Finding Library Services in Non-Traditional Spaces

April 10, 2017

Janet Lasin, MLS, BSDid you know that you can find a librarian in spaces other than a public or school library? These experts can also be found in specialized libraries such as in hospitals, law firms, museums, or right here at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The Resource and Learning Center (RLC) at Rutgers Cancer Institute strives to meet each person’s individualized learning needs and empower patients, families and the community to make well-informed healthcare decisions. 

From the moment a patient is diagnosed, the library is there to provide information on treatment options, symptom management, alternative and complementary therapies, nutrition, and support services. While undergoing treatment, a patient can check out an iPad, DVD player or popular movie.  The RLC is staffed with a medical librarian who evaluates and updates the content found in the library’s electronic and print resources and also on the RLC website. The librarian is a unique member of the interdisciplinary team who provides information chosen specifically for each oncology group. For anyone not able to come to the RLC, a wealth of information can be found at the RLC website, or the information can be mailed or emailed to the patron. 

Later this spring, the Resource and Learning Center will be expanding its services to a satellite location in the East Tower of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, which is the flagship hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute. This library extension will support patients and their families who are being seen in Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Hematologic Malignancies and Blood and Marrow Transplant Programs. A full-time patient education coordinator will be available to meet the patients individual needs by providing resources specific to the hematologic patient population. Similar library services also are available at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark.

Rutgers Cancer Institute is one of only a handful of the nation’s 47 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers that have a resource library for patients on site. Education is a vital part of our mission, and we at the RLC are happy to share our expertise with patients, families and the public.

Janet Lasin, MLS, BS, is the medical librarian at Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Resource and Learning Center. 


Michele Fisher


precision medicine at Rutgers Cancer Institute







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