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Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

Earlier issues of this feature have focused on health information from the perspective of health informatics professionals. The current contributors report on how medical libraries in South Korea are coping with the digital revolution and the challenges of globalization.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),1 South Korea has gone through a period of fast economic development and rapid industrialization since the 1960s. During this period, the Korean health care system has made remarkable achievements. It has moved from insuring less than 10% of its population in 1977 to almost universal coverage today.2 These changes have been accompanied by improvements in population health. During the 1990s, tremendous efforts were put into the development and implementation of hospital information systems for major hospitals.3 The driving force for implementing these systems was the need to process medical insurance claims. However, once clinicians began to use computers, the focus shifted from financial matters to patient care.4 There is now widespread recognition that universally available clinical information is an important aspect of high-quality patient care.

Despite these achievements, the South Korean health care system is struggling with rising costs and an increasingly ageing population.5 A recent report notes that Korea will age much faster than other OECD countries. The proportion of those aged over 65 years is expected to increase from 7 to 37%. To cope with economic and demographic changes, more emphasis is required on illness prevention and health promotion initiatives.

In surveying developments in their country, the authors highlight the following trends:

  • 1
      Information and communication technologies are transforming library services and the way end-users access information.
  • 2
    There is a need to train Korean medical librarians to enable them to take on new roles.
  • 3
     Medical libraries must find ways to provide health information to the general public.
  • 4
     Traditional library services are beginning to face competition from non-library information providers.
  • 5
     Korean medical librarians are committed to developing partnerships and anxious to use their expertise to assist developing countries.

What emerges from this review is awareness that we have much to learn from looking beyond our own country or region.

Jeannette Murphy

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References
  • 1
     OECD. Reviews of Health Care Systems: Performance of the Korean Health Care System and its Determinants. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003.
  • 2
    Matthews B. & Jung, Y. The future of health care in South Korea and the UK. Social Policy and Society 2006, 5, 375385.
  • 3
    Korea Society of Medical Informatics (KOSMI). Website. Available from: http://www.imia.org (accessed 24 January 2008).
  • 4
    Cho, H-I & Jinwook Choi, J. Ubiquitous computing in healthcare. Business Briefing: Global Healthcare 2003. Available from: http://www.touchbriefings.com/pdf/28/gh031_p_CHO.PDF (accessed 24 January 2008).
  • 5
    OECD. Facing the Future: Korea's Family, Pension and Health Policy Challenges 2007. Available from: http://www.oecdbookshop.org (accessed 6 February 2008).

Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

Jeong-Wook Seo*†, Jeong Hee Park*‡, Heajin Ki*§, Jin Young Park*†, Mi-Jeong Park¶ & Hye-Yang Kim*,***Korean Medical Library Association, †Seoul National University Medical Library, ‡Ulsan University Asan Medical Library, §International Vaccine Institute, ¶Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, **Yonsei University Medical Library, Seoul, Korea

Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

There is an increasing demand for health information from both the public and private sectors as a result of an ageing population and the development of information and communication technologies.1–3 As a consequence, libraries serving medical science and health care have become more important and the role of health science librarians is changing.4,5 Big libraries such as the National Library of Medicine of the USA (NLM) have actively responded to this agenda by developing new services and outreach programmes and promoting public health informatics initiatives.6 The biggest challenge facing health information professionals is that boundaries between the sources and types of health information managed by information specialists and librarians, and the way information is used, are becoming blurred.2,4,7,8 Moreover, there is a growing need for new ways of delivering information through a variety of e-health services9,10 and for health information to support evidence-based practice.11

One challenge we face in Korea is how to evolve the role of medical librarians so they are able to develop new services and train customers to use information. In short, medical librarians need to become informaticians.8,12,13 In addition, there is also a changing environment arising from the arrival of non-library health information suppliers and increased public demand for health information from medical libraries.13 The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference in Korea in August 2006 provided a strong stimulus to re-evaluate library services in Korea.13,14

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 68.35% of the Korean population were Internet users in 2005 (ranking fifth in the world) and broadband connection covered 25.2% of the population in the same year.15 This significant uptake of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has forced digital innovations in Korean library services. Although Korean medical libraries have good computer systems and library services are using ICT, user expectations are rising and most libraries require more financial and human resources in order to purchase better hardware systems and more online resources. Libraries are squeezed by pressures from users, publishers and hospital and university managers.

