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Global Health Project Breaks Down Veterinary Library Borders

Kris Alpi, director of the William Rand Kenan Jr. Veterinary Medicine Library, is the recipient of a scholarship for a collaborative approach to making pharmacy literature more accessible to around the world.

The Medical Library Association awarded Alpi its Librarians without Borders Ursula Poland International Scholarship for a research project aiming to streamline availability of scholarly resources for pharmacists around the world playing a vital role in the health of animals and humans.

The annual scholarship honors an impactful international project by a health sciences librarian in the United States or Canada.

“Two of the things that animal health information specialists and veterinary pharmacists have in common are our scarcity and our desire to improve animal and human health,” said Alpi, “It will take a global team to understand how the literature of veterinary pharmacy is distributed worldwide.”

The project builds on work Alpi, also an adjunct professor of population health and pathobiology at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, launched in 2016 as a team effort with library staff and veterinary pharmacists at the CVM. During research, the team mapped out the availability of veterinary pharmacy literature at United States libraries serving veterinary and pharmacy schools.

Veterinary pharmacy literature, such as popular medical journals, was far less commonly found at pharmacy schools than veterinary schools, even though many pharmacists support veterinarians by creating customized medications for an array of animal species, according to the project proposal outline.

The next steps of the project include working with international specialists to determine how best to share veterinary medicine resources and pinpointing libraries most in need of assistance. Alpi will be honored for the work at the annual MLA meeting in Atlanta in May. The research has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists in Budapest this summer.

“The scholarship supports our first step in launching a global conversation,” said Alpi. “I hope that through our exploration we can create shared awareness of access to veterinary pharmacy literature and encourage deeper relations between veterinary and pharmacy education.”

For more information on the Kenan Veterinary Medicine Library at the CVM, which is open to the public, go here. For more information on the Medical Library Association, go here.