Second International Congress on Medical Librarianship. Washington, D.C., United States, 16-22 June 1963.

Second Congress: To Foster the Development and Improvement of Medical Library Service Throughout the World.

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" library.

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.

Based in Washington, the second congress (1963) addressed six program areas: library organization, with particular reference to emerging medical libraries in developing countries; library resources and interlibrary cooperation; education and training around the world; medical subject bibliography; and history of medical libraries. New topics included "utilization of machines for bibliographic purposes."

A special progress report on the fledgling MEDLARS project was presented by the National Library of Medicine. UNESCO approached the World Health Organization to assume responsibility for international exchange of duplicate medical Literature. From 1960-62, WHO reported that 81 libraries in 42 countries had participated in the exchange.

--excerpted from The International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 1953-1995: Goals and Achievements
by Susan Crawford.