The accumulation of knowledge is of little avail if it is not brought within reach of those who can use it faster and more complete communication from scientist to scientist is needed, so that their research efforts reinforce and complement each other; from researcher to practicing physician, so that new knowledge can save lives as swiftly as possible; and from the health professions to the public, so that people may act to protect their own health.
John F. Kennedy, Special Message to the Congress on National Health Needs, 27 February 1962
A coupla months in the laboratory can save a coupla hours in the library. Westheimer’s Discovery
In the nineteenth century health was transformed by clear, clean water. In the twenty-first century, health will be transformed by clean clear knowledge.
Knowledge is the enemy of disease, the application of what we know will have a bigger impact than any drug or technology likely to be introduced in the next decade.
Sir Muir Gray Director UK NHS National Knowledge Service & NHS Chief Knowledge Officer
In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us how to swim.
Linton Weeks Washington Post article, 13 January 2001, p. C01
The librarian of today, and it will be true still more of the librarians of tomorrow, are not fiery dragons interposed between the people and the books. They are useful public servants, who manage libraries in the interest of the public . . . Many still think that a great reader, or a writer of books, will make an excellent librarian. This is pure fallacy.
Sir William Osler
Show me a computer expert that gives a damn, and I’ll show you a librarian.
Patricia Wilson Berger Quoted in Chicago Tribune article, 29 June 1990, Tempo section, p. 1
We need to bridge the gap between the medical libraries and the hospital rooms; take the information out there already, add to it, focus it, harness it – and bring it to the patient who was just diagnosed today.
Getting rid of librarians because everything is online = getting rid of accountants because everyone has a calculator on their desk.
In times of change it is the learners that will inherit the future. Those who have finished learning find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists (Eric Hoffer)
Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-American economist
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Those who have occasion to enter into the depths of what is oddly, if generously, called the literature of a scientific subject, alone know the difficulty of emerging with an unsoured disposition. The multitudinous facts presented by each corner of Nature form in large part the scientific man’s burden to-day, and restrict him more and more, willy-nilly, to a narrower and narrower specialism. But that is not the whole of his burden. Much that he is forced to read consists of records of defective experiments, confused statement of results, wearisome description of detail, and unnecessarily protracted discussion of unnecessary hypotheses. The publication of such matter is a serious injury to the man of science; it absorbs the scanty funds of his libraries, and steals away his poor hours of leisure.
John Langley – ‘Physiology, including Experimental Pathology and Experimental Physiology’, Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1899, 891-2.
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx