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April 21, 1999

UW’s Hood and National Library of Medicine’s Lindberg to speak at 50th anniversary symposium

The 50th anniversary of the UW Health Sciences Libraries and Information Center will be celebrated next week with a symposium on “The Health Information Challenge: Connecting People to Knowledge for Life.”

The speakers are Dr. Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, and Dr. Leroy Hood, chair of the UW Department of Molecular Biotechnology. Dr. Arno Motulsky, UW professor emeritus of medicine and genetics, will be the moderator.

The symposium, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 20, in room D-209 of the Health Sciences Center, is free and open to the public. A reception will follow from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Health Sciences Library, with displays and demonstrations focusing on aspects of information technology and management.

Lindberg, the National Library of Medicine director, plans to speak on initiatives to increase patient and consumer access to medical information. His topic is “A Medical Library for the People.” Hood will discuss his perspectives on the challenge of organizing, and reliably retrieving, the vast amounts of new information emerging from science today.

Since the library opened in 1949 as a single place-bound facility supporting a new medical school, it has grown into a digital library without walls that supports six health sciences schools with faculty and students in five states, nationally recognized research programs, and patient care at two medical centers and numerous clinics.

Automation has advanced from manual typewriters to more than 230 public workstations. Access to information has surpassed ownership of materials as a performance criterion, and services focus less on managing materials and more on helping users manage information.

Since 1968 the UW has also been headquarters for the Pacific Northwest region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Ten years ago the online catalog had its debut.

In addition to the Health Sciences Library and the regional network, the unit includes the K.K. Sherwood Library at Harborview Medical Center, the Social Work Library, the IAIMS project, the Primate Information Center, bioinformatics consultation and the Microlab.

The symposium next week will be the first of several events planned for the anniversary year, according to Dr. Sherrilynne Fuller, director of the Health Sciences Libraries and Information Center. “We view this as a year-long celebration,” she said.