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Patricia Brennan

Patricia Brennan

Director, National Library of Medicine
Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, is the Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and the producer of digital information services used by scientists, health professionals, and members of the public worldwide. Since assuming the directorship in August 2016 Dr. Brennan has positioned the Library to be the hub of data science at NIH and a national and international leader in the field.

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early twenty years into the 21st century, how exactly do we define the word, library? This is hardly a frivolous question. Neither is it a settled one. If a library is less defined by its information resources or access services than by foot traffic or usage stats, then appropriate assessment of its contribution to the institution -- through either quantitative or qualitative metrics -- becomes demonstrably more difficult. The question has implications for administrators with budgetary concerns as much as for educators in the field. Should libraries be focused on decentralization in order to better serve specialized research communities? Or should they be more centralized as the central organ of an educational organism?

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