Students, faculty members and practitioners in Manitoba’s health sciences professions will benefit from an expanded University of Manitoba library and improved library resources thanks to funding through the Government of Canada’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program.
In 1996, when the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library at the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne Campus was opened to the public, 9,160 square feet were left undeveloped to accommodate future additional space and resource needs.
Now, after $1.37-million funding from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and a successful fundraising campaign, the $2.7-million library expansion can be realized. It will include 12 new group study rooms; a new boardroom; a redesigned Information Commons; and redeveloped spaces for the Aboriginal health collection; history of medicine and Faculty of Medicine archives.
“Today we’re seeing stimulus money being put to work in a lasting and meaningful way,” said Rod Bruinooge, MP for Winnipeg South. “This new facility will provide researchers at the University of Manitoba with the tools they need to be global leaders in their fields and pursue world-class excellence. It is one way our government is working to strengthen Canada’s capacity to translate research into meaningful benefits for Canadians.”
The Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library supports the learning, teaching, research and patient care requirements of staff and students from the faculties of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry and the Schools of Dental Hygiene and Medical Rehabilitation at teaching sites in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. While its main client is the University of Manitoba, the library is also committed to serving all of Manitoba’s health care community, including the research and patient care activities of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
“We thank the federal government for its support through KIP to the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library,” said Dr. David Barnard , President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba.“This project will enhance the educational experiences of our health professions students, leading to more enriched teaching and learning at the University of Manitoba and knowledge transfer throughout the Province.”
The Library houses an extensive health sciences collection of more than 300,000 print volumes, including audiovisual and digital media. It also provides access to hundreds of licensed databases and nearly 9,000 online journals. Faculty and students, medical practitioners on the front lines of patient care and researchers looking for in-depth information about medical conditions and treatments all benefit from this resource.
Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library has also been expanding its services. Manitoba's Health Information and Knowledge Network (or MHIKNET) launched in April 2009, is a new service dedicated to the staff of Manitoba Health, participating Regional Health Authorities in Manitoba, and physicians in Manitoba. Through MHIKNET, Outreach Services staff at the University of Manitoba's Health Sciences libraries conduct literature searches and provide information toolkits, links to timely and relevant sources on specific health topics, access to free databases, and information on available services.
The Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2 billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions is part of the $12 billion in new infrastructure investment allocated under Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The program is providing real economic stimulus and employment by creating local jobs for engineers, architects, trades people and technicians. It is also helping to generate the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canada’s research and educational facilities at the forefront of scientific advancement.