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I'm intrigued with the terms "Department of Library Informatics" and "Informatics Librarian," titles that seem to be evident in health science libraries, hospital libraries, and even more generally, science libraries, instead of the terms "System Librarian" and "Information Technology Librarian," which are used in liberal arts colleges and universities.  The term informatics here in America seems to mean "of practical application of information technology to various areas of study."  The Indiana University School of Informatics defines informatics as "the art, science and human dimensions of information technology" and "the application of information technology to the arts, sciences, and professions." At the University of California, Irvine Department of Informatics, informatics is defined as "the interdisciplinary study of the design, application, use and impact of information technology. The discipline of informatics is based on the recognition that the design of this technology is not solely a technical matter, but must focus on the relationship between the technology and its use in real-world settings. That is, informatics designs solutions in context, and takes into account the social, cultural and organizational settings in which computing and information technology will be used." (See their respective web sites.)  That really does seem to define what I do within my academic university library setting (I run no servers), and yet the term just doesn't seem to be used much if anywhere in non-medical higher education.  This is puzzling to me since the term "information technology" seems to have been taken over by higher education's infrastructure techies, i.e., the old campus computer centers.  Do librarians who work in medical and bioscience libraries identify with these definitions or are there some other understandings or connotations of the term I am missing that would preclude the use of the term "informatics" in colleges and universities?

Please send your responses directly to me and I'll summarize to the list.  I was hoping to get medlib-l's view of this before I bounce it off collib-l.  If there are any other discussion groups that would be appropriate to raise this issue with, please let me know.

Craighton Hippenhammer, MLS, MFA
Associate Professor
Information Technology Librarian
Benner Library & Resource Center
Olivet Nazarene University
Bourbonnais, IL 60914