Report from the Medical Library Association’s InSight Initiative Summit 2: Meeting the Evolving Information Needs of Library Stakeholders


  • Katherine G. Akers Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the Medical Library Association, and Biomedical Research and Data Specialist, Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI



Access to Information, Libraries, Publishers, Information Seeking, Social Media, Smartphones, Medical Library Association


At the Medical Library Association’s InSight Initiative Summit 2, held September 27–28, 2018, academic and hospital librarians joined with publishing industry partners to develop a deeper shared understanding of technology- and social interaction–driven changes in how health sciences researchers and clinicians discover and consume information in their fields. Through a mixture of keynote talks, a panel discussion with health care professionals, and small-group problem-solving exercises, the summit program invited participants to collaboratively develop strategies for helping users recognize the value of curated or peer-reviewed content obtained through institutional access channels. Themes of the summit included the existence of different user modes of information discovery and access, user reliance on professional societies and Twitter as information sources, the extent to which smartphones are used to find medical information, the importance of inducing disorienting dilemmas in library users that cause them to recognize librarians as true partners in information seeking and research, the dangers of depending on non-curated information, and the need for publishers and librarians to work together to ease barriers to access and enrich the user experience.


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