Editor’s Note: In response to reader request, we are adding two new features to the DCDM Newsletter, which will appear in alternating months. One month we will publish the profile of a member of Doody’s Library Board of Advisors (LBA) followed the next month by an account of a library’s successful marketing launch of a new product or service.
The LBA has guided the development of our company’s library services since our inception. With gratitude, this month we present the profile of one of the charter members of the LBA, which first convened in 1993, Mark Funk.
Mark E. Funk, MA, AHIP, FMLA
I retired three years ago from the Weill Cornell Medical College Library after serving as Head of Collection Development and then Associate Director for Resources Management for 27 years. I started in medical librarianship in 1970 as a student assistant at the University of Missouri – Columbia medical library. After receiving bachelor’s degrees in Zoology and Education, I ended up going to library school there. For three years, I was a clinical medical librarian at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where I went on daily hospital rounds. This experience taught me a lot about medicine and how physicians and medical students think about and evaluate information. After that, I moved to collection development at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and then to Weill Cornell.
It’s difficult to compare medical librarianship today to when I started. When I started, MEDLINE was brand new. Librarians mediated all database searching, which was expensive and timed by the minute. Electronic journals and books were considered science fiction. With information now so easy for anyone to retrieve, even on a phone, librarians are facing a crisis in relevance. Too many administrators see our roles as archaic. This in turn can lead to both loss of positions and reduced budgets. Medical librarians need to expand their roles and services to survive in this brave new e-world.
I volunteer to serve on the Doody’s Library Board of Advisors because the company sees and appreciates the relevance of medical librarians. The Board sends ideas to the company, and they bounce ideas off us. Products are changed and improved with our participation. This is a small, librarian-driven company that listens to us, a rarity in what is now mostly multinational corporation territory