Medical Library Handbook
One is inclined here to consider medical libraries as special libraries astheir clientele and services are directed towards specific community andsubject respectively. But actually they are more than this, as they may benational, public or academic libraries as well. Moreover, the literaturethat medical libraries cater for is doubling at least every fifteen years, thenumber of medical students increases every year, the fields themselvesare changing as medical activities now take into account the complex in-terplay of personal, emotional and environmental factors that affect anindividual’s health and well being, as well as evidencing new interests insuch disciplines as psychology, anthropology, economics, sociology, biophysics, ecology, mathematics, electronics, communication scienceand operations research
as well as chemistry and physics.Saying this we may derive the following all-embracing definition of themedical library - better called health sciences library :“ The library that is exclusively or predominately concerned with materi-als and information whether acquired or accessible in the fields of healthsciences, and exclusively or largely serves all the needs of members of health, allied and related professions and services “.
Objectives of the Medical Library
The overall aim of the medical library, regardless of its location, size or parent organization is to provide organized library services to meet theinformation needs of its clientele in their activities relating to patientcare, education, research, management and any other specialized ser-vices.To enable the medical library to meet this aim, and fulfill its mission, inharmony with the objectives and goals of its parent organization, the fol-lowing objectives may be listed
:1. Acquire, organize, provide access to, and process information so thata user has immediate access to all facts, concepts, ideas, or other items of information relevant to his particular needs ;2. Handle wide variety of inputs, including formal publications of allformats, informal notes and comments, and items derivedfrom more than one source ;3. Reduce the difficulties now caused by the diversity of symbols, lan-guages, jargons, and terminologies ;4. Essentially eliminate the publication lag ;
Miller, James G. Design of a university health science center, p. 101-121.
ibid, p. 103.
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