As libraries are confronted with shrinking budgets and dramatically increasing costs of developing and maintaining collections, the concept of resource sharing assumes a greater priority in the theory and practice of medical librarianship than ever before. Environmental changes such as hospital mergers, the proliferation of affiliated clinics, and remote sites mean patrons may not have or be able to meet their needs by visits to a physical library and thus document delivery becomes even more critical.
The purpose of a Resource Sharing SIG will be to facilitate discussion among Medical Library Association members of trends, challenges, and developments in the field of interlibrary loan and document delivery. To encompass the many challenges involved in providing library users access to information, this SIG defines resource sharing in its broadest sense. The topics of discussion may include, but are not limited to: technology, policy, management, reserves, electronic resource licensing, and copyright issues.
The formation of a Resource Sharing SIG in the Medical Library Association recognizes the growing importance of this area of service. It will provide members with responsibilities in the areas of access services, interlibrary loan, and document delivery with a new forum for the exchange of ideas: a forum which had not been available to them previously. This SIG is not limited to access services librarians, however, and reference, systems, or any other librarians or library staff members are encouraged to participate.