Idalia Gualdana, Sistema Bibliotecario Biomedico Lombardo (SBBL).
Sistema Bibliotecario Biomedico Lombardo (SBBL) is responsible for providing the hospitals and medical research institutions of the Lombardy Region with access to the latest scientific evidence. Established in 1994 by the Regione Lombardia (Local Government Authority of the Milan area), SBBL’s mission is to help improve healthcare across the region. It plays a significant role in executing the overall health improvement strategy set up by the government, and arms the region’s health professionals and students with the latest scientific research. Via a network of 163 participating libraries, SBBL distributes this research to help support continuing education for thousands of staff and students working in evidence-based medicine as well as informing clinical decisions.
One of SBBL’s main responsibilities is to ensure the efficient and smooth delivery of scientific literature to its participating libraries. This includes overseeing the installation of relevant systems and monitoring their performance so that information is accessible by every user, whenever they need it. Given the disparate nature of the SBBL network, it is therefore essential that SBBL chooses partners that can meet the same high standards with regards to secure, robust, delivery of information.
For the past 6 years, SBBL has partnered with Springer for access to key medical journals and ebooks that support their research and teaching programs. Their Springer collections include journal and eBook packages for Medicine, Behavioral Science and Biomedical Life Sciences. “Initially I wasn‘t sure about adding eBooks to our literature collection,” commented Idalia Gualdana, coordinator of the SBBL consortium. “We already had access to thousands of journals and keeping costs under control is one of our key targets. However, the usage of Springer eBooks is extremely high, not only for newly available texts, but also for books published as far back as 2005.”
As SBBL serves an audience whose first language is Italian, a key factor in the decision making was the ability to offer local language ebooks. Idalia further commented, “We really appreciated being able to have ebooks published in Italian. In order to drive usage of the collection, we integrated them into our catalogue and embarked on a site-wide training program. As a result of our efforts, usage went up dramatically and now ebooks account for nearly 50% of our overall annual literature downloads (approx. 250,000 documents). In fact, if usage patterns continue at this pace, at some stage eBook usage will overcome ejournal usage!”
As well as Springer ejournals and ebooks collections, SBBL also subscribes to Springer Images and Springer Protocols databases. “Our users really like the seamless linking between the images on Springer Images and the journals and ebooks.”
But as well as access to the most up-to-date literature available across all medical disciplines, what else does SBBL like about partnering with Springer? “Quality, quantity and availability of content at the product level, plus the friendly nature of Springer staff at the relationship level,” says Idalia. “We decided to choose Springer not only because they’re a very well known publisher in Italy, and their content is of high interest to our users, but because we get a good service from them. Our local contact has always been helpful in assisting us in acquiring new products which in turn helps us to respond to the needs of our users.”