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Regional Medical Library Service - Victoria: documents (1973-1991)

Original documents are stored in ALIA House, Canberra, in a folder named VIC RMLS.

Contents include:

  • Correspondence regarding issues leading up to the development of the Regional Medical Library Service in Victoria;
  • Publications;
  • Country Representative of the Victorian Group of the Health Libraries Section of ALIA.

They have not been converted to pdfs.

A description of the contents is in the table below.

YearMonthDate Description
19730114 Dandenong & District Hospital Medical Superintendent, Charles Wilson, writes to Marion Rock, Medical Librarian, Austin Hospital thanking her for the visit and information. He notes of the Austin "it is certainly the nicest setting for any library I have ever seen and the layout is both attractive, relaxing and I would imagine, ideal for those fortunate enough to work in it". He purchased all of the recommended core book list and 25 journal subscriptions.
19730510 Co-convenors, MLG (Vic Branch), Enid Meldrum and Fay Baker, wrote to the Chairman, Hospitals and Charities Commission, to offer advice from the MLG regarding the setting up and staffing of new hospital libraries and, especially, regional hospital libraries. Requested a member of the Commission to speak at a MLG Meeting.
19730622 Letter from Enid Meldrum on behalf of joint convenor of the Medical Librarians' Group, Fay Baker to Mr Thomas, Commissioner, Hospital and Charities Commission to thank him for their recent meeting. We will report our interview to the MLG and shall probably recommend the possibility of offering help on an advisory and practical level to the Medical Superintendents of the Base Hospitals in an endeavour to ascertain the need for medical libraries in the country areas.
19730927 Co-convenors, MLG (Vic Branch), Enid Meldrum and Fay Baker, wrote to the Medical Superintendent, Latrobe Valley Community Hospital, Moe, "to protest at the assumption that complex professional work can be lightly undertaken by an unqualified person with no experience in library work". Recommend the employment of a part-time librarian or, at the very least, fund a person to be trained in Melbourne by our members as a temporary measure.
19731102 Jacqueline Baillie accepts offer from Mr L Walsh, Sector Supervisor, Victorian Hospitals Sector No. 1, Traralgon to speak about how the information services and resources of the Monash University Biomedical Library could be extended to general practitioners, researchers and other hospital personnel in the Gippsland region. Aim to reduce professional isolation.
19731113 Jacqueline Baillie applauds Mr J Walter, Manager, Wimmera Base Hospital, Horsham, for appointing a librarian, Mrs Sheldon, and offers to assist with training and visiting hospital libraries in Melbourne.
19731221 Marion Rock, Austin Hospital, sends Dr Charles Wilson, Medical Superintendent, Dandenong & District Hospital, copies of reports written to help establish the Austin's Library.
19731231 Dr Charles Wilson replies. Is extremely grateful. Will visit Austin in the new year.
197403 Medical Librarians Group (Victorian Branch) March 1974 Newsletter
Consultative Panel for small hospital libraries met at the Austin Hospital: comprises Anne Harrison, Jacqueline Baillie, Enid Meldrum, Marion Rock, Val Strantzen.
Enquiries from hospitals requesting advice on the establishment of medical libraries, to be run by generally untrained persons - Dandenong & District; Wimmera Base at Horsham; Box Hill Hospital; LaTrobe Valley Hospital.
1974 24th Jan 1994: Jacqueline Baillie (Biomedical Librarian, Monash University Library) prepared guidelines incorporating the discussions from the Consultative Panel: Notes on plan of instruction for untrained persons in charge of hospital libraries.
21 points including Equipment, Budget, Selection, Cataloguing, Physical Processing, Interlibrary Loans, Borrowing, Binding, MEDLARS, CMLO, Statistics, Pros and Cons of a Library Committee.
6th Sept 1974, in a letter to June Ryder-Jones, Librarian, Royal Perth Hospital, Marion Rock , Co-convener, MLG (Vic Branch) noted that these are a very rough draft to "teach medical librarianship in three easy lessons" which enable the Panel to be consistent in their advice.
Matching arrangement plan - "learner" libraries may be paired with a larger hospital library.
Submission by Anne Harrison to the Committee of Enquiry into Hospital and Health Services in Victoria, on behalf of the librarians pointing out the need for increased aid.
Anne signed it as Secretary, Central Medical Library Organization, on behalf of the MLG after the Co-convenors read through and approved the requests. This is the 3rd submission.
George Franki, on behalf of the Medical Librarian (National Group) for the Committee on Medical Schools was reported in the December 1972 newsletter. This was mainly concerned with medical manpower not library provision.
197405 Medical Librarians Group (Victorian Branch) May 1974 Newsletter
