Health sciences libraries : information services and ICTs
In Saudi Arabia the need is recognised significantly to move towards the concept of an Information Society, particularly for the benefit of the healthcare community. There have been some individual efforts, in this direction but they do not address the problem and related root issues. The problem is that the body and soul are not joined as one to formulate a single entity. The health professional is the body and the soul is the health information professional (health librarians). Health professionals spend a great deal of time in information searching, while the health information professional's role is underestimated. This research is conducted to explore the state of health sciences libraries, and to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the Information Services and Information, Communication Technology (ICT) in health sciences libraries in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. To accomplish this, a mixed method is used (qualitative and quantitative approaches) to collect related data. A framework is designed particularly for this research and a visionary organisational model is designed initially and developed throughout the research. This proposed model is to introduce a potentially possible successful paradigm for changing the health sciences libraries environment to encounter future challenges. In addition, for this research will contribute to the better understanding of how to provide fast, efficient and easy-to-use service to increase user satisfaction. Changing the paradigm of health sciences libraries in Riyadh will facilitate better access, sharing and use of information resources from distant geographical locations, and increase participation opportunities. In addition, the proposed model considers the human and social needs of communication, and the exchange of feelings and reactions. Importantly, successful change will help healthcare environments to move towards the establishment of a flourishing health information society by popularising the use of electronic resources and demonstrating the benefits and advantages of continuous learning and development programmes. It is clear that access to fast. accurate and reliable health information and resources, may be, the difference between life and death.