What do Health Sciences Librarians and Health Sciences Library Technicians do?
Health sciences librarians and health sciences library technicians collect, organize, evaluate and help others to obtain information. They provide physicians, nurses, allied health personnel, and other health care professionals, administrators, researchers, students and consumers with information needed for patient care, education, biomedical research and health care administration.
What might a Health Sciences Librarian and a Health Sciences Library Technician do in a workday?
Health sciences librarians:
- select and purchase books, journals, audiovisuals and computer software and license electronic resources.
- organize materials into manageable collections.
- develop and maintain catalogs, which are often computerized.
- set up computerized information networks for institutions.
- develop and manage websites and select quality websites for customized Web pages.
- plan and manage budgets and personnel.
- locate information for health professionals, students, patients and their families, and the general public.
- instruct individuals on how to use the library and information resources.
- supervise health sciences library technicians.
Health sciences library technicians:
- assist in organizing the library’s collections and in providing services to users.
- record and index journal issues.
- pay invoices for information resources.
- help students use computers.
- update information on websites.
- answer questions at information desks.
Developing a Career as a Health Sciences Librarian or Health Sciences Library Technician
Health sciences library personnel may work in academic medical centers, community hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, research facilities, consumer health libraries, government agencies, associations and foundations.
How much salary do Health Sciences Library Personnel make?
Annual Mean Wage
$66,622 (provided by the Medical Library Association)
How do I become a Health Sciences Librarian or Library Technician?
Students interested in working in the health sciences library field should select challenging high school courses in science, English, math and computer skills.
Health science librarians should have a bachelor’s degree in a life science and a master’s degree from an accredited library and information science school. Many graduate library schools offer special courses or internships in health sciences librarianship.
Health sciences library technicians’ education and training requirements vary depending upon the employer. Some community colleges offer two-year educational programs for library technicians. In some cases on-the-job training and/or additional course work is required.
Several universities in Virginia offer certification and/or a master’s degree in education in school media librarianship, but none offer a general health sciences librarianship.
The Catholic University of America offers a master’s in its School of Library and Information Science. The school has been fully reaccredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association.
Where else can I learn about becoming a Health Sciences Librarian or Library Technician?
Medical Library Association
65 E. Wacker Place
Chicago, IL 60601-7246
American Library Association
50 E. Huron
Chicago, IL 60611
Special Libraries Association
7918 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102
Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
2150 N 157th Street
Seattle, WA 98133