The Patient Learning Resource Center at Magee was established through the efforts of Magee volunteers working with Magee staff. The work on the library began in 1985 by a professional librarian and was later funded by grants from the Pew Memorial Trust and several other funding agencies. The staffing consisted of professionals with hospital library experience and volunteers. Volunteers contributed a significant amount of the manpower needed to keep the Resource Center open seven days a week. The Resource Center boasted a collection of 350 book titles, 51 magazine or newsletter titles and 100 pamphlets topics were accessioned. Together, they represented the most comprehensive and current collection on rehabilitation and disability in the Philadelphia area at that time.
The Resource Center was honored at the American Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation annual convention in Baltimore, October 1986, with a poster presentation outlining the Center and its services. The presentation also won a first prize for graphic quality.
Funding for the Resource Center was provided largely by the Pew Memorial Trust Grant and the Nineteen Fifty-Seven Charity Trust. In addition, there were several contributors that supported the Resource Center. Among them were Rohm and Haas Co., Teresa Domanski and the Arcadia Foundation.
After 28 years in operation, new funding sources were provided and today the Patient Learning Resource Center is known as the Jean and Benjamin Segal and Reba and Max Cohen Patient Resource Center. It continues to provide patients and their families and other patrons with an enlightening library experience. Our purpose is two-fold. The first is to promote health literacy; and the second is to provide relevant information, particularly health information, to our patients in order that they can use it in a way that improves the care they receive and improves outcomes for the Hospital caring for the patient.
Our library possesses a great collection of over 600 assorted books, DVDs, and CDs in addition to a broad album of magazines and games, standard desktop and touchscreen computers with assistive devices. The Resource Center is located on Magee's beautiful 6th floor, which is visually pleasant and very inviting. Patients and families frequently stop by to browse or just relax after intensive therapy sessions every day of the week but particularly on weekends.
The Resource Center's name has gone global, being introduced to nearly 800 blog subscribers in over 150 countries and has reached close to 1 million viewers all due to a blog interview posted in July 2013 by the national organization, I Need a Library Job.
Recent funding for the Resource Center is provided by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Magee's Annual Night of Champions, and private fundraising initiatives that have been performed on occasion by the Resource Center Manager.