Laura Martínez, the IMO’s librarian, provides support to the centre’s ophthalmologists in their medical work and preparation for conferences

Today, the number of titles is growing daily and is now approaching a thousand publications, including books, journals (over 50 international ophthalmology and optometry journal subscriptions)

Laura first came to IMO in January 2010 on a work placement while at university and did such an outstanding job that she is now a permanent member of IMO team, heading up the library, where she works every morning. Her great ability and initiative have enabled her to undertake the task of managing the library starting from zero. "When I arrived at IMO, the library’s shelves were empty and the floor was covered in books, and they told me: get organising." She had to start by finding out as much as possible about ophthalmology – "before you can organise, you first need to know" – and set about exploring the organic organisation of IMO, a leading centre renowned for the extensive specialisation of its medical team. As soon as she was up to speed with the discipline and the centre’s specialities, Laura began working on classifying and managing the collection and keeping IMO’s professionals abreast of the library’s activities.

Today, the number of titles is growing daily, primarily through donations by IMO’s own staff, and is now approaching a thousand publications, including books, journals (over 50 international ophthalmology and optometry journal subscriptions), research studies, doctoral theses and other industry literature.

The library’s catalogue, which is now online, is based on the classification system used by the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest and most prestigious medical library in the world, and by using its ophthalmology section as a reference, Laura has been working hard to expand it. During the process, the books that were originally on the floor have now found their way onto the library’s shelves, which still contain plenty of space for future works to be added. All of the library’s books are listed in the catalogue and numbered on their spines to enable them to be easily located.

The library’s book classification is based on that used by the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest and most prestigious in the world.

Training and document search

To show users how to make the most of the library, Laura has successfully organised six "information search and copyright" sessions for doctors and other IMO team members. She is currently preparing a course for master’s and postgraduate students for around September time.

As well as classifying titles and informing IMO team about how the library is organised, Laura is also in charge of searching for articles and documents by topic to provide valuable support to the centre’s ophthalmologists in their daily medical and surgical work, their preparation of lectures for courses and conferences, as well as writing of scientific articles, which they regularly publish in the most prestigious national and international journals.

In the future, Laura is planning the creation of specific software for the management of the library, for which she is currently studying Computer Engineering. As she explains, "these studies, which I’ve always wanted to undertake, will enable me to carry out my library work from more of a computer programming perspective through the creation of new document management programs.

Success story

Laura Martínez joined IMO in January 2010. Her previous experience included working on a University of Barcelona comparative research project, in the same university’s work placement office and at Thessaloniki Library in Greece, where she spent six months studying on an Erasmus scholarship programme. Her work as IMO’s librarian has been highlighted by the University of Barcelona’s careers service as an example to students and recent graduates of the potential job opportunities that exist in relation to their studies.