A Pathway for Hospital Librarians: Why is It Vital?(Introduction)
INTRODUCTION TO THE VITAL PATHWAYS PROJECT As early as 2004, the Medical Library Association (MLA) Board of Directors heard frequent reports of hospital library closures and hospital librarians’ job losses. Although some actual closures could be documented through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine regional offices and actual contact with the affected librarians, most of the conversation was anecdotal. The original impetus for what became Vital Pathways: The Hospital Libraries Project was the need to gather data on the status of hospital libraries. The project quickly grew beyond the need for a survey to a more philosophical one focused on the future of hospital librarians. It became clear MLA needed to know more.