Wednesday, October 03, 2007

NEJM -- 2015 -- The Future of Medical Libraries

NEJM -- 2015 -- The Future of Medical Libraries: "Despite ubiquitous access to electronic information, however, the 'library as place' is still highly valued and heavily used (unless the facility is physically decrepit, outmoded, or inconveniently located). Users flock to library buildings and spaces that are attractive, centrally located, technologically current, and arranged to meet the needs of groups as well as of solitary users.1 In addition to serving coffee, the best facilities support small-group study and larger-group training, provide well-wired space for interdisciplinary collaboration involving complex electronic data sets, and welcome those seeking temporary work space, individual assistance, or quiet places away from wards or waiting rooms. With no printed Index Medicus and fewer physical volumes, there is more space for people. Our future library's 'virtual' collection — the set of electronic information it makes available — is much vaster than the physical collection owned and housed in library space. By 2015, many publications are issued only in electronic form, thousands of back runs of journals have now been digitized, and electronic copies of books, manuscripts, and images abound. Many libraries store and manage access to electronic scientific and health-related data. The flood of patient-specific data generated by large-scale"

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