Ideas for change
emerging from medical libraries
Barker et al. (2012)- Use of QR codes to help
patrons find items
McAphee et al. (2010) – Language accessibility
for diverse populations - translation assisted by
Haines et al. (2010)- Importing subject guides
into course management software and
departmental web pages
More ideas for change
emerging from medical libraries
Hendrix et al. (2009) - reference queries solicited
and handled via Facebook.
Shurtz & von Isenburg (2011)- Experimented with
Amazon Kindle in medical education. Librarians
taught elective course covering health care tech.
McGowan (2012) and Freiburger & Kramer
(2009) - “Embedded” librarians in academic
One more idea for change
Schulte (2011) tells how Ohio State University's
Health Sciences library “eliminated” their
… but really, it was only transformed!
The reference desk has been replaced by a
centralized library service desk, and reference
service is offered by appointment.
This has resulted in more in-depth reference
consultations; utilizing librarians' strengths.
“Evolution, revolution or
Are medical libraries “looking at a death spiral”
(Lynn et al., 2011) or are we headed into the
“great age of librarians”(Plutchak, 2012)?
It depends on who you ask!
Not librarians, but “informationists”
McGowan (2012) – idea of the “informationist”
was proposed in 2000; as of 2008, adoption of
this role and title have been slow.
Grefsheim et al. (2010) – study shows that
clinicians have a positive impression of
informationists and their work
Cooper (2011) is not sure whether the
“informationist” is a new idea – aren't these
what we used to call “medical librarians?”
Education for the future
McGowan (2012) – additional advanced
degrees, especially those in the sciences,
are advantageous. Programs in
healthcare informatics are also helpful.
Tu (2007) – survey found that the majority
of librarians who provide virtual reference
services in health sciences libraries do not
feel that their LIS education prepared
them well for this service. Suggests
changes in education and emphasis on
Proposed changes in
the role of the librarian
Hill (2007) – Libraries need to support the
mission of the hospital. Evidence-based
librarianship leads to accountability. Includes
list of “what we need to do,” including
partnering with academic faculty and
institutions to do research.
Tannery & Maggio (2012) – Librarians should
partner with academics, and need to promote
Possible role changes for the
Gushrowski (2011) – library case study.
Dental library has begun a digital
document delivery service for both
students & practicing dentists, delivering
scans of articles from print journals.
Haines et al. (2010) – science researchers
suggest library should be a source of
university-wide information, and
institutional repositories should include
articles published by faculty and an
archive of freely-usable images for faculty.
Outside forces causing changes
Chen (2011) – Many medical schools are
shifting from a focus on rote memorization
to problem-based learning (PBL) and
scenario-based learning (SBL). These
approaches require different resources,
and students use the library differently.
Kies and Schultz (2010) – There are
changes planned for the medical licensing
exam in the next few years, which will lead
to changing demands on library
Outside forces, continued...
Bradley et al. (2010) – describes
emphasis on evidence-based medicine,
which is supported by librarians' finding
the best-supported research available.
Lynn et al. (2011) and McGowan (2012)
among others talk about the need to
downsize libraries because of lack of
space, or library space being reallocated.
Medical libraries may or may not be in
danger, but changes are inevitable.
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is
not mandatory” - Patricia Thibodeau (in
“Librarians are more than their collections.
Librarians make libraries valuable” Patricia Thibodeau (in Lynn, 2011)
“Digital libraries derive much of their
value from the selection, organization,
analysis, and linking performed by
highly skilled human beings aided by
increasingly advanced software systems
- in other words, digital libraries still
need librarians” - Lindberg and
“You, all of you, are the librarians of the
future. Am I right? Is this the dawn of the
great age of librarians? That's up to you”
Barker, K. R., Attridge, E., Bennett, J., Hiserman, T., Horne, A. S., Moody, D., Ramsey, E. C., & Son, I.
K. (2012). The implementation of embedded quick response codes into library resources to
improve service delivery. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 100(1), 68-71.
Bradley, D. R., Rana, G. K., Lypson, M. L., & Hamstra, S. J. (2010). A centralized practice-based
learning and improvement curriculum for residents and fellows: a collaboration of health sciences
librarians and graduate medical administration. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 98(2),
Chen, K., Chang, S., Sun, H., & Lin, P. (2011). Library use by medical students: A comparison of two
curricula. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 43(3), 176-184.
Cooper, I. D. (2011). Is the informationist a new role? a logical model analysis. Journal of the Medical
Library Association, 99(3), 189-192.
Freiburger, G., & Kramer, S. (2009). Embedded librarians: one library's model for decentralized
service. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 97(2), 139-142.
Grefsheim, S. F., Whitmore, S. C., Rapp, B. A., Rankin, J. A., Robinson, R. R., & Canto, C. C. (2010).
The informationist: building evidence for an emerging health profession. Journal of the Medical
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Gushrowski, B. A., (2011). Expanding services in a shrinking economy: desktop document delivery in a
dental school library. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 99(3), 196-201.
Haines, L. L., Light, J., O'Malley, D., & Delwiche, F. A. (2010). Information-seeking behavior of basic
science researchers: implications for library services. Journal of the Medical Library Association,
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Plutchak, T. S. (2012). Breaking the barriers of time and space: the dawning of the great age of
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Schulte, S. J. (2011). Eliminating traditional reference services in an academic health sciences library:
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Shurtz, S., & von Isenburg, M. (2011). Exploring e-readers to support clinical medical education: two
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