Jacqueline Baillie was invited by Mr L. Walsh to speak to doctors at Traralgon Hospital. She visited Sale Library; a mental hospital is to be set up in the area and is interested in inter-library cooperation.
197408 Medical Librarians Group (Victorian Branch) August 1974 Newsletter:
Jacqueline Baillie visited Colac and Traralgon as a follow-up to her Sale visit.
Professor Eddey (Committee of Accreditation of Hospitals) impressed with Book List and groups suggestion of "matching" small country and larger metropolitan libraries. He feels there is a definite place for a single professional librarian to act as Consultant Librarian for a Group of Small Hospitals and employed by the Hospitals and Charities Commission.
19741007 Jacqueline Baillie wrote to Prof Andrew, Dean on Medicine re "Notes of staffing of country hospital libraries". Suggested that, instead of a clerk running a collection trained library technicians could be employed; a municipal librarian or a sector librarian could oversee these and link up with a major metropolitan hospital library.
19741127 Jacqueline Baillie prepared a report "A proposal for the regional organization of country hospital libraries in Victoria".
Key points include:
Access to medical information has changed. To attract young GPs to the country they must have easy access to information to keep them up to date. As country hospitals develop so, too, must their libraries, and they must cater to all clinical disciplines.
They need to avoid departmental collections. The library should be central, have a budget, hold core books and journals, and adequate professional staffing. The current practice of using a secretary is unsustainable.
The adoption of standard routines as advised by the MLG (Vic Branch) will assist smooth transition of procedures and the MLG will run workshops and give advice and assistance in the setting up and running of small hospital libraries.
197412 Medical Librarians Group (Victorian Branch) December 1974 Newsletter:
Enid Meldrum and Amy Bush visited Mooroopna Base Hospital. Consultative Panel met.
197502 Medical Librarians Group (Victorian Branch) February 1975 Newsletter:
Enid and Amy wrote an excellent report on Mooroopna. Fay Baker visited the Geriatric Centre at Mount Eliza. Finances too limited to allow progress at the moment. Fay will follow up in late February with Assistant Secretary, Mr Williams.
19750210 Fay Baker and Jacqueline Baillie visited LaTrobe Valley Hospital and discussed future development of the Hospital Library with Dr Mair and Mrs Riley (Moe Municipal Librarian). Dr Mair's secretary looks after the library.
A small separate room has been put aside for the library. It is unlikely that the existing Nursing Library could be combined. Pathology and Speech Pathology also hold collections. These will be listed in the main catalogue.
"It was pleasant to be dealing with a qualified librarian who understood at once what we were talking about."
Seek reimbursement for petrol and out-of-pocket expenses for Consultative Panel - MLG members are acting in an advisory capacity at the invitation of the visited libraries.
19750414 Talk by Amy Bush at Public Librarians' Regional Seminar, Shepparton, 14th April 1975:
The basic aim of the MLG is the establishment of standards of library service in medical libraries. The distribution of doctors in rural areas is sparse. One of the main reasons is "intellectual isolation" from medical libraries. (Quoted from USA research but source is not cited). In Victoria the Medical Practitioners Act was amended in 1973 to require all medical graduates to be employed in an "approved institution" for 1 year in order to be eligible for registration. Hospitals required medical library facilities in order to be accredited. The Consultative Panel was formed to assist with numerous requests for assistance from country hospitals. They have linked country hospital libraries with large metropolitan libraries as well as the Central Medical Library Organization. The public libraries could be the liaison point to assist with interlibrary loans and reference services for the doctors and increase awareness of their roles within their own communities.
19750421 Library Council of Victoria, Public Libraries Division, Seminar on Regional Libraries, Medical Librarians Group, Maryborough, 21st April, 1975. More detailed report similar to the talk by Amy Bush on 14th April. This one is not named - it could be Amy again or it could be Jacqueline Baillie as it makes comparisons to the law, chemistry and engineering libraries at Monash University. It also gives more detailed descriptions of CMLO, SSAL and other document delivery schemes.
197505 Medical Librarians Group (Victorian Branch) May 1975 Newsletter:
Consultative Panel - wrote to Hospital Accreditation Committee of Intern Training, Medical Board of Victoria - to outline the help which the panel is ready to give to any small community or country hospital attempting to establish any sort of library service.
