Health Sciences Librarian as an Adult Trainer
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The role of the health sciences librarian as it is shaped by the socio-economic conditions, technological developments and specific information needs of health professionals requires knowledge, skills and attitudes combined with communication skills, management and leadership abilities. The modern health sciences librarian seems to be “borrowing" features from the adult qualified instructor who constantly has to adopt roles in a dynamic learning process, and depending on the circumstances he/she becomes facilitator, mediator, counselor, coordinator, introducer, inspirer, specialist, partner and catalyst. Meanwhile, the health sciences librarian should know both the profile of adult learners (either health professionals or medical librarians), and the conditions of the learning process so that it can be effective for adult scientists. This study attempts a theoretical approach of the educational role of health sciences librarians and in particular their role as instructors of adult learners. Required knowledge, skills and attitudes that a medical librarian-adults educator should master are summarized. Eventually, a list of qualifications governed by principles of adult education is formed in order that health sciences libraries provide effective learning.