Health Science Libraries in the 21st Century

Mayank Trivedi
2006 Library Philosophy and Practice   unpublished
Intoduction In the 20th century great changes took place as a result of experiments and development in broad range of human activities, in economics, politics, and science especially medical science. Medical science is a fast changing field. In fact, the whole concept of diagnosing and treating a patient is modifying rapidly and hospitals of the future will treat patients from all over the world without geographical limitations. It is well said that from the elite class to the general masses,
more » ... e general masses, the cultivation of the righteous life is the foundation for all [1]. The library plays a vital role in the teaching and learning environment. Technology is changing the very nature of libraries. This has resulted in digitization. Digital and virtual libraries, which play an important role in e-learning, are fast emerging as a result of integration of varied technologies [2]. The role of the health science library is to provide a learning center where practitioners and administrators can develop the skills and knowledge needed to enhance the quality of health care in diverse communities and dissemination of biomedical information. Health science libraries can provide a multidisciplinary approach, which incorporates discussion, lecture, and hands-on training. It also provides technical site assessment, installation and testing of equipment, product searches, and telecommunications planning and assessment. Increased availability of information in digital format coupled with high cost of journals subscription compels health science libraries to convert the data to digital format. Technological advancement provides a platform for digital resource sharing and offers many opportunities for health science librarians and professionals. The digitized environment has made possible the use of libraries that is increasingly free of time and location constraints [2]. The use of communication technology in the practice of medicine may change the way health care is provided by improving access to medical information, diagnostic tools, and consultations. Increasing demands on practitioners' time and te increasing complexity of patients' education and management have created a demand for creative solutions. Telemedicine can answer some of those needs and not long ago it became an essential component in the delivery of modern medical care [3]. Furthermore, telemedicine has proven to be viable solution in addressing the health care needs of underserved populations. Although telecommunications and information technology have the power to overcome many disparities