True enough - but Dr. Zuger only mentions libraries, not librarians.  Why
this omission?  My job as a professional is to stay up-to-date on the most
authoritative, reliable, knowledge-based sources, in whatever format they
may appear.  Dr. Zuger does herself and her readers a great disservice by
leaving the librarian out of the information retrieval process.  She
complains that she hasn't enough time to spend on the search, let alone on
the retrieval of the full-text documents.  Isn't that what we're here for?
We, as the information professionals, may need to make a concerted, all-out
effort to educate our audience as to our services.  We can save the health
professional an enormous amount of time, and provide more current,
comprehensive and reliable information, than they themselves may have
knowledge of, or access to.

Molly Harrington
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
350 W. Thomas
Phoenix, AZ  85013
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: T. Scott Plutchak [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2000 10:14 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: New York Times E-Commerce today

I'd recommend reading the article first and then deciding what you're going
to put in the letter.  Dr. Zuger's piece is well-written, factually accurate
and makes a number of important points that we have been at pains to express
to our patrons for several years:

1) The remark about "trudging to the library" is in the context of searching
NLM's "invaluable site" and she's emphasizing that there is very little
full-text yet available on NLM's site.  She makes the further important
point that doctors should not make decisions based on reading only the

2) She goes on to say that more and more journals are putting their content
up, and that while some of it is free, much of it is not and it requires a
library to subscribe to make it available.

In other words, the point of her article seems to be "It's not all on the
Internet and it's not all free!"  Who can argue with that?

T. Scott Plutchak
Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham

[log in to unmask]