North Carolina and Moldova forged a partnership through an American “Partnerships for Peace” initiative with former Soviet states. Since then, government, churches, civic organizations, nonprofit agencies, colleges and universities, doctors, nurses, engineers, private firms and others have provided assistance in Moldova. Along with other libraries across North Carolina, Laupus Library provides current medical literature and electronic journals to Moldova. The libraries periodically cull their collection of duplicate or redundant clinical books and journals. The materials are temporarily housed at ECU and shipped bi-annually in large batches to Moldova. In 2007, more than 7,000 books were sent to Moldova. The journals, books and electronic database are used by doctors and residents in teaching, research and caring for patients.
The Scientific Medical Library of Moldova was formed in 2005 by combining two libraries: the Library of the State Medical and Pharmaceutical University and The Republican Scientific Medical Library in the Republican Hospital. In 2007, there were 26 hospitals in Moldova, each with a hospital library that is assisted by the Scientific Medical Library. The library’s collection is spread over several locations, and it contains 1,200,000 books which are all in Russian.
On 26–27 March 2007, Laupus Library welcomed two guests from the Scientific Medical Library—Luibovi Karnaeva, Director, and Silvia Ciubrei, Deputy Director. Both are leaders of the medical library International Partnership, a broader bilateral agreement begun in 1997 between Governor Easley of North Carolina and President Voronin of Moldova. In the Spring of 2006, the Robert M. Fales Health Sciences Library in Wilmington, North Carolina, began an international endeavor with the eastern European country with a goal to gather and ship 10,000 medical books and journals to Moldova before December 2007. All of the North Carolina medical libraries provide free electronic interlibrary loans to the Scientific Medical Library in Moldova. During their trip, Karnaeva and Ciubrei were invited to tour the Library building and meet with faculty and staff. They also discussed marketing and syllabi for instructional classes on OVID, StatRef, and MD Consult. They also made a special trip to visit and tour the Country Doctor Museum in Bailey, N.C., and discussed preservation issues with History Collections personnel. Karnaeva and Ciubrei were very interested to learn what they could do to care for the old and rare books at the Scientific Medical Library in Moldova.
On 16 January 2008, Dr. Ion Ababii, Moldovan Minister of Health, visited Laupus Library and the Brody School of Medicine as part of a multi-city visit in North Carolina. Dr. Ababii was accompanied by Major Robert Carver, Deputy Director of Civil Military Affairs; Gheorgie Aparece, Desk Officer for the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Diana Danu, translator and assistant to the U.S. Ambassador in Moldova; and Dr. Chris Bremer of Professor Emeritus of ECU Family Medicine. The program, planned by Laupus Library and Drs. Benson and Bremer was assembled of demonstrations and tours to help Dr. Ababii better understand key programs and services available at the Brody School of Medicine, Laupus Library, and the Division of Health Sciences. Laupus Library’s was chosen to host this visit due to the availability of a highly advanced teleconference room which provided telemedicine, videoconferencing and other technological serves utilized throughout the visit. Dr. Ababii discussed strategies for providing cost-effective health care to people in rural areas and also learned more about newer approaches in education to provide better family medicine and primary health care. Dr. Ababii was presented a Laupus bronze medallion, a signature gift that acknowledges special friends and guests of the library, and a pictorial history of the university, “No Time for Ivy: East Carolina University, 1907-2007” by Henry Ferrell, autographed by Dr. Steve Ballard.