Library History

     When St. Joseph Hospital opened in 1929, a small; "Doctor's Library" was created. It contained books and journals donated by the medical staff and was administered by the medical records librarian. In 1943, medical staff dues financed a few journal subscriptions and, in 1944, each staff member was asked to donate one new book. By 1948, the library had outgrown its quarters and was moved to the medical wing. 

     On December 8, 1950, Jesse Burlew, M.D. died and left a bequest that was to be used by the hospital as a memorial library fund. Dr. Burlew bequeathed in trust to the Sisters of St. Joseph the income from the property on the corner of First and Main Streets in Santa Ana which was leased to the Firestone Service station.  In November 1952, the will was finally probated and income began to accumulate. Guided by Samuel J. Camarata, M.D.,  the Library Committee began to purchase new books. The first medical librarian was hired on a part-time basis in 1955.  In 1964, the new Saint Joseph Hospital was built. At that time, the Sisters transformed the cafeteria at the south end of the old building into the current library quarters. The budget for the library in 1964 approximated $30,000. 

     Today, Burlew Medical Library is one of the largest and most active private hospital libraries in southern California. Staffed by 3.2 FTE's, Burlew Medical Library is a shared service to both Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and St. Joseph Hospital of Orange. In FY 99-00, Burlew Medical Library circulated over 20,000 journals, books and AV materials, completed 4,300 literature research projects and reference questions while delivering  over 11,000 documents via interlibrary loan, fax, electronic full text and photocopy service. Burlew Medical Library brings in nearly 69% of its budget in revenue from sources such as SJH/CHOC Medical Staff Dues, CHOC shared services agreement, Burlew bequest funds, fees for service, Loansome Doc services to external clients, cost- recovery of fees for document duplication and interlibrary loans, contract for service to SJHS Corporate Office and donations. 

     Some historic milestones along the way have included:

1979- Library remodeled

1980- ReaCH (Reach for Consumer Health) developed by the library. A core collection of consumer health books and pamphlets was created  and a closed-circuit TV system offering an in-house patient education video channel was developed. 

1981- Burlew Medical Library receives a grant from the National Library of Medicine to further develop its nursing collection. 

1983- upgraded our 300 baud  computer printer to a Texas Instruments  1200 baud   computer terminal. Since, at this point in time, we paid an hourly rate to the National Library of Medicine for access to Medline and other databases, a faster speed computer saved much time and money. 

1985- Contracted with Hospital Satellite Network to allow access to educational videos aired over satellite. Developed a proposal to purchase a integrated library system to automate many key functions in the library. 

1986- Successful bid to provide library research services to Martin Luther Hospital and to the corporate office of the St. Joseph Health System. 

1987 Burlew Medical Library purchased and installed the Sydney Library System which enabled partial automation of cataloging, inquiry and serials functions. A retrospective conversion of all of our manual catalog records was conducted to convert these records to an online catalog. Goodbye card catalog!

1988- Burlew Medical Library begins to use E-Mail through CLASS, California Library Authority Systems and Services. 

1989- Purchase of our first fax machine through a grant  from the California State Library. Initiation of daily courier service to CHOC.

1990- Dr. Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, visits Burlew Medical Library.  UCLA recommended that Dr. Lindberg visit Burlew Medical Library as an excellent example of a hospital medical library.  Also, Burlew Medical Library participates in a beta- test for a new electronic, document delivery system called "Loansome Doc."

1991- A fundraising resource center is established for use by the entire Health System.  Julie Smith is selected as recipient of the "Gold Standard Search Award" by the National Library of Medicine.

1993 Beginning forays into the World Wide Web and contract with St. Mary Desert Valley to provide library services. 

1995 Jan Grabowski selected as Employee of the Month. 

1996- Acquisition of OVID Medline on CD ROM which enables end-users to conduct some of their own, simple searches. 

1997- Continued technology advances in the library: a dedicated end-user WWW station in the library; upgraded computers,  widespread usage by library staff of the WWW including e-mail, list serves and much more. Continued service volume increases. 

1999- Electronic delivery of tables of contents and Medline literature searches available upon request. Outreach program directed at pm and night shift employees. 

2000- Internet  Appropriate Usage Policy in the library. 2000 Library Satisfaction Survey  indicates that 88% of all respondents gave Burlew Medical Library an overall rating of "excellent" or "good." Continued planning for a library web site. Continued marketing of Loansome Doc fee-based document delivery services to external patrons. Library fundraising form developed. 

2001- Burlew Medical Library's web site at premieres!. This site offers access to over 70 key full text journals, online literature and article request forms, organized links collection featuring nearly 1,000 authoritative links for clinicians, researchers and managers and MUCH MORE! XtremeLearning , a technology-based training system comes to SJH. In the first month alone, Burlew Medical Library signs up nearly 50 users.

2003-  continued expansion of resources  on Burlew Medical Library's web site with over 200 full text journals available online.

2005- We added a subject categorized approach to full text journals on the library web site. Loansome Doc services now bringing in approximately $25,000/year.

2006-  Burlew Medical Library  creates the nation's first blog devoted entirely to Evidence Based Nursing/Nursing Research:  . MD Consult database is added to our array of databases. Via MD Consult we now have an additional 30 journal titles and 40 more online textbooks linked on our library web site. Users may now access over 700 full text journals via our library web site.

2007-  After a year long project, the library completes the conversion of its catalog holdings to a web-based catalog dubbed CyBurCat.  CyBurCat is now linked on the library's web site and is our catalog of book, journal and multimedia holdings. Some of the new features include the ability  to display book table of contents, ability to catalog web based documents and more. Also, St. Joseph Hospital adds UptoDate after the library organizes surveys which demonstrate that UptoDate is the point of care information system desired by the majority of clinicians.