Why the Information Age Demands We Change the Profile of Medical Libraries

By Lappa, Evagelia | Information Outlook, September 2003 | Go to article overview

Why the Information Age Demands We Change the Profile of Medical Libraries


Lappa, Evagelia, Information Outlook


IT and the KAT Hospital in Athens

THERE IS AN URGENT NEED TO DEFINE PRIORITIES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH-SCIENCE INFORMATION. For the health-information industry, the key to managing the increasing amount of scientific and technological data can be found in the use of integrated and advanced information management systems. In an environment where there will be a continuing demand for more efficient and robust automated systems, which will in turn compel health-care facilities to participate in the changing and complex information technology (IT) marketplace, librarians will play an exciting and crucial role in helping the users of medical libraries take full advantage of these new technologies and the benefits these offer.

Today, we stand at the threshold of a world where there are libraries without walls and, indeed, libraries without books-at least in the traditional sense. Most assuredly, however, this is not a world without books, or the information contained in them. The "books," so to speak, are just being housed differently, in what is called "cyberspace." All the information that is contained on the traditional printed page is now being adapted by IT to its new home in cyherspace. This information is being automated into integrated computer systems that, in turn, offer important and improved stock-management information. Technology, then, is very obviously a catalyst for change: one embraced fully by the General Hospital, KAT, as we accept the challenge of combining direct practice and research in the medical sciences

The traditional brick-and-mortar library typically affords a user no easy way of knowing just what specific articles are stashed on the library shelves, no easy way of knowing what books are available at the time the user visits the library, and no direct indication of when a book or manuscript will be returned if it has been checked out by another user. Because of information technology, however, the expectations of users of medical libraries have changed in recent years, and the associated challenges to librarians to meet their customers' growing expectations have correspondingly expanded. The growing presence of IT, and its ever-increasing sophistication, therefore, demands a level of professional knowledge of and experience with these technologies. In the future, there will need to be a way to support "virtual patrons" of libraries. We need, therefore, to change libraries' profiles regarding technology, emphasizing automation and networks that lead to more and better information that can be obtained with less effort. In creating these "libraries without walls" through IT, however, its cost-effective implementation should always be kept in mind.

As we enter the new century, new technologies have become thoroughly integrated into our work environment and, specifically, the culture of the library; meanwhile, further technological changes approach at a dizzying rate. No wonder we can hardly catch our breath! The scope and rapidity of these changes, then, frame the challenge the KAT library faces: how it can become a model electronic health science library in time for 2004, when the Olympics come to Athens.

Medical Libraries in Greece

The hospital industry in Greece is under the auspices of three different ministries: Education, Health, and Defense. Some hospitals are under the guidance of both Education and Health Ministries. "Education," in this context, generally means universities, and a substantial amount of the education budget therefore goes to research and to the education of medical students. (In general, hospital budgets in Greece are relatively low when compared to those in Western European countries.) This means that medical libraries are usually the last recipients of the residue of those budgets, once these other claims on them have been made. Nonetheless, almost all the medical libraries in Greece are controlled by the state.

At the national level, hospitals and all other health-care units have libraries within their organizations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Why the Information Age Demands We Change the Profile of Medical Libraries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.