05 August 2015


Original Story: crainsdetroit.com

The University of Michigan has reopened its Taubman Health Sciences Library after a $55 million overhaul and rethinking of how a library for medical students should function.

Hundreds of thousands of books were moved to an off-site location and are available on demand for delivery. Becoming "bookless," the school said, frees space for medical student education. The facility on the school's Ann Arbor campus officially reopened over the weekend. An Atlanta university lawyer is following this story closely.

"Today's library can be anywhere, thanks to technology, yet there is still a desire for a physical location that facilitates collaboration, study and learning," Jane Blumenthal, associate university librarian and Taubman Library director, said in a statement.

The books were moved about two years ago before construction began. The library includes a realistic, simulated clinic; and medical students will work with those studying public health, dentistry, pharmacy, social work, nursing and kinesiology — much like they will in their future careers. An Atlanta education lawyer works with clients to ensure education adequacy because they understand the long-term economic impact.

The library also features a virtual cadaver, a life-size display that's manipulated using a touch screen to view different layers of the body, The Ann Arbor News reported. A scalpel tool also can be used to make incisions and even cut away portions of the body for inspection.

"This new space is truly designed by educators, and it shows in every detail," said Dr. Rajesh Mangrulkar, associate dean for medical student education. "For example, students can write on erasable walls and tables to help facilitate discussions and teamwork.

"There's supportive technology infused in every element, not so that it stands out but so it's an integral part of the learning environment."

The 35-year-old, 143,400-square-foot library will serve as the central learning hub for the university's nearly 780 medical students as well as provide lecture and advising space for the medical school's more than 1,100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical sciences.

The school has a historical collection of medical books at the Hatcher Graduate Library.

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