2024 | Volume 25 | Issue 2

The Gordon Craig Library at RACS was re-established as an online library around 2000, after the closure of the mainly print collection-based library resulted in an outcry from our members.

During the last 20 years the number of online resources has increased dramatically, and the remaining print resources—particularly journals—have decreased. This means that our members can access most of their resource needs directly from the library, at any time of their choosing.

The RACS library provides access to more than 30,000 online books and nearly 14,000 online journals. It has a print collection of about 2500 books and a small number of print journals that are not available online.

In 2023, 431,316 ‘item requests’ (for a journal article, book chapter, or multimedia item) were made by users, and 3728 item requests were made through staff for articles users were unable to source themselves.

Who uses our library?

Nearly 4000 Fellows and more than 1000 Trainees made use of the RACS library resources, from across all the specialties. Our library users ranged across all age groups with 35to 39-year-olds being the highest.

Paediatric Trainees led the way with all of them (100 per cent) using the library at some point during 2023. This was closely followed by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Trainees on 97 per cent and the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Trainees on 95 per cent. Paediatric Fellows were also big users with 75 per cent of them accessing resources, and the spread across the remaining specialties is consistent, ranging from 44-58 per cent of users.

Most users are—logically—based in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, followed by the United Kingdom, North America, and Singapore.

Where are Library users located?





New Zealand


United Kingdom






Some of our RACS library users have this to say:

Dr Glen Benveniste

The College library provides me and those surgeons like me who do not have access to a public hospital library or research staff with ready access to Medline and a wide variety of journals.I find this a great help as I convert many presentations given over the years at conferences into formal papers.

Dr James Aitken

I have nothing but praise for the RACS library staff who have helped me research a number of topics and located material I would never have found. The library offers a service and support over and above internet search and is an essential facility for both Fellows and Trainees.

Dr Raewyn Campbell

I have found the RACS library an invaluable resource as I am undertaking a PhD while working full time and could not have done this without them. They are incredibly fast and responsive.

The library website is also a  phenomenal resource and has become much more interactive over the past few years. I owe the RACS librarians greatly!

Dr Victor Kong

The RACS library is phenomenal. The online platform is user-friendly and relevant resources are easy to locate. The library has access to a wide range of journals that are relevant to my daily clinical practice. As an academic trauma surgeon, the RACS library has allowed me access to the most up to date resources.

The staff have also provided tremendous support in locating very specific resources that are at times challenging to source elsewhere. They offer exceptional services that are professional and extremely efficient.

For more information please contact: www.surgeons.org/Library