Availability of electronic libraries in the health sciences in the Arabian Gulf region

Karen Neves, Hakim Bishawi

Abstract




Health sciences libraries the world over have experienced an increase in the popularity and use of electronic resources in their collections. As the Internet has begun to invade even the remotest of areas, libraries in the health sciences are experiencing ever-increasing pressure to expand into the electronic environment. The Arabian Gulf region is no exception. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman) libraries are asked to serve the information needs of health practitioners with a diverse range of financial, electronic, and human resources. In some countries, both funding and infrastructure are excellent. In others, a lack of hardware, software, or financial resources have taken their toll on services. Through the use of online and fax questionnaires, this paper examines the availability of electronic resources in health libraries in the Gulf region and will look at the state of the art for such characteristics of digital libraries as a significant Web presence, ability to access resources at a distance, and the provision of library services using electronic media.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5596/c06-046

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