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Interlibrary Loan Key to Completion of Textbook on Male Fertility

Dr. Erma Drobnis, PhD., is no stranger when it comes to using the library. “Back when I was working on my master’s and PhD., I’d go to the library to make copies of information I needed from books and put the copies in my huge research file. I’d often have to refer back to the file because the older information is harder to get,” says Drobnis.

With her office located at Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Drobnis uses library databases, but has found that most articles pertinent to her research are in the older literature that is not readily available online. As the director of the andrology (the branch of medicine which deals with diseases and conditions specific to men) laboratory at MU Health Care, Drobnis is often asked if certain medications can affect male fertility. Each time these questions come up, she must sift through the literature for the answer. Close to ten years ago, she started keeping a list of all the medications she was asked about, along with their effects. This list eventually turned into a book chapter, then into a book when she realized a chapter was too small for the amount of information she needed to share.

Drobnis says, “Interlibrary Loan was a big help to me because it’d be three in the morning and I’d need a specific paper published in 1970. A PDF would be emailed to me a few hours after I requested it. I ended up with thousands of references and the library provided me any of the papers I needed so I didn’t have to spend time driving there myself.” Drobnis was able to devote that extra time to writing her book. It took Dr. Drobnis nine months of 80 to 90-hour work weeks to write the book. According to Drobnis, “There is no book out there on this subject and it’s information people need to know.”

Since its publication in 2017, Impacts of Medications on Male Fertility  has been downloaded over 13,000 times and cited 18 times. It is available for check out at the Health Sciences Library.