronic lending support system. The hi-tech equipment for automated delivery of books has already been acquired. The electronic catalogue is being composed, while academic literature is being gradually chipped starting with the following specialties: nursing, clinical psychology, social work, master's programs and pre-collegiate education. 
Throughout its existence the library’s main objective is to deliver high-quality information support of educational processes of the University. All students are supplied with educational, methodical materials and additional scientific literature needed for successful studying. 
And what’s the total stock now?   
Today’s aggregated stock makes up 816,990 units, including academic segment of 493 550 items, covering also electronic entries. The scientific and educational literature is represented by 323,440 volumes. Now 657 textbooks on various medical specialties and about 350 on Pharmacy and Biotechnology are already digitalized.   
Each year the stock is being enriched with about 20 thousand hardcopies acquired in line with educational standards, in accordance with training programs of secondary, higher and postgraduate education, curricula and faculty recommendations.
And what about your audience?  
Almost 20,000 of readers are registered in the library. Nine-tenths of them are students. They are supplied with academic book set, free to lend books, use directories, reading rooms and internet gallery but vigilant assistance of our bibliographers. The annual attendance is about 50 thousand readers with circulation of about 326,000 volumes.