Thankful Patient Smiles at Library Staff During Covid-19

During the Spring of 2020 medical libraries were struggling to balance the need to provide information with the need to be safe from covid-19. The response was varied across the profession. Some hospital libraries remained open, some were open to a limited number of people, others were staffed but closed to patrons, while others were physically closed as staff worked remotely.

On June of 2020, the library received a call from the spouse of a thankful patient.

The caller wanted thank the library staff coming in to “man the library” which allowed her to get the books she needed during the pandemic. She wanted to send thanks to everyone contributing patient care, and shared a story about her husband, a current patient.

She revealed her husband had been “visiting” the library while he recovered from heart surgery. He would stop by the library, stand outside the closed glass doors, cry, and smile as he watched the library staff work during pandemic.

According to caller, her husband had triple bypass surgery right next to his main artery and was very close to dying but the doctors used Dr. Floyd D. Loop’s procedure to do her husband’s triple bypass. Because of Dr. Loop and the library having this info available for the doctors to study, her husband was recovering nicely. “He’s a feisty Italian man,” she said.

She credited the doctors and the information the library provided with helping to save her husband’s life. She couldn’t wait to come pick up her book to look through the doors like her husband to thank the library staff.

The call became a bright spot in the gray covid-19 world for the library staff and it illustrates why medical librarians are passionate about what we do.

-If you have a story about the impact of medical librarians, please contact me and I will share it.

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