About the Library

All faculty, staff, and students at the Penn State College of Medicine (COM) and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (PSHMHMC) enjoy free unlimited access to the Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons resources. Student groups included are: medical, graduate, physician assistant, and nursing students. Library collections and services support the informational needs of PSHMHMC users engaged in patient care, research, and education, including interlibrary loan, search services, consultations and instruction. Patients and members of the general public also have on-site access to our print and electronic information resources. As of July 2020, library access is restricted to COM and PSHMHMC members.

The Library currently employs 10 faculty librarians who hold, at minimum, a Master’s degree from an American Library Association accredited library program.  Full time and part time staff are also employed by the Library. Library faculty teach literature searching, information literacy, basic database search skills, evidence-based medicine and bibliographic software programs in course-integrated instruction or workshops. Library personnel provide instructional sessions in support of the exploration and adoption of the emerging and innovative technologies with sessions supporting data visualization, e-learning, multimedia production/design, 3d modeling and 3d printing. All library instructional sessions and consultations are available to members of the university, the COM and PSHMHC community.

The Library is part of Penn State University Libraries, ranked 10th on the Association of Research Libraries' Investment Index of North American research libraries. COM and PSHMHMC members have access to all library resources through the Pennsylvania State University. Check the Libraries Statistics and Data for details. Library resources are increasingly electronic, allowing 24 hour access from anywhere.  Most digital platforms are compatible with mobile devices.  Penn State provides access to many of the major scientific journals, highly used scholarly databases and point of care clinical tools.

The Library hosts 26 public computer workstations, the Technology Innovation Sandbox, One Button Studio, Experimental Classroom, quiet study lounge and 13 small group study rooms.  Printing, scanning, and copy services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Library spaces include a mix of furniture featuring: study carrels, group tables, booths and soft seating. The second floor houses the quiet study lounge and classroom space. The library is open every day with 24-hour access to the library commons.  

The library commons at the COM University Park Regional Campus, located in State College PA offers a small shared library space with a circulating book collection and access to interlibrary loan and other library services.

Library Advisory Committee

The members of the Library Advisory Committee (LAC) serve in an advisory capacity to the Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons Director, who is the chair of the committee. The LAC is a standing committee of the Faculty Organization at the Hershey campus.