Daniel McDonald | JoHILA Editor

Hmmm… What to write about in an editorial? I could highlight the excellent articles in this issue, but their quality speaks for themselves, and they don’t need my further commentary. It is best just to read them. 


I could highlight different aspects of the journal itself, but there will be a presentation about JoHILA at the imminent Asia-Pacific Health, Law, and Special Libraries Conference, which I’m sure all readers will be attending. 


I could talk about all of the great new wonderful innovations swirling about health librarianship, but maybe it is best to leave some powder dry for the Health Libraries Australia conference in Melbourne in October, which I’m sure all readers will be attending. 


I could write a jeremiad lamenting all of the woe artificial intelligence will bring, or I could write effusive praise for all of the improvements artificial intelligence will bring, or I could write an honest confessional inferring that I have no idea what to think about artificial intelligence, apart from the fact that the “artificial” should be emphasised every bit as much as the “intelligence”. But think pieces on AI abound at the moment, and maybe some of them are even written by actual fingers on a keyboard. Better to read much more intelligent people in much more prestigious journals, like this piece from JAMA, or this piece from the New England Journal of Medicine. Or attend the professional development event hosted by Health Libraries Australia, AI Tools for Information Professionals


I could write about “Succession” and the poisoned well it depicts when media companies flood public discourse with misinformation and disinformation. But, honestly, I’m not sure any of us want to spend more time with these brutal and depressing characters.


I could write about facts, and their importance, and how they are celebrated and even glorified at trivia nights, including the one my team attends each Thursday night, where two weeks ago we started modestly with 9 points, but then scored two perfect rounds of 12 points, one of which we had chosen beforehand to double, scored three points in a bonus quiz, finished with rounds of 9, 10, and 11, resulting in a team record 78 points… and still only finished second. So too soon to delve any further into why we knew Mount Erebus was on the continent of Antarctica, but answered Europe. 


I could indulge my shadow pretend alternative career as a sports writer, and describe the best finish to a basketball game I have ever seen, where a week ago the underdog Miami Heat were down 2 points with 3 seconds to go but were awarded 2 free throws which was then upgraded to 3 free throws and they made all 3 free throws which put them 1 point up with 3 seconds to go, with a victory ensuring their progression to the finals, whereupon the Boston Celtics inbounded the ball and immediately hoisted a three point shot which rattled around the hoop and bounced out, only for the inbounding Celtic player to rebound the ball and lay it in as time expired, winning by 1 point the most improbable of matches and tying the series 3-3. But the links to health librarianship are very tenuous. And besides, the sporting event we should all be focused on is the imminent FIFA women’s world cup, where we can all pay due deference to our true sovereign, Sam Kerr. 


Actually, what is most worthy of attention, and is far more important than TV finales or basketball finals, is the work being undertaken to demonstrate the important role health libraries play in Australian medical training programs. Here you will find an overview of the medical colleges and associations which have medical training programs with specific library requirements highlighted. Based on a review of documents with inconsistency and vague terminology, the below benchmark statement covers off requirements that Colleges and Associations should include as they update their accreditation requirements. HLA endorses the following Recommendations:


There is access to a curated collection of high-quality information via a health library with online access appropriately configured for physician training.


The health library is staffed by qualified librarians with expertise in literature searching and research practices who provide training and individualised support to trainees undertaking research.


The site shall provide access to a physical health library space with current and relevant resources, study space and computing facilities equipped with supportive software for research.