The Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, home to the Lillian Phillips Library and the Health Sciences Library, is the oldest continuously operating massage therapy institution in the country. Set in the busy West Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, the school serves five hundred students specializing in massage therapy, nursing, personal training, medical assisting, and surgical technology.
The Lillian Phillips Library contains one of the oldest and largest collections of massage therapy and oriental medicine materials, including esoteric titles on light therapy and pet massage. In addition, the library maintains a collection of original documents on massage therapy written by the school’s long-time teachers.
Both the Lillian Phillips Library and its satellite, the Health Sciences Library, provide students and faculty with access to databases including Proquest Nursing & Allied Health and The Natural Standard. In addition to their physical collection, the library provides access to thousands of e-books through ebrary. For specific information related to the students’ majors, Library Director Jill Goldstein maintains LibGuides relevant to each practice area.
Ms. Goldstein orients new students to the Swedish Institute by teaching an introduction to library skills, and continues to provide one-on-one tutorials to students throughout their studies. “Since many of the students are older or have little access to technology, I see evidence of the damage of the digital divide,” she says. “If education is to be the great equalizer then it is our responsibility as librarians and information professionals to give a hand up to these struggling students."
This spirit of responsibility to the community is reflected in the students’ extracurricular endeavors; the massage school in particular lends their training to athletes at marathons and triathlons. The school also frequently opens their doors to host health fairs for the community, and is committed to providing outreach to the Ronald McDonald House and Housing Works.
Image courtesy of Jill Goldstein, Library Director at Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences.
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