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Special Libraries and Information Centers By Madelyne WimberleyLIBR 200-14: Information and Society Professor xxxxxxx March 19, 2011
What are special libraries and information centers?
What are special libraries and information centers? “Special libraries are information organizations sponsered by private companies, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or professional associations.” “Information centers are special libraries with a very narrow scope.”
What makes special libraries different? They emphasis the use of information for practical purposes related to the organization they are affiliated with. Generally, the librarian does the research for a client rather than assisting the client with the research. The number or users is much smaller than that of academic or public libraries. The library is oriented to the goals of organization to which it belongs, and their mission is directly related to that organization.
History Ellis Mount believes the first modern special library to be the Military Academy at West Point, founded in 1777. 1909—The Special Libraries Association is founded In 1909, there were approximately a hundred special ibraries. By the 1960s, the number rose to over 10,000. It is estimated that there are 14,000-21,000 special libraries and information centers in the United Stated and 35,000 worldwide.
Challenges SpecialLibraries Face Limited Resources Establishing ValueKeeping up with Technology Copyright Laws
Keeping up with Technology Many special libraries are dependent on their information storage and retrieval system. The problems that can arise from these systems are: Copyright Laws Privacy Cost
Proving Their Worth with Limited Resources Special libraries often have few staff members. Many non-corporate special ibraries rely on volunteers to keep the library running. Operation costs continue to rise as the budget decreases. Special libraries must establish their value to the organization that they are affiliated with in order to not be cut out of the budget.
Libraries Can Save Lives Two studies done be Joanne Marshall were conducted in 1991 to determine the impact of medical libraries on the decisions and diannosis of doctors. Doctors asked questions that related to a current clinical case. They evaluated its impact on the care of their patients. There were reported changes in: Diagnosis 29% Choice of Tests 51% Choice of Drugs 45% Reduced Hospital Stay 19% Advice Given to Patient 72%
ReferencesMarshall Ph.D., J. G. (1992). The impact of the hospital library on clinical decision making:the Rochester study. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association , 80 (2), 169- 178.Rehman, S. (2009). Evolving Role of the Information Center: Challenges and Directions. Pakistan Journal of Library & Information Science, (10), 8-42Rubin, R. E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science. (3rd, Ed.) New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.Special Libraries Association. (2009). Association Timeline. Retrieved March 17, 2011, from Special Libraries Association: http://www.sla.org/content/SLA/AssnProfile/History/timeli ne.cfm