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About the Library

Cynthia Robinson

Cynthia Robinson
Associate Dean for Library & Information Services Library Director
717-531-8631
Cynthia Robinson


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

The Library currently employs 8 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 (e.g. Endnote) in course-integrated instruction or workshops to all members of the PSHMC community.

The Library is part of Penn State University Libraries, ranked 9th on the Association of Research Libraries' Investment Index of North American research libraries. Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center members have access to more than 6.9 million books, almost 400,000 E-books, 110,000 online full-text journals and 706 databases.  (2014/2015 data)  The Libraries 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 21 public computer workstations, a 24 hour computer lab, a 24 hour study room and several small group study rooms.  Printers, scanners and copiers are available for  use.  The first floor of the library includes a mix of furniture including study carrels, group study tables, sofas and armchairs.  The second floor houses the 24 hour study room and computer lab and consists of study carrels.  The Library will complete renovations in Fall 2016 to add group study rooms, a one button studio for presentation recording and a technology sandbox for experimentation with emerging technologies including new software and 3-D printing.  The library is open every day except major holidays with the 24 hour study room and computer lab available at all times.  

Mission and Strategic Plan

The Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons
Strategic Plan 2015 - 2019
January 20, 2015
Cynthia K. Robinson, Director

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.