Definitely concur, Sally.  I said offline to Michelle, but probably bears saying here too; my take is that it'd have to be somebody at one of the really big med schools, some place with TRULY unassailable street cred in the industry. :/  God help the little guy; it's sure obvious nobody else is going to. :(


William F. Nichols, MLS | Medical Librarian | Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine | 
350 Howard Street | Spartanburg, SC 29303| Office: 864-327-9852  Fax: 864-804-6986 
(The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the Edward Via College of 
Osteopathic Medicine, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gore, Sally A
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:38 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: library closing - thanks

Thanks, Michelle. Your point re the need for solid research in this area is echoed in the Brief Communications piece by Jonathan Eldredge, Marie Ascher, Heather Holmes, and Martha Harris (JMLA, July 2012) where they report the results of their surveys of MLA leaders and members of the MLA Research Sections to determine and define the research agendas for our profession in the coming years. The top-ranked research question provided from the results was:

"What is the quantifiable evidence that the presence of a librarian, not just information resources, improves patient outcomes, increases research dollars, improves student outcomes, or increases hospital intelligence?"

We have long-failed in answering this question and establishing evidence of the value of a librarian more than the library (See David Shumaker's great recent blog post on the importance of being clear in how we speak of our value, I know that I harp topic a lot, too. We often report about closing libraries, but it's equally, if not more, important to speak of the loss of librarians. Michelle makes this differentiation in her comments and I appreciate that.

It's a challenge (and an opportunity) that we'd do well, as a profession, to take on.


Sally Gore, MS, MS LIS
Research Librarian & Informationist
Lamar Soutter Library
UMass Medical School
(508) 856-1966

Blog: Librarians Wear Many Hats ( 
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6160-2011


-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kraft, Michelle
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: library closing - thanks

What happens to the hospital and the hospital staff when the librarian is eliminated?  I have been asking this question for several years.  I have wondered if there is a correlation with top hospitals and library services. Do more top hospitals have librarians than those that aren't top hospitals?  Asking what happens to hospitals that eliminate the librarian is kind of the flip side of the question.  

There have been hospitals within our system that no longer have librarians and we have had to work through various challenges as a result.  Just from my observations from personal and others' situations I can say that the hospital staff suffer and the hospital doesn't realize any savings.  Often the hospital will buy a product (one that was previously negotiated by librarians) and they sometimes end up paying more for the subscription, fail to leverage it correctly (add off campus access, connect to other full text resources, etc), and fail to adequately promote it or educate users on it.  Not only might they pay more for the subscription but their ROI is miserable because people don't use it.  

I think we need a study to see what actually happens when the librarian is gone.  We have enough anecdotal evidence to choke a horse, what we need is the hard stats, financial implications, etc.  That is more difficult to get because the librarians are no longer at the hospital to get this information.  But if we could get both information and marry it together and if it creates a compelling picture then it needs to be presented in mediums that aren't dedicated to medical libraries.  With all due respect to our library journals, our doctors, administration, etc. don't read them.  

I would also be curious to know if there are library vendors that are interested in this problem because ultimately they are impacted as well.  As the librarian leaves, the resources are eventually cut.  Even if the hospital keeps or returns to a product, the hospital leveraging the product poorly will still impact the vendor because they may cut it due to poor usage.  I know one hospital (with a library!!!) that paid GOBS of money to a vendor for a nursing product.  Unfortunately nursing administration did not seek the library's input, nursing did it all on their own.  The product was poorly used and was later dumped for another nursing product.  I don't know if the new product is suffering the same usage problems but if it is being leveraged the same way as the previous one, what makes anyone think it won't suffer the same fate?

Unfortunately, research is not my strong point.  Additionally, I think we need information from across the United States to make an impact and I personally don't have that kind of information.   I have no idea where to start with such a large scope project.  I just think it is something that we need to consider.

Just my .02 cents as I type to warm up my frozen fingers on a cold snowy day.

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Aspri, Jo-Anne
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:28 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: library closing - thanks

Interesting, and congratulations on being held in such high esteem by your colleague to the point that she voiced it! I suppose I was fantasizing that this might be one potential outcome, to re-hire a librarian LOL. I heard privately from one person and this is what she had to say, in part:

	My position was eliminated last July...<snip>   By October, the entire collection - all the books and journals - had been moved to the dumpster !  The room is now used as temporary office space while another area of  the hospital is renovated.   The electronic subscriptions expired and since no one knew how to use them or what to do, that was the end of that.  So, all they have now is UpToDate.

So much for my fantasy. This is the harsh reality.

Jo-Anne Aspri, MLS | LIBRARY | Kent Hospital | 455 Toll Gate Road | Warwick, RI 02886  | 401.737.7010 x31309 | jaspri AT


-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sharon Hrabina
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: library closing - thanks

Your question is actually timely.  Last week I spoke with a former colleague who relocated to another state and job.  They had recently closed the library there (before she got the job) because of budget cuts.  She then told me that she is so frustrated because she would like to get some education programs moving (her job) but she doesn't have access to all the great resources that you (meaning me) provided.  "I don't know where to go to find these things. The internet doesn't provide what I need or if it does it takes hours to sift through in order to find the quality of what is provided by the library." (Her words)

I said well what are they doing with the library space?  Nothing it is just sitting there.  I said well it seems to me the logical thing to do is call a meeting and say, "Hey we could hire a librarian!"  I'm not sure she will do it but who knows.

So there is your answer that there are some people who have realized no librarian means information frustration.

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Aspri, Jo-Anne
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 5:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: library closing - thanks

Yes, I agree; very eloquently stated.

Re: Let's see how they will manage the library without a professional."  It got me thinking I wonder how we could discover how these librarian-less hospitals DO make out after the elimination of the professional? There must be gossip and a rumor-mill that local hospitals and librarians must hear about, no? (Maybe that's just a RI thing, LOL!). Nurses frequently work in more than one facility, or family members might be a way to learn what is going on inside...the health industry is pretty tight.

Jo-Anne Aspri, MLS | LIBRARY | Kent Hospital | 455 Toll Gate Road | Warwick, RI 02886  | 401.737.7010 x31309 | jaspri AT

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Patti Reynolds
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 4:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: library closing - thanks

I would like to second the words in this email. It is the people that we have taught and touched that will be our legacy. This is true of all professionals.

Sent from my iPad

> On Jan 22, 2014, at 1:44 PM, "Samuel Bello" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Deb Lawless,
> The attainment of a professional recognition has always been the 
> burden of a scholar. Good professional work speaks longer than the 
> opposite. You have made your positive impact that cannot be swept 
> under the carpet. Let's see how they will manage the library without a professional.
> Samuel Akande Bello
> Medical Librarian & Head
> Outreach and Logistics
> Medical Library
> College of Medicine
> University of Ibadan
> Nigeria
> +234 8038604108
> On 22 January 2014 15:58, Lawless, Deborah J.
> <[log in to unmask]
>> wrote:
>> Thank you for all your best wishes and encouragement.  I have been 
>> the solo librarian in our health system for 17 years.  We have 3 
>> hospitals - the third a small one that opened in October.  We had 
>> several rifs and there were rumors floating around at the end of the 
>> year that another round was coming in January.  With 3 hospitals and 
>> family medicine, pharmacy and podiatry residencies I thought I was 
>> "safe."  But the powers that be checked with our pediatric residency 
>> program about library resources and found that only "access" was required.
>> I was assured that this elimination was strictly budget and number 
>> crunching.  If it had been poor performance, I would have been gone 
>> long ago.  A general announcement will be emailed to associates and 
>> administration will send personal letters to some physicians that 
>> have been regular users explaining the cut and alternatives.
>> We just renewed our print and electronic resources for the new year.
>> Who will oversee these I don't know.  I will contact my Ovid and 
>> Ebsco reps to see if they can conduct some workshops on database 
>> searching for our associates.  But if people don't have time to get 
>> off the floor come to the library to sign out a CPR book, I don't 
>> know who will have time to sit through a class.
>> I  am not restricting myself to medical libraries.  I have a BA in 
>> history, and have worked in a theological and an optometry library 
>> before coming to Jacksonville, so I can adapt.
>> (Cranking up Gloria Gaynor and Barry Manilow  - right now riding the 
>> roller coaster of ups and downs.)
>> Deb Lawless
>> This email message and any accompanying data or files is confidential 
>> and may contain privileged information intended only for the named 
>> recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are 
>> hereby notified that the dissemination, distribution, and or copying 
>> of this message is strictly prohibited. If you receive this message 
>> in error, or are not the named recipient(s), please notify the sender 
>> at the email address above, delete this email from your computer, and 
>> destroy any copies in any form immediately. Receipt by anyone other 
>> than the named
>> recipient(s) is not a waiver of any attorney-client, work product, or 
>> other applicable privilege.


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