Health Career Center

Medical Librarians

Medical librarians manage medical libraries. They organize library collections, so they’re easily accessible. Physicians, nurses, researchers, healthcare administrators, and other medical specialists consult librarians when they need to borrow certain books, articles, or other resources.

Medical specialists often contact medical librarians when they need access to materials that provide specific information about medical disorders and treatments. When library requests are made, librarians locate books or other requested materials and make copies for the doctor or other medical specialist.

To successfully execute their responsibilities, medical librarians must understand medical terminology and treatments and complete formal librarian training. Likewise, they must understand research methodologies and modern technology used to easily access medical journal articles, books, and other resources. Librarians often receive requests to retrieve resources within a very short time period.

In addition to hospital and other medical clinics, medical librarians are employed at insurance and pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, Internet research and database companies, medical technology suppliers, and non-profit organizations. As long as researchers and medical specialists need easy access to medical research materials, medical librarians will be in-demand. Elected officials and policy experts also rely heavily on medical librarians. Many people who’ve been diagnosed with serious diseases often consult medical librarians to locate information about their disorder and possible treatments.

Medical librarians must possess exceptional communication and people skills since they’re required to answer questions and constantly interact with others. Additionally, they must have good analytical skills since they’re responsible for locating specific information after receiving generalized requests. Some medical librarians possess the skills necessary to develop medical research websites.

Education and Training

Medical librarians are required to hold master’s degrees in library and information science. Most students admitted to these programs hold bachelor’s degrees in biology, computer science, information technology, education, healthcare administration, and other medical science related fields. Medical librarians employed at large research libraries or hospitals with medical libraries usually hold doctorate degrees in library and information science.

Because medical librarians are assigned management responsibilities, it’s helpful to have some experience working in healthcare administration. It’s also useful to obtain some work experience in a library.

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