The Delaware Division of Libraries in cooperation with the Delaware Academy of Medicine is in the process of developing a strategic plan designed to improve the delivery of health and medical information in the First State.  A group of interested parties including librarians, healthcare providers and educators met at the Christiana Hospital's Ammon Center on November 30, 2007 to begin the process.  During that meeting, the project consultants, Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants, conducted a brief SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis that examined the existing health/medical delivery system.  Following are listings of the topics raised in that session.  We invite you to add your thoughts and ideas in the text boxes that appear below.  Please click on the "DONE" button at the bottom of the page when you have finished entering your thoughts/comments.  Your input will not be recorded until you do so.  Thanks!


Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants



Personnel—all here and willing to make it better!

Intellectual capital

Resources—not centralized, but there are resources here

Spread throughout the state (distribution)

Strong undergrad and grad programs to prepare health professionals

Fact that the state is small

Population is growing

Political support

Lots of services being provided, a lot of things out there already

Emphasis on state level of providing information (coordinated state web presence)

Add any additional STRENGTHS in the box above




DE public libraries are well used, but over 50% are bleeding –too small facilities

(same is true of medical libraries—very small)

There’s no medical school in the state

Not enough internships (losing people to other states; staff and potential staff)

Only one medical library meets MLA standards  (we need to lift the other 7 to meet standards)

Diane—no medical school is a strength, because if we had a medical school it would drain resources)—we save huge amount of money this way  (there are slots at out of state schools)

(other person who said this was a weakness meant that the resources that come along with having one are missing)

Psychiatric hospital before Suzanne arrived tried to get resources from Scott memorial library to come forth with resources…PJ

I work in Dover—we have a struggle getting new positions (constant struggle getting doctors to come there).

For public libraries, using the catalog isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a library card.  A lot of my customers don’t have library card.  (catalog access)

Levels of technology

People want information for free…we don’t have access to UD journal collections, for example.

Lack of public awareness of services offered  (visibility)

Not user friendliness, low literacy rate

Not enough Spanish speakers in the state

Not enough money to purchase needed resources (and hire people)

No stats on how things are used statewide

Add any additional WEAKNESSES in the box above




Deep desire among public to have this information

Way medical profession has changed  (legislators have some idea of this as well)

Health literacy is becoming more visbible

Upcoming election (lt. gov)

UD has new president who set up conference on creating knowledge partnerships

Federal accreditation requirements


Add any additional OPPORTUNITIES in the box above




Public is very willing to settle for “good enough”

People are interested only at their point of need—how do we find opportunities to meet them there?

Lack of $$ support; closing libraries


Way publishing industry is changing; copyright issues


Health insurance

Booming alternative medicine industry that’s under the radar

Perception outside library community that everything is free on the Internet

And that everything is on the internet and everyone can get to it

Perception that everything is accessible at the consumer’s information level

Add any additional THREATS in the box above




Add any additional COMMENTS OR IDEAS in the box above


When you have finished adding your comments, please click on DONE to submit your input.  Click on RESET ONLY IF YOU WISH TO CLEAR ALL FIELDS AND START OVER.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Page created 12/11/07.
Page updated 12/11/07