Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of mlabJournal informationSubscribeSubmissions on the Publisher web siteCurrent issue of BMLA in PMCAlso see JMLA journal in PMC
Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1999 January; 87(1): 26–36.
PMCID: PMC226511

Developing a culture of lifelong learning in a library environment.


Between 1995 and 1996, the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library (EBL) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) radically revised the model of service it provides to the VUMC community. An in-depth training program was developed for librarians, who began to migrate to clinical settings and establish clinical librarianship and information brokerage services beyond the library's walls. To ensure that excellent service would continue within the library, EBL's training program was adapted for library assistants, providing them with access to information about a wide variety of work roles and processes over a four to eight-month training period. Concurrently, customer service areas were reorganized so that any question--whether reference or circulation--could be answered at any of four service points, eliminating the practice of passing customers from person to person between the reference and circulation desks. To provide an incentive for highly trained library assistants to remain at EBL, management and library assistants worked together to redesign the career pathway based on defined stages of achievement, self-directed participation in library-wide projects, and demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning. Education and training were the fundamental principles at the center of all this activity.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.1M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Deeney K. The role of paraprofessionals at the reference desk. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990 Apr;78(2):191–193. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Makinen RH, Speer S. Paraprofessional staff: a review and report on current duty assignment in academic health sciences libraries in North America. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1993 Apr;81(2):135–140. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Giuse NB, Kafantaris SR, Miller MD, Wilder KS, Martin SL, Sathe NA, Campbell JD. Clinical medical librarianship: the Vanderbilt experience. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1998 Jul;86(3):412–416. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mayfield MK. Beyond the classroom: self-direction in professional learning. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1993 Oct;81(4):425–432. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Giuse NB, Huber JT, Kafantaris SR, Giuse DA, Miller MD, Giles DE, Jr, Miller RA, Stead WW. Preparing librarians to meet the challenges of today's health care environment. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 1997 Jan-Feb;4(1):57–67. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jacobson S. Reorganization: premises, processes, and pitfalls. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1994 Oct;82(4):369–374. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Forker JE, McDonald ME. Methodologic trends in the healthcare professions: portfolio assessment. Nurse Educ. 1996 Sep-Oct;21(5):9–10. [PubMed]
  • Huber JT, Giuse NB, Pfeiffer JR. Designing an alternative career ladder for library assistants. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1999 Jan;87(1):74–77. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Bulletin of the Medical Library Association are provided here courtesy of Medical Library Association