iSchool Students Collect Medical Texts for Afghanistan


Members of SLAPSG (Special Libraries Association Pittsburgh Student Group) will be sending over 70 medical textbooks to U.S. troops in Afghanistan for Operation Medical Libraries (OML). The group, comprised of MLIS students at the iSchool, has been collecting donated textbooks from the medical community here at Pitt during the Spring 2011 semester. The donated books will be sent to the U.S. military organization, which will then dispense the much-needed medical literature to hospitals and other health centers in Afghanistan. The medical literature in the war-torn country is currently lacking due to cultural and social restrictions enforced by previous administrations.

The LIS students first learned of the nationwide effort to get quality medical information and images to developing countries -- Operation Medical Libraries -- in their LIS 2585 HEALTH CONSUMER RESOURCES AND SERVICES course, taught by Professor Ellen Detlefsen.  The students were surprised to note that the University of Pittsburgh was not a participating institution; therefore, SLAPSG president Amy Yonick decided to start a local initiative after other student members indicated they were interested in pursuing the project. Using e-mail and flyers distributed at social events, the students reached out to various schools at the University of Pittsburgh, including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.

These ambitious students are still accepting medical materials and are raising funds to ship more books via the Military APO system. The group will accept any books related to the life sciences with a copyright date of 2000 or later. Paper journals and board exam reviews are not being accepted at this time. The students will continue to send the books throughout the summer and hope that future LIS students will carry on the project after they graduate this summer. Congratulations to Amy Yonick and her fellow students for undertaking such an amazing project!

Amy Yonick, Ricardo Figueroa, Lauren Kime
Packing OML books Operation Medical Libraries

Amy Yonick, SLAPSG President and head of OML@ Pitt
Books for OML Operation Medical Libraries