March 29, 2017

Tradeline: Transformation to exclusively digital library frees up space for Michigan Medical School

The Medical School engaged in a comprehensive project formation effort, aligning the goals of the new curriculum with the programming and planning needs to determine the most effective design

A. Alfred Taubman Health Sciences Library

A dynamic, forward-looking partnership between the University of Michigan Medical School and the A. Alfred Taubman Health Sciences Library has transformed a relatively hidden, introverted, and utilitarian 1970s book repository into a vibrant 21st century learning hub. But the original goal of this $55 million renovation project was much more modest than a whole-building transformation: It was simply to improve the medical student lounge, a windowless basement space that with each passing year had become less inviting to prospective and current students, as other medical schools improved their student-life spaces.

“Recruits were telling us, ‘We really love Michigan, we want to come here, but this other school’s space is a little bit nicer than yours,’” says Brad Densen, director of the office of medical student education at University of Michigan Medical School. “This kind of feedback, combined with an impending LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education) accreditation, sparked our initial inquiry with the library about possibly moving the student lounge into the library’s sixth floor.”

The library responded by upping the ante.