Health Sciences Professionals Who Became Librarians
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Objective: To identify why librarians with a health sciences background choose librarianship as a second career and to determine if their health sciences background has been advantageous in their work as a librarian. Methods: A survey was designed and pre-tested before distribution. From May to July 2009, an email invitation to the survey was sent to over twenty health sciences librarians or association listservs. Participants were asked questions regarding their former health sciences careers, their reasons for switching careers, their impressions of librarianship, and their health sciences background impact on their current career. Results: There were a total of 274 responses to the survey. The health sciences profession with the most responses was nursing. Over 26% of the respondents decided to change careers between one to five years of working as health sciences professionals. The majority of respondents have been working as librarians between 6 to 10 years and most are satisfied with their career move. Over 23% of the respondents still think of themselves as health sciences professionals. Most of the responses indicated that they felt they were treated differently by patrons and their colleagues because of their health sciences background. Although over 61% of respondents were members of MLA, only 16% were AHIP members. Conclusions: Librarians with health sciences backgrounds are satisfied with their career move. They feel that their background gives them an advantage in certain areas such as teaching and research.
SubjectHealth Sciences Librarians
Health Sciences Backgrounds