Nursing Education
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Health Science Librarian    
The health science librarian, or medical librarian, helps health professionals access the most current information available on a plethora of medical topics. They are responsible for organizing and disseminating biomedical, scientific and clinical, as well as general information to staff in a health care delivery or educational setting. Health science librarians are in charge of arranging information resources such as texts, CD-ROMs, journals, and electronic databases. They may also offer technical services such as selection of book titles, journals and audiovisuals, cataloging, and acquisitions. They can also produce the most current bibliographies on almost any medical or health related subject. Other activities that health science librarians are involved in include conducting research, writing for publications, and writing abstracts. They are also able to access national networks that allow them to locate books and journals in libraries all over the country. Medical librarians, especially in larger institutions, may have faculty status or serve on administrative committees within their employing institution. An individual interested in this field should be highly organized, detail oriented, and have advanced technological skills.

Work Environment:

Most health science librarians work in medical, nursing, or allied health schools. They may also be employed in hospitals, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and other medical-related corporations that require the organization and expertise of a qualified medical librarian.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in pursuing a career as a health science librarian should take high school courses in biology, algebra, computer skills, chemistry, government, psychology, sociology, typing, data processing, English, office procedures, health occupations/medical professions education, foreign languages, anatomy, history, and literature.

College Requirements:

Individuals interested in becoming a medical librarian must complete a 4-year baccalaureate program in any discipline they choose. The most common majors for health science librarians include biology, library sciences, management, or health information. Students are encouraged to include as many computer and technology courses in their undergraduate work as possible. Students are also required to have a master's degree in Library and Information Science (MLS) from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited school. Students interested in a career as a health science librarian should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities will be the greatest in research libraries, especially for librarians with scientific and technical knowledge in a field such as medicine. This job market as a whole is supposed to grow more slowly than the average for all other profession, with a modest growth of only only 3%-9% over the next decade. However, individuals skilled in developing computerized library systems will have better than average employment opportunities. Replacing librarians who leave the profession due to retirement will continue to be a great source of employment. There will also be opportunities in nontraditional settings, which include information brokers, private corporations, and consulting firms.




Average Annual Salary

Salary Range


*Depending greatly on type and location of institution

Professional Organizations:

American Library Association
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 944-6780
Fax: (312) 280-3255

Medical Library Association
65 East Wacker Place, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601-7298
Phone: (312) 419-9094
Fax: (312) 419-8950

Special Libraries Association
1700 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 234-4700
Fax: (202) 265-9317

Download our Health Science Librarian brochure here.
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