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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.

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