The Korean Medical Library Association (KMLA) has been at the centre of collaboration of medical libraries in Korea since 1968.16 The KMLA at its beginning was an organization for Document Delivery Services (DDS) from four major medical libraries to 35 member libraries in Korea. The KMLA now serves 185 member libraries and has also expanded its activities.

Since the Korean Library Association (KLA) hosted the IFLA Annual Congress in 2006, the importance of international co-operation and partnership activities has presented librarians with significant challenges.4 KMLA is committed to sharing and being involved in issues related to global interests, for example by participating in global programmes. The organization is also seeking out innovative ways to work together with international partners by expanding existing domestic co-operation activities and partnerships. One of KMLA's primary concerns is the information needs of the developing world. Information professionals have a major role to play in addressing these needs through library partnerships with developing countries, training of librarians and teaching skills to local health providers.4,13,18

This paper will summarize the history and roles of KMLA and the new challenges facing medical libraries and KMLA in light of the changing ICT environment in Korea.

History of the Korean Medical Library Association

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

Two events facilitated the establishment of the KMLA.16 One was the publication of the first Union Catalogue of medical journals which was made possible by a generous donation from Dr Yoon Duk-Sun in December 1967. (Dr Duk-Sun became the third president of KMLA and later founded the Hallym University in 1982.) The second catalyst was a visit from Dr Stephen Kim, an Oriental Area Specialist of the US National Library of Medicine, who visited Seoul in 1967 and helped to facilitate this initiation.

KMLA was founded on 18 June 1968 at Yonsei University.16 Dr Yoon Young-Dae (Catholic University), Kang Byung-Sik (Seoul National University), Kim Jong-Hoe (Yonsei University) and Hyun Kyu-Seob (Woosuk University) were core members of the association. The first president was Professor Lee Woo-Joo (Yonsei University). At its inception, KMLA was an organization mainly for DDS among four major medical libraries in Korea (Catholic University, Woosuk University, Seoul National University and Yonsei University) and for 35 member libraries.

The Chair of the Board of the KMLA holds the active role of managing of the Association, whereas the position of president has been an honorary one. The first Chair was Kim Jong-Hoe (1968–1969). Since then there have been five Chairs: Hyun Kyu-Seob (1970–1972), Yoon Young-Dae (1972–1976), Lee Seung-Ha (1976–1990), Kim Ho-Bae (1990–2001) and Kim Hye-Yang (2001 to the present time). KMLA originally established six regional branch associations in 1983 but now has seven regional units. Four active committees (Planning, Academic Affairs, Information and Publication) were created in 1983, with a Certification Committee added in 2006.

Significant milestones

  • • 
    The first Union Catalogue was published in 1967 and the 10th edition was published in 1996, followed by a computerized program in 2000. The first computerized program for DDS was developed by Park Chang-Hyo in 1996. A web version, Medical Library Information System (MEDLIS), was developed in 2000. In 2003, KMLA made an agreement with KERIS to share the MEDLIS.
  • • 
    In 1992, Korea's MEDical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) Center was established at the Seoul National University Medical Library to initiate DDS with the NLM.19
  • • 
    The first issue of the Bulletin of KMLA was published in 1974.
  • • 
    The first volume of the Korean Index Medicus (1982–1983) was published in 1985;20 the 11th edition appeared in 1994.
  • • 
    The first educational programme for medical terminology sponsored by the KMLA started in 1974. The current programme is the 14th version.
  • • 
    Since 1974 there has been a regular programme of exchanging members with the Japan Medical Library Association (JMLA) at annual meetings.
  • • 
    From 1985, representatives from KMLA have attended the International Congress of Medical Librarianship (ICML).

Medical libraries and the KMLA

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

Korean Medical Library Association

The KMLA21 is now an organization of 185 institutional libraries and information centres in the health sciences information field, consisting of 56 universities, 89 hospitals, 16 research institutes, 10 pharmaceutical companies and 14 other institutions. KMLA consists of seven regional branches and five committees, which aim to sustain professional activities and encourage participation in the medical library network.

