This article reviews the extraordinary growth in the scientific literature that has resulted from increased federal expenditures in the past decade or two. The article further notes that the impact of the knowledge explosion has impinged on the Health Sciences Library as well as on the individual scientist who needs access to the information. A strong plea is made for the librarian to assume a more active role in: doing internal research with respect to how best to use the library as a tool in the dissemination of new information; educating newcomers to the field of library science with respect to the management of scientific information; and converting the library from a passive to an active instrument in disseminating the scholarly record to and among those who require access to it. Medical center administrators are reminded that if the librarian succeeds in these ventures then he will fulfill all of the research, teaching, and service requirements ordinarily made of other academic departments and, in turn, should be rewarded with departmental status for the library
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