SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

1998 Contributed Papers

How Biological, Medical and Life Science Librarians and Information Specialists Have Shared Electronic or Print Resources to Meet Users' Needs

As I read over the Introductions to the Contributed Papers Sessions for the past few years, I was struck by how rapidly the change has been made from thinking of libraries as collections of documents and other inhouse resources to considering them merely as providers of access to information - which is more often than not "out there" rather than "right here." This is, of course, quite simplistic. Only 4 years ago, the emphasis was still on the library as a physical resource. Books and periodicals were being replaced - by CD-ROMs, personal computers and av materials and interlibrary loans was being transformed into document delivery. But in all these cases, what is striking is that the library was still concerned with having the information on site for the user.

Two developments drastically changed this picture. As costs went up and budgetary resources diminished, libraries began to look at other ways of providing information to their users. One way was to rely increasingly on the rapidly developing Internet. Over the last three years the quantity and accessibility of the information available has grown exponentially. We have become increasingly reliant on the web, email, listservs, and chatlines as means of tracking down information we can not afford to have in print or which we believe is more readily accessible via electronic tools or individual experts than it is in our own collections.

Even with the tremendous communication and information advantages provided by the Internet, we can not meet all our users' needs. We are increasingly aware that no institution can be complete unto itself. We are constantly entering into agreements with other institutions and organizations to expand the realm of information for which we can provide easy access for our patrons. This year's Contributed Papers focus on the results of these agreements - 4 networks which have been set up within the life sciences to enable librarians and other information specialists to coordinate their expertise and their collections to meet the needs of an evergrowing and demanding user community.

The HUBNET User Survey: User Assessment of a Biomedical Resources Network
Nancy F. Stimson, Reference/Instruction Librarian, Health Sciences Library, State University of New York at Buffalo
Martin E. Mutka, Director, Library Consortium of Health Institutions in Buffalo

Harnessing Biomedical Resources for Cooperation and Collaboration: Cases in Bioinformatics and Nutritional Sciences
Polin P. Lei, Associate Librarian, Arizona Health SciencesLibrary, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

SCHIN, SEND and NAND: Sharing is Not a Four-Letter Word for these Interlibrary Loan Networks Based on the National Library of Medicine's DOCLINE System
Thomas W. Hill, Librarian, Upper Savannah Area Health Education Consortium Medical Library Greenwood, SC

Partnerships for Progress: The Evolution and Future of the Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto
J. Leishman, Director, Science Information Services, University of Toronto
H. Michael, Coordinator, Resource Sharing, Gerstein Science Information Centre, University of Toronto
L. J. Scott, Executive Director, Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto


Comments should be directed to Eleanor MacLean.

Rev. July 2007