Migration to an Electronic Journal Collection in a Hospital Library: Implications for Reference Service
Medical Reference Services Quarterly
19 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2010
Date Written: Winter 2007
This article provides a perspective on the migration to an electronic-only journal collection in a hospital library and its effect on reference services, information-seeking, and library use patterns. Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, NY is one of the first major teaching hospitals in the United States to begin a fundamental shift to a current, electronic-only journal collection. This article describes the process and develops a model for use by other hospital libraries, with commentary on the impact on reference services to library users. Key findings are that physicians, residents, and nurses have come to expect electronic journal collections and use the Internet in the hospital library to access electronic journals. Similar to many academic health sciences libraries, the reference desk in a hospital library has become more like a technical support desk. Users who contact the library have questions about access to the library's electronic resources or about searching techniques. In the future, medical reference librarians will continue to assist searchers who cannot find what they are looking for and will assist those who repeatedly get results that do not match their information needs.
Keywords: Health sciences libraries, medical libraries, hospital libraries, reference services, electronic journals, print journals, migration to electronic collections, needs assessment
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