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January 1, 1973

Library Practice in Hospitals: A Basic Guide

Author Affiliations

Columbia University New York

JAMA. 1973;223(1):85-86. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220010071044

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Of the approximately 3,000 health sciences libraries in the United States, some 60% are in hospitals whose holdings average 3,730 bound volumes and 115 current serials. Only 25% of all hospital libraries had one or more full-time personnel and less than 22% had a professional librarian. Thus, there is a predominance of nonprofessional persons in hospital libraries and heavy reliance upon untrained, voluntary assistants.

Library Practice in Hospitals is a practical, pragmatic volume addressed to the day-to-day problems of a person who works in a community hospital library. The book is divided into three parts. "The Hospital and the Health Sciences Library" provides an overview of the library in the hospital—its role, relationship to the general staff, and the communication media it must handle. "Library Tools and Techniques" outlines the basic principles of selection, acquisition, processing, and use of books and journals. Fink and Stearns introduce the concept of a