In 1945, Vannevar Bush imagined a future where individuals would have their own mechanized information system; his imagined device, the Memex, would contain books, records, and communications which could be deftly manipulated and organized at the touch of a button. Though some later visions of fully electronic libraries have not yet come to pass, Bush’s vision of a paperless information system was eerily prescient; technology has allowed the individual to access, store, and manage information in amazing ways. For example, people can now access journal articles 24 hours a day, create and organize personalized databases, and make their research available across the world instantaneously. As technology progressed through the past 6 decades, library staff have recognized that their traditional roles and duties required adaptation to the new information society. Technology has changed libraries and library staff forever. Contrary to fears of obsolescence such as those evoked by Katherine Hepburn’s character in the 1957 movie, Desk Set, library staff are still needed in an automated environment. Automation has merely allowed us to take on new roles and opportunities to better serve our communities. Today, I am going to briefly talk about some of the challenges health sciences libraries face in today’s environment, as well as the opportunities we have to meet these challenges and the new roles we are taking on. Sapp, G., & Gilmour, R. (2002). A brief history of the future of academic libraries: predictions and speculations from the literature of the profession, 1975 to 2000--part one, 1975 to 1989--. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 2 (4), 553-576. Bush, V. (1945). As we may think. Atlantic Monthly, 176 (1), 101-108. Fully electronic libraries: Lancaster, F. W. (1978). Toward paperless information systems . New York: Academic Press. Thompson, J. (1983). The end of libraries . London: Clive Bingley.
Serving the Biomedical Research Community Future Roles, Challenges, and Opportunities Melissa Rethlefsen 5/4/05
“ The mission of the University Libraries is to enhance access to and maintain the record of human thought, knowledge, and culture for current and future users . The University Libraries support and contribute to the University’s three-fold mission of research and discovery, teaching and learning, and outreach and public service through the development of collections, delivery of services, and creative applications of information technologies.”
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Sapp, G., & Gilmour, R. (2002). A brief history of the future of academic libraries: predictions and speculations from the literature of the profession, 1975 to 2000--part one, 1975 to 1989--. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 2 (4), 553-576.
Sapp, G., & Gilmour, R. (2003). A brief history of the future of academic libraries: predictions and speculations from the literature of the profession, 1975 to 2000--part two, 1990-2000-. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 3 (1), 13-34.
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