Creating a library holding group: an approach to large system integration


  • Isaac R. Huffman MSLS, AHIP, Director of System Library Services, Providence Health & Services, Washington, Corporate Office, 1801 Lind Avenue Southwest, Renton, WA 98057
  • Heather J. Martin MISt, AHIP, Director of Regional Library Services for Alaska California and Oregon, Providence Health & Services, Oregon, Providence Portland Medical Center, 4805 Northeast Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97213
  • Basia Delawska-Elliott MLIS, Medical Librarian, Providence Health & Services, Oregon, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, 9205 Southwest Barnes Road, Portland, OR 97225



Efficiency, Organizational*, Information Storage and Retrieval/Statistics & Numerical Data*, Libraries, Hospital/Organization & Administration*, Medical/Organization & Administration*, Library Collection Development, Organizational Innovation


Purpose: Faced with resource constraints, many hospital libraries have considered joint operations. This case study describes how Providence Health & Services created a single group to provide library services.

Methods: Using a holding group model, staff worked to unify more than 6,100 nonlibrary subscriptions and 14 internal library sites.

Results: Our library services grew by unifying 2,138 nonlibrary subscriptions and 11 library sites and hiring more library staff. We expanded access to 26,018 more patrons.

Conclusions: A model with built-in flexibility allowed successful library expansion. Although challenges remain, this success points to a viable model of unified operations.






Case Report