This study proposed to define the role and duties of librarians who provide health information service in public and medical libraries. Appropriate education, career experience and starting salary for this position are also presented.Method:
This study analysed previous research and job advertisements to understand the current needs for this position. Almost all job advertisements studied were eventually retrieved from Salary.com (US job posting site). Public libraries seeking to fill health informationist positions were even more difficult to find in any of the above locations. Therefore, the researcher attempted to find cases using various search engines, including Google, and noticed that public libraries usually post job advertisements on their website. Finally, 32 job postings were selected as suitable. Fifty-four public and medical librarians were surveyed to validate the results in Korea.Results:
Public librarians chose ‘health information librarian’ as the most appropriate title for this position, while medical librarians answered ‘medical librarian’. Therefore, librarians providing health information service in public libraries should be called ‘health information librarians’, while the position in medical libraries should be called ‘medical librarian’. Accordingly, job postings and academic articles will be easily accessible. Both groups marked that the position should require a bachelor's degree in both LIS and a health science field, 2 years library experience and health-related user training. Other requirements included knowledge of health resources and medical terminology, search capabilities and a focus on user-centric service. For required duties, public librarians chose accessing information resources, while medical librarians selected collection management.Conclusion:
Health information librarians will play a vital role in the future and must therefore be educated accordingly.