There are four major functions of KMLA: (i) co-operation among medical libraries in Korea; (ii) provision of DDS; (iii) educational activities for medical librarians; and (iv) promoting international collaboration. KMLA organizes one regular general meeting, one congress and workshops which foster a learning environment, encouraging medical librarians to gain qualifications and make close partnerships with colleagues. For example, KMLA runs medical terminology classes for medical librarians, including medical subject heading (MeSH), to provide them with working knowledge.

A key operation continues to be the DDS, which handles more of 130 000 requests annually. Voluntary contributions by members of KMLA (i.e. keeping their current holding information updated) are a feature of this service. Individual members participating in the DDS put together and maintain the Union Catalogue and devote themselves to ensuring its continuing success.

Another co-operative effort supported by KMLA is the distribution and exchange of domestic medical journals. KMLA distributes the journals donated by national academies to member libraries on a regular basis and connects libraries with missing issues to those with duplicates.

KMLA operates a consortium for group purchasing of books, periodicals and databases. This consortium evaluates and negotiates subscription prices and terms with database publishers. Member libraries can take advantage of reduced costs by participating in the consortium. KMLA also operates a group purchasing of the e-journal linking system and helps small libraries which cannot afford to buy it independently.

The current president is Professor Seo Jeong-Wook, director of the Seoul National University Medical Library. Key members of the association are Kim Hye Yang (Chair of the Board), Park Jeong Hee (Director, Planning Committee), Lee Young Chul (Director, Committee for Academic Affairs), Kim Nam Jin (Director, Information Committee), Ahn Yoon Ja (Director, Publication Committee) and Yoon Young Dae (Director, Certification Committee).

The Certificate of Medical Librarian

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

KMLA recognizes the importance of training specialists who can supply information on the medical sciences and so in 2006 began conferring a certificate to those who are specially trained in this field. KMLA researched certification systems for medical librarians in Japan and the USA prior to designing the Korean Medical Librarian Certificate.16,21,22 The certificate was conferred on a total of 66 librarians in 2007.

To be awarded the certificate, medical librarians are required to have a comprehensive understanding of medical terms and to be experts in data processing and online interactive searching for health-related information on the Internet. The certification system aims to: (i) consolidate the specialty of medical librarians; (ii) uphold their status as medical specialists who are equipped to keep abreast of information in a rapidly changing environment; and (iii) provide support for medical librarians (included those who work with medical research teams).

The Certificate of Medical Librarian is valid for 3 years. To renew their certificate, each holder must upgrade their knowledge on the subject and pass the examination set by KMLA.

Medical Library Information System

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

The MEDLIS23 is an online system to support the DDS service for members of KMLA at 185 institutions. The Union Catalogue, which started with five medical college libraries in 1967, went through 10 editions by 1996, with about 5906 journal titles from 150 institutions’ collections; it is now incorporated into the MEDLIS system. The Korean Index Medicus gives bibliographies and abstracts of about 200 domestic medical journals. It contains over 192 500 records and has published 11 editions until 1994.

The DDS of KMLA delivered 112 780 articles in 2006, in response to 128 346 requests from 159 institutions (an 88% success rate). The top five centres supplied 52% (59 122 articles) of these.

Korea MEDLARS Center

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

The Korea MEDLARS Center,19 founded in April 1992, was based on an agreement with the Seoul National University College of Medicine and the US National Library of Medicine. MEDLARS24 refers to the computerized system of databases and databanks provided by the NLM. The Korean Center aims to assist health professionals in obtaining copies of articles from the collection of the Seoul National University Medical Library and the NLM. It also offers search training and performs other functions as a non-profit biomedical information centre.

The Korea MEDLARS Center received 6200 requests in 2006; documents for 5900 requests were delivered through NLM, but 300 requests were through DDS of KMLA.

Health Information Management and Networks in Korea

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

Korean Index Medicus and KoreaMed

The paper version of Korean Index Medicus Cumulated was published annually 11 times, from 1985 until 1995, by the KMLA. The online version of Index Medicus for Korean medical periodicals, KoreaMed,25 was established in 1997 by the Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE) with support from the Korean Academy of Medical Science. In contrast to the paper and CD-ROM versions of the Korean Index Medicus, KoreaMed started as an online access tool to selected Korean Medical Journals. KAMJE not only developed the KoreaMed system but also KoreaMed LinkOut, KoreaMed Retro and a journal citation report, Korean Medical Citation Index (KoMCI). Currently, KoreaMed holds bibliographic information and abstracts of more than 125 000 articles from 163 journals.

