IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsAnnual ConferenceSearchContacts

61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section of Biological and Medical Sciences Libraries

Annual Report 1994

Frances Groen
McGill University
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y1
Fax: (1-514) 3987184
e-mail: groen@lib1.lan.mcgill.ca
is Chair of the Section of Biological and Medical Sciences Libraries.

Monique C. Cleland

Institut de Centre Hospitalier Universitaire du Vaudois
46 rue de Bugnon
CH 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
Fax: (41-21) 3144386
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Membership

The Standing Committee has 11 members and five corresponding members from 14 counties. Section membership totals 57.


Plans for the 7th ICML

Planning for the 7th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, scheduled to be held in Washington DC 10-12 May 1995 with the theme, "Health Information for the Global Village" is almost comple ted. Spanish versions of the conference announcement were distributed during the Havana Conference. Additional contacts in Cuba resulted in an increase in the number of scientific presentations to be made by Cuban colleagues. More than 80 papers have been accepted for the programme, which will also include poster sessions and continuing education courses. The Section acts as a bridging committee in the years between the congresses (scheduled every five years). The 7th ICML follows the 95th annual meeting of the Medical Library Association, 7-10 May 1995, and although the programmes are bein g planned separately, there will be many opportunities for attendees at both meetings to share experiences.

Selection of Site for 8th ICML

Two bids to host this meeting have been received from the UK and from Australia. Copies of detailed proposals were sent to all SC members prior to the Havana meeting. Limited attendance by SC members in Havana did not permit a final decision, although open discussion of the proposals did take place. Further discussion occurred by mail and decision was finally reached. The Eighth International Co ngress on Medical Librarianship will be held in London, 18-21 June 2000 with the theme, "Convergence".

Section Recruitment Brochure

A recruitment brochure was prepared in Spanish and used during the Havana meeting; a copy was deposited with the IFLA Secretariat. A French translation is being prepared by a member of the Standing C ommittee of the Section, Christine Deschamps (France).

Directory of Health Sciences Libraries Regional Directories

The committee member charged with this responsibility prepared an outline of the issues related to the task. Since there were too many unresolved questions regarding the feasibility of a new world di rectory of medical libraries (the World Directory of Biological and Medical Sciences Libraries prepared by Ursula Poland and issued by K.G. Saur in 1988 remains the most recent publication of its kind), it was decided by those present in Havana to use the occasion of the 7th ICML to develop a reliable list of national and regional directories of health sciences libraries and information c entres. Participants would be asked to provide a listing of associations and/or institutions in their country related to health sciences librarianship. The Section would also liaise with the World He alth Organization for cooperation in such a project. The SC would also try to make use of resources offered by IFLANET for the project.

Preparation of a Training Manual

No progress was made during the past year on the project of a manual for developing counties to be used in the training of library staff.



Three issues of the Newsletter (ISSN 0250-4294) were issued by Lucretia McClure (USA), Editor.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1995

The programme, an open session on the influence of Islamic thought on medicine and medical libraries was prepared by Shawky Salem (Kuwait) and Frances Groen, with speakers to be identified before Dec ember 1994. The Section will also cooperate with the Section of Science and Technology Libraries to present a joint programme at the Istanbul meeting on the electronic paper. Christine Deschamps was appointed liaison for this activity.

Beijing 1996

Discussion of topics for the Section in support of the general theme, "Challenge of Change: Libraries and Economic Development" focused upon links between the developed and developing world and the i mportance of maintaining standards to ensure the exchange of information across national boundaries.

Havana Meetings

Jeremias Hernandez Ojito, Head of the National Center of Medical Science Information, Ministry of Public Health, Havana, assisted in providing names of distinguished librarians in Latin America and t he Caribbean and his advice provided delegates with an excellent programme. Four speakers (Mr Ojito, Pedro Urra Gonzalez, Celia Zaher Ribero, and Alecia de Acosta) from LAC provided a comprehensive v iew of health information services. The second part of the programme focused on specific strategies for medical information delivery and was presented by colleagues from Canada (Marcos Silva and Shar on Grant).

El sistema nacional de información del ministerio de salud pública y su red de bibliotecas médicas

Se exponen de manera suscinta las principales caracteristicas del Sistema Nacional de Información de Ciencias Médicas en Cuba, haciendo énfasis en los principales servicios que b rinda y la forma de acceso a los mismos. Se destaca la importancia del uso de las nuevas tecnologias para mejorar la eficacia y eficiencia del Sistema asi como las particularidades de la Red en las c ondiciones de limitaciones económicas de un pais en vias de desarrollo.

Las redes de computadoras al servicio de la bibliotecología médica: informed, una experiencia cubana

Se analizan los servicios de información que se han desarrollado en las redes académicas como Internet y Bitnet como modelos para la implementación de servicios bibliotecarios en el campo de la salud. Se presta particular atención a la mensajería electrónica y las denominadas listas de discusión basadas en los listservs y mailservs y las posibilid ades de su integración con otros servicios como el acceso remoto a bases de datos. Se expone la experiencia en este campo de InfoMed, red electrónica cubana de información para l a salud.

The Internet and PERUSE: McGill's Health Sciences Information Technology for the 21st Century

This paper discussed the impact of Internet services and resources on health science research and teaching. It also reviews McGill University Libraries' PERUSE Project and the advent of virtual libra ries. Finally, it discussed the evolving role of health science librarians and information specialists.

ADONIS: For Developing Countries?

The document delivery system ADONIS was developed to protect publishers' copyright royalties which they felt were being lost to unlimited photocopying. Development of ADONIS made use of the large sto rage capacity of compact disks read only memory (CD-ROM); catered to the established need for delivery of biomedical information; and supplied this information quickly. The search features of ADONIS, its basic hardware requirements, and the hard currency needed to subscribe are usually taken for granted by libraries in industrial countries. But what about developing countries? Their requirements for biomedical information are based on the critical health needs of their populations. The challenges faced by their biomedical libraries and information centres are daunting. Is ADONIS a relevant product for countries which are "information isolated" and perhaps becoming even more so with the construction of the information highway. The feasibility of CD-ROM technology for developing countrie s is just one aspect which must be examined when considering ADONIS. The appropriateness of the information contained therein must also be considered. For developing countries to meet the particular health needs of their citizens, the relevant biomedical information must be accessible for them, economically and quickly.