Recently there have been a lot of emails (most with the subject line “sad state of hospital library”) hitting MEDLIB-L about the closings of several hospital libraries and what needs to be done to prevent this from happening to more libraries.
It is a complicated issue with many sides and it is only exacerbated by the down turn in the economy and the changes in healthcare.
As Jerry Perry, MLA President, mentions, everyone has a role in hospital library advocacy. Jerry wrote a very interesting and thoughful blog post on this issue. His post has great suggestions for how to prevent library or position from being downsized. The only thing I would like to add is to start NOW! Don’t wait for trouble or rumors of downsizing for you to start. Don’t wait for budget cuts. The time to start was when you started in your position. But if you didn’t do that, do it now. Some of these things that Jerry mentions take time and require you to make contacts.
Yet even with the best activities of the best librarians some libraries have closed. Look for a future blog entry by Jerry on what MLA is doing at the national level to advocate for all health sciences libraries.