The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus26 is a joint project of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific and Member States in the Region.27 This is one of the Region's contributions to the Global Health Library. The goal of WPRIM is to establish an online index of medical and health journals published in Member States. The objectives of WPRIM are to: (i) index selected medical/health journals in Member States of the WHO Western Pacific Region; (ii) create a bibliographic database containing records linked to abstracts or full texts of articles; and (iii) improve the quality of journal publishing in Member States. WPRIM will be made accessible, along with the medical literature indexes of other WHO regions, under the Global Health Library platform. After the initial workshop at Kuala Lumpur in June 2005, there were four international meetings on this initiative, the latest held in Seoul in November 2007. The Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors has played a key role in this project, through the initial planning of the project, by supplying the computer system for the WPRIM and by providing education for technical staff. At the Seoul meeting, two milestones were the agreement to establish the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Editors on 4–5 May 2008 and the decision to include 131 Korean journal titles, 64 Chinese journal titles, 13 Philippines journal titles and two journal titles each from Japan and Mongolia.

Other Korean medical information services

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References
  • • 
    The Medical Research Information Centre (MedRIC) is one of the Specialized Research Information Centres (SRIC) supported by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. This centre (initiated in 1997) has developed the Korean medical literature database (KMBase), and organized cyber-conferences for Korean societies on medical sciences.
  • • 
    The Korean Education and Research Information Service (KERIS) is a governmental institute for research information services.28 KERIS operates Riss4u29 and MEDLIS (in collaboration with KMLA).
  • • 
    Health information for the general public is available from the KMA30 and the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA).31
  • • 
    The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (K-CDC) is now developing a new public health information network. This network will support the automated exchange of data between public health partners and will be electronically managed and linked. It will contribute to better knowledge and evidence for health decision making by consolidating and publishing existing evidence, facilitating knowledge generation in priority areas and providing leadership in health research policy and co-ordination. The priority of K-CDC is to create a library of public health and medicine to allow knowledge-based, evidence-based organizations to exchange and disseminate health information. The provision of relevant and timely information products and services should play a pivotal role in disease prevention, health protection and health for all.

Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References

Frank Davidoff, editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, emphasized the importance of establishing a national programme, modelled on the experience of clinical librarianship, to train, award credentials to and pay for the services of information specialists who might be called ‘Informationists.’8,12 The Certificate of Medical Librarian by KMLA is a pioneering achievement in Korean libraries. There is, however, insufficient support from the government to make this a compulsory national qualification.22 Despite this lack of support, KMLA is trying to promote its certification status at national level.

There are several caveats relating to the KMLA Certificate of Medical Librarian. The educational curriculum for librarians in Korea is an undergraduate level qualification and those working in the field of health information do not have access to any specialty education other than generic library and information science programmes.32 The educational programme of KMLA therefore starts with medical terminology. More medically related educational and research activities are needed to produce future leaders in the application and promotion of technology for medical information services.18

Editors’ contributions to the Korean health journal index ‘KoreaMed’ have had a positive impact on information quality but their selection process inevitably sacrifices a certain amount of information. Moreover, differences between editors’ and librarians’ perspectives have resulted in some limitation in their database architecture such as MeSH terminologies. More co-operation between medical practitioners, scientists and librarians is needed to improve both the quality and quantity of information. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM) is a new initiative by Western Pacific Regional Office of WHO to aggregate health journal information from member states of the Western Pacific Region of WHO.26 The basic idea is to overcome the knowledge gap between developed and developing countries, but librarians’ participation is crucial for more efficient system operation.

It is anticipated that non-library health information services will rapidly increase and they may partly replace traditional library services, particularly for information retrieval. Information quality and lifelong maintenance of information are key advantages of library systems with knowledge management capabilities. Medical libraries should, therefore, find ways to produce as well as to purchase knowledge so that libraries have their own content to exchange with other libraries. Newsletters, lecture notes and conference proceedings of the institution are examples of local digital content.

