Metropolis redux: the unique importance of library skills in informatics

Samuel Bishop King, Kate MacDonald
2004 Journal of the Medical Library Association  
The objective is to highlight the important role that librarians have in teaching within a successful medical informatics program. Librarians regularly utilize skills that, although not technology dependent, are essential to conducting computer-based research. The Metropolis analogy is used to introduce the part librarians play as informatics partners. Science fiction is a modern mythology that, beyond a technical exterior, has lasting value in its ability to reflect the human condition. The
more » ... ching of medical informatics, an intersection of technology and knowledge, is also most relevant when it transcends the operation of databases and systems. Librarians can teach students to understand, research, and utilize information beyond specific technologies. A survey of twenty-six informatics programs was conducted during 2002, with specific emphasis on the role of the library service. The survey demonstrated that librarians currently do have a central role in informatics instruction, and that library-focused skills form a significant part of the curriculum in many of those programs. In addition, librarians have creative opportunities to enhance their involvement in informatics training. As a sample program in the study, the development of the informatics course at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is included. Medical informatics training is a wonderful opportunity for librarians to collaborate with professionals from the sciences and other information disciplines. Librarians' unique combination of human research and technology skills provides a valuable contribution to any program.
pmid:15098050 pmcid:PMC385302 fatcat:abxdb5zaibhdjerveosxywywfq