Carol Jenkins


HSL Director (1986-2013)

Professional Accomplishments

  • Medical Library Association President (2001) & Fellow
  • Marcia C. Noyes Award from the Medical Library Association (2011)
  • Cornerstone Award from the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (2010)
  • Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Informational Professionals

Ms. Carol Jenkins became the Director of the Health Sciences Library in 1986. Prior to coming to UNC, Carol Jenkins held library administrative positions at the University of Maryland, University of Virginia, and Oregon Health Sciences University. She is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and received her MLS degree from the University of Oregon.

Carol Jenkins recalls the challenges she faced when she started as Director in 1986.




The HSL pioneered many new roles under Jenkins’ leadership:

  • Being one of the first libraries in the country to provide access to MEDLINE and other databases from users’ desktops anywhere on campus. The UNCLE (University of North Carolina Literature Exchange) system initially provided access to five years of the complete MEDLINE files, including all languages and abstracts.
  • Creation of the AHEC Digital Library (ADL), an online service with a focus on clinical care. ADL provides online books, journals and databases to health professionals throughout NC and beyond.
  • NC Health Info was first developed in collaboration with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and the National Library of Medicine. NC Health Info is a unique web database of authoritative health sources and local health resources for the public.


Karen Crowell (left), Clinical Information Specialist,
attending a morning meeting at UNC Hospitals


The Health Sciences Library implemented liaison-based services in all the schools of the Division of Health Affairs and in the University of North Carolina Medical Center. Four of the liaisons hold faculty appointments within their respective schools.

In 2002, the Health Sciences Library began a major renovation of the building. The renovation expanded staff and user space. All six floors of the library were renovated.


HSL in 2006

Highlights of the 2002 renovation


Ms. Jenkins retired June 30, 2013 after 26 years as Director of the Health Sciences Library.  View her retirement page, Legacy of Leadership and Innovation.


“As director of the health sciences library, Carol has shown leadership in planning for innovative, technology-based information services for the health sciences. She has experimented with new organizational structures to match evolving service environments.”  – Joe Hewitt, former University Librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“With vision, skill, and persistence, Carol led the library and many of the faculty into contemporary technologies … instructional programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels came online … a development that could not have occurred without Carol’s vision and leadership. She brought a good late twentieth century library into the twenty-first century by overcoming the forces leading to compromise in quality and purpose.”  – Stuart Bondurant, M.D., dean emeritus of the SOM

HSL Growth during Jenkins’ Directorship

1986/87 2012/13
Budget $2,669,748 $7,762,666
Journal Subscriptions 4,590 8,201
Volumes 233,770 449,130
Staff 26 Librarians, 26 Support Staff, 10 Students 26 Librarians, 27 Support Staff, 8 Students


Marshall, Joann G. “Carol G. Jenkins, Medical Library Association President, 2001-2002.” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 89.3 (2001): 311-314. Print.

Mitchell, Courtney. “Jenkins’ long career in library science thrived on change.” University Gazette 9 July 2013. Web.

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Last modified: 05/12/20