Client Stories: Hartford HealthCare

Lisa Carter
“LibLynx redefines resource access – we’re empowered, we’re personalized, and we’re mobile. Best of all, patrons love it!”
– Lisa Carter, Director of Health Science Libraries

Hartford HealthCare’s Library Director, Lisa Carter, realized that OpenAthens, the access solution they had purchased just 3 years ago, couldn’t keep up with their changing requirements and demands.

Library budgets were constrained, but an increasing demand for library service conflicted with the drive for greater efficiencies. Multiple, inflexible library portals soaked up administrative time and effort, a poor mobile experience was deterring patrons, and usage analysis required tedious manual intervention.

The solution was supporting all the library’s on and off-site access needs from a single library web portal automatically customized for each user’s requirements, based on location and licensed resources.

The result – patrons are excited about having a single, mobile-friendly portal for resources, and valuable instructional tools enable librarians to maintain their focus on outreach despite limited staffing.

Hartford HealthCare

  • 4,100+ Physicians, Research Scientists, Residents, Fellows, & Students
  • 14 locations
  • 7 hospitals / 1,900+ beds
  • Academic & Special libraries

The Challenge

  • Library budget pressure
  • Greater complexity
  • Poor mobile experience
  • Inadequate reporting
  • Multiple library portals
  • Separate intranet & internet portals

The Solution

  • Lower costs
  • Eliminated reliance on IT
  • Improved service delivery
  • A great mobile experience
  • Insight into user behavior
  • Flexible user management
  • Valuable instructional tools

A definite game changer. We control our spending. Saves us thousands of dollars on our budget.

Lisa Carter, Library Director

Great mobile app!


Thanks for the awesome upgrade!

Nurse Practitioner

I migrated to the new LibLynx platform and I like it. THANK YOU!

Physician, The William Backus Hospital

Thanks for your excellent assistance. I am up and running on all platforms

Department Chief

Your new LibLynx site looks great! Which of your online resources would you recommend for quick and easily accessibility to pediatric medication dosages?

Doctor, Community Pediatrics
THE CHALLENGE: Deliver more, with a lot less
Hartford HealthCare’s Library Director, Lisa Carter, realized that OpenAthens, the access solution they had purchased 3 years ago, couldn’t keep up with their changing requirements and demands.

Library budgets were constrained, but they faced an increasing demand for service from over 4,100 professional staff and students at their 14 locations. Multiple, inflexible library portals soaked up administrative time and effort. A poor mobile experience was deterring patrons from using the library portal, and usage analysis required tedious manual intervention.

Library Budget pressure
A corporate efficiency drive led to greater focus on library productivity. Maintaining monolithic library portals for each location, as well as site-specific licensing arrangements, soaked up administrative time and effort. This made it increasingly difficult to deliver effective services across multiple locations.

Increased demand
for services
The high level of library support and service that Hartford’s clinicians had come to expect needed to be maintained. But growth in the range and volume of resources available had also made it harder for patrons to find
resources most relevant to their needs.

The library was stuck between relying on discovery tools that didn’t encompass all relevant materials, and sending patrons to review increasingly long lists of resources. For example, resource target URLs dropped patrons into generic landing pages, rather than directly to relevant resources, and their previous access platform could not support all resources.

Poor mobile experience
The poor access experience on mobile devices led patrons to bypass the library portal in favor of dedicated publisher apps, skewing the library’s understanding of patron usage. Worse, some apps required patron purchase to access content that the library had already paid for.

Inadequate reporting
Analysis required manually compiling statistics from all locations, so basic questions, such as whether usage represented low use by many or heavy use by the few, could not be easily answered.

Usage stats only consolidated off-site usage, forcing librarians to painstakingly source and compile on-site stats from each individual publisher

HOW WE HELPED: Access customized for patron needs

Lower costs
High automation means significantly reduced ongoing administration and maintenance. The library no longer needs to maintain separate intranet and internet web portals, or location specific library portals, and Lisa and her colleagues can concentrate on research and instruction.

Managing access down to the patron level also enables Hartford to save a substantial amount of money on subscription costs by licensing resources just for the users that need them, rather than for everyone at every location.

The prospect of justifying my next budget is not as daunting

Lisa Carter, Library Director

Valuable instructional tools
Our instructional tools greatly simplify remote support and patron education, empowering users to take greater control of their library experience and find the resources they need faster. This functionality was particularly important to Lisa, as it enabled her to maintain a focus on outreach despite limited staffing.

Improved service delivery
Curated resource panels targeted at specific patron groups allow the library to support a wider range of information seeking behaviors.

With over 17 curated specialty topics covered, Lisa and her staff can easily direct patrons to resources tailored to their needs, and encourage exploration of new resources often ignored by users with fixed favorites, or excluded by the library’s discovery tools. Patrons can further customize the layout of their library portal to focus on the resources that matter most to them.

A great mobile experience
Hartford’s new mobile-ready portal allows patrons to dispense with their dedicated publisher apps and access all resources via the library portal – saving them time and money, reinforcing the value delivered by the library,
and minimizing login fatigue.

Insight into user behavior
Our reporting tools make it easy for Lisa and her colleagues to understand usage patterns within patron roles and specialties, enabling more informed purchase decisions.

Flexible user management
Hartford can mix and match the user management processes that work best for them, including custom self-registration pages, batch imports, manual additions, and integration with their internal Single Sign-On (SSO) solution.

Eliminated reliance on IT
The library can quickly reconfigure their portal for the changing needs of their patrons, without reliance on IT for technical support. Publisher-specific outages, new resources and library events can be promoted directly to relevant patron group or locations via custom messaging.

Love the instructional tools! Simplifies and streamlines how we provide support. We’re spending so much more time on instruction.

Lisa Carter, Library Director
A partnership
Implementation took a matter of weeks, working in partnership with the library to define locations, user groups and resource groups, based on user needs and licensing restrictions. These building blocks power the delivery of a custom library portal for each user, allowing Hartford to fine tune a patron’s individual experience.

We created themed layouts to enable the portal to reflect each location’s identity, supporting Hartford’s branding and reinforcing the role and value of the library.

Finally, we supported the library in uploading user information, setting up and configuring email templates, and providing support in the roll out of their new LibLynx solution.

Hartford HealthCare
Hartford HealthCare is Connecticut’s most comprehensive health care network with over 4,100 physicians, residents, fellows, research scientists, and students from colleges and universities throughout the state and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Their flagship facility, Hartford Hospital, is one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England. Other facilities include an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, two community hospitals, and a large multispecialty physician group. The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute provides coordinated care across five cancer centers, and is the charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance.

Health Science Libraries
Hartford’s Health Science Libraries are both academic and special libraries, serving patrons at 14 locations throughout Connecticut with four physical libraries and 10 virtual libraries.

In addition to supporting clinicians with research and instruction, the libraries provide the Continuing Medical Education departments at four hospitals with research support, and review 3,000+ news feeds weekly in order to curate a custom news feed for patrons.

Lisa Carter, Library Director
Lisa started her career at Hartford Hospital in 1989. A proponent of library outreach long before the advent of e-resources, Lisa considers it her personal mission to get patrons to stop relying on Google searches and instead develop critical thinking skills. As a result, and because Hartford recognizes the value of the library in improving patient outcomes and education, Lisa and her staff are routinely invited to present at various events including Grand Rounds, Nursing Shared Governance, Graduate Medical Education, Continuing Medical Education, resident and new student orientations.