New Roles, Technology and Concepts

Roles of Health Sciences Librarians

Are health sciences librarians and libraries relevant in today’s information environment? Do they have have a place in the future? Read this collection of articles and learn what the research reveals about why librarians and libraries matter. Discover some mission critical roles that librarians play in the current and emerging health care environment.

  • New roles for health sciences librarians (special issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association)
  • Sollenberger JF, Holloway Jr, RG, The Evolving Role and Value of Libraries and Librarians in Health Care. JAMA 2013 Sep 25; 310(12):1231-32. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277050. What is the librarian’s role in helping clinicians translate research into practice? How are advances in technology bringing evidence to the bedside and improving quality and patient outcomes? Reading this article will help you understand how librarians can adapt to the changing information needs of physicians, other health professionals, researchers, and patients to provide value to patient care.
  • Journal of Healthcare Quality Interview with Maulik S. Joshi, DrPH, Editor of the Journal for Healthcare Quality and Sr VP of Research at the American Hospital Association. How are hospital librarians changing healthcare outcomes for the better? Listen as Dr. Joshi explains the definition of healthcare quality as set forth by the Institute of Medicine, and focuses on the role of health care and research librarians in improving health care.
  • Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians: Addressing the Hospital’s Information and Training Needs (Executive Summary). How can my hospital and my position thrive during a time when libraries are closing and positions are being eliminated? What skills and expertise will set me on a path towards success? The Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians Symposium addresses issues hospital librarians face in today’s fast changing environment, the future, and emerging new roles.

Professional Competencies for Health Sciences Librarians

What type of education and training is required for health sciences librarians?   

The Medical Library Association sets the standards for professional competencies needed by health sciences librarians at different points in their careers and in different institutional settings. Believing that lifelong learning is imperative for increasing librarians’ competencies and for career success, MLA promotes professional development.

  1. Understand the health sciences and health care environment and the policies, issues, and trends that impact that environment
  2. Know and understand the application of leadership, finance, communication, and management theory and techniques
  3. Understand the principles and practices related to providing information services to meet users’ needs
  4. Have the ability to manage health information resources in a broad range of formats
  5. Understand and use technology and systems to manage all forms of information
  6. Understand curricular design and instruction and have the ability to teach ways to access, organize, and use information
  7. Understand scientific research methods and have the ability to critically examine and filter research literature from many related disciplines