Are Hospital Librarians an Endangered Species?

And, if so, what can be done about it?  We’ve all been to presentations on “demonstrating our value and ROI.”  Yet, there are fewer and fewer hospital librarians.  Is the solution to find more effective ways to demonstrate value?  Or is the solution to work for standards support, meaning getting accrediting agencies like JCAHO to be more specific about requirements for hospital libraries?

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3 Responses

  1. I think we need to broaden our scope somewhat, at least in the eyes of administration. Over the years, our library has become involved in many services outside the traditional scope of libraries. But they have a common thread. We have become more of a “learning center”. We have developed websites, we have taught our users how to use computer programs such as Word and Powerpoint, we have adopted new methods for distributing information and taught others–fax, computer, Internet. And now they have asked us to investigate the development of a medical simulation lab. As our users and institutional needs change, so must we. Our organizational and informational skills can be used in so many ways. Traditional “library” is just one component of what we do. We must also continue to tell our users and our administration what we can do.

  2. Excellent and provocative questions!

    I can’t agree with Debbie more. With the changing envirnment and climate, our role is changed. We can’t be defined by the librarian traditional role which limits our function and capability. We need to expand it in a creative way.

  3. I agree, too. There are many ways to grow and become more involved in your institution and community.

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