June 28, 2008

Medical Libraries Project Grows by Volumes and Becomes Operation Medical Libraries

As the creator of UCLA Medical Alumni Association’s Books without Borders, I have had the wonderful good fortune to be a pebble in the pond. The stone that was cast into cyberspace has created ripple effects, which can be felt 11,000 miles away from the Westwood campus. I have had the privilege to work with many of the fine nurses and physicians from all three of the United States military medical corps, who “voluntoured” to leave their family and friends for bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am honored by their confidence and enthusiasm that Books without Borders would supply them with donated medical textbooks and journals for their training and transition responsibilities.

After 14 months and over 6 tons of donated medical materials, Books without Borders (BWB) outgrew the limitations of the UCLA Medical Alumni Association. To enable the medical libraries project to continue to grow in scope and significance, a coalition of global supporters banned together and formed Operation Medical Libraries (OML). Like BWB, OML will collect and distribute current medical textbooks and journals through a partnership with American medical/nursing schools, hospitals, and physicians and the United States military for the purpose of fostering the creation of permanent medical libraries and supporting the expansion of existing collections in conflict regions where healthcare education and the practice of medicine are suffering.

Operation Medical Libraries will significantly enhance the initial and continuing medical education of healthcare professionals in communities crippled by the lack of materials. Through its support of everyday healthcare and academic medicine, Operation Medical Libraries will impact the long-term health and welfare of people and ultimately support the development of essential services and human rights in regions torn by conflict. For more information on Operation Medical Libraries,
email info@OperationMedicalLibraries.org

Photo Credit: Richard Maddox
Pictured: Commander Christopher Talcott, 2006-08 Chair UCLA Military Sciences and Valerie Walker, Director, UCLA Medical Alumni Association