King & Lapidus – 2015 – “Metropolis revisited: The evolving role of librarians in informatics education for the health professions
10 year follow up to ‘‘Metropolis Redux: The Unique Importance of Library Skills in Informatics (2004)
Speaking directly to the importance of the Librarian in the new century, King & Lapidus revisit a memorable piece on the ever-evolving role of librarians in the instruction, development, and practice of informatics for the healthcare industry and its practitioners. King’s work in Metropolis Redux illustrated in the early 2010s the prevalence and importance of library skills in the curricula of twenty six prominent informatics-centric programs.
Metropolis Revisisted expands this study to thirty five institutions and draws no ambiguous conclusion: librarians are deeply involved, even outside the traditional borders of their field, in both leadership and technical roles in informatics education. What’s more, King & Lapidus directly address the rising role of the Health Informaticist – an apparent threat to some roles librarian profession, but one which could be readily made an opportunity.
Indeed, as informatics deals more with the study, organization, and manipulation of data than most health specializations, it converges with the unique interpersonal and technical skills of librarians – individuals who can practice and teach others the methods and abstract concepts and needed to sort and access even obscure knowledge at a moment’s notice.
King & Lapidus favor initiative in their writing, pointing out that there exists substantial opportunity for librarians – particularly educators – to become central in the teaching and theory of informatics. They offer fairly telling data from their survey responses to emphasize this, pointing out the prevalence of librarian educators already in health informatics, and strongly suggest that the profession has more to offer in terms of both education and interdisciplinary studies.