The Second Congress saw the topic which we now know as automation introduced. Dr. Tomio
Ogata, an Honorary Member of the Japan Organizing Committee for the Fifth Congress,
presided over the session on utilization of machines for bibliographic purposes. He wisely
drew an analogy based on the fact that one does not have to understand the inner working
of complex machines in order to be able to derive benefits from them. He reminded the
congressists that the level of interaction with machines will not be the same for all who
use and work in medical libraries and urged the attendees to learn and not adopt an
attitude that machine technology will not be of use in a small or "poor"
The coming Information Age was already presaged in the papers of the meeting, and
information retrieval and the automation of library processes was to assume an
increasingly important role in the subsequent congresses, mirroring its role in the world
of medical libraries.
Other sessions at the Second Congress focused on education and training (a topic which
continues through the entire series of congresses, and will probably be a subject of the
sixth); library organization and management; interlibrary cooperation both on a national
and international basis; and special problems of historical libraries.
--excerpted from The International Congresses on
Medical Librarianship Thirty Years of Evolutionary Change by Irwin Pizer.