Philip J. Kroth

Presentation Date




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Title: The future roles of librarians and the interdisciplinary imperative Abstract: Historically librarians have catalogued and organized a fairly small group of item types that were well standardized and relatively unchanging (e.g., books, journals, maps etc.) With the coming of the information age, not only is the amount of information that needs organizing increasing exponentially, but perhaps more significantly, the number of the kinds of items that need organizing are also increasing astronomically as well (e.g., genes, proteins, medications, electronic medical records, populations, etc.) Before the information age, the types of items were also tangible and easily understood. Now, they are more abstract, more complex, and more esoteric — often only well understood within the discipline or expertise that created them in the first place. Because of the exponentially increasing number of item types that need organizing, it will become imperative for librarians to collaborate with the disciplines creating the new item types they are helping to organize. Librarians will continue organize for sure, but not in the manner of just books and journals. Rather, the kinds of items they help organize will more numerous, more abstract, and oftenless tangible than perhaps anyone has imagined, \u2010\u2010 and perhaps much more exciting to work with.

Document Type


Conference/Presentation Location

Medical Library Association




Medical Library Education, MLA, MLA 2009 Meeting, Interdisciplinary, interprofessional


"'Abstract and Presentation slides for my talk at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Honolulu, HI. The presentation was given on May 18th as part of the Medical Library Education Section\'s ""Fusing Interdisciplinary Expertise in the Workplace"" panel in Convention Center Room 319B at 11:15 AM.'"


University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center

The Future Roles of Librarians and the Interdisciplinary Imperative