Title

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Annual Statistics: a thematic history

Publication Date

4-2003

Journal

J Med Libr Assoc. 2003 April; 91(2): 178–185.

Comments

The Annual Statistics of Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada (Annual Statistics) is the most recognizable achievement of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries in its history to date. This article gives a thematic history of the Annual Statistics, emphasizing the leadership role of editors and Editorial Boards, the need for cooperation and membership support to produce comparable data useful for everyday management of academic medical center libraries and the use of technology as a tool for data gathering and publication. The Annual Statistics' origin is recalled, and survey features and content are related to the overall themes. The success of the Annual Statistics is evident in the leadership skills of the first editor, Richard Lyders, executive director of the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. The history shows the development of a survey instrument that strives to produce reliable and valid data for a diverse group of libraries while reflecting the many complex changes in the library environment. The future of the Annual Statistics is assured by the anticipated changes facing academic health sciences libraries, namely the need to reflect the transition from a physical environment to an electronic operation.