Naeem A. Jafarey ( Department of Pathology, Basic Medical Sciences Institute, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi-35. )
Inadequacy of Medical Libraries has always been listed as one of the problems facing research workers and educators in Pakistan. In recent years some efforts have been made to improve the Library services but a lot more needs to be done. An Editorial on this same subject in this Journal in 1971 had proposed that if the resources of different libraries can be pooled together to form an integrated system, the limited budgets of each could be put to a better use. Every Library under this proposal would subscribe to a small list of core Journals most frequently read and devote the rest of its funds to designated speciality Journals for which it will be the National Resource Centre. With about 20 medical institutions in the country we would be in a position to have most of the important Journals available somewhere in the country. The pages of content of all the Journals not subscribed by a Library could be Obtained by it from its sister Libraries for a nominal charge. The readers of each Library would, through this network, have access to all the medical libraries in the country. It is gratifying to note that a small beginning in this direction has been made in Karachi. An Inter-Library agreement has been made between the Libraries of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, College of Physicians Pakistan and Aga Khan Medical early to evaluate how well this it is a step in the right direction. Unlike the situation in 1971, most of the Medical College libraries are now headed by a qualified Librarian and they have got together to form the medical Librarians Association. As professionals they are in a position to understand the need for a network of the type proposed above, prepare the ground work and run it successfully. An urgent need of the medical profession in Pakistan is a Bibliography of Pakistani Medical literature. Except for this Journal none are indexed in the Index Medicus and are thus lost to all except the most diligent reader. The medical Librarians Association will do a great service if they will take this up as one of their projects. This Journal would be willing to publish a monthly Bibliography of Pakistani Medical literature if the Librarians would prepare it.
1. Jafarey, N.A. Medical Libraries. JPMA., 1971;21: 199.