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Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990 Apr;78(2):180-7.

The changing continuing education role of health sciences libraries.

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Harvard Medical Library, Boston, Massachusetts.


Libraries have always organizationally supported the continuing education (CE) objectives of their respective institutions. As CE experts increase their understanding of the learning process and the factors that make CE opportunities successful, it is important that health sciences librarians use this knowledge to enhance their positions as key players in the CE field. This paper surveys the literature related to the roles of health sciences libraries in CE, reports an informal survey of health sciences librarians, and identifies innovative services that integrate the library with the lifelong learning processes of its users. Four distinct support areas are identified in which the library relates to CE (resources, content, education, and information management), illustrating traditional library CE roles and suggesting new opportunities. To be successful in improving the library's role in CE, librarians must attend to their own lifelong learning needs, increase collaboration with educators and CE providers, participate in research that addresses the learning and information assimilation processes, and actively involve the library in the quality filtering process.

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