MEDLIB-L Archives

July 1994, Week 4


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Millard Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
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Medical Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Jul 1994 13:44:13 PST
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Several people have suggested ways to reduce the number of messages on
MEDLIB-L.  Why not cure the disease rather than treating the symptom?
There is a saying that to the workman with only a hammer all problems
look like nails.  The listserv is the hammer of networked medical
librarians.  What we ought to notice with MEDLIB-L is that medical
librarians recognize a need to work together to solve some problems, and
that they are more than willing to use an internetworked tool if it is
available.  This tool (the listserv) is, however, being worked to death!
We need the right tool.  We need professional society groupware.  This
would include the public bulletins that we now have, but it would also
include structured options for gifts and exchange, bibliographic
verification, membership locator, gateway to databases, etc.  And it is
not just naked technology that we need.  Working together means
standards for cooperative work, distributed responsibilities,
contributing professional personnel time, and reciprocal contributions
and benefits.  The Internet makes it all possible, you all have shown
that oif they build it you will come.oe  All that is needed is for
someone with vision to put the pieces together.  Is the MLA sleeping
through the revolution that is taking place?  According to the 93/94
directory, the Executive Director is Carla J. Funk
[log in to unmask]  I will forward this to her, but if you think
this makes sense for you, you might want to tell her yourself.
I remember when medical libraries used to lead in the application of
technology.  Professional society groupware is a big job but there is no
reason why we should not do it.