MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Medical Educator Speakers Bureau Seminars and Events Research Studies Research Grants Catalyst PDF File Community Happenings Campus News

Return to Main Menu

Library Web site a big hit with 50 million visits

by Megan Fink
Public Relations
The days when students and staff had to physically enter the MUSC Library, shuffle through the card catalog and scour dusty shelves for educational materials are long gone. While the hard copies of these resources still are available in the great halls of the library, most people access the same literature online.
The library’s main Web site,, is so popular that it obtained its 50 millionth hit last month. The site also is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“The 50 million hits represent a change in culture and in how we deliver the goods we’ve always delivered,” said Thomas Basler, Ph.D., Libraries and Learning Resource Centers director and Department of Library Science and Informatics chair. “The switchover was seamless. Now it’s just second nature.”
Traditional resources, such as the library catalog, journals and books, are offered online. The library also provides databases, drug and consumer health information, search engines, links to other libraries, and various clinical tools.
Online offerings give students, faculty and researchers a greater selection. A collection of 2,000 paper journals has increased to a compilation of 20,000 electronic journals. In addition to the main health and science journals, the library now carries electronic journals in other subjects including law and statistics.
While 50 million hits is quite an achievement, staff predicts fewer visitors to the official Web site as more clinicians visit library-affiliated niche sites directly instead of going through the library’s main page. “It will take longer to get the second one (50 millionth hit) than the first, because we are changing the way we look at stuff,” Basler said. “These are all Web sites that we’ve designed for particular departments. These subject-based pages have specialized searches, tools and resources.”
Web-based resources also enhance collaboration between universities. Librarians at MUSC and the University of South Carolina contribute content for the Library Resources Web site for the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP), In a similar project, librarians and Web developers constructed a site for the Clemson/MUSC partnership in bioengineering education and research.
Other library-affiliated sites include the South Carolina Physician’s Virtual Library,; and the Terrorism site,
Extensive outreach initiatives also benefit from the MUSC library program. For example, the library’s consumer health site, Hands on Health-SC,, offers health and wellness information and a directory of health services called Go Local-South Carolina. It is managed by Nancy McKeehan, a Department of Library Science and Informatics professor and assistant director of Libraries for Systems.
For more information on the library’s main Web site or its affiliated sites, contact Thomas Basler at or 792-9211. Questions regarding Hands on Health can be sent to Nancy McKeehan at    


Friday, July 18, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.