19750617 Consultative Panel - 10 point summary statement with 6 point supplementary statement submitted to Dr Race. Several meetings of Consultative Panel. Dr Race agreed to present the 10 points to the Hospital and Charities Commission.
19750915 Recommendation Approved, Chairman, stamped and signed Minute Sheet, Hospitals and Charities Commission : File Subject: Medical library facilities in public hospitals
197605 Patricia Nakouz appointed as Regional Medical Librarian in May 1976
19760615 Minutes of Meeting at Hospital & Charities Commission including the Consultative Panel members regarding Regional Medical Librarian. Dr Race suggests it be called: Regional Medical Library Service.
19760916 Circular No 46/1976 from Hospitals and Charities Commission announcing the appointment of Mrs Patricia Nakouz as Regional Medical Librarian.
19761020 Minutes of Meeting at Hospital & Charities Commission including the Consultative Panel members - includes request for reimbursement of travelling expenses for the volunteers of the Consultative Panel
19761029 Details of reimbursement issues sent from Pat Nakouz to Dr Wiseman regarding Library Consultation
19761111 The proposal to reimburse travelling expenses to and from the Commission was rejected because "this is an advisory body and provides the Commission with Honorary Services".
19770328 Minutes of Meeting - will hold training at Mayfield in June 1977
19770406 (1) Thoughts on content of workshop for clerical staff in hospital libraries where no professional is employed;
(2) Mayfield workshop for clerical staff working in libraries which lack professional staff;
(3) Suggested programme for course for unqualified hospital library personnel
- these three documents list the main topics to be covered and notes about the level of detail and emphasis on the fact that this is not a training course but a familiarization programme only and that the main aim is standardization of library procedures
19770502 Notes taken at the Discussion by the Consultative Committee for planning the training at Mayfield
19770622 Letter from the Acting Secretary, Hospitals and Charities Commission to the Acting Chairman, Consultative Committee to the Regional Medical Librarian (Ms Anne McLean) acknowledging the value of Pat Nakouz's role and assuring that this role is not compromised by her involvement in establishing the John Lindell Library; and that additional staff to assist the RML position is being attended to by another department.
19770711 July 11-15 - Workshop at Mayfield: participants were issued with 72 page Manual for library clerks in hospitals / prepared by the Regional Medical Librarian of the Hospitals and Charities Commission, and the Consultative Sub-Committee of the Medical Librarians Group. 1st ed. Melbourne: Hospitals and Charities Commission, 1977.
19770926 Minutes of Meeting at Hospital & Charities Commission including the Consultative Panel members - includes report of the Mayfield Workshop and discussion of comments and issues from the evaluation questionnaire. Planning for 1977/78. Sub-Committee members for planning the next Workshop.
19781106 Letter from the Secretary, Hospitals and Charities Commission to the Secretary, Medical Librarian's Group (Jane Oliver) giving a summary of the Regional Medical Library Service:
- 3rd Workshop for Hospital Library Clerks was held October 1977 - 3 days held at Enterprise House ie HACC building in Melbourne; 8 clerks from 8 hospitals; one of the trainers was a qualified staff member of the RMLS who catalogues the books for the Region; total trainees so far is 26; 11 new libraries from the inception of the RMLS; 6 qualified librarians appointed since 1976; and another about to qualify; catalogue cards for about 150 books are sent out per month; average of 373 reference queries per month; the Medical Librarian's Group is thanked for their valuable support.
19791109 Letter from the Secretary, Hospitals and Charities Commission to the Secretary, Medical Librarian's Group (Jane Oliver) giving a summary of the Regional Medical Library Service:
- full-time librarian appointed to Goulburn Valley Base Hospital, Shepparton, the first since Ballarat Base Hospital's
- 2 Workshops for Hospital Library Clerks were held attended by 22 clerks from 13 hospitals and 4 community health centres
- new libraries opened: Goulburn Valley, Shepparton; Wimmera Base, Horsham; William Angliss, Ferntree Gully; Wangaratta Base; Nhill Hospital; Queen Elizabeth Geriatric Centre, Ballarat.
- cataloguing centrally for 24 hospitals and community health centres
- in one month 2,589 photocopies of journal articles were sent to 36 health institutions; 75 interlibrary loans processed; 12 Medline searches performed
19870811 Letter from Pat Nakouz to Enid Meldrum thanking the Medical Libraries' Section (Vic) for organising her farewell
