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Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1980 January; 68(1): 1–5.
PMCID: PMC226407

Research: the third dimension of librarianship.


The rapid accumulation of data through increasingly sophisticated computer technology has created an unprecedented information explosion which might better be called an ignorance explosion. Data gathering emphasizing quantity rather than quality, speed of transmission rather than reliability or relevance, poses a challenge to the future of librarianship. Two concerns are discussed: (1) Relationship of technology to the information age. Librarians must be concerned with the methodology used in data collection, including the value judgments reflected in this activity. (2) Preparation of medical librarianship for the future. The profession will grow only as a result of individual effort, the recognition of people, and an appreciation of human values. Thus far, attempts to evaluate needs focus on technology while neglecting research into the human aspect. The author proposes that dimensions of the total professional model for medical librarianship must include research, as well as education and practice. The need to aid in the development of library researchers at the Ph.D. level through a National Library of Medicine program similar to that offered to researchers by the National Institutes of Health is stressed. By way of federal assistance and scholarships made available through national library associations, library research can become the vital and effective third dimension that will redefine the traditional concept of information storage and service in human terms, thus introducing a new relevance into the area of medical librarianship during the coming decades.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Zachert MJ. Books and other endangered species: an inquiry into the values of medical librarianship. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1978 Oct;66(4):381–389. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Matheson NW. The clouded crystal ball and the library profession. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1977 Jan;65(1):1–5. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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