The Network of National Libraries of Medicine Northeast Region
Grant Awarded for Digital Graphic Medicine Library Collection at MCPHS
The Network of National Libraries of Medicine Northeast Region (NNLM NER) has awarded Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences a $7000 grant to acquire and determined best practices in collecting digital Graphic Medicine content for libraries. The one-year pilot program, “Digital Graphic Medicine Catalog: Comics and Graphic Novels Electronically Available for Healthcare,” expands on the University’s preexisting special collection, allowing it to address remote access to texts whose physical copies may either be limited or inaccessible, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
School of Healthcare Business Assistant Professor A. David Lewis, who organized the 2020 New England Graphic Medicine (NEGM) Virtual Summit in March, will serve as the Project Lead/Primary Investigator. Working with staff at the MCPHS Library and outside experts, Lewis explains that the grant will particularly help “students learning remotely (especially during the COVID-19 crisis) and affiliate users and institutions, potentially. In addition, I hope this effort will serve as an exemplar for NNLM institutions in identifying and implementing their own digital GM collections.”
Beyond navigating the confusing and often contradictory policies of digital licensing for library titles, the Digital Graphic Medicine Catalog pilot will also seek to aid in bringing smaller GM works to a wider online audience. A portion of the grant money is earmarked to “provide the opportunity for GM creators engaged in self-publishing their work to make their products freely available to wider library audiences.” Lewis has signaled that interested creators with preexisting self-published zines and short comics should contact him directly at email@example.com.
The pilot will conclude with an overall assessment of its processes and recommendations for other libraries considering similar efforts. That report is expected in mid-2021, and a version will be made available to the public.