A visit to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Library!

It is always fun to visit all of our member libraries; but special libraries (those focused in on specialized collections and audiences) are a special kind of fun because they tend to be organized a little differently and to have different materials than most other libraries. Hazelden was no exception! Barb Weiner showed me around the library, and graciously sat with me while I asked a million questions and we chatted about libraries.


You can see the special touches in this library, presenting the library as a valuable resource as well as a welcoming place to visit.  I just love this book-themed curtain separating out the work space from the public space – it’s adorable! And says that this is a nice place to visit – always an important message when encouraging people to use your library!


As library people, we categorize and sort information for our community members, in systems that will make sense to them and help that information to be easily found.  In some libraries that means the Dewey Decimal System, in others it is the Library of Congress classification system, and in government documents it is the SuDoc system. Special libraries often find those systems do not meet their specialized needs; and in this library Barb has worked out a system to help make books and other materials easily accessible to their very diverse community of users. Users include researchers, medical and clinical professionals, graduate students,  and other staff, as well as outside inquirers. With over 15,000 monographs on site, as well as 1,552 audiovisuals, and many current and archived journals, there is a lot here to keep organized!

One of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s values is to be a leader in education, advocacy, and dissemination of addiction knowledge. The library is an integral part of this value. You can see an area of the books collected here.  The library borrows/lends 30+ interlibrary loan journal articles in PDF format each month, through the networks of Docline and Minitex. The need for printed information will never cease! But this is not all they do: this library is also an active participant in the development of the SALIS Collection, a growing online library of full-text addiction-focused books and documents (not journal articles) from the Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists organization. They currently host more than 1,300 titles, all of which can be freely accessed online, and e-borrowed (those with copyrights) or downloaded (those outside of copyright protection).

You can see a few of the journals here, along with some of the books collected in this library. The collection is really interesting in scope; and as I do in all libraries I visit, I find myself with what I call “librarian’s disease” – the inability to be in a library with all these books and NOT pick them up and start reading! (It’s really more of a professional asset than a liability; but it can slow down a visit!)

Not only is this library providing a lot of great material on site, there are multiple other locations around the Center City campus also holding information materials. All of it can be provided to staff and selected others – including the older materials in these beautiful glass-fronted cabinets!  There are 17 Hazelden Betty Ford campuses in various states, and staff from each campus have full access to the services and resources of this library.

It is always wonderful to visit our members, and to have the chance to both admire their materials and programs, as well as sharing it here with our readers! These member visit reports are some of our most-read articles; so we will be increasing the numbers of visits and reports. Have we visited your library yet?? We will! You can email us now to set up a good time, or fill out this form to give us a couple of days and times that work for you. Otherwise, we will be contacting you to set up a visit! Help us out, and get in your request ASAP!