University of South Florida

MCOM and Heart Institute home to future of medical libraries

The Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange, located in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute features an interactive MultiTaction wall.

When the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute opened in 2020 as a medical school of the future, it was equally important to include a library meant for the future, as well.

Thus, The Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange (FBHKE) was born.

Located on the second-floor mezzanine, the Knowledge Exchange is nearly completely digital –with no shelves lined with books – that expands the research and education support of the Shimberg Library, located at the USF Health campus in north Tampa.

Some of the features of the Knowledge Exchange are a large-scale video visualization wall for multimedia presentations, an executive reading room, computers available to the public, an IT help desk, and space for technology demonstrations and recording lectures.

Distance learning students, and staff across multiple USF Health campuses can take advantage of the digital database as well.  The state-of-the art, world-class library features more than 4,500 online research journals and 4,500 electronic books, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the oldest and one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals.

Library specialists like Courtney Bates-Walker are there to help students, staff and physicians navigate the futuristic library.

The 5,000-square-foot space is also available to Taneja College of Pharmacy students, Heart Institute researchers, USF Health and Tampa General Hospital physicians and patients, and the downtown and greater Tampa community.  Dedicated research librarians play several roles within the library and college, and often go into lecture halls, collegia spaces, and other study areas to meet with students.

“This is truly a place made to support discovery, engagement and collaboration,” said Rose Bland, assistant vice president of the USF Health Libraries and assistant dean at MCOM. “Resources are available 24/7, so we are available whenever our students and faculty are.  Libraries are changing for what students need today so, while there are some quiet spaces, the Knowledge Exchange is meant to be a place where people meet and collaborate.”

“Keeping pace with the rapidly evolving world of health data and technology is critical in today’s healthcare environment,” said Pat Geraghty, Florida Blue chief executive officer, in 2017 after giving a $1 million gift to support the Knowledge Exchange. “The Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange is aptly named as it will serve that goal by facilitating more information sharing and collaboration among students, health professionals and entrepreneurs.  USF and the Tampa Bay community are well positioned to be a center of health knowledge and learning.  We are very proud to be a part of this public facility, which aligns so closely with our own mission of helping people and communities achieve better health.”

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