Cedar Rapids Public Library now has Mercy Medical satellite location

Collection consists of medical reference books and a consumer health section

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A partnership between Mercy Medical Center and Cedar Rapids Public Library will give residents another location to check out books, DVDs and CDs.

The hospital's Watts Medical Library, at 701 10th StreetSE,will now serve as a satellite location.

Librarian Randi Thon said the partnership will help grow the medical library as well as give the community more access to information on health.

Thon said she brought the idea from Texas, where a similar program was set up between the city and local university in Brazoria County. The city of Mt. Vernon also has a successful partnership with Cornell College's Cole Library, she said.

The Watts Medical Library & Patient Resource Center has been part of Mercy Medical Center since 2003. Named after Dr. Campbell Watts a local physician it has more than 2,000 books, DVDs and CDs. The collection consists of medical reference books and a consumer health section as well as nonfiction.

And while doctors primarily used the library when Thon began five years ago, the customer base has grown along with the collection. "Patients were scared to come in," she said. "But as we've built it up, more have come in."

Amber Mussman, community relations director at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, said this is a new venture for the library, which does not have any other satellite locations.

"It s a lot more than just adding books," she said. Watts Medical Library had to get on the same system as the city library, and the two had to hash out logistics and align policies.

"No additional locations are planned," Mussman said. "We're going to see how this does and go from there."

All materials at the Watts Medical Library may be checked out with the exception of items from the medical collection, which are considered reference materials.

Materials can be checked out using library cards issued at the Watts Library or Cedar Rapids, Marion or Hiawatha public libraries.

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