This historical research review uses organization theory to describe and interpret the evolution of American hospitals, medical libraries, and the role of the professional librarian. Various organization theories are applied to explain changes in hospitals and medical libraries over time. The interaction between the organization and the environment as described in organization theory shaped the emergence of today's information services. For readers unfamiliar with health sciences libraries, the study will provide a glimpse into the social forces that framed the development of this type of special library.

About Author

Kathy J. Fatkin is a doctoral student at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. She works at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center as a solo librarian in the medical library and she is also a registered nurse. Her research interests include how nurses use information to improve patient care and how the health science librarian can better serve nurses in acute care settings.