Need for Content Reengineering of the Medical Library and Information Science Curriculum in Iran

By Gavgani, Vahideh Zarea; Nanekaran, Farhad Shokrane et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, January 2011 | Go to article overview
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Need for Content Reengineering of the Medical Library and Information Science Curriculum in Iran

Gavgani, Vahideh Zarea, Nanekaran, Farhad Shokrane, Shiramin, Ali Roshani, Library Philosophy and Practice


Over the past two decades, medicine and health care education and practice have been undergoing a continuing revolution, in which the explosion of information and the application of information technology have played a fundamental role. Telehealth/ mHealth, evidence-based medicine (EBM), information therapy (Ix), patient-centered healtcare, consumer health information services and shared decision making, doctor-patient communication, patients' right to information and right to health, are instances of new approaches in medical education and healthcare policies that influence medical library services increasingly and change the expectations of medical libraries users.

The need for timely and quality filtered information at the moment in care, overwhelming amount of information on different platforms, and lack of time and expertise (Davidoff and Florance, 2000 ; Task force , 2003) on the part of physicians to find, assess and apply information in their daily decision making have created an environment for library and information science professionals to play a vital role in storage, retrieval, appraisal, management, summarizing and delivery of timely and reliable health information at the point of care. "The health sciences librarian believes that knowledge is the sine qua non of informed decisions in healthcare and the health sciences librarian serves society, clients, and the institution, by working to ensure that informed decisions can be made" (Medical Library Association, 2007).

At the same time, a growing number of tools and applications of information and communication technology (ICT) such as Web 2.0 along with its various facets (e.g. Blogs, Wikis, FaceBook, Podcasts, etc.) and mobile phone technology have created an opportunity for LIS professionals to utilize them in their profession and practice to improve patient care and present their longstanding information service in new knowledge based and ICT based environment. This changing environment exerts pressure on medical library and information science education to develop new curricula, revise the syllabuses of existing curricula and adopt new tools to practice

Review of Literature

The first medical librarianship course was developed in the year 1939 in the United States with an emphasis on medical bibliography, and was offered at Columbia University by Thomas Fleming (Roper, 1979). In 1946, more emphasis began to be placed on medical library administration, cataloging and classification, and acquisitions procedures (Brodman, 1954). From 1939 to 1977, courses were introduced into the curricula of forty-seven of the sixty-four library schools in the United States (Roper, 1979). In 1977, thirty-four of the forty-seven schools of library science in the U.S. included work with MEDLINE to some degree (Berk & Davidson, 1978). At the same time, four LIS schools in Canada also were offering Medical Librarianship courses. In 1977, the World Health Organization (WHO) undertook to support the establishment of a medical library school in the Imperial Medical Centre of Iran. Among its objectives was the training of qualified medical librarians for Middle Eastern medical libraries. In the summer of 1977, the University of Illinois undertook to create and manage a school of health library and information science set up at the medical centre for this purpose (Harvey, 1989). The two-year Master's curriculum was similar to the curricula of other library schools in the mid-1970s except for its medical librarianship and technology related subjects (Hayati & Fattahi, 2005). in 1979, Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS) (formerly The Imperial Medical centre) established the School of Medical Library and Information Science (MLIS) and opened admission to its Master of Medical Library and Information Science program (Sanjesh Organization, 2005 & 2008). Maybe, the first practical attempt for the specialization of practice of Medical Librarianship occurred in the U.

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Need for Content Reengineering of the Medical Library and Information Science Curriculum in Iran


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