A randomized trial of librarian educational participation in clinical settings.
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In order to evaluate the librarian's educational role in patient care settings, an information service was provided for health professionals, patients, and families by two part-time clinical librarians. Eight clinical areas were randomly selected from a pool of settings which met predetermined entry criteria. Four of these settings were randomly allocated to the experimental maneuver (that is, the clinical librarian service), and four were control settings. Results showed that the clinical librarians were accepted by health professionals and that services to all groups were viewed as successful. Significant differences in information-seeking patterns were found between study and control groups of health professionals. In particular, the study group was more likely to use the library for direct patient care and rated the librarian and library resources more highly as sources of information. This time-limited and education-oriented model would be useful for settings in which a full-time librarian program is not feasible.
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