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Siriraj Medical Library



Historical Background of Siriraj Medical Library

princesssiriraj3.jpgSiriraj Medical Library is the oldest medical library in Thailand. The Royal Medical School was founded on the Siriraj Hospital site by the decree of King Rama V in 1890 (B.E.2433). The Library was established soon after, in 1897 (B.E.2440), in the main building of the Medical School.

In 1916 (B.E.2459), King Rama VI founded the first university in Thailand, Chulalongkorn University. The Royal Medical School was then renamed the Faculty of Medicine Chulalongkorn University.

In 1925 (B.E.2468), Professor A. G. Ellis, then Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, relocated the library to the second floor of the Administrative Building, and recruited the first library staff. In the same year, the personal collection of Ronald A. Spaeth (Head of the Physiology Department) was donated to the Library - this was the foundation of the Library's medical collection.

The ensuing estructuring of universities in Thailand saw the Faculty of Medicine and Siriraj Hospital amalgamated in 1942 (B.E.2485) to form a new university, the University of Medical Sciences. Siriraj Medical Library continued to function as both the Medical Library of the Faculty of Medicine and Siriraj Hospital, and the main University Library of the University of Medical Sciences.

The second World War frustrated efforts to upgrade the Library collection, as the transport of materials by ship from other countries was extremely hazardous. Wishing to improve the Library as quickly as possible, the Faculty of Medicine formed a Library Committee to oversee the development of the Library's collections and services, and towards the end of the War, the first professional librarian was appointed.

After the War, the Librarian sent a list of required journals to several universities in the United States of America. Subsequently these journals were shipped to the Library with the financial support of the China Medical Board.

Again, with the financial help of the China Medical Board of New York, which provided $200,000 as a mathching grant, the Library moved to its new building in 1965 (B.E.2508). The Library then occupied 3,000 square meters, on four air-conditioned floors. The new library buidling was named after Prince Siriraj.

In 1977 (B.E.2520), all personnel of the Library transferred to the Library Division under the Mahidol University Rector's Office. In 1986 (B.E.2529), at the direction of the Ministry of University Affairs, the Library Center became a separate institution of Mahidol University. At the same time, Siriraj Medical Library and its personnel became part of the newly-created Mahidol University Library and Information Center, whose Central Library was located at the Salaya Campus.

CD-ROM Network
    In 1988 (B.E.2531), Siriraj Medical Library embarked on a modernisation program, to provide the highest possible quality information services to the Library's users. Using the appropriate current informtaion technology, the Library started with the introduction of Medline on CD-ROM in that year. This stand-alone system allowed only one user to access the system at a time, and demand for the service grew rapidly. In 1991-1992 (B.E.2534-2535) with the generous support of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, the Library installed a CD-ROM Network, Siriraj Medical Library Network (SML NET) which comprised: 
    2 CD servers containing 28 CD-ROM drives. CD servers provide rapid information retrieval from single or multiple CD-ROM databases, for single or multiple-concurrent users. 
   10 CD-ROM workstations in the Library 18 CD-ROM workstations placed at several convenien sites in 21 departments of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital Remote access via modem and telephone line to the Siriraj Medical Library Network for users outside the Library building. 

Integrated Library System

      In 1992 (B.E.2535), the Library purchased VTLS, the Library Management System, and in late 1993 (B.E.2536) started the conversion of records of Library materials to electronic format. In 1995 (B.E.2538), the conversion of records for books, thesis, research report, audiovisual materials and the Thai-index were completed, and made available on the LibraryOPACs. This has made it much more convenient for Library users to locate material in the Library. At the end of 1995 (B.E.2538) the automated Library circulation system was introduced, allowing users to borrow Library materials, and have their loans managed accurately and efficiently by the automated system. The borrowing status of items is displayed on the Library catalogue, so that users can see immediately if the item is available in the Library or is out on loan. This facility will save Library users a great deal of time, as the previous system did not provide this information.


    In April 18th 2004 (B.E.2547), the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital Committee approved the transferng of Siriraj Medical Library and its staff members to the Office of the Dean by upgrading it to Siriraj Medical Library Division.

    In March 9th 2005 (B.E.2548), Mahidol University approved the transfering of Siriraj Medical Library staff to be under the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital.

2005 Onwards

Overall Operation:  
    The library has joined MU integrated library automation system (INNOPAC Millennium) which replaces the old VTLS system.  This new system is the same as that which is used in Mahidol University Libraries.
    The library provides various resources in the form of electronic facilities including e-books, e-journals and e-databases.
    The library has also introduced a new service called ‘the 24 hour book drop’ members can return borrowed books at any time, day of night.  The new ‘Self-Check-Out Service is also now available
    The library has helped set up eight departmental library databases into the INNOPAC system for efficiently gaining access to departmental library resources via the internet.  In the future, the library plans to expand this assistance to cover the remainder of the departments.

Library Development:    
    The Siriraj Medical Library Development Committee leaded by the Faculty Dean, Clinic Prof Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn, MD, made a field trip to Hong Kong to study and observe the management and IT systems at their medical library, their hospital library, and their university library to enhance the efficiency of the Siriraj Medical Library management.  As a result of this visit, the Committee has proposed two new projects to make the library as a ‘Gateway to Wisdom’ for all users.  This will involve two new projects: a Renovation Project for the Siriraj Medical Library, and an Information Development Systems Project, which will start in 2005 onwards.

Dr. Radut | cop_topic