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Our Sister Library in Latvia



The Robert M. Fales Health Sciences Library at Coastal AHEC has a sister library in Latvia. Our sister library is the Medical Library of Latvia and it is located in Latvia's capital city, Riga. This relationship is a result of a three year pilot project of the US Medical Library Association.

Dr. Joseph Daugman (1908-2002) was the inspiration for the sister library partnership with the Medical Library of Latvia. He spent the first 36 years of his life in Latvia. He fled from his beloved country in 1944, eventually settled in North Carolina, and was a university professor of German and Russian languages at East Carolina University during the 1960s and 1970s.

These accomplishments have been made thus far for the Medical Library of Latvia:


Organized donations of over 12,000 current medical books and journals from over 100 US and Canadian libraries.



  Note the human chain to get the books and journals from the first floor to the third floor - they have no elevator.
Partnered with the Latvian Doctors and Dentists Association.
Partnered with the Latvian Welfare Organization for the shipping of materials from the United States to Latvia.


Mirzda Zoltners, of the Minneapolis Latvian Welfare Association, arranged for the shipping of medical books and journals    to Latvia.

Arranged for over 40 US and Canadian libraries to provide free, electronic delivery of interlibrary loans.
Solicited support from vendors to provide much needed electronic resources such as MD Consult, STAT!Ref, and UpToDate.

Improved access to health information through the resources above and increasing physicians' awareness and use of library services.

Obtained monetary funds to complete the renovations of the Medical Library of Latvia (See pictures below)

Velta Poznaka, Director of the Medical Library of Latvia says, "Thanks to the Project we have made friends and have benefited from all the material support. Nothing in the history of our library has improved our library so dramatically. We are very glad and proud that now we can offer qualitative and up-to-date information, new databases, and so many more medical journals and books to our users. The library's prestige has been raised in the medical community of Latvia."


All of the accomplishments continue to this day with the sister library relationship of the Coastal AHEC Medical Library and the Medical Library of Latvia. 

The Medical Library Association's International Section's website about this program can be found at


This page was last updated on February 15, 2007