Trends in hospital librarianship and hospital library services: 1989 to 2006.

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2009-10

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The research studied the status of hospital librarians and library services to better inform the Medical Library Association's advocacy activities. METHODS: The Vital Pathways Survey Subcommittee of the Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians distributed a web-based survey to hospital librarians and academic health sciences library directors. The survey results were compared to data collected in a 1989 survey of hospital libraries by the American Hospital Association in order to identify any trends in hospital libraries, roles of librarians, and library services. A web-based hospital library report form based on the survey questions was also developed to more quickly identify changes in the status of hospital libraries on an ongoing basis. RESULTS: The greatest change in library services between 1989 and 2005/06 was in the area of access to information, with 40% more of the respondents providing access to commercial online services, 100% more providing access to Internet resources, and 28% more providing training in database searching and use of information resources. Twenty-nine percent (n = 587) of the 2005/06 respondents reported a decrease in staff over the last 5 years. CONCLUSIONS: Survey data support reported trends of consolidation of hospitals and hospital libraries and additions of new services. These services have likely required librarians to acquire new skills. It is hoped that future surveys will be undertaken to continue to study these trends.

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10.3163/1536-5050.97.4.011

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Thibodeau, Patricia L, and Carla J Funk (2009). Trends in hospital librarianship and hospital library services: 1989 to 2006. J Med Libr Assoc, 97(4). pp. 273–279. 10.3163/1536-5050.97.4.011 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9569.

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