Michigan State University has twenty-two different libraries and collections attributed to it. One of those is the Health Sciences Digital Library. This is a very important collection for Michigan State University. Graduate students who attend Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, where I plan on attending graduate school, do not have access to a vast collection on physical books on health sciences or the books are spread in various other locations. Because of this, Michigan State has created this database; a link for which can be found below. As a collection, the Health Sciences Digital Library serves students studying both clinical and biomedical topics.
While more often than not I would prefer a collection of physical books, I think that a digital library in this case could be very beneficial. Regular medical texts are usually very large in size and digitizing the books can help reduce the weight students have to lug around. Digital books can allow use outside of a refined spaces as some physical texts are refined to in-library use only. In addition, a more direct, educational, benefit of digital texts is the interactivity. Many people find visual learning to be very effective. Digital books have the ability to be interactive. For example, pictures in a paper book are as is; no more and no less than what you see. In a digital book however, it is possible for the pictures to be interactive which can help improve learning experiences. Multiple people can use digital books also. Physical books can only be used effectively by one person at a time but digital books, on the other hand, can be shared with many people allowing for easier use and a larger impact.
Another reason why this collection is important is because it is selected by the college. Like many special collections at universities all over the world, the institutions pick what materials they make available to their students. The materials they choose usually resemble what the school is teaching. The Health Sciences Digital Library is no exception. Michigan State University has filled the electronic database with numerous books on topics from Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics to Consumer Health to Veterinary Medicine, and many other topics as well. Michigan State is one of the most well known veterinary colleges in the country. I believe it is partly due to this collection that the university has selected.
There is one change I would like to see in this collection. That change is that I would still like to see Michigan State acquire physical copies of these books in addition to the digital copies. While I did mention the positives of a digital library, I also believe something can be said for physical libraries of this nature. Keeping in mind the import of the material contained in these books, I believe the best collection is one that includes both digital and physical books so students can learn however they best see fit.
A link to The Health Sciences Digital Library can be found here: