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Letters: Special library

October 15, 2012

It’s a sad day when a profession cannot justify supporting its own special library. As one of a handful of dually trained and degreed dentists and medical librarians, I have read this news with dismay and deep sadness.

The Special Library Association speaks of a special library as an organization where services invariably involve a deeper understanding of the subject areas of the sponsoring agency. In addition, special librarians are immersed in the goals of the sponsoring profession and take on assignments that other libraries would not.

Today, we have much more access to information, but is it good information? Do you want Wikipedia to be your base of cognitive knowledge? How well can you recognize misinformation without the trained professional librarians of the ADA?

The ADA Library is not buried in the past, but looking to the future: an evaluation project is ongoing, to evaluate evidence-based chairside clinical tools used through smartphones, iPad-type devices and computers. And while this will continue and become more sophisticated, the past needs to be respected. And accessible.

From the numbers, it would appear that about $10 of my dues goes to support the library as it currently exists. The future iteration of the library will take about $5. The difference of $5 is less than the price of a book on Kindle. And we get so much more.

Mary J. Hayes, D.D.S.
Chicago