Third International Congress on Medical Librarianship.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 5-9 May 1969.

Third Congress: World Progress in Medical Librarianship.

The Third Congress continued the basic subject areas of its predecessors, with sessions on planning and administration; classification and cataloging, information storage and retrieval; bibliography; education and manpower; national and regional systems in developed countries; and individual libraries.

Professor Kazuo Urata, Chairman of the 5ICML Japan Organizing Committee Program Committee, was the principal author of a paper describing a computerized serials control system which had been developed at Keio University. This was a topic of much interest and primacy concern in the 1960s, and the pioneering work of a number of libraries and systems in different countries undertaken in that period laid a solid ground for the present high level of development of such programs.

This congress was the first which addressed the problems of medical libraries in developing countries in depth. It featured a series of survey papers on South Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Other papers dealt with specific countries or systems and the state of bibliographic control. There were not very many delegates from developing countries present in Amsterdam, and active participation in the congresses by developing countries first took place in Belgrade, where approximately one-third of the attendees were from these countries.

--excerpted from The International Congresses on Medical Librarianship Thirty Years of Evolutionary Change by Irwin Pizer.

The third congress (1969) in Amsterdam included a symposium on regional and national systems in both developed and developing countries. Conditions in Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa were described. Typical reports (India and Pakistan) cited lack of facilities, funds, and cooperation from neighboring countries. UNESCO was urged to provide aid for equipment, training personnel, and regional experts to advise. Latin America reported that medical collections serving its over 315,000 health professionals and paraprofessionals were in very poor condition. The Middle East had an acute shortage of trained librarians and appalling conditions in libraries that made it difficult to retain librarians after they have trained overseas. The delegate from India noted that WHO had spent millions of dollars for eradication of diseases and for public health, but not for libraries. He suggested that WHO play a leading role in the development of medical libraries, just as its counterpart, UNESCO, had done for school and public libraries.

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