State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan established a task force on the future of academic libraries in Florida that includes directors of all nine Florida medical school libraries.

Nadine Dexter, director of the UCF College of Medicine Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, hosted the group’s first gathering, in which the library leaders discussed a collaborative approach to supporting medical education, research and patient care. Ideas included collaborative ways for the libraries to provide increased amounts of information and service while avoiding duplication and conserving state funds.

Dr. Deborah German, vice president of medical affairs and dean of the UCF College of Medicine, welcomed the group by saying, “We’re thrilled to have you here. Any time we can host a state-wide group at our medical school, it’s a privilege. The library is the heart and soul of our College of Medicine.”

One of the summit attendees was Dave Boilard, director of the medical library at the new Florida International University College of Medicine. Like UCF, FIU is starting a medical school library from scratch. “It’s really exciting to start with exactly what you need,” he said, “rather than what you already have.”

With 98 percent of its offerings in electronic forms that are widely accessible and continually updated, Library Director Dexter said the UCF College of Medicine’s library can play a leadership role in improving health and wellness across the state.  “Our focus in these meetings is to collaborate with each other and vendors to identify opportunities to expand access to e-resources.”