Medical libraries and the KMLA have plans to develop new services. Library 2.0 is a key issue in modern libraries and user-orientated library services are essential to meet the needs of customers. Training programmes for medical professionals and students on the newly developed database are to be developed, along with research tools for librarians.

The expansion of medical libraries to provide a public health service is a priority for societies with an increasing elderly population. Collaborations between medical librarians, health policymakers, public librarians and school librarians will be crucial in the near future. Medical librarians as health information managers will be instrumental in getting high-quality health information to the general public through the public health information network being established by K-CDC. Meanwhile, K-CDC will be concerned with providing systematic health information for the population in need. Medical libraries can contribute to this effort by helping to establish the best possible access to appropriate content for people with limited access to information.

The arena within which librarians operate is becoming increasingly global. Globalization presents librarians with significant challenges in meeting their professional obligations and aspirations.4 KMLA will positively share and be involved in the issues related to global interests by attending global programmes. It will also seek out new and innovative ways to work together with international partners by expanding the existing domestic co-operation activities and partnerships. In addition, when considering the international environment, one of the primary concerns is the information needs of the developing world. Information professionals have a major role to play in responding to these issues through library partnerships with developing countries, training of librarians and teaching skills to local health providers.4,18

The development of information and communication technologies (ICT) has facilitated digital innovations of library services by giving more online services and training to users and making it possible to manage library budgets more efficiently. To summarize, the four major activities of KMLA are: (i) promoting collaboration among medical libraries; (ii) providing a DDS; (iii) initiating educational activities for medical librarians; and (iv) developing international co-operation. There were two milestones in 2006: (i) Korea hosted the 2006 IFLA Annual Congress and (ii) the Certificate of Medical Librarian of KMLA was launched. With the prospect of new initiatives in 2008 (national and international activities on health information networks such as the K-CDC public health information network), we expect Korean medical libraries will succeed in their stewardship of information management.

Notes on the authors

Dr Jeong-Wook Seo is Professor of Pathology at the Seoul National University College of Medicine, specializing in the pathology of congenital and adult heart diseases. He is also the President of Korean Medical Library Association and the Director of the Seoul National University Medical Library. He led the digital library project of his university and the electronic medical records project of his university hospital. He is one of key members of the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM) project which is a regional activity of the Global Health Library of World Health Organization. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Basic and Applied Pathology and of the Korean Journal of Pathology and he is a member of the Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE). He completed MD and PhD degrees at Seoul National University and held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of London and the University of Pittsburgh.

Jeong Hee Park is the head librarian at the Asian Medical Library of Ulsan University, Korea. She is also the director of the Planning Committee of the Korean Medical Libraries Association (KMLA). She established the general organization of the association and many specialized services of the KMLA, including document delivery services, Union Catalogue and the medical librarianship certificate for Korean medical librarians. She graduated from Jung-Ang University, majoring in library science and received a master's degree (Education of Library and Information) from the Graduate School of Education, Jung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.

Heajin Kim, MLIS, has been the head librarian of the library and information service centre in the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) since June 2007. She received her Master's degree in Information and Library Science from the Graduate School, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea and is currently a doctoral student investigating information retrieval engineering. Before joining IVI she worked at the Headquarters of Dae Sung Group, where she handled all the library's administrative work.

Jin Young Park is currently a librarian at the Korea Medlars Center, one of the International Medlars Centers of the US National Library of Medicine. Her interests are interactive document delivery services via docline and the education and training of library users (particularly on information retrieval methods). She completed her BA on Library Science and Information at Myongji University, Seoul Korea. She attended NLM training courses covering PubMed, Gateway, Clinical Trials by National Training Center and Clearinghouse and attended the MLA 2007 annual meeting as a Korean Medical Library Association (KMLA) delegate.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Introduction
  3. References
  4. Korean medical libraries and professional associations: changing services and roles
  5. Introduction
  6. History of the Korean Medical Library Association
  7. Medical libraries and the KMLA
  8. The Certificate of Medical Librarian
  9. Medical Library Information System
  10. Korea MEDLARS Center
  11. Health Information Management and Networks in Korea
  12. The Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)
  13. Other Korean medical information services
  14. Health information management and networks in Korea: future perspectives
  15. References