John Halamka’s Vision for Medical Libraries

ComputerWorld is running an editorial by John Halamka about how he feels medical libraries should evolve, with librarians acting as “knowledge navigators”:

“By the time a book is printed, the knowledge it contains may be outdated. So, [medical] libraries need to become clean, well-lighted lounges for digital media staffed by expert knowledge navigators. In my institution, the librarians have thinned the book collection, migrated paper journals to digital media and indexed digital knowledge resources to support our search engine optimization efforts.”

Of course librarians have been helping people to navigate knowledge since Reference began, though the “Knowledge Navigator” title does have a certain mythic zing.

Background: Dr. Halamka is CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and is also something of a rock star / lightning rod in the medical technology world. He’s an unabashed (some would say over-the-top) technophile. He made headlines a few years back for his strong advocacy of chipping (video) — implanting a subcutaneous RFID chip that contains an ID linking to your medical data — and for having himself chipped as part of effort… which some people thought was supercool, and some people thought was quite literally a sign of the Apocalypse.


One Response to John Halamka’s Vision for Medical Libraries

  1. […] UW-Madison SLISI, a post about John Halamka’s editorial in ComputerWorld […]

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