19870911 Letter from Enid Meldrum, Secretary, LAA Medical Libraries Section (Victorian Group) to Dr J Yeatman, Chairman, Regional Medical Library Services Co-ordinating Committee, Health Department Victoria, requesting urgent replacement for Pat Nakouz, Regional Medical Librarian Position. The position began in 1976. From the 4 or 5 hospitals which initially expressed interest in the idea in the late 1970's there are now over 20 librarians in outer metropolitan and base hospitals and approximately 60 library clerks in smaller hospitals, homes for the aged, community health centres, and other institutions which are unable to justify the services of a professional librarian. Since much time, money and effort has been spent to develop these library services and give ready access to information for clinicians in country areas it is hoped that these do not break down.
19879815 Reply from Dr J Yeatman, Regional Director, Health Department Victoria to Enid's letter urging replacement is that the matter is "presently under consideration" and should be addressed soon.
19871201 Letter from Veronica Delafosse, President, LAA Medical Libraries Section (Victorian Group) to Catherine Gatt, John Lindell Library, Health Department Victoria, requesting that a letter be sent to the RML network members asking them to write individually to Dr J Yeatman to point out aspects that they are specifically missing. These could include: contact with colleagues, one-day seminars, professional support, regular updates to PEARL (PEriodicals Available in Regional Libraries), quarterly newsletter, training for library clerks. It is hoped that many letters of appeal will assist the cause.
19880908 Letter from Andrew Rooke, Treasurer, LAA Health Libraries Section (Victorian Group) to Veronica Delafosse, President, LAA HLS (Vic Group) suggesting that, in consultation with the Chief Librarian of the John Lindell Library, Bill Sinclair, they recommend the HLS provide professional support to the country librarians. This could be arranged through the addition of a specific country representative on the HLS committee and a professionally hosted annual seminar day. Pat used to organise 2-3 meetings times per year. They provided staff development on professional issues, offered a vital opportunity for isolated librarians to share information and experience, and provided a forum for discussion of new development and new products.
1989 ALIA HLS (Vic) AGM President's Report includes the initiative of the outgoing 1988 Executive Committee to develop the position of the Country Representative. This role will support any rural members who felt isolated from other health librarians and who wished to participate in activities in 1989. Scott Holmes, Librarian, Bendigo and Northern District Base Hospital, has excelled in this inaugural role. A one day seminar at the Health Department in Melbourne was attended by thirty health librarians. The theme, library automation, included Medline on CD-ROM and demonstrations of three library management systems. A second successful seminar was held later in the year.
19890306 Scott Holmes wrote to colleagues as Country Representative of the Victorian Group of the Health Libraries Section of ALIA. He commenced 3 years earlier at Bendigo and job-shares with Helen Smith so he can share parenting with his wife who also works part-time.
The position will involve:
liaison with other country members
organise a yearly seminar for country members
serving members general concerns
verbally report to the Executive Committee
co-opt others as necessary
He included a questionnaire to gather information and ideas for the proposed seminars, content, venue, suitable weekdays, and whether to hold them over 2 days with available accommodation.
Scott acknowledged that some of these functions would have been dealt with by the Regional Medical Library but that position is unlikely to be refilled.
19901130 Seminar held in Health Department Victoria with tear-off slip for diary reminder. Content included establishing benefits of library service; report from the International Medical Librarians Conference; Copyright; successful submissions; report of a job exchange in London.
19910613 Enid Meldrum wrote to Joanna Boast, Librarian, LaTrobe Valley Hospital, to encourage her to accept nomination for the Country Representative role.
19910829 Joanna Boast accepts and wants to ensure that the country librarians are not isolated from the mainstream library association activities.
19910903 Joanna Boast wrote to colleagues as Country Representative of the Victorian Group of the Health Libraries Section of ALIA. She commenced 6 years earlier.
19910916 Joanna Boast wrote to Enid Meldrum with suggestions for the next seminar.
19910920 Joan Martin, President, wrote to Joanna Boast, thanking her and inviting her to attend an Executive Committee meeting in October or November if possible.
19911128 Seminar held in Health Department Victoria. Content included introduction and overview of CD-ROM, vendors discussing their CD-ROM products, networking with CD-ROMs, and visits to libraries using CD-ROMs.

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