Officials at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine are hoping a new fund will help offset what they call the high costs of maintaining a modern medical library.

An endowment fund was announced Wednesday to help financially support its digital library services.

"So the prices are high and a library digital license [is] in US dollars," said Dr. Roger Strasser, the dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

"So, as the Canadian dollar has gone down, compared to the US dollar, the price of library services have gone up."

The school said it provides its digital library to more than 90 sites across northern Ontario and the cost of keeping it updated is high. The service helps physicians, students and other health care professionals access information like online journals.

School educators, like associate professor Dr. Richard Denton, said they hope support comes from across the north since the costs are high, despite the physical space of a medical library being generally smaller then in years past.

"Just looking here at the library, you don't see many shelves, you don't see the books and the journals because they're all online," he said while at NOSM's campus in Sudbury, Ont.

The medical school also has a campus in Thunder Bay.

"The library still needs to pay for the resources, the library does need more funds and hence the endowment fund."

The endowment fund is open to the public on the medical school's website.

With files from Samantha Samson