Health libraries present and future:the Global Health Library perspective
Coordinator, Health Information Support, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean - Egypt
Health sciences libraries in the WHO Region for the Eastern Mediterranean
By Dr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji
The paper discusses the current situation of health sciences libraries in the WHO Region for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMR). Health sciences libraries in the Region are attached to the following types of institutions: health sciences, mainly medical colleges., health care , health care administration, which includes ministries of health, health departments, health districts, etc. Libraries attached to these units are mainly to help health administrators, managers and planners to access health information and health and biomedical information collections are part of more general library collections.
In its analysis of the situation of health sciences libraries in the Region the paper recognizes that development of health sciences libraries in the Region has been influenced by social, cultural and language considerations, diversity in status of science and technology (S & T), research and development (R & D) and the application of information and communication technology (ICT), the economic situation of the Region (the very rich and the very poor) and the status of libraries in general which are not high on the agenda of most countries.
The paper discusses achievements made and the constraints facing health sciences libraries in the Region including their structure, staff, collections, services, networking and use of information and communication technology.
Recommendations are made to support these libraries including human resources development, policy setting and planning, restructuring, use of ICT and resources allocation and networking.