The information needs of music therapists: challenges of assessment in the clinical setting

Allison Richardson, Dean Giustini


Objective This paper explores various methods that librarians can use to evaluate and meet the information needs of clinical music therapists (MTs). Methods A survey of the literature of music therapy (MT) found many empirical studies of MT but none describing how MTs commonly express and satisfy their information needs. As a means of assessing their information needs, we first examine the basic features of MT practice and then compare MTs' information needs with the well-documented needs of nurses. Results We believe that MTs and nurses exhibit similar basic information needs, such as access to (i) colleagues and experts; (ii) current information in print, electronic, and alternate formats; (iii) reference and ILL assistance from librarians; and (iv) library training to search databases and catalogues. Conclusions Librarians should collaborate with MTs to identify their specific information needs. To begin, library services can be built by allocating relatively few resources. To evaluate what is required in evidence-based MT, librarians and MT associations should administer a national needs-assessment survey or questionnaire.

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