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hospital libraries, library marketing, medical libraries


Library and Information Science | Medicine and Health Sciences


Program Description: Despite our profession’s constant evolution to address the changing needs of our users, many health sciences libraries, particularly hospital libraries, are under scrutiny by their institutions. Many of these libraries are facing closure. In fact, a recent study of health sciences library closings [Schwartz, Elkin 2017] found that from 1989-2006 approximately 23-34% of US health sciences libraries closed. Furthermore, between 2011 and 2015, 613 libraries closed, for an average of 115 closings per year [Thibodeau, Funk 2009]. But why? What was the rationale for these closings? Was the decision based solely on economic reasons, or were there other underlying motives? How will providers who lack library services fill their information needs? How can we prevent the closing of additional libraries? This Special Content Session will focus on the ongoing challenges faced by health sciences libraries to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. A panel of speakers will share their experiences with library closures and strategies and best practices for remaining vigilant and promoting library staff, resources, and services effectively. The panel will be followed by an open forum discussion of health sciences library closings in general.


Library Science


Health Care Administration

Conference / Event Name

Medical Library Association


Atlanta, GA, United States


This session is co-sponsored by the Outreach & Marketing SIG, Hospital Libraries Section, and the Leadership & Management Section.

Hospital Libraries